The Emergence of the European Union

The European Union is a European political and economic bloc that started its path since 1951 and went through several stages during which it expanded to include 28 European countries – just before Britain’s exit in 2016 – setting its strategic goals in establishing a citizenship that guarantees basic rights, supports economic and social progress, and strengthens Europe’s role in the world.

The emergence of the European Union:

After the Second World War, the European countries emerged from a devastating, exhausting war with ruptures and social disparities, and a devastated economy, wishing to form cooperation through the state’s technical and economic institutions to achieve peace, which would restore their natural stability, which led to the departure of the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman’s proposal . By forming a European Iron and Coal Group, as a means of preventing further war between France and Germany, adopting the slogan “make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible,” meaning “ We will not make war not only unthinkable, but also materially illogical. ” 6 European countries agreed to it (Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg), in order to organize their industrial production under a central authority. This proposal was crystallized with the signing of the Treaty of the European Coal and Steel Community (Paris Treaty) on April 18, 1951, and its main principles:

Lifting obstacles and limits to iron and coal trade between the signatory countries.
Implement a uniform policy with countries that remain outside the group.
Free circulation of the workforce among the signatory states.
After the European Coal and Steel Union succeeded in achieving its goals, some aspired to create a federal Europe; Two other federations were proposed: a European Defense Community and a European Political Community. Whereas the European Coal and Steel Community General Assembly had drawn up the treaty relating to the latter, the French Parliament rejected the proposed defense union. Presented President Jean Monnet – Jean Monnet resigned in protest against the political union and began to work on alternative communities, based on economic integration rather than political integration.

To achieve this, Paul Henri Spaak was entrusted after the Messina Conference in 1955 with the task of preparing a report on the idea of ​​the customs union. In order for the so-called Plumber Report to be the cornerstone of intergovernmental negotiations at the Val Duchesse Conference Center in 1956, and to end with the Treaty of Rome on March 25, 1957 AD, establishing the European Economic Community.

In the same year, the same countries agreed to establish a third group, which is the European Atomic Energy Community – E uratom, and began work in 1957 AD, in addition to the coal and steel group, and the two groups became the European Common Market.

In 1965 AD, the European Iron and Coal Community, the European Economic Community, and the European Atomic Energy Community melted together to form a unified administrative system, the European Community.

Later, during the 1960s, the integration process took great steps forward through the implementation of the customs union and the signing of the treaty that unified the executive bodies of the three groups and established the principle of budget unity, raising the internal customs between countries, and applying a common customs tariff against the third world countries.

In 1972, with the aim of enhancing coordination between exchange management policies in European countries and ensuring stability, a margin of volatility was set in order to save the price mechanism to support the Common Agricultural Policy, and it formed what is known as the “monetary snake”. In the year 1979 AD, the monetary snake turned into an actual transfer agreement that became the European Monetary System. In the same year, the European Parliament was elected for the first time by universal suffrage.

In the year 1973 AD, the first expansion of the European Community occurred with the accession of the United Kingdom and Denmark, then Greece in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986 AD, then Ireland in 1993 AD, Sweden, Finland and Austria in 1995 AD.

In February 1984 was the adoption of the draft treaty on the European Union , which supported Spinelli – Altiero Spinelli (which served as the first and the actual draft of the European Constitution) by an overwhelming majority in parliament. In 1985, it signed the Schengen agreement by Germany, France and the countries of the Benelux – Benelux to facilitate the abolition of controls at internal borders, bypassing the resistance that was faced by efforts to promote freedom of movement of persons and judicial cooperation within the institutional framework of the European Community. In December / December of that year, the European Council in Luxembourg decided to amend the Treaty of Rome and give a new impetus to the process of European integration through the establishment of European law only, signed in The Hague – The The Hague In February 1986. In addition to carrying out important institutional reforms, single European law allowed for the continuation of the path towards completion of the single market. In order to translate the goals set per the Charter in 1987 to reality by the year 1992, the Jacques Delors – Jacques is Delors , in his capacity as President of the European Commission to provide an ambitious program of legislative and practical to ensure the removal of the remaining obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods, capital and services. The creation of the single economic space paved the way for the subsequent introduction of a single currency.

Treaty of Maastricht and the transformation of the community into a union:

The important changes that took place on the international scene in the late 1980s – the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Soviet Union – made Europeans in the east and west of the continent neighbors and relatives, so the member countries of the European Economic Community began their way to a single currency and the current institutional system in 1990. He witnessed That year the entry into force of the first phase of the economic and monetary union, as well as the introduction of European Rome and the Intergovernmental Conference on Economic and Monetary Union, and the political union that ended with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty – M aastricht T reaty In 1992, with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, what was known as the European Economic Community became a European Union. With the founding of this union, the determination to start a new phase in the process of creating an ever closer unity among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken at the closest possible level to the citizens, and the Maastricht Treaty is considered a real turning point in the process of European integration, what was until then known as the Community The European Economic Community became the European Community, the first pillar of the European Union. The Maastricht Treaty also introduced new policies and forms of cooperation in the foreign and security policy sector, so the Europeans directed to protect the ocean and carry out joint measures in the areas of security and defense, and the European family expanded again in 1995 with the accession of (Austria, Finland, Sweden).

With the Treaties of Amsterdam t Reaty Of Amsterdam is and Nice t Reaty Of of Nice , the community has taken other important steps forward. It has been incorporated into the Schengen Agreement – Schengen Agreement in the legislative framework of the Union, to establish the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament. And it gave a new impetus to cooperation between police forces in the fields of justice and defense, and facilitated the possibility of increasing cooperation between small groups from the countries of the European Union. Between 2002 and 2004 AD, each of (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia) joined the Union, Lithuania, Malta, southern Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria) and the last expansion was the accession of the Vatican in 2013, bringing the number of European Union members – until 2014 – to 28 countries.

The Lisbon Treaty and the recent development of the European Union:

European Union leaders met on 19 October / October 2007 in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon – of Lisbon , with a view to the adoption of a treaty aimed at reforming EU institutions and decision – making process, and replace the European Constitution replaced , which was rejected by France and the Netherlands earlier in 2005 stipulates the Lisbon Treaty – t Reat the y Of Lisbon :

Expanded rights for member state parliaments.
Joint policies on energy, fuel, and global warming issues.
Giving the European Union foreign policy coordinator more powers than it is now.
A European country presides over the Union for a period of two and a half years, instead of the rotating presidency that lasts for half a year.
The Lisbon Treaty aimed to create a long-term president of the European Council and to consolidate a mutual defense agreement.
Infographic, the development of the European Union

European Union institutions:

The European Union has established basic structures to run its affairs:

1- The Parliament of the European Union : It is one of the most important institutions of the European Union, with 626 members representing about 375 million citizens in 15 member states of the Union, and the concept of the European Parliament appeared in the Treaty of Rome in 1957 AD. The first direct European parliamentary elections were held in June 1979, that is, only 34 years after the end of World War II, in which European nations fought, and these elections were the strongest declaration of European reconciliation.

The European Parliament derives its legitimacy from the direct universal suffrage in which citizens of European countries vote and elect their representatives for a period of five years. Subsequent European treaties have increased the power of the European Parliament, especially the 1992 Maastricht Treaty and the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, which transformed the European Parliament into a legislative institution that plays a similar role to that of national parliaments. The most prominent of his tasks:

Parliament shares legislative power with the Council of the European Union, i.e. ratification of European laws (directives, instructions, decisions). His interference in the legislative process gives democratic legitimacy to the laws.
Parliament shares the exercise of fiscal and budgetary power with the Council of the European Union, and can make changes to the public spending of the European Union. He is the one who gives final approval to the budget.
Parliament oversees the work of the Council of the European Union. He approves the candidacy of the commissioners and has the right to withdraw confidence from the Federation Council. It also exercises political oversight over all institutions of the union.
2 – The European Commission : It is the executive organ that watches over the general interests of the Union. The member states name the president and members of the commission, after they are approved by the European Parliament. The European Commission is the driving force in the institutional union system, and its main tasks are:

Implementing legislation issued by the Parliament and the European Council (directives, instructions, decisions) and supervising the budget and programs approved by Parliament.

The Commission supervises agreements and treaties, in conjunction with the Court of Justice, to ensure proper implementation.

The Commission represents the Federation on the international stage and negotiates on its behalf in international agreements, especially in the fields of trade and cooperation.

3- The Council of the European Union: It is the most important decision-making body in the Union. The Council of the Union consists of a periodic meeting of representatives of its members at the ministerial level. The Federation Council meets according to what is proposed on a schedule. The most prominent of his tasks:

Coordination of economic policies among the member states.
Concluding agreements with a state or group of countries or international organizations on behalf of the European Union.
To participate with Parliament in exercising financial power and the budget of the Union.
Taking implementation decisions for foreign and public security policy, on the basis of general directives taken by the European Council.
Coordinate the activities of Member States, and take action with regard to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
4 – European Court of Justice: It is a judicial body that oversees respect for the legislation and laws of the Union, and its most important tasks are:

Interpretation of international agreements and treaties concluded by the European Union.
Settling disputes between member states over interpretation of relevant laws, treaties and agreements.
Settling issues brought to it by national courts and determining applicable laws.
The European Court of Justice is also competent to adjudicate all appeals submitted by the European Parliament, the Accounting Council and the European Central Bank, and it is also competent to adjudicate appeals filed by natural or legal persons.
5- Court of Accounts Control: or the Audit Bureau, which is a monitoring body that oversees the monitoring of the Union’s budget.

6 – The European Central Bank : The Eurozone Bank, which works in the constituent countries of the European Union in order to secure the stability of exchange rates in the eurozone.

Implementing and setting currency policies.
Securing the system of buying and selling foreign currencies.
Managing currency resources for member states.
Collect census information.
7 – The European Investment Bank: It is the European Finance Corporation, which aims to assist and finance projects of member states, reform and develop projects in the euro area, and increase employment in the countries of the Union, by providing medium and short-term loans with low interest rates to the countries of the Union.

8 – The European Union Summit: In this summit, the heads of state, the President of the European Summit and the President of the European Commission meet four times a year, in order to develop the Union area and issue the basic decisions that define the Union’s policy.

Sources and references:
European Union / Foundation Development Enlargement Institutions, Prof. Dr. Rıdvan Karluk, BETA BASIM YAYIM. 2014

European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Article entitled: The Schuman Declaration – 9 May 1950

A plumber report, Spak report

Building the European Union, its origins, institutions, history …, a research published on the Rachel Corrie Palestinian website for human rights and the follow-up of international justice, by students: Abdulaziz Sadouk, Sidi Ali Bakna, Muhammad Ovest . Encyclopedia, the European Union 60 years since the beginning.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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