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The European Union
A Critical Guide
New and updated edition
Steven P. McGiffen
LONDON • ANN ARBOR, MI
First published 2001 Second edition published 2005 by Pluto Press 345 Archway Road, London N6 5AA and 839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 www.plutobooks.com Copyright © Steven P. McGiffen 2001, 2005 The right of Steven P. McGiffen to be identiﬁed as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0 7453 2506 8 paperback
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data applied for
Designed and produced for Pluto Press by Chase Publishing Services Ltd, Fortescue, Sidmouth, EX10 9QG, England Typeset from disk by Stanford DTP Services, Northampton, England Printed and bound in the European Union by Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham and Eastbourne, England
The European Union: An Uncritical Guide to the Abbreviations and Acronyms Preface 1 2 Introduction The Treaties The Treaty of Rome – The Single European Act – Maastricht – Amsterdam – Nice
viii xiii 1 4
The Institutions 14 The European Council – The Council of Ministers – The Council Presidency – COREPER (The Committee of Permanent Representatives) – The Convention and Intergovernmental Conferences (IGCs) – The Commission – The European Parliament – The European Court of Justice (ECJ) – The European Court of Auditors – The Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) – The Committee of the Regions How the European Union Makes Law Different sorts of law – Unanimity v. Qualiﬁed Majority Voting (QMV) – The legislative procedures: consultation, cooperation, co-decision and assent – The budget and budgetary procedure – Monitoring expenditure Enlargement Background and history – Problems – The mass accession of May 2004 – Possible further accessions The Common Foreign and Security Policy Background and history – The Second Pillar – From Yugoslavia to Amsterdam – Common defence or militarisation? – How the CFSP works –The Nice Treaty’s reforms and developments since – Common (market) values? 32
history and aims – How it works – The reform of 2003 – Criticisms . some freer than others – Capital – Private Good. and Youth for Europe – The European Social Fund (ESF) The Environment and Public Health Background and History – Programmes. Justice and Security A controversial policy area – What is EU citizenship? – The Amsterdam Treaty – The Third Pillar – The Charter of Fundamental Rights – Citizenship. Public Bad (How the EU undermines public ownership) – Mixed blessings of a big market – Services – Plans – Consumer protection External Economic Relations Imports – Exports – Globalisation – Development Employment and Social Policy Background and history – The question of competence – Competing theories of what causes unemployment – Recent developments in employment policy – The European Employment Strategy – The Lisbon Strategy – Health and safety at work – Informing and Consulting Workers – Gender equality – Disability and ageing – Education and training – Socrates. Leonardo. capital and labour). orphans and jobs (Does the internal market mean a ‘race to the bottom’ in social and environmental policy?) – The four freedoms (Goods. policies and problems – Kyoto – GMOs – REACH (A new framework for control of chemicals) – Public Health – Food Safety 57 8 68 9 76 10 11 92 99 12 119 13 The Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy 132 The CAP: background.vi The European Union 7 Citizenship. Justice and Home Affairs – Europol – Refugees and asylum – After 9/11 Monetary Policy Arguments for and against a single currency – The Convergence Criteria and Growth and Stability Pact – The Euro The Internal Market The long arm of the Internal Market – Vital regulation or barrier to trade? – Competition policy – The Single European Act – Widows. services.
ﬁnancial and economic policy – Why was no agreement initially reached? – The immediate future – The revised text: The Commission – The Council – The Parliament – The Euro – Economic and employment policies – Stability and Growth Pact – Multiannual Financial Framework – Charter of Fundamental Rights – Eurojust – Enhanced Cooperation – Economic. history and aims – The reform of 2002 – Regional Advisory Councils – Criticisms 14 Transport 141 The Common Transport Policy and its limitations – The 2001 White Paper – Trans-European Networks (TENs) – Marco Polo and Galileo Regional Policy 149 Background and history – Agenda 2000 – Impact of enlargement – The European Regional Development Fund and other Structural Funds – The Cohesion Fund – The Community Instruments – The future Industrial Policy and Energy Background. history and aims – Recent developments in industrial and related policies – Energy policy – Technology. Research and Development – The Sixth Framework Programme 155 15 16 17 The Rejection of the Constitutional Treaty: What next for the European Union? 162 The Giscard text: Institutional reform – Foreign and defence policy (The militarisation of the EU) – Citizenship and citizens’ rights – Federalism and subsidiarity – Fiscal.Contents vii The CFP: background. Social and Territorial Cohesion – Energy – Declarations and Protocols relating to individual member States – The Future Conclusion A summary of the criticisms 179 180 188 201 211 18 Notes Recommended Reading Index .
previously ELDR) Association of South East Asian Nations Agreement on Social Policy Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (‘Mad Cow Disease’) Common Agricultural Policy Common Customs Tariff Clean Development Mechanism (a Kyoto Protocol instrument) Central and Eastern Europe EU-wide small businesses’ group Community Fisheries Control Agency Common Fisheries Policy Common Foreign and Security Policy Community Instrument Common Market Organisation (under the CAP) Programme encouraging transnational co-operation between schools Committee of the Regions Committee of Member States’ Permanent Representatives Common Position (i.e. Caribbean. adopted by Council) Community programmes Common Transport Policy Directorate-General (a division of the Commission) European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund Environmental Action Programme European Aviation Safety Agency European Community viii ALDE ASEAN ASP BSE CAP CCT CDM CEE CEEP CFCA CFP CFSP CI CMO Comenius COR COREPER CP CPs CTP DG EAGGF EAP EASA EC . Paciﬁc’) Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (Liberal Group in European Parliament.The European Union: An Uncritical Guide to the Abbreviations and Acronyms ACP Trade co-operation body comprising EU and developing countries (the initials stand for ‘Africa.
Abbreviations and Acronyms ix ECB ECHR ECJ Ecoﬁn ECOSOC ECSC ECU EEA EEB EEC EES EFSA EFTA EIA EIB EIF EMI EMS EMU EP EPP-ED Equal ERA Erasmus ERDF ESC ESCB ESF ETUC ETUI EU Euratom Eures Eurojust Europol European Central Bank European Convention on Human Rights European Court of Justice Economic and Finance Council Economic and Social Committee (also known as ESC) European Coal and Steel Community European Currency Unit European Economic Area European Environmental Bureau European Economic Community European Employment Strategy European Food Safety Agency European Free Trade Area Environmental Impact Assessment European Investment Bank European Investment Fund European Monetary Institute European Monetary System European Monetary Union European Parliament European People’s Party: the centre-right Group in the EP Community Instrument to encourage equal opportunities European Research Area Programme encouraging transnational co-operation between universities and mobility of university students European Regional Development Fund Economic and Social Committee (also known as ECOSOC) European System of Central Banks European Social Fund European Trade Union Confederation European Trade Union Institute European Union European Atomic Energy Community European Employment Service EU co-operation system for legal affairs EU police force .
now defunct Information and Communication Technology Independence and Democracy. now defunct Community Instrument to address unemployment. political Group in European Parliament Intergovernmental Conference International Labour Organisation International Monetary Fund Community Instrument for border regions Information Technology Justice and Home Affairs Joint Initiative – Kyoto Protocol instrument (EU) Joint Research Council Community Instrument for poorer regions EU training and education programme EU fund to support nature conservation projects EU language education programme Multiannual Guidance Programme (under CFP) EU initiative to encourage movement of freight by rail rather than road Millennium Development Goals Member of the European Parliament .x The European Union EWC FIFG Galileo GATS GATT GDP GM GMOs GNP GPS Greens/EFA Grundtvig GSP GUE/NGL Helios Horizon ICT ID IGC ILO IMF Inter-reg III IT JHA JI JRC Leader Leonardo LIFE Lingua MAGP Marco Polo MDGs MEP European Works Council Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance EU-funded satellite navigation system General Agreement on Trade in Services General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Gross Domestic Product Genetically Modiﬁed Genetically Modiﬁed Organisms Gross National Product Global Positioning System Greens-European Free Alliance political Group in European Parliament Programme encouraging the European dimension of life-long learning Generalised System of Preferences (under external trade rules) Left Group in the EP EU-funded network for disabled people.
Abbreviations and Acronyms xi Mercosur Minerva MNCs MTR NAFTA NATO NGO NHS NI NOW OECD PDB PES PHARE PSC QMV R&D RACs REACH SAFE SAP SAPARD SEA SEM SES SIS SMEs SMUs Socrates TAC TDI Latin American economic community Programme encouraging open and distance learning. information and communication technologies in education Multinational Corporations Mid-Term Review North American Free Trade Area North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Non-Governmental Organisation National Health Service Non-inscrit: independent Member of EP New Opportunities for Women – an employment initiative. now defunct Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Preliminary Draft Budget Party of European Socialists: centre-left group in the EP Development programme for CEE applicant countries Political and Security Committee Qualiﬁed Majority Voting Research and Development Regional Advisory Councils (of Common Fisheries Policy) Registration. Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Safety Actions for Europe – small fund to support SMEs making health and safety improvements Structural Adjustment Programme Rural development fund for CEE applicant countries Single European Act Single European Market Single European Sky Schengen Information System Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises alternative term – ‘U’ is for Undertakings EU education programme Total Allowable Catch (under the CFP) A ragbag Group in the EP including fascists and others .
xii The European Union TENs Trans-European Networks TEU Treaty on European Union – the ‘Maastricht Treaty’ third country Any country which is not a member of the EU. usually used in the context of international agreements and treaties UEN Group of the Union for a Europe of Nations UKIP United Kingdom Independence Party UNCTAD United Nations Council for Trade and Development UNFCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNHCR United Nations High Commission for Refugeess UNICE EU-wide employers’ group Urban Community Instrument for urban regions VAT Value Added tax VDU Visual Display Unit VIS Visa Information System WEU Western European Union WTO World Trade Organisation WWF World Wide Fund for Nature .
Websites and Propaganda At the back of this book you will ﬁnd a list of recommended books. After all. the material listed varies from general guides to Euro-federalist tracts. however. is written from within a narrow range of viewpoints. those students seeking to get to grips with what at ﬁrst sight seems a dauntingly complex subject have no such choice. the basic procedures by which the European Union is governed. It is fully updated from the list included in the First Edition. On the contrary. widened since 2001. None. Timothy Bainbridge’s The Penguin Guide to the European Union and Alex Warleigh’s European Union: The Basics will each give you the information you need to make sense of the EU. and in many ways these have. It is the aim of this book to ﬁll the biggest and most glaring of these. papers and websites which I hope you will ﬁnd comprehensive and useful. if anything. Each either celebrates or accepts as an immutable fact the current Union and its systems of governance and economic relations. however. covering the wide range of developments which occurred between 2001 and 2005. gaps remain. and written on such a wide range of EU-related subjects from so many points of view. Almost every available book which describes. and from specialised scholarly treatises to diatribes against ‘Brussels’ and all its works. for the general reader or beginning student. the world really needs yet another book on the Union and its ways.Preface The European Union: Books. offer useful guides to their subject. The inclusion of so long a bibliography might well beg the question as to whether. gives a thorough account of the range of criticisms of the Union found across Europe. This does not mean that they are invariably propagandistic tracts or that they do not. books such as John Pinder’s The European Union: A Very Short Introduction. if so much is already available. in some cases. The fact is that whilst people who already have some knowledge of the Union can easily ﬁnd well-written books on particular subjects which come from a range of points of view. and probably xiii . A little more thorough. Despite this wealth of literature.
even if inadvertently. The Institute of Directors publication. of globalisation and the irrelevance of the nation state to . for generating closer and more effective cooperation between the labour movement or radical forces in different member states. have been overwhelmingly positive. giving as straightforward an account as possible of the sometimes labyrinthine bureaucracy. others. however. North America. before tackling questions such as the dilution of democracy or the inﬂuence of big corporations. Ireland and Scandinavia. and the fact that each step of integration has made the sorts of policies traditionally favoured by governments to the left of centre difﬁcult if not actually illegal. extrapolating from the self-evident fact that many environmental problems demand an international solution. left as well as right. critical works rarely give much help to those seeking a basic introduction. It is generally recognised that support for the European Union and its integrationist agenda comes from across the political spectrum. Opposition to the EU also comes from many sources. Roney and Budd’s The European Union: A Guide Through the EU/EC Maze and the EC/EU Fact Book. at least in the UK and. Some on the left have seen the EU as offering the potential. Greens. early twenty-ﬁrst century world. however. This fact is. to an enthusiasm for a European federation. in my experience. argue that the Union has the potential to act as a counterweight to the overwhelming power of the United States. at least outside the UK. On the right. In the English-speaking world the so-called ‘Eurosceptic’ or ‘anti-European’ position has been pigeon-holed as an atavistic right-wing set of beliefs which have grown in the main from a failure to accept the realities of the late twentieth. by Alex Roney were exceptions but are now somewhat out of date. These. the treaties and the economic imperatives by which the Union is governed. They are reference works more than critical essays. is Dick Leonard’s The Economist Guide to the European Union. far less known. Another is the on-line Euroknow encyclopaedia. on the other hand. which rivals a book like Rodney Leach’s Europe: A Concise Encyclopaedia and even manages to be amusing. the EC/EU has garnered support on the basis of the Treaty of Rome’s absolute commitment to a market economy. the clear advantages for corporate business to be found in the removal of barriers to trade across a huge ‘internal’ market. In The European Union: A Critical Guide.xiv The European Union the best single volume on the EU from an integrationist perspective. On the other hand. I have attempted to combine the two. are guides of a rather different kind to the one I set out to write.
noninternationally-minded things which have no place in the globalised economy. One of the aims of this book is to dispel this myth. yet know nothing whatsoever about what the EU can and cannot . despite what appeared to be extreme poverty. which is supposed to be a bit odd anyway and where. In my dealings with the anti-EU movement I have met young Danes who were convinced that the European Union was simply a sort of Soviet Union#2. for many found it difﬁcult to understand why anyone to the left of centre should support a ‘Constitution’ which would institutionalise free market capitalism. and global warming. overlenient treatment of child molesters. In the view of politics which left critics of the European Union are obliged to confront. On the other hand. except in Scandinavia. unfortunately. there is no opposition whatsoever. And I have heard the EU blamed for such phenomena as the pitiful level of pensions in the UK. exist. forward-looking. there are people who wear waistcoats displaying the Swedish or Danish ﬂag. travelled to Brussels from Copenhagen by train rather than the cheaper bus because the bus company was called Eurolines and he refused to use it – though it is just possible that he was joking. and insist on their right to chew tobacco and do other. On the other we have the sort of people who wear Union Jack waistcoats and are concerned to defend every Englishman’s god-given right to watch dogs tearing up small furry animals. on the one side. I have met elected British politicians who express breathless enthusiasm for ‘Europe’ only because it is fashionable to do so. you have. and to have a public transport system which would be the envy of remoter regions of Burma. which has been created by pro-EU propagandists but. and one who. no doubt. and. internationally-minded. Elsewhere in Europe. As the details of the proposed Constitutional Treaty emerged in referendum campaigns and general debate. oblige member states to spend an ever-increasing proportion of their budgets on ‘defence’. dynamic. contains a host of provisions traditionally anathema to even the mildest social democrat. go-ahead (and so on) leaders who have a ‘vision of Europe’ and wish to avoid any possibility of the return of the sort of national rivalry which led to enmity. it has to be said. leading in turn to several large wars in the nineteenth century and two huge ones in the twentieth. this did begin to change. to eat crisps containing ﬂavourings considered poisonous elsewhere in the world. as I explain in my ﬁnal chapter. a type which does.Preface xv modern power politics. eagerly embraced by the sort of Eurosceptic it describes.
I have met politicians and journalists from across Europe who understand very little about the relationship between the EU and its member states. referred to as federalism – a belief that integration has not gone nearly far enough. and their books should be read with this in mind. though few writers who delve very far into the working of the Commission. and Clive Archer’s The European Union: Structure and Process. while his fellow Swede Jonas Sjöstedt’s The new EU Constitution: Centralised Rule and Market Liberalism is a good guide not only to the proposal to which its title refers but to the whole direction of EU thinking. To ﬁnd intelligent criticism it is better to look at studies of particular policies or policy areas or developments. and of absolutely all ofﬁcial material issued by the European Commission or the European Parliament. Gahrton is good on the Common Foreign and Security Policy. much of the material listed in my bibliography sets out not to discuss whether the current or proposed arrangements offer the best. much of this material is meticulously researched and clearly written. The subtext of much of what is written on the subject. . As well as ‘guides’ to the EU. be taken at face value. but not the thing itself. those which take an antiintegrationist line or draw conclusions which call the basic tenets of the Treaty of Rome into question are few. if a bit short on humour. Critical studies of the EU’s institutions are hard to ﬁnd. though misleadingly. both academic and those written for a wider audience. The best of these studies are Elizabeth Bomberg and Alexander Stubb’s The European Union: How Does It Work?. or even a workable. however. academic studies of the Union or aspects of it are common. Ignorance of the EU is not conﬁned to those who oppose or criticise it. This does not mean it is worthless: on the contrary. It merely describes what is. These people have a clear political agenda. is that criticism is not a useful activity. that it is stalled by narrow national self-interest. solution to the problems facing the 25 member states and their peoples. Council and Court of Justice offer unqualiﬁed praise. It should not. We may criticise its policy. Swedish Green Euro-MP Per Gahrton provided the best analysis of the Amsterdam Treaty from an oppositional viewpoint with his The New EU After Amsterdam. and if it criticises at all it does so from the point of view which I have called integrationism – more often.xvi The European Union do and can speak not a word of any language other than what now passes for English in parliamentary circles. that it is. Thus. the Future. though again. as clear as that of the anti-EU movement. or will be. Parliament.
issued in 2000. its constant rapid growth. to question the EU at a more fundamental level than is usually seen. a regularly updated publication though at the time of writing there had been no new edition since the ninth.G. This book attempts to give an idea of the range of possible criticism. Ten years ago on-line information services offered by the institutions were poor. the nature of the Internet. I can now say without reservations that those of the Parliament and Commission are excellent. The standard textbook on the economics of the European Union and its integrationist project is Dennis Swann’s The Economics of Europe. to offer a word of praise. If you wish to read the actual text of any measure or proposal referred to in these pages. A. to defy the odds and live up to its name. there is so little available for the general reader on so many vital areas of EU policy. . although detailed academic studies abound. They were slow in improving. At the end of the book. so near the beginning of my book. It is surprising that. Of course. you should have no trouble at all in ﬁnding it. and even the volume of conventional literature which appears each year mean that these gaps are gradually being ﬁlled. though signs that they were beginning to do so were already evident when I wrote the ﬁrst edition of this book. I am pleased to be able. as is the Eur-Lex site which offers a comprehensive guide to laws in force and measures proposed. while a constant stream of information sheets. For those who require more detail. As I have many criticisms to make of the European Union institutions in the pages to come. press releases and background documents allows anyone with access to the Internet to keep up to date with Commission thinking and the positions adopted by the various political tendencies represented in the Parliament. even by the standards of the mid 1990s. the most up-to-date of which is written by Paul Craig and Grainne de Burca and called simply EU Law. at least to someone like myself who is not a legal specialist. Toth’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary of European Community Law seems. I have tried to give a concise but reasonably representative bibliography for each chapter. and thus to contribute directly to this ﬂow of information.Preface xvii There are several well-researched and well-organised guides to EU law.
and the equation of ‘Europe’ with the European Union both geographically and politically inaccurate.. of the criminal law. ‘anti-European’ and ‘Eurosceptic’ are deliberately misleading. containing some extremely unsavoury elements. The Six jealously guarded their control of taxation. not to dissolve western Europe into a single amorphous entity. Whether the European Union descended from this original Community should be an economic tool or a fully-ﬂedged federation is now the tension at the heart of the continent’s politics.1 Introduction In 1957 six countries of western Europe signed a treaty designed to further the transformation of the economic and political life of the region. and calling itself the United Kingdom Independence Party. designed to pool economic resources and resourcefulness. In 1945. of ignorance. ostensibly at least. much comment on all sides of the debate is ill-informed about the basics of the system. stereotyping and unintentional bias.. of moral and cultural matters. it originally limited the Community’s powers to matters concerned with production and consumption. most of western Europe had been in ruins. The act of signing itself demonstrated that much had changed in the twelve years since the end of World War Two. ignorance of the European Union on the part of some journalists and a failure to report issues 1 . Accusations levelled against the BBC in January 2005 by an independent panel commissioned by the corporation’s governors. . but are made even more so for British people by the bizarre terms in which the debate is almost invariably conducted in UK political life and in the country’s media. and ‘a tendency to polarise and over-simplify issues. Though the aims of the Treaty of Rome were always as much political as economic. Commonly used expressions such as ‘pro-European’. Important decisions are involved. and the future of every country in Europe will depend on their outcome. has further muddied the already murky waters. They are inherently difﬁcult. The rise of a rightwing party. of education. Although ‘Europe’ occupies far more column inches in newspapers than it did even a few years ago. Their co-operation was.
The EU is a proposed answer to the problems of Britain. To ﬂy the twelvestar ﬂag is not an act of treason. It is not an inevitable outcome of some mysterious March of History. Yet surely a supporter. if honest. It was gratifying to see both supporters and opponents of deeper European integration welcoming the group’s outspoken criticisms. would have the same reaction. all critics of the Union are xenophobes. strange people with funny accents and loose morals. To their opponents. are entitled to their opinions. especially when this takes the form of the deliberate spreading of confusion. to refuse to do so no retreat into . for some reason. As an opponent of the Constitutional Treaty.2 The European Union that ought to be reported’ might have referred to almost any section of the British media. or can they too see how dangerous such a development would be? The European Union is a political and economic project which a number of governments have decided to pursue. BBC governors acknowledged that a recent opinion poll had shown that ‘the BBC is not succeeding in providing basic accessible information on the topic of Europe and (that) urgent action is needed’. I could only throw up my hands in despair when I read that whilst nine out of ten residents of the EU of voting age admitted to knowing nothing at all about the proposal’s contents. To be for or against the European Union. but it is quite possible to support or oppose it with the best of intentions. its complete disbanding or something between the two. nor is it a boat or train which must under no circumstances be missed. to favour its deepening into a full political union. Politicians who abandon reasoned argument in favour of muddy metaphors (which. half would vote in its favour if they had the chance.1 Newspapers. nationalism or internationalism. mired in a nostalgic past of warm beer and village cricket. unlike the BBC. In response.2 for the truth is that neither side should believe that it is well-served by the current standard of coverage and debate. To the pro-EU press. It is not the only available answer and it may not be the best. almost always involve modes of transport) generally do so because they are lying. Do the Europhiles really want a Union based on ignorant acquiescence. should have nothing at all to do with patriotism. foreigners are generally the subject of mirth or contempt. Only the clear public responsibilities of the state-funded institution made the allegations more telling than they might have been if levelled against the Guardian or the Daily Express. Ireland and their neighbours on the European mainland. Only the way that they express them might be criticised.
The EU exists. . as well as whether they wish to abandon their own currency and adopt the euro. British voters. may soon decide whether to approve the proposed Constitution. and the people of its member states must decide what they want to do about that fact. speciﬁcally. In this book I shall attempt to provide the reader with the information he or she needs to be able to take part in these historic decisions.Introduction 3 xenophobia.
2 The Treaties Before the mid 1980s. and two treaties were signed. capital and labour would be unrestricted. synonymous with the ﬁrst really major overhaul of the Treaty of Rome. The SEA gave the member states until the last day of 1992 to achieve an ‘internal market’ within which the movement of goods. the SEA seems well in keeping with a notion of the EEC as ‘the Common Market’. be seen as the beginning of a transformation of the European Economic Community into the European Union. The central thrust was a commitment by the member states to remove all remaining barriers to trade. it extended the competence of the Community’s institutions into new 4 . Some amendments were necessary when new states joined. coming into force in 1971 and 1977 respectively. services.1 MAASTRICHT Before 1992 the pretty Dutch border town of Maastricht was known mainly for its pleasant cafés and annual antiques fair. overnight. dealing with budgetary matters. At ﬁrst sight. and the name ‘Maastricht’ became. and the implications of a drive to remove them reached into every corner of economic life. and research and development. The signing of the Treaty on European Union on 7 February of that year changed all that. The Act did not. limit itself entirely to trade issues. changes to the Treaty of Rome were relatively rare. Firstly. it extended Community competence into new ﬁelds which would become of huge importance in the following decade: social policy. In addition. that things began to move at such a pace that the Act can. Maastricht did four things which were of transforming signiﬁcance for the integrationist project. like the Single European Act. environmental protection. be a very inclusive term. It adopted also a series of institutional reforms aimed at improving cooperation between heads of state and government and attempted to take some steps towards achieving the important integrationist goal of a common foreign and defence policy. however. ‘Barriers to trade’ can. moreover. with the signing of the so-called Single European Act (SEA). in retrospect. however. It was in 1987.
the other two being the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA).The Treaties 5 areas. the European Community. a concept which includes. Each of these ‘freedoms’ also carries with it far-reaching implications which compromise each member state’s ability to run its own affairs. or the right and ability of an independent state to govern its own affairs and those of the inhabitants of its territory. two of the major elements. Both foreign policy and the criminal law. respectively. In a customs union. but is more far-reaching than. but what have been called the four freedoms: free movement of goods. wrote a timetable for its introduction and set out the rules by which member states would qualify for admission and by which the currency would be governed. one. hopeful commitment to the eventual introduction of a single currency. The ﬁrst is an internal market without barriers to trade. Finally. the internal market is more than a simple customs union in that it does not simply guarantee the free movement of goods. Of the three pillars. is much more important as a support for the ediﬁce of European Union than are the other two. capital. it established new and far reaching objectives which were openly integrationist2 in character. independent nations agree not to put tariffs on each others’ goods. but a detailed plan for a union of economies presided over by a common central bank. Secondly. the Treaty created a wholly new structure within which the European Community would be one of three ‘pillars’ propping up the European Union. then it is entitled to ask whether those goods are produced and traded under conditions which ensure fair competition. following a rigorous logic which says that if one country cannot impose tariffs on imports from another. The Community itself can be seen as constituting a number of different sets of institutions and practices. Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). services and labour. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the third. The creation of Maastricht’s other two pillars was made necessary by the continuing struggle between integrationists and those who felt that the process of transfer of powers from national to supranational institutions had gone far enough. The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is the second major element of Maastricht’s revamped European Community. The internal market carries this further. Thirdly. . Moreover. are matters traditionally regarded as fundamental to sovereignty. a simple customs union. however. of the second pillar. For this reason they were kept outside the normal supranational structures of the European Community. it aimed to create a single currency. The Treaty contains not a vague.
and threats to the environment and public health.4 NICE The Treaty signed at Nice in December 2001 was supposed to deal with what were referred to as the Amsterdam ‘leftovers’: the weighting of votes under Qualiﬁed Majority Voting (QMV) and how many would constitute an effective majority or a blocking minority. In addition. On the other hand. more far-reaching or more expensive than is justiﬁed by the seriousness of the problem they address. Amsterdam is unlikely ever to see its name reduced to a shorthand label for a Treaty. Though this is not always the case in practice. Patricia McKenna. In the ofﬁcial view. implying that the EU’s centralised institutions can take action only where the objectives of such action could not be achieved at the national level. the Amsterdam Treaty was an attempt to create an institutional structure. if not precisely a supranational state. capable of enabling the European Union to deal with a globalising economy.3 AMSTERDAM Given its other attractions.6 The European Union As well as leaving us with an extremely complex structure. but which had never before been institutionalised: ‘subsidiarity’. who represented the Irish Greens in the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004. by underlining a concept which had been around for some time in EC circles. meaning that they must not be any stronger. on paper subsidiarity is simple. proposed measures are supposed to display ‘proportionality’. it did take the European Union further down the road towards becoming. together with appropriate policy goals and the instruments to achieve them. was also surely correct when she described the Treaty as ‘a further step towards Fortress Europe’ which signals ‘clear moves towards a militarised European Union’. Though Amsterdam did not introduce anything so obviously transforming as a currency union. international crime and drug trafﬁcking. despite that Treaty’s importance for the political direction of the European Union and its neighbours. for these have indeed become the overriding themes of international politics in the years since Amsterdam. the tension between integrationists and their opponents was resolved in another way at Maastricht. something very much more than a set of institutions to facilitate co-operation between independent nations. the threats of terrorism. representation . In a sense this was prescient.
It was. employment. a number of additional unresolved issues were on the Nice table: the Charter of Fundamental Rights. in general drawing attention to what they saw as certain dangerous features whilst conceding that it might have been worse. Some powers were transferred from national institutions to Brussels. social policy. the environment and public health.5 Maastricht. Amsterdam and Nice all dealt with a wide variety of policy areas including asylum and immigration. even more confusing than either of those labyrinthine texts. the weighting of votes was favourable to the big countries.The Treaties 7 in the European Parliament. Integrationists saw it as a botched agreement with a few saving graces. opponents and critics of the EU mirrored this. the size and powers of the Commission. a Treaty embodied the tension at the heart of a Union moving cautiously towards a form of integration about which many politicians across the spectrum harboured grave doubts and one which had extremely limited popular support. with the governments of member states and applicant countries haggling for months afterwards about the exact meaning of various articles. whilst the questions of the weighting of votes at Council and the number of members of the European Parliament a country would have. however. but less so than it might have been. freedom of movement. discrimination. Despite this intimidating agenda. Nice was supposed to facilitate enlargement. the question of allowing groups of countries to go further along the path of integration than the rest were prepared to do. a sort of consensus regarding the political significance of the Treaty. and whether everyone would get a place on the Commission. and the whole question of the EU’s institutions and the relationship amongst them and between each and the member states. but fewer than was hoped/feared. In the event. but only for the time being. QMV was extended to several new areas. small countries kept their right to a Commissioner. Nice turned out to be much less sweeping in the changes it introduced to the structure of the Union than were the transforming agreements at Maastricht and Amsterdam. but if it did so it was in a way clearly designed to beneﬁt multinational corporations and political elites at the cost of a further reduction in the power and inﬂuence of the peoples of the member states and their elected representatives. Once again. and possible reinforcement of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. consumer protection. were fudged. citizenship. open . Even the facts of the matter were a subject of dispute. There was. nevertheless.
social policy. Amsterdam and Nice. • • • • Box 2. Declared that the single internal EC market would be completed by 31 December 1992 and all remaining barriers to intra-Community trade removed. by which the heads of state and government of the member states meet to discuss and determine policy.1 Major Provisions of the Single European Act (1987) • Added six new policy areas to European Community competence: single market. For the moment.e. however. including defence. ending the national veto in most areas pertaining to the single market. ﬁrmer footing. to re-establish the Union on a clearer. No one. the Union continues to be that devised at Maastricht. but its strengths and weaknesses will form the topic of a later chapter. Extended European Parliament’s powers: Council of Ministers could overrule EP veto in most policy areas pertaining to the single market only by a unanimous vote. cohesion (i. Introduced qualiﬁed majority voting (QMV) in the Council. and foreign policy. The details of its structures and how well these have enabled it to carry out its policies and further its stated goals form the topic of the body of this book. was satisﬁed with the ways in which they had done so. environmental standards. Signed December 1991 • Establishment of the European Union (EU) with a three-pillar structure: . Gave formal standing to the European Council. monetary co-operation. Whether that Treaty was up to the task was cast into serious doubt by its rejection by the electorates of France and the Netherlands in the spring of 2005. Box 2. on whatever side of the debate over Europe’s future.2 Major Provisions of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) – the ‘Maastricht Treaty’. between richer and poorer regions). research and development. in the consensual view of mainstream politicians.8 The European Union government. Their attempts to do so would eventually result in the Constitutional Treaty proposed by the European Council in 2004. Their perceived inadequacies were what made it necessary. at least.
ECJ given power to levy ﬁnes on member states. public health. Establishment of Cohesion Fund. Justice and Home Affairs co-operation (JHA). CFSP and JHA are ‘intergovernmental’: – they cannot be used as a basis for Directives and Regulations (EC laws) – they are conducted by national governments through the Council of Ministers and the European Council – they give no formal powers to the supranational institutions – the Commission. • . including a single currency. The European Community (EC) 2. research and development. culture. Further extension of EC competence: to education. EP and European Court of Justice (ECJ). Further extension of powers of EP. the Second Pillar) with limited provision for QMV and a statement of intent to build a common defence. the Third Pillar) and dealing with such matters as asylum policy and policing.The Treaties 9 1. Establishment of European Union citizenship. industrial policy and R&D expanded. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 3. extension of existing powers in environmental policy.3 Major Provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty (1997) Extension of Qualiﬁed Majority Voting • Extends QMV to the following fields: employment guidelines and incentive measures. Agreement by eleven member states (excluding UK) on Social Chapter. Introduction of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP. social exclusion. • • • • • • • Box 2. free movement of persons (after ﬁve years) Special treatment for foreign nationals. • • • Establishment of a timetable and conditions for economic and monetary union (EMU). Subsidiarity written into text of Treaty. ‘TransEuropean networks’. Introduction of powers related to Justice and Home Affairs (JHA. equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women.
general foreign policy guidelines. Institutional Changes • • Limits the number of members of the European Parliament to 700. the Members of the Commission are to be nominated by common accord between the governments and the President. within the Community framework. The EU to be represented by a group (called the troika) consisting of the Presidency of the Council. joint actions and common positions. • Social Questions and Civil Rights • Empowers the Council to take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex. peripheral regions. Empowers the Union to carry out humanitarian aid and peacekeeping tasks (known as Petersberg tasks). data protection. on employment and unemployment. religion or belief. the Commission and the Secretary-General of the Council. Nomination of Commission President by member states must be approved by Parliament. Provides for permanent and regular collaboration. age or sexual orientation and provides measures to combat discrimination based on disability. asylum. customs co-operation. • • Development of CFSP • • Provides for greater cooperation between member states in pursuit of a Common Foreign and Security Policy. racial or ethnic origin. however big the EU may grow. • • . EU Court of Auditors given new investigative powers. ECJ given direct responsibility for ensuring that human rights are respected and its jurisdiction extended to the ﬁelds of immigration.10 The European Union countering fraud. Makes the furtherance of gender equality a Community task. who will act as the Union’s ‘High Representative for the common foreign and security policy’ (a new post). President to deﬁne the Commission’s general political guidelines. statistics. visas and the crossing of borders. to devise common strategies. disability. Protects individuals from the processing of personal data and the free movement of such information by institutions and administrations that handle it. and police and judicial and criminal cooperation.
establishes common standards and procedures for checking people. and a list of non-member countries whose nationals are exempt from this requirement. the European police network. Establishes in principle a common minimum standard for rules and penalties for organised crime. standards for dealing with illegal immigration and illegal residence. Establishes common procedures and conditions for the issue of visas by member states and a deﬁnition of the terms on which nationals of non-member countries shall in principle be free to travel within the EU for three months. a common list of non-member countries whose nationals must hold visas when crossing external borders. terrorism. in respect of controls at all the European Union’s external borders.The Treaties 11 Internal Security • • Provides for closer cooperation between police forces and customs authorities and directly with Europol. organised crime. Establishes a legal requirement to have closer cooperation between member states’ police and judicial authorities to combat and prevent racism. Defines minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers in member states. • Inward Migration • Incorporates the Schengen agreement (an intergovernmental accord which establishes an area without impediment to free movement of travel between 13 of the 15 member states – UK and Denmark excluded) into the Treaty. and the rights of citizens of non-member countries who are legally resident in a member state and the terms on which they may reside in other member states. • • . drug trafﬁcking. and the repatriation of illegal residents. corruption and fraud. and standards for procedures for the issue of long-term visas and residence permits by member states. trafﬁcking of persons and offences against children. Lays down the terms of entry and residence of immigrants in the European Union. xenophobia. common rules on visas for intended stays of no more than three months. terrorism and drug trafﬁcking. and for classifying nationals of non-member countries as refugees. Also provides for the removal of all controls on people crossing internal borders – whether EU citizens or nationals of nonmember countries.
Provides for a high level of consumer protection. principally: • certain high-level appointments. Box 2. QMV extended to new areas. or the date of the adoption of the ﬁnancial perspective for 2007–13 if no agreement has been reached before 2007. Commission obliged to conduct an environmental impact assessment of its own proposals.12 The European Union The Environment. Environment. including the President of the Commission and the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy certain aspects of the making of international agreements actions taken in support of anti-discrimination measures adopted by the member states certain actions to enable citizens to take advantage of freedom of movement most measures related to visas. public health and consumer protection legislation now covered (with rare exceptions) by the co-decision procedure. Public Health and Consumer Protection • Stipulates that a high level of human health protection must be assured in the deﬁnition and implementation of all Community policies and activities. measures relating to the Structural Funds ﬁnancial and technical cooperation agreements with third countries (does not apply to association agreements or pre-accession measures).4 Major Provisions of the Treaty of Nice New Protocol on Enlargement adopted. • • • • • • • • Formalisation of ‘Enhanced Cooperation’ – groups of at least eight member states may make agreements among themselves which enable them to go further in particular policy areas than the rest are prepared to do. • Environment must be taken into account in all Community policies. giving the European Parliament some power over these areas. asylum and immigration granting of emergency ﬁnancial assistance to member states most industrial policy measures from 2007. provided such agreements: .
. Establishment of an advisory Social Protection Committee. From the accession of the 18th member state. Eurojust. Some European Council meetings (which had always taken place in the country holding the Presidency) to be held in Brussels. to be determined by unanimous vote at Council. Procedure deﬁned for setting up ‘political parties at European level’. membership to be ﬁxed at a number. New judicial cooperation body. Clear procedure for amending the fundamental aims of the Union. in consultation with the ECB and by unanimous vote at Council. and according to a system of national rotation. From 2005. After that. Commission to consist of one member per member state until membership of the EU reaches 27. rights and obligations of non-participating member states are in principle open to all member states are used only as a last resort. Commission President given more power to manage the Commission. Maximum number of Members of the European Parliament ﬁxed at 732 (since revised to 750).The Treaties 13 • • • • • • • • further the objectives of the EU and reinforce integration respect the treaties and the single institutional framework of the Union respect existing EU law respect existing competences do not undermine the internal market or economic and social cohesion respect the competences. and to force the resignation of an individual Commissioner. all European Council meetings to be held in Brussels. established.
As far as daily decision-making is concerned. it remains to some extent a system to facilitate co-operation between independent member states. it has in other areas evolved true supranational institutions which have powers quite independently of the member states. The current governing institutions reﬂect this state of ﬂux. 2004. taxation. Firstly. but this changed following a decision taken at Nice and included in the new Treaty. formal meetings at which decisions are taken which determine the immediate and longer-term direction of the Union. criminal law and.3 This is clearly a question of practicalities and security. They have generally taken place in the Presidency country. since May. by its own admission. European Council meetings are attended by each country’s prime minister2 and minister of foreign affairs.3 The Institutions At its current stage of development. they have all been held there. but it seems an odd move for a body which. Some involve direct representation of member state governments. as well as a response to the amount of money host countries tend to spend on the show. as well as the President of the European Commission and one of his vice-presidents. including. THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL The European Council brings together the ‘heads of state or government’1 of each of the EU’s member states for regular. is seen as too remote from the people. with certain limited but important exceptions. 14 . Secondly. The future development of the EU will depend upon which of these gains the upper hand. each of which has control over its own foreign policy. The most important of the former in terms of power is the European Council. in some cases. half of the European Council meetings have taken place in Brussels. however. however. whilst others are entirely supranational in nature. it is the Council of Ministers. the European Union is a curious amalgam of two things. Since 2002. the right to instruct and discipline those member states.
the European Council takes often far-reaching decisions over the Union’s direction. This is no doubt pleasant for them. the European Parliament. OR COUNCIL OF MINISTERS The word ‘council’ is so beloved in EU circles that it has been used – as if there were not already sufﬁcient potential for confusion – to mean two quite different bodies. over what is known as the interpretation of the Treaties. which will then have to be formally proposed by the Commission before being approved by the member states and. but more importantly it can provide an early warning system for potential problems and allow opinions to be sounded out. What precisely goes on in the palatial and usually secluded surroundings which are invariably chosen as the venue for these gatherings is. ﬁrstly. These will sometimes demand a change in the Treaty or. usually because no provision exists for it in the Treaties or because there is a known difference of opinion between member states as to whether such provision does exist. however. a matter for conjecture. The European Council. however. brings together the most powerful governmental politicians.The Institutions 15 The European Council’s task is. However much care is taken with the wording of a treaty. the Court of Justice decides such disputes.4 THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. described above. In common with the other major decision-making bodies of the European Union – with the exception of the European Parliament – the European Council shrouds itself in a Kremlin-like secrecy which seems to many quite out of keeping with what might be expected from a community of democratic nations. Finally. whether and how it is applied in a concrete situation may sometimes be open to debate. to discuss any business which cannot be dealt with in any other way. short of that. in a relatively informal milieu. Though the European Council. to air their views to each other on a range of topics. Secondly. in most cases. known generally as the . Ultimately. or of any measure taken by the European Union. the European Council allows government leaders simply to chat. a Directive or Regulation. represents in part an attempt to keep them out of court by bringing together the highest authority in each member state government to broker compromise agreements. a new Community measure. it is the Council of the European Union.
At the beginning of its six-month term each holder of the Presidency publishes a programme of priorities for legislative action. In fact. Each of these deals with one policy area and brings together the relevant minister or ministers from each member state. however. who may be accompanied by specialised ministers for European or EU affairs. More often. The Council is in reality not one single body but rather an abstract term covering several distinct fora. as do meetings of the European Council. which usually includes some measure which has been held up for years because no agreement has been found which can unblock it.5 Most people would naturally think of the European Parliament as the EU’s legislature. the programme will turn out to have been little more than a wish list. and partly on an attempt to avoid two major countries or too many smaller countries holding it in succession. and so on. a Social Affairs Council. There is. There is thus an Agriculture Council. which takes decisions in particular policy areas. also an expectation that the member state in question will exercise a temporary and limited form of leadership over the rest. for one reason or another. the minister from the President country has a formal responsibility to seek common ground between member states whose opinions differ. Sometimes a Presidency will be able to claim a number of successes based on a comparison of this programme with what has actually been achieved when the six months are up. however. the Presidency organises a series of conferences. Its task is to pull together decisions made by the separate ‘Councils’ and to deal with relations with third countries. an Environment Council.6 The Council Presidency Each member state holds the Presidency for six months in a system of rotation based partly on the alphabet. remain quite limited.16 The European Union Council of Ministers or simply the Council. The Presidency’s formal task is for its ministers to take the chair in meetings of the Council. Commissioners and . In chairing Council meetings. In addition. which now normally take place in Brussels. but only as junior partner to the Council of Ministers. have gone dormant. the General Affairs Council is made up of foreign ministers. though they have grown with each Treaty revision. the Parliament’s powers. suggesting compromises. seminars and other events to which Euro-MPs. seeking to bring important items on to the agenda or reinvigorate proposals which. In addition. It does have a legislative role.
the Presidency tends to be taken quite seriously by the member states. resulting in a new Treaty. COREPER prepares the agenda of Council meetings and then carries out its orders. the Treaty of Nice. civil servants naturally play a major role in the day-to-day running of the Union.The Institutions 17 their staff. Smaller countries. The Amsterdam Treaty provided that. A growing feeling that the Union must make some attempt at least to appear democratic. Finally. The Treaty of Nice in turn called for a further IGC to begin in 2004. led not to an abandonment of the wholly elitist system under which heads of government gather together with senior . a new intergovernmental conference must be convened.8 THE CONVENTION AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCES Each revision of the Treaty has been preceded (and must be preceded) by an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). unanswered questions regarding enlargement led to the establishment of an IGC in 2000. in particular. national parliamentarians and others are invited to discuss what are seen as the burning issues of the day. as well as entailing huge amounts of work for everyone from Cabinet First Secretaries to bar staff. by artists. In fact. are often at pains to show that they are quite capable of hosting the party. theatre groups. since that which accompanied the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community. the EC/EU’s forerunner. If the Council has to examine a proposal from the Commission. each country takes the opportunity of its Presidency to promote its culture. is a secretive body whose inﬂuence is extensive. writers. was the fourth in just eleven years. COREPER. like the Council itself. whereas only two had been held in the previous history of integration. and so on. or tours of the rest of the Union. which completed a decade of EC/EU reform. at least one year before the Union has more than twenty Member States. The Council is served by the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Member States. Because it does tend to put them in the spotlight. known by its French acronym COREPER. often by ﬁnancing visits to Brussels. it is usually COREPER which takes the ﬁrst look. The Amsterdam IGC.7 COREPER Although elected politicians make up the EU’s two legislative bodies.
although the People had shown no interest whatsoever in having such a Constitution.18 The European Union bureaucrats to decide how things will be run – in other words the system of IGCs – but. and two members of the European Commission. the failure to involve the ten member states which were about to join (a tricky matter. an odd choice. he was a product not of any kind of democratic tradition but of the French nobility and the elitist institutions created to enable dirigisme and oligarchy to survive the Revolution and the periodic upheavals which have characterised France ever since. two vice-presidents (a former Belgian and a former Italian Prime Minister). perhaps even rights which they did not already enjoy. Giscard was. Europe – someone. A basic knowledge of Europe’s political geography coupled with a rudimentary knowledge of arithmetic will be enough to work out how totally unrepresentative of the People this body was. or the means whereby the ﬁnal text was arrived at (incomprehensible to anyone other than a professional politician or political bureaucrat. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. a Convention. This had to be guarded against. A former president that the citizens of France had blocked out of their collective memory. and to put this Convention under the presidency of a member of the French nobility. in response to a tidal wave of popular indifference – should have a Constitution. not be assisted in his task of proposing a text for a new EU Constitution by the People or anything which could seriously be seen as representative of this revered entity. 16 members of the European Parliament. once offered it they were likely to demand that it contain all sorts of awkward things. this hardly mattered). as actual accession remained subject to parliamentary votes and/or referenda in those countries). but by the People. 15 representatives of the member states’ heads of state or government. and the best way to guard against it would be to establish a body which would stand in for the People. Unfortunately. and this Constitution must not be written by the Big Cheeses and Grands Légumes gathering behind closed doors. He would. 83 per cent men). 30 members of the national parliaments (two per member state. to say the least. regardless of its size). representation of ethnic or other minorities (not seen as relevant). . but by the following: the President (Giscard). so that there is no need to look into such arcane matters as gender balance (17 per cent women. as is usual in such cases. but as the Convention was entirely composed of such people. moreover. to an unconvincing fudge. somewhere decided.
9 THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES The European Commission is made up of unelected men and women.The Institutions 19 The resulting text. was felt to be a recipe for permanent strife. However. and which is examined in Chapter 17. From its inception in 1967. with one each coming from the ten smaller countries and two from. though not until 2009. the Commission’s membership reached 20. When the admission of Finland. . British. there was a strong feeling that permanent representation of all 25 – let alone the 27 expected in 2007 and the possibility of even more accessions beyond that – would result in an unwieldy and ineffective body and when the text of the Constitutional Treaty was agreed a few weeks later. however. Austria and Sweden brought the number of EU states to 15. old-fashioned IGC. it contained a provision to limit the number of members of the Commission to two-thirds of the number of member states. They then came up with their own text. as the big member states regarded the possibility of a Commission which would periodically lack a German. yet it has extensive formal powers. working out the details would prove too controversial. even if all parties could see the logic of this. Simple rotation was initially resisted. the Commission has grown in size with each enlargement of the Community. It is not difﬁcult to see why. which admittedly did not differ greatly from that proposed by Giscard’s unlovely gathering. 2004. respectively. A rather creative proposal to allow the Commission to grow as large as it might – with two members for all states with a population over a certain level and one for everyone else – and then to allow the President to designate a ‘Cabinet’ which would be supported by a team of ‘junior ministers’. Spain. Germany. The eventual compromise solution was that from six months after enlargement – thus from 1 November 2004 – the Commission would consist of one Commissioner per member state. was then rejected by the Heads of State or Government of the Member States meeting as a good. Britain and France. which had cost the European Union’s longsuffering taxpayers an incalculable sum. On the further enlargement of the Union in May. in which portfolios would be distributed according to a country’s muscle rather than its candidates’ talents. some temporary solution would have to be found which would enable the Commission to function efﬁciently.10 In the meantime. French or Italian member as unacceptable. Italy.
QMV does not mean. for . In other words. This likelihood is compounded by the EU’s structure. or at some later date if this enlargement is delayed or abandoned – the number of commissioners will not be increased accordingly. the European Parliament. remain to be seen. but whether this Treaty will ever come into force. nominates the President of the Commission. if not of permanent representation. routinely seeing their nominees shunted off to policy areas which do not touch the real centres of power or the most vital interests. but are constitutionally independent of them. which does not see the Commission. at least on paper. This was achieved. and as long as this is the case the very smallest member states will have to be assured. the two new member states. each member of the Commission is given responsibility for a particular policy area or areas. however. unlike the Council. at least of a system of rotation which does more than pay lip service to fairness. The Commissioners are appointed by the member state governments.11 will simply be asked to wait. standing above the national interests which legitimately play themselves out in the Council and. they may not take any form of instruction and are supposed to represent the interests of the European Community and make sure the Treaties are respected. A Commissioner’s nationality should ideally be irrelevant. That this is a fantasy is demonstrated by the fact that the way Commissioners are nominated depends very much on national power. to the extent that the voters may decide that this is what they wish to see. As nothing is laid down in any binding instrument of the Union as to how the rotation will work in practice. in the Constitutional Treaty. Objections from the UK have stymied the chances of a number of candidates who were regarded as ‘too federalist’. however.12 Since the Treaty of Nice the Council. as representing the member states at all. and how this aspect of it will work out in practice. acting by a qualified majority. that the wishes of a big member state will ever be overridden. the actual composition of the Commission will be determined at will by the member states acting through the Council. As in a conventional government. Possibly.20 The European Union when the Union reaches a membership of 27 – in 2007. if Bulgaria and Romania are indeed admitted by the target dates which they have been given. It is here that the weakest member states are likely to lose out. This means that a Council which lacked a Maltese or Latvian minister would be hard to defend from charges of what dissident Communists once levelled against the Soviet Union: ‘Great Power Chauvinism’.
it proposes new laws and other measures. guard against the embarrassment of total deadlock. which is discussed in more detail in . The President can now take decisions on the Commission’s internal organisation ‘in order to ensure that it acts consistently.The Institutions 21 example. Once this is achieved. Outside the legislative process. because his or her nomination must then be approved as part of the approval by the European Parliament of the entire Commission as a body. It has four practical functions. efﬁciently and on the basis of collective responsibility’. the Council again votes by qualiﬁed majority to conﬁrm the Commission’s composition in its entirety. QMV does. however. acting as a sort of hands-on executive with speciﬁc powers independent of the member states and laid down in the Treaties. Firstly. The Council’s nomination must be approved by the European Parliament. as the ‘College’ of Commissioners). and must then be approved (and can be amended) by the Council and in most cases by the Parliament as well. or rather. Though his choice must be approved by the rest of the Commission (referred to. including Directives. collectively. Importantly. adopts a list of proposed Commissioners. like football managers. the Commission President gained new powers. the fact that the Commission works on the detail of initial proposals gives it a major inﬂuence over policy. as a President who could not count on a certain basic level of co-operation from all but the very smallest countries would be in a very difﬁcult position and might well lead the Union into an ongoing crisis. each of which in practice gives it immense power. it is responsible for the day-to-day running of Community affairs. At this point the President’s appointment remains unconﬁrmed. they can be ‘asked to resign’. The Commission enjoys what is known as the ‘Power of Initiative’: neither the Council nor the Parliament has the formal power to propose legislative or other Community measures. Recommendations and the annual budget. Commissioners can now be sacked by the President. in practice endorsing the candidates put forward by the member states. Though these are often done at the behest of the Council. Even medium-sized member states might ﬁnd here that serious objections would be respected. Secondly. he also gets to choose his vicepresident. The Commission is the real driving force behind the integrationist project. and in agreement with the President-designate. Once this is achieved the Council. Regulations. again using QMV. At Nice.
the Commission is the main body responsible for supervising the implementation of existing law and of the budget.13 The European Parliament’s power to reject the Commission. In these cases it is the Commission which negotiates agreements and must then ensure that they are respected. and for making proposals for measures in the event of serious economic difﬁculties in the Union as a whole or an individual member state. it is the responsibility of the Commission to deal with aspects of foreign relations which come under Community competence. and its members are required to swear an oath to that effect. the Parliament would never take the step of throwing a Commission out. appears to represent a real democratic input into the process whereby the EU executive is appointed. . Thirdly. This impression has been conﬁrmed more than once when the EP. has threatened to do just that before backing down at the last minute. An important aspect of this is the enforcement of competition rules. Finally. It also has the task of submitting recommendations to the Council for draft broad guidelines for the economic policies of the member states. for making recommendations in the event of a eurozone member not complying with the guidelines once adopted. undermined by its own ﬁnality. the fact that it may not reject an individual appointee but only the proposed College en bloc. Many people believed that because of the draconian nature of its only disciplinary power. the Commission is responsible for making a recommendation to the Council in the event of a member state which has not already adopted the euro applying to do so. making itself look rather foolish in the process. and for bringing member states which break or fail to implement such law into line. principally those having to do with trade. though the Council must also ratify them. it is charged with ensuring that those same Treaties are correctly implemented and respected. means that the power is less useful than it might seem. and indeed to sack it at any time after its appointment. In relation to monetary union. In its own view it ‘represents the common interest’ standing above the national interests of the constituent parts of the Union.22 The European Union the next chapter. However. including by taking punitive measures or prosecuting them before the Court of Justice. including ensuring that state subsidies are paid only in those exceptional areas where they continue to be allowed.
of what the Dutchman van Buitenen would term vriendjespolitiek (literally. however. going to the very top of the institution. Widespread corruption at the Commission had been revealed by the actions of one courageous employee. contracts had been awarded in extremely suspect circumstances. was less clearcut. when the Parliament.The Institutions 23 Such a view was. The defensive reaction to van Buitenen’s revelations. the Santer Commission was mired in incompetence and corruption. Paul van Buitenen. and the clear failure to understand what all the fuss was about. and numerous examples were uncovered. to dismiss the whole event as a pre-election publicity stunt. More importantly. It would be unfair. Of course. Members of the European Parliament would have to stand for re-election only three months later. ‘boyfriend/girlfriend politics’) – and yet he was reviled by colleagues and victimised by his bosses for exposing these facts to the European Parliament. whatever the mix of motives. went public with a long list of ﬁnancial irregularities that demonstrated what anyone who has dealings with the Commission can see very well. Also.15 The message sent to the EU’s reluctant voters just over ﬁve years later. dealt a blow in March 1999 when the European Commission resigned in order to avoid the indignity of being ﬁred. Here was a body which was not only corrupt but which exhibited the same kind of esprit de corps shown by certain police forces and military units. Santer’s undigniﬁed. blustering reaction to Parliament’s allegations was less than impressive. Funds had disappeared.14 Early in December 1998 van Buitenen. conﬁrmed the truth of this impression. a fate which was beginning to seem increasingly likely. an assistant auditor in the Financial Control Directorate. unhappy with certain nominations. but there was certainly at least an element of attention-seeking in the Parliament’s behaviour. delayed its approval of the College by several weeks. the Parliament for once sounded credible when it threatened to act. the open victimisation of the man who had made them. however. whether the Parliament would have gone through with its threat we will never know. and poll returns were revealing the embarrassing fact that fewer than half of the eligible voters in the member states were intending to vote. a sort of schoolboy code of silence which would be hilarious were it not so dangerous to the democratic process. that the institution is riddled with an elitist. the peculiar circumstances surrounding the event must be acknowledged. To its credit. In this case the events took place shortly after the election of . perhaps. anti-democratic ethos.
24 The European Union
June 2004, when more than half of the eligible voters again stayed away, though turnout in the countries which had been members before the previous month’s enlargement did rise signiﬁcantly, offset by low participation rates in the accession countries. MEPs from different sides of the house were unhappy with a number of nominations, either on the grounds that they were inadequate to the task, or that they had allegedly (or, in at least one case, most certainly) been involved in ﬁnancial scandals which did not reﬂect well on them. All of this was aired at a series of hearings at which each nominee is in turn expected to appear in order to answer questions from members. After the hearings MEPs may declare that they think a particular individual is unsuitable to be a Commissioner, or, less drastically, that he or she has been given an inappropriate portfolio. This is precisely what happened, with questions being raised about the suitability of some, and others being clearly revealed in the hearings as poorly briefed on the particular policy area to which the President-designate, José Barroso, had stated his intention to assign them. Barroso stonewalled, but in the end the Parliament did get its way, if only in one case. Rocco Buttiglione, the ultra-conservative Catholic ideologue whom Italy’s right-wing government had seen ﬁt to nominate, was declared unsuitable. The former Portuguese prime minister appointed to head the Commission had probably sealed Buttiglione’s fate by choosing him to head up the sensitive area of Justice and Home Affairs, but his open homophobia and medieval attitudes to women would almost certainly have made him in any case unacceptable to all but the most right-wing of deputies. Social Democrats, Liberals, the United Left Group and Greens all voted solidly to reject him, and the Union faced a crisis, having no Commission ready to take over by the appointed date of 1 November. In the end Buttiglione accepted his fate, the Italians grudgingly sent someone who had noticed the moral changes of the last 800 years, and in exchange also for a face-saving reshufﬂe, the Parliament backed down over its other objections. The crisis was averted.16 At this point one is entitled to ask what sort of system it is that, although operating within officially foreseen parameters, can nevertheless produce a crisis. The answer is that this is actually typical of the way in which the European Union does business. Over the last 15 years the electorates of various member states have been posed a question in a referendum. The process continues with the decision of many countries to put the European Constitutional Treaty to a
popular vote, though at least in theory the same applies to those who will leave the decision to their parliaments. In a referendum, the people are asked a question to which they may give more than one answer. Usually, the question is framed so that the answer can simply be yes or no. The authorities then respond to that question, and the state and the people go about their business. This is not what happens in an EU-related referendum. In every such referendum held in a member state, if the people answered ‘no’ the result has been a crisis. This is, to say the least, a peculiar version of democracy. In 2004 the Parliament found itself in the same situation. It was asked if it would approve the Commission, yea or nay. Yet when it said nay, or rather, ‘not unless ...’, the result was a huge political crisis which, we were told, threatened the very survival of the Union. One of the most disturbing aspects of this, moreover, is the way in which its utterly undemocratic and quite absurd nature went unremarked in the mainstream media. Some wanted Barroso to stand up to the Parliament and support Mr Buttiglione. Others thought Buttiglione was too conservative and the Parliament should stick to its guns. Yet what no one was saying was surely much more important than this transient dispute: a system in which a democratically-elected body cannot exercise its constitutional rights without crippling the system of which it forms part is one whose design is disastrous, inherently autocratic and fit only for the scrapheap of failed political structures. Giving the Parliament the right to reject or approve each individual nominee would solve the problem at a stroke, but it would also threaten the jealously-guarded powers of the Council, which shows no tendency to become less autocratic as the Union grows in size. The upshot is that the Commission is chosen with no real input from national parliaments under a system which offers the European Parliament extremely limited inﬂuence over its ﬁnal composition. The people have, in other words, no effective say in the composition of the EU’s powerful executive.
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Until 1979, Members of the European Parliament were appointed by national parliaments from amongst their own members. Although this may sound less democratic, many opponents of the EU in its present form argue that, controlled by national parliamentarians,
26 The European Union
the European Assembly, as it was often called in Britain, could have provided a truer and more effective counterbalance to the Council of Ministers. The introduction of direct elections was a victory for integrationists, and every addition to the powers of the European Parliament since then must be viewed in this light. As with the Commission, the number of Members of the European Parliament has increased with each enlargement, with the entry of ten new countries in 2004 bringing it to 732, distributed as follows (see Table 3.1): Germany – 99; France, Italy and the United Kingdom – 78; Spain and Poland – 54; the Netherlands – 27; Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, and the Czech Republic – 24; Sweden – 19; Austria – 18; Denmark, Finland and Slovakia – 14; Ireland and Lithuania – 13; Latvia – 9; Slovenia – 7; Cyprus, Estonia and Luxembourg – 6; and Malta – 5. This will rise to 782 if Bulgaria and Romania are admitted, as planned, before the next scheduled elections in 2009, but will then be reduced to 750, a ﬁgure agreed as ‘permanent’. This is a revision of the ﬁgure (732) laid down at Nice, and there is nothing to stop this from being changed. However, the limit, though presented as a purely practical measure, favours the major political tendencies, which makes any further increase unlikely unless there is a dramatic shift in the political balance of power. Also, as the system is incorporated into the Constitutional Treaty, it will require unanimity to change it should that Treaty or some revised version ever be approved and come into force. The European Parliament’s original function was consultative. Since 1970, however, it has exercised real power over the budget. In addition, the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam extended a power of co-decision introduced in 1987 with the Single European Act. Codecision has made the Parliament an important part of the European Union’s legislative process. The claim, heard from both opponents and supporters of integrationism, that the European Parliament is toothless, or a talking shop, is out of date. How it chooses to use its power is another matter. Despite attempts to woo the citizens of the member states with much self-promotion, criticism of the secrecy and elitism of the other institutions, and the appointment of an Ombudsman to look after their interests, the EP is unloved and largely ignored. The Parliament, though it includes opponents of the EU and ‘Eurosceptics’, has a built-in majority of sometimes quite extreme integrationist tendencies, hardly reﬂecting the reality of political opinion across the member states. Its major point of embarrassment is the very low turnout at elections: in 1999
Table 3.1 Membership of the European Parliament by Member State and Political Group EPP-ED PES ALDE GREENS/EFA GUE/NGL ID UEN NI Total Belgium Czech Denmark Germany Estonia Greece Spain France Ireland Italy Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Luxembrg Hungary Malta Netherlds Austria Poland Portugal Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden UK TOTAL 6 14 1 49 1 11 24 17 5 24 3 3 2 3 13 2 7 6 19 9 4 8 4 5 28 268 7 2 5 23 3 8 24 31 1 16 6 4 7 2 2 11 1 12 1 1 7 1 2 5 4 3 2 3 5 3 12 88 1 1 5 42 1 2 1 41 3 10 36 2 1 13 6 1 7 4 1 3 1 7 2 1 1 1 3 1 24 24 14 99 6 24 54 78 13 78 6 9 13 6 24 5 27 18 54 24 7 14 14 19 78 732
1 3 1 4 7 4 9 4 2 4
3 6 2 1 1
2 1 9 3 7 7 10 12 1 3 3 5 19 202
2 10 7 3 4
This presents the picture at 15 February 2005. The Groups are as follows: EPP-ED: Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats. Centre-right parties. Includes the British Conservative Party, the Northern Ireland Ofﬁcial Unionists, and Ireland’s Fine Gael. PES: Socialist Group in the European Parliament. Centre-left parties. Includes the British Labour Party, Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party, and Ireland’s Labour Party. ALDE: Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Liberal parties. Continental liberals tend to be well to the right of the British version but ‘liberal’ on social and ‘moral’ issues. Includes the British Liberal Democrats and Ireland’s Marian Harkin, who is not a member of any national political party. Greens/EFA: Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance. Greens combined with a few progressive nationalists, including Plaed Cymru and the Scottish Nationalist Party. GUE/NGL: Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left. Members from parties to the left of those in the PES. From the southern and eastern member states these come mainly from the Communist tradition, and from the northern member states a variety of tendencies. Sinn Fein, which sits in the GUE/NGL, is the only party to have won representation in two member states.
Applications must be renewed annually. stipulates that to be eligible for funding – the crucial question – a party’s components must fulﬁl one of the following conditions: representation in at least 25 per cent of member states. NI: Non-attached Members. Although supporters of the idea have been at pains to stress that the money will be available to critics of the EU. Includes the United Kingdom Independence Party and Kathy Sinnott. Also includes Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists. with the rest proportionate to their strength in the European Parliament. This poses a particular problem if the name of your political organisation is the United Kingdom Independence Party!’18 A total of €8.4 million per year is available for funding. the keener one is on the EU. which are somewhat vaguely deﬁned as respect for liberty.28 The European Union ID: Independence/Democracy Group. and EU-critical and other nonmainstream parties given access to funds. the national parliaments or a regional assembly. but some others who. the greater the likelihood of participation. and the money may be used only to cover expenditure directly linked to the objectives set out in the European party’s political programme and not for the direct or indirect funding of its national components. In addition. introduced after much haggling in July 2004. The consequent Regulation. and 2004. Berlusconi’s party with a few like-minded right-wingers from other member states. UEN: Union for Europe of the Nations Group. Includes Ireland’s Fianna Fail. nobody will have in their groups. democracy. there are some political conditions attached which seem at the very least open to abuse. human rights and fundamental freedoms. and this distorts the make-up of the Parliament. At Nice an attempt was made either to strengthen further the domination of integrationists. through seats in either the European Parliament.17 or receipt of at least 3 per cent of the votes cast at the most recent European elections in at least 25 per cent of member states. of which 15 per cent will be distributed in equal shares among the parties. the elite structures thus . an Irish independent. fewer than 50 per cent of eligible voters bothered to turn up. for various reasons. and the rule of law. EU-critical members from a variety of tendencies. A European party must respect the principles of the EU. ‘the avowed aim of the measure is to “promote European integration”. it must be admitted that as UKIP Euro-MP Nigel Farage has pointed out. or to generate more interest in politics at the European level: which interpretation you favour will depend on your view of the Treaty’s provision of a legal base for the establishment of ‘Political Parties at European Level’. Clearly. Even if the system is run fairly. Mostly fascists.
the Court. if they have heard of it at all. ‘representations from industry’ over a particular proposal. as the assembly’s power has grown. so has the interest and inﬂuence of corporate lobbying. To most people.The Institutions 29 established. which create no space for popular involvement but merely allow leadership to speak unto leadership. limiting the visibility of the Court to ordinary citizens. In addition. though a straw poll of those attending would almost always reveal that corporate lobbyists are heavily represented. as well as the treaties themselves. As for the members. and already interested in ‘Europe’. are shocked by the openness with which members will declare that they have had. The Justices choose a President from amongst their number. and applied uniformly. Indeed. Another reason for widespread indifference to the European Parliament may be that. appears remote and . He or she serves a three-year term but may be re-elected. appointed by ‘common accord of the governments of the Member States’ for six-year terms. like footballers. even now – particularly criminal law – remain under the absolute or substantial control of the member states. The most powerful committees are often held before packed public galleries. Plenary assemblies. are also accompanied by huge lobbying efforts. it is highly unlikely that anyone not already involved in a political party. some would get marks for honesty if. The Court is assisted by Advocates-General. its much more recent origins and the controversial. at Brussels. Scandinavians. will ever hear of their existence. and in a shorter form. The ECJ’s ofﬁcial function is to ensure that European Union law is applied. which it appoints. Many important areas of law. seem unlikely to create a wave of enthusiasm amongst European voters. in particular. the European Court of First Instance exists to hear more routine cases and reduce the ECJ’s considerable workload. which occur roughly once a month at Strasbourg and less frequently. for example. THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is made up of one representative from each member state. speeding up the notoriously long process from complaint to judgment. so that it reinforces the Commission’s work of monitoring and policing the application of directives and regulations. they wore the names of their corporate sponsors on their shirts. supranational nature of the European Union mean that the ECJ lacks that body’s prestige. in each of the member states. Comparable in some ways to the US Supreme Court.
The European Court of Justice can. and this gives the last word to the Court. The European Court of Auditors. Yet they have the power to overturn laws which have been made or upheld by democratically elected national governments. the ECJ has real power. A member state can. No ﬁgures are kept on the social backgrounds of the justices. but it is incumbent on the member state. be criticised on much the same grounds as can the courts of most member states. Its Annual Report does tend to give it a brief yearly notoriety. to prove that it is not hiding the foul ﬁend of protectionism behind the angel of responsible government. mirroring this. but they naturally tend to be men who have reached the peak of a particular profession and can hardly be said to be representative. if challenged by a would-be importer. Parliament and Court of Justice the EU’s institutional structure comprises a number of lesser-known bodies. not surprisingly. Some come under the public eye less often because their duties are internal. exclude imports on the grounds that they contradict policies and laws designed to protect the consumer or the environment. This indifference is increasingly misconceived. exists to ensure ﬁnancial probity amongst the institutions. as its name suggests. New laws are often open to a range of interpretations. It can even declare a law invalid if it views it as conﬂicting with the Union’s obligations under the Treaty. unconnected to their everyday lives. technical or more limited in application.30 The European Union bureaucratic. largely because it invariably takes the form of a catalogue of waste. making it the favourite reading of many journalists and EU-critical . according to the Treaties. it can also bring proceedings against the Commission or Council if it fails to act in fulﬁlment of such obligations. with far more direct power and on the basis of much the same principles. as is the Treaty.19 OTHER EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS As well as the Commission. excess and downright fraud. This power of interpretation has enabled the ECJ to function rather in the way of the World Trade Organisation. Unlike the ECHR. The tendency to confuse it with the Council of Europe’s European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is so widespread that many Euro-MPs keep a stack of ECHR application forms to hand to send to constituents who enquire about it. Council. Minorities are unrepresented and women few and far between.
environmentalists. workers. and a number of people from interest groups representing. regional governments. Its members are appointed by the Council and divide into the Employers’ Group or Group I. The Nice Treaty attempted to increase ECOSOC’s democratic credibility by broadening representation.22 . farmers. only the right to be consulted. dealers. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the professions and ‘skilled trades’. The CoR is a total waste of taxpayers’ money. Nice provided a formula for increasing the CoR’s size as new member states are admitted. but if these had any grounds they have not been realised. but the new Treaty prepared for enlargement by deﬁning a formula for the Committee’s growth to a maximum of 350.21 ECOSOC has been around as long as the Community itself. merely the right to be consulted. family interests and so on. There were some fears when it was established that it formed part of an integrationist strategy to undermine the powers of national authorities. where they exist. professional occupations … and the general public’. As with ECOSOC. Its members are appointed by the Council on proposals from each member state. the CoR has absolutely no power. the Workers’ Group (Group II) and the splendidly titled Various Interests Group. Its members are appointed by the Council by unanimous vote. Its membership before Nice was the mystical-sounding 222. In common with ECOSOC. to a maximum of 350. Its members are taken from local authorities and. and their number is the same as that of the member states. the Committee of the Regions (CoR). carriers. now deﬁned as ‘representatives of the various economic and social components of organised civil society’ with ‘consumers’ added to the rather quaint list of groups to be included: ‘producers. otherwise known as employers and trade unions. craftsmen. but seems to do no harm beyond that.20 The Economic and Social Committee (ESC. consumers. which includes representatives of agriculture. Not so the Union’s other talking shop. or ECOSOC) represents what in the excruciating euro-jargon are termed the ‘social partners’.The Institutions 31 politicians. and its ofﬁcial ‘opinions’ are generally ignored by everyone who isn’t actually a member of it. inter alia. ECOSOC has no power.
without requirement for legislation at national level. inadvertently perhaps. most importantly covering agriculture. is laid down in each directive. This gives a certain amount of leeway to the member states and allows for differing conditions. This growth in power and inﬂuence has come about through both formal and informal means. In addition.4 How the European Union Makes Law The powers and responsibilities of the European Union (its ‘competences’) are deﬁned in the Treaty of Rome and subsequent amendments. in some cases competences which were in the original Treaty of Rome were scarcely exercised. or ‘transpose’. as well. usually because of political problems stemming from the national interests of the member states. which sets out a policy objective but requires national legislation to implement. The most important is probably the Directive. and cooperation with developing countries. In some cases. Decisions are also binding. Where such a breach occurs. but unlike Regulations and Directives they apply 32 . and may allow a member state to delay fulﬁlling its responsibilities. Regulations apply immediately throughout the territory of the Union. environmental protection. fisheries and international trade. consumer protection and public health. the promotion of economic and social cohesion. DIFFERENT SORTS OF LAW European Union laws take various forms. but this is often breached. but court cases also take time. of course. In other words. with each formal step in integration new competences have been added. A time limit for transposition. the ECJ has the ﬁnal word. Added to these original responsibilities have been such matters as transport. usually two years or less. research and development. the Union has simply found itself in a situation in which it can exercise in practice powers that it has always enjoyed in theory. or if the Commission is not convinced that national implementing legislation is adequate. the Community had responsibility for the common policies. for different degrees of enthusiasm. From its inception.
An Opinion also requires little explanation. The choice of treaty base is crucial. Dictatorship has always been quicker . but practicality simply will not do. Just what that role is is usually determined by the type of law being made. It is now argued that. but where it hopes to exercise inﬂuence. because the Union comprises 25 states. simply because it does not have competence in those areas. the policy area being crucial. because on it will depend which of the various legislative procedures is used. A Recommendation is issued by the Commission or by the Council but does not bind member states: again. must do so by unanimity or by Qualiﬁed Majority Voting. the requirement for unanimity in some areas makes it impossible to make any further ‘progress’ in relation to these policies. but in reality this is usually dictated by the Treaties. This ‘treaty base’ can be challenged before the Court of Justice. when making a proposal. the Council may make Declarations. rejecting or amending the proposal. a legal person (usually a corporation) or a natural person (you and me).1 Each of the institutions described in the previous chapter has a role to play in the creation and implementation of European Union law. QMV is a tremendously politically loaded issue. It has entire committees which deal with no legislative proposals at all. the Union or its institutions have a number of non-binding measures at their disposal. QMV means that laws which are opposed by a sovereign state’s government and may be abhorrent to its people can be imposed upon them. Every session of the Parliament passes resolutions on human rights. except through the consultation procedure. the Commission. must be able to cite an Article in the Treaty which gives the EU authority to make laws in that speciﬁc policy area. The EU institutions may have a certain amount of leeway in deciding which sort of law is appropriate in which case. Whether true or not. for example. or crises which are beyond its reach. and the Parliament issues a constant stream of resolutions dealing with issues over which it has no real power. and therefore the extent of inﬂuence of the European Parliament and whether the Council. in approving. There may be defences of this.How the European Union Makes Law 33 only to the body or bodies to whom they are addressed. Finally. In other words. which may be a member state. which has the ﬁnal say as to whether or not it is legitimate. its name speaks for itself. this is hardly an argument in the system’s favour which should be advanced by any democrat. In addition to these three legislative instruments. For every proposed law there must be a treaty base. the Commission may issue ofﬁcial Communications stating its views.
co-decision and assent. If the Council accepts the amendments they are incorporated into the directive. After four successive extensions of QMV. the Commission generally conducts a wide exercise of consultation.34 The European Union and more practical than that tiresome business of asking the people what they want. If it rejects any of them. and if the Constitutional Treaty wins approval. Green Papers propose the ﬁrst ideas for discussion in a speciﬁc ﬁeld where a Community action might be envisaged. Nice continued this process. The Parliament may propose amendments which are then sent to the Council. The document returned to the Parliament reﬂects a consensus within the Council and is known as the Common Position. in many cases. where required. the Parliament. this extension will be consolidated. and the one which gives the greatest inﬂuence to the European Parliament. Having weighed up the various responses. only the most politically sensitive issues – defence operations. In addition. or introduces any amendments of its own. THE LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURES There are now four main legislative procedures: consultation. The Parliament may . cultural policy amongst them – are left requiring unanimity. followed by a White Paper. or because the Treaty obliges it. White Papers set out more detailed suggestions. by issuing a Green Paper. Before sending a proposal to the Council. then the proposal (with any accepted amendments incorporated) returns to the Parliament for a second reading. It does this. and. though they are often issued at the request of the Council. a proposal for a Directive or Regulation is sent by the Commission to the Council and Parliament. The most complicated legislative procedure. the Commission then makes a formal proposal for what it sees as an appropriate measure. Proposals generally begin life on the desk (or screen) of someone at the Commission. These present the Commission’s opinion on a given subject and invite interested parties to make their opinions known. however (and instant agreement is the exception). there is a special procedure for the annual budget. cooperation. often presenting a range of alternative approaches. Majority voting has been extended to new areas at every amendment of the Treaty since the Single European Act. Under co-decision. most tax matters. Although the integrationists pronounced themselves ‘disappointed’ by it. is known as ‘co-decision’.
At second reading an important new element appears. in a Directive dealing with pollution. however. They also mean that in order to win the day. this will mean that the two biggest groups must come up with a consensus. If it does not accept any of the newly proposed amendments. and tilt the balance of power away from the Parliament and towards the Commission and Council. Parliament can reject the proposal outright. they must win the support of an absolute majority of the whole membership of the Parliament. can last deep into the night. In a small number of areas – freedom of movement. new scientiﬁc discoveries may have been made justifying the placing or removing of restrictions on a particular product or process). for even the very biggest. Then each must look for support amongst its natural allies to right or left (the Liberals and UEN for the EPP-ED. the whole process must begin again with a new proposal from the Commission. the co-decision procedure now applies to all areas of legislation where the Council takes decisions by QMV. with the matter then going to a full meeting of each body for ﬁnal approval. This makes it much more difﬁcult to win. If no agreement can be found. Once the Parliament has agreed its amendments. amendments must have the support of more than one political group. which are becoming increasingly common. present new amendments only if circumstances have changed since the ﬁrst reading (for example. Often. however. including in relation to social security. An alternative emerges only when PES and EPP-ED are unable to agree. the United Left and Greens/EFA for the PES). conciliations. reject or change Council’s amendments. the Council will consider them. a process which has a deadening effect. . Essentially the effects of this rule are conservative. At ﬁrst reading amendments need only win the support of a majority of members present when the vote is taken. cannot command the support of 50 per cent+1 of the membership. a Conciliation Committee – made up of equal numbers of members of Parliament and the Council. Its job is to draw up a joint text that the Council and Parliament may adopt. and sometimes to propose compromises – is appointed. with the Commission present as an observer. whether present or not. If it does so. the centreright EPP-ED.How the European Union Makes Law 35 then represent its original amendments. With the important exceptions of agriculture and competition policy. For this reason. however. and the Parliament brieﬂy takes on the atmosphere of the type of adversary politics more familiar to most English-speakers from their own countries’ systems. It may. At second reading. or present entirely new amendments.
once appointed. the co-decision procedure is applied even though unanimity is required at Council. informal consultations and negotiations have always characterised the legislative process. At this point a representative of the Commission may also be invited. Because it is possible. On the other hand. an informal system of consultation within and across institutions grew up in parallel to the system laid down in the Treaties and the formal rules of procedure based on them. to adopt an act at first reading. The Rapporteur and Commission ofﬁcials will also be privy to the range of thinking in the Council. and Groups’ views and intentions ascertained. The aim will be to ﬁnd out what these Groups are thinking. or in addition. all sides have an interest in expediting the procedure. informal meetings may be called after the ﬁrst ‘Exchange of Views’ at Committee. Of course. and cultural policy. a consensus emerged as to the best ways to ensure its smooth running. the development of such an informal system was always likely. what they will agree to and what they may ﬁnd objectionable. and because. which ran from 1999 to 2004. to do just that. Not only do they expedite the procedure and help to avoid unnecessary extra readings and the dreaded Conciliation. as a political gesture. Although this will become evident the ﬁrst time the ‘dossier’ (as a piece of business is known in the institutional jargon) is openly debated at a meeting of the relevant Parliamentary Committee. These informal consultations have a number of functions. especially where everyone agrees that legislative reform in a certain case is urgently needed. this process avoids democratic constraints such as the . During the last parliamentary session. The Parliament’s Rapporteur. but as the various actors grew more familiar with the system of multiple readings and the Conciliation process. by standing outside the formal rules of procedure. will often ask for a meeting with the ‘Shadows’. MEPs do in fact often decide. they mean that members can avoid wasting their time pursuing amendments which have no chance of success. Alternatively.36 The European Union mutual recognition of educational and professional qualiﬁcations. but at least they are aware of what they are doing. the Rapporteur may prefer to gauge the range of views before this. with the aim of discovering areas of agreement and disagreement between the Commission and the Parliament’s various political tendencies. in the event of agreement between Council and Parliament. members chosen by other political Groups to take responsibility for organising their response to his or her work and to the proposal with which it deals.
How the European Union Makes Law 37 public’s right of scrutiny and obligations to minority political Groups. but can sometimes (depending on the balance of power and opinion within the other institutions. governments can work closely with MEPs from their own parties or who happen to share their views on a certain issue. If. assent is something of a blunt instrument. the text can be adopted by a Qualiﬁed Majority at Council. their views are respected. however. business is conducted. however. especially the Council) give it a certain inﬂuence. The Parliament has attempted to use it to put pressure on certain countries – notably . The co-operation procedure is similar to co-decision in that it enables the Parliament to amend a Commission proposal. With cooperation. if the Commission and Parliament agree on amendments. except in the most routine or uncontroversial of cases. to say the least. Finally. the Commission rejects the Parliament’s amendments. rather like the power to sack the Commission. and in general. Both co-decision and co-operation encourage the formation of alliances across and between the institutions. co-operation gives the EP much less power and inﬂuence than does co-decision. when new member states are admitted or association agreements signed with third countries. the assent procedure’s name is self-explanatory. Undoubtedly there are times when it is legitimate for politicians and ofﬁcials to meet in private. Under co-decision. This means that if the two institutions and an effective voting majority of member states agree. One solution would be to introduce the Scandinavian system where notes must be kept on such meetings and these made available for public scrutiny. The assent of the Parliament is required. for example. but things do not. It gives the Parliament no formal power whatsoever. show much sign of moving in the direction of such openness. This again requires two readings by Parliament. because the co-operation of minorities is often needed if the system is to work. the Council must adopt the proposal unanimously. As it gives no power to amend. but over the last few years what should be an adjunct to the system has become the way in which. so that an alliance of one recalcitrant member state (even tiny Luxembourg will do) and the EP can block a proposed law. and as it gives the last word to the Council. an amended proposal becomes law. The consultation procedure consists of simply requesting Parliament’s opinion before the Council adopts a Commission proposal for legislation. As there is no provision for Conciliation.
member states contribute to the budget in line with their ability to pay. so that the proportion of GNP collected also . Agricultural differences are not the only problem. it may be worth asking some questions about the end result. such as the level of economic development. gave it considerable power. would receive an annual rebate as it was accepted that its net contribution to the EU budget was disproportionate. assessed on the basis of various criteria. • Levies: on agricultural imports (including a special levy on sugar).2 THE BUDGET The Budget is dealt with under a special procedure which. however. Again. The levy on VAT also fails to produce a fair reﬂection of member states’ wealth. Certainly before the introduction of the cooperation procedure in the Single European Act of 1987. direct payments to support agriculture distort this. 0.38 The European Union Israel and Turkey – to improve human rights. or delay giving consent in order to cause inconvenience. • VAT-based contributions: until 2003. Where does the money come from. However. the EU gets 75 per cent of the proceeds. In the early 1980s member states agreed that the United Kingdom. population and per capita GNP. which has relatively very few people engaged in farming. this was reduced to 0. Roughly speaking. even before the Parliament ﬁrst became a directly-elected body in 1979.5 per cent. but all it can do is threaten to withhold consent. and how is it spent? The Union has four sources of revenue: • Import tariffs: 75 per cent goes direct to the EU. In 2004. with member states retaining the rest in respect of administrative costs. but was set at 1. VAT rates vary. by favouring countries where a greater proportion of the population works on the land. • Contributions based on Gross National Product (GNP): this is open to constant negotiation. if one looks at the net contribution.02 per cent for 2003. it was in relation to the annual European Community budget that the EP became most like a normal legislative body. Before explaining this procedure.75 per cent of VAT receipts was paid to the Union.
children’s clothing and books. using other mechanisms to redistribute wealth.1 per cent. so that it now stands at 1. Because own resources do not meet the whole of the EU’s budgetary needs. impose a ﬂat rate. and. agricultural duties and sugar levies.3 Spending these resources is.7 per cent. not surprisingly.1 per cent.27 per cent. Unless some unexpected change occurs. Also dating back to an agreement of 1988. in 2003.How the European Union Makes Law 39 varies. ‘own resources’ may not exceed a certain percentage of the total of all member states’ GNP. this ﬁgure including moneys carried over from the previous year. and ‘other’. This began at 1. this trend will continue. 55. customs duties.7 per cent. Under the ﬁrst comes most Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) spending: price support expenditure under the Guarantee section of the European Agricultural Guarantee and Guidance Fund (EAGGF) and some structural spending. as are direct monetary refunds to the member states and some development aid. In 2003. The VAT levy is by far the most important source of direct income. VAT-based resources. bringing in almost a quarter of the revenue. 1. Following reforms at the end of the last century. as foreseen in Agenda 2000. Belgium taxes books at 6 per cent as opposed to its usual high rate of 21 per cent. the Commission’s . In order to offset the distorting effects of differential VAT rates. revenue sources broke down proportionally as follows: GNPbased ‘own resources’. since 1988 they have been supplemented by a direct levy based on member states’ GNP. this levy varies according to the amount of the shortfall once other own resources have been calculated. similar expenditure under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is compulsory in this sense. governed by a complex bureaucratic procedure. Because the shortfall is made up by a levy which directly relates to each nation’s wealth. 10. on the basis of what is required by the various treaties and legislation derived from them. 10. In addition. 24.5 per cent. This effect is exacerbated by the fact that while some states choose to use VAT exemptions or reductions to alleviate poverty or encourage certain kinds of spending (UK exclusions include food.5 per cent. 22. Firstly. non-compulsory spending now accounts for a majority of the budget – around 55 per cent since 2000. and so on) others. such as Denmark.15 per cent but has twice been raised. spending is divided into ‘compulsory expenditure’ and ‘non-compulsory expenditure’. the cap on own resources means that the ﬁnal total contribution made by each member state is more proportionate to its total ﬁnancial resources.
4 THE BUDGETARY PROCEDURE Since the Budgetary Treaty of 1970. This is done on the basis of three parameters: the growth of the total GNP of the member states. considers the Commission’s proposal and adopts a modiﬁed version of it. In particular. however. accounts for less than a quarter. Parliament then has 45 days to adopt the budget or demand amendments. known as the ‘draft budget’. but only if Parliament and Council together agree to do so. in that time. though even here it is limited both by informal pressure – failure to agree a budget could result in chaos – and formal restrictions. amended and enhanced by a further treaty in 1975. it remains by far the biggest item. Although agriculture takes a declining share of the total budget. If the Parliament proposes changes to compulsory expenditure. while the next biggest spending area. This ‘Preliminary Draft Budget’ (PDB) is ﬁrst sent to the Council. however. accounting year after year for almost half of the Union’s spending. it fails to state a position. where it must arrive at the latest by 1 September so that it may be implemented from 1 January the following year. In practice. drawn up annually. The Council. if. regional development. however. it must do so by a majority of votes cast. If. The budgetary authority may exceed it. and the overall EU inﬂation rate.5 Although expenditure is governed by multiannual guidelines agreed between the member states and the budgetary authority. the Parliament sends the budget back within the stated period and requests amendments. compulsory expenditure should continue to take up a diminishing proportion of resources. the European Parliament and Council have together formed what is known as the budgetary authority. begins life as a Commission proposal. This is perhaps the area in which the Parliament enjoys its greatest power. This guideline is not binding. the Commission is able each year to determine a maximum which serves as a guideline to the extent to which expenditure may be increased in relation to the previous annual budget. the average growth (or reduction) in member states’ own national annual budgets. the changes . acting by qualified majority. which it has until 5 October to forward to the Parliament. within these parameters the budget itself. the budget is deemed to have been adopted.40 The European Union blueprint for the development of the Union.
they must be adopted under the system which requires the approval of an absolute majority of all members. The crucial question is this: would a Parliament proposal require an increase in overall EU expenditure? If the answer is no. The potential problems arising from this mean that pressure builds on the Parliament to accept something less than the fulﬁlment of its every dream. and if this does not happen it becomes part of the budget. then the Council must reject or modify it by QMV. If it accepts all of the Parliament’s proposed changes. it must ﬁnd not only an absolute majority of all members. then it falls. this means that an appropriation is made each month which is equivalent to one-twelfth of the previous year’s budget. in order to amend or reject Council’s ﬁnal proposal. If it does not. Obviously. for once. If no agreement is reached before 1 January. The pro-EU press invariably presents the resulting . it has 15 days in which to conduct what is called its ‘second reading’. Nor does the system make allowance for the fact that spending is not evenly distributed throughout the year. An idea borrowed from the United States’ federal government. In this event. If the answer is yes. the Parliament really does have the last word. but also three-ﬁfths of those who actually turn up to vote. and if a qualiﬁed majority cannot be found to accept it. though conditions governing the exercise of this power are stringent. and the budget becomes law after it is taken – unless (didn’t you somehow know there would be an ‘unless’?) Parliament. Even a low rate of inﬂation requires some adjustment of the budget.How the European Union Makes Law 41 affect non-compulsory expenditure. on the basis of the same double majority. then it must send its (now ﬁnal) proposal back to the Parliament. this can cause difﬁculties. votes to reject the whole thing. the entire show must restart on the basis of a new proposal from the Commission. Within 15 days. the budget is adopted. but the provisional twelfths take no account of this. If the Council is willing to accept an amendment only in modiﬁed form. then it must adopt it by QMV. It is now Parliament’s turn to move swiftly. what happens next depends on the nature of the amendments. it must conduct its own second reading. and if it misses this tight deadline the Council’s proposed compromise amendments are integrated into the budget and the budget adopted.6 This vote completes the budgetary process. the Union must ﬁnance its activities through a system known as ‘provisional twelfths’. Here. Now. Once the Council has received the Parliament’s proposals.
but everything comes out all right in the end. This conducts on its behalf an annual assessment of the management of the budget before giving. formally termed a ‘discharge’. the European Parliament has a relatively major role to play in this. Monitoring expenditure It is one thing to ﬁx a budget and another to make sure that it is spent honestly and as intended. Less kind voices complain that it is yet another example of the assembly’s tendency to be all gong and no dinner.7 .42 The European Union agreement as a sign of Parliament’s ‘growing maturity’. through its Committee on Budgetary Control. on the basis of the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors. As with the budget procedure itself. Again. during the debate over the discharge the Parliament generally makes a tremendous fuss. its approval.
three countries – Bulgaria. Greens and those on the left. with Croatia in particular hoping to accelerate the pre-accession process. on 1 May 2004. whose application is more controversial. must be overcome. has as yet to be informed of such a date. historical and moral dimension’. The admission of the United Kingdom. are concerned by the fact that accession negotiations relegated social and environmental questions to a secondary role. the Union’s institutions take a decidedly lofty view of the process of enlargement. In 1995 these countries were joined by Austria. Finland and Sweden. the Union at one stroke admitted ten new member states. a number of problems. Turkey. the ﬁrst two have been given target accession dates of 2007. Croatia and Macedonia have applied to join. Then. acknowledged (though with rather different emphases and conclusions) on all sides. on the other hand. the European Community (later the Union) has grown through a succession of enlargements to its present tally of 25 members. from a propensity for conﬂict to stability. In addition. The EU’s ofﬁcial policy is ‘to welcome any European state which wishes to join’.5 Enlargement Since its foundation in 1957 by the original Six. with all possibility of ‘progress’ stalled by the difﬁculty of ﬁnding agreement on anything but the most general level. We are moving from division to unity. and in 1986 by that of Spain and Portugal. Beyond that. Romania and Turkey – are involved in negotiations which give them ofﬁcial status as preaccession states.1 Beyond that. that a Union of 25 or more member states will end up as nothing more than a free trade area marred by endless wrangling. one more than all previous additions put together. Of these. however. and from economic inequality to better life-chances in the different parts of Europe. describing it as having ‘an unprecedented political.3 43 . Ireland and Denmark in 1973 was followed in 1981 by the accession of Greece. The spread of the Union is seen as akin to an evangelical episode which will ‘(bring) our continent together.’ Before this can happen.2 Integrationists worry that larger will inevitably mean shallower.
Even if all of the resultant problems are successfully addressed. Estonia. how much majority voting should there be and what should constitute a ‘majority’ – is potentially explosive. and the two Mediterranean islands of Cyprus and Malta. Larger countries resent the disproportionate voting strengths given to smaller member states. Slovenia. of just how much acknowledgement should be given to national independence and sovereignty and how much to the realities of population size – in other words. be discussed separately to other great questions of policy dividing opinion in the Union. It is too early to say how it will adapt to the problems presented by attempting to do so in 20. however – to employ one of the transport-based metaphors of which integrationists are so fond – all EU policy discussion has perforce taken place within its framework. Hungary. wealth.44 The European Union Institutional matters have also presented difficulties. The gap between the biggest member state – Germany – and the smallest – now Malta – as well as that between the richest members and the poorest widened considerably with the latest enlargement. moving its centre of gravity eastwards. to an extent. in terms of size. however. economic base and culture. Lithuania. and in a way which gives at least the appearance of being democratic. militarily allied to the Soviet Union through the Warsaw Pact. and raising in the process a host of questions relating to policy areas which will be dealt with in the following chapters. seven were. These countries – the Czech Republic. From the moment it became clear that the locomotive of enlargement would not be derailed. The European Parliament had serious problems working in eleven languages. Before this unprecedented enlargement it was possible to treat the questions related to the admission of new member states as an issue which could. The question of the balance of power between states. made up . either as independent countries or parts of greater entities. Latvia.4 THE MASS ACCESSION OF MAY 2004 The entry of ten countries on May Day 2004 transformed the nature of the European Union. Of the ten new member states. previously counted in the Soviet or ‘eastern’ bloc. the task remains of making the institutional structure devised at Nice – or that laid down in the Constitution. which had been the most prosperous federal state of the former Yugoslavia. signiﬁcantly lowering its per capita income. while the latter fear domination by the giants. Poland and Slovakia – varied hugely. should this be approved – function.
feeding the imaginations and creativity of a rising generation. at little more than 35 per cent. . but all historic divisions. Portugal and Ireland. spreading through the population. making it. in terms of population. at the Copenhagen Summit of June 1993. were the richest. This would be accompanied by a growing taste for liberty which. with 70 per cent or more of average EU wealth levels. an increase of some 20 per cent. Left to their own devices to overcome the legacy of a failed economic and repressive socio-political system. They point to a number of factors which suggest that less worthy motives for welcoming the post-socialist countries may be at work.Enlargement 45 the ten. The standard explanation for this enlargement is that the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War presented Europe with a historic opportunity to bring not just the east–west divide. to an end. while variations within the group were also wide. was followed not by an anticipatory upsurge of prosperity but. that these countries were entitled to see their future as being within a united Europe. while Latvia. talk. Cyprus and Slovenia. The average GDP per head of the new member states was only 40 per cent of the average level in the EU15. There was much talk of a new ‘Marshall Plan’. Instead of such a plan. Together the ten brought the total population of the European Union up to 450 million. could be classiﬁed under the euphemism ‘developing country’. the EU has simply failed to put its money where it loudly proclaims its heart to be.5 Not everyone accepts this sanguine view. though they were still signiﬁcantly poorer than the poorest of the 15. would consign the atavisms of nationalist extremism to an irrelevant fringe. prey to extreme forms of nationalism which might become warlike. on the contrary. the largest single economic market in the world. and that even if one were to accept that the motives themselves may be praiseworthy. economic growth and visible prosperity. The prospect – and indeed the conditions – of membership had already led to political and economic reform which was beginning to bear fruit in the form of inward investment. they could be brought up to twenty-ﬁrst-century standards of prosperity – just as had happened to Spain. by a continuing economic decline that condemned an ever-growing section of the population to poverty and marginalisation. The initial announcement. but it remained just that. In partnership with the dynamic. the countries of central and eastern Europe would become dangerously unstable. There would be jobs for all as economic growth brought new opportunities and stimulated the long-repressed entrepreneurial drive of the people. successful economies of the west.
where appropriate. to go for what came to be called the ‘big bang’ – the admission of a large number of new member states at once – we need to look elsewhere than to the unlikely professions of political leaders not usually noted for their starry-eyed idealism. the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. or the decision. Regional aid will also be limited. administrative costs associated with the accession process. as well as the fact that the old member states were given the right to exclude. It is clear. Public moneys invested through the EU’s Phare programme. In farm spending. spending as a result of enlargement must be limited to €28 billion. upgrading the safety speciﬁcations of nuclear plant. in this case amounting to only 55 per cent of the level of entitlement were the rules to be evenly applied. at the Copenhagen summit. suggest that idealism ends at the point where the bills start to come in. Such ﬁgures. these countries will suffer a decade of discrimination. Some aspects of the ﬁnancial treatment of the new member states are extremely controversial. rising thereafter by increments. with the rest to be spent on rural and regional development. therefore. Despite the fact that ten countries were admitted as opposed to the six foreseen at the Berlin Summit of June 1999. adaptation to Community law across a range of policy areas. the ceiling on expenditure agreed in Berlin was not adjusted. central and eastern European farmers will receive a total of only 25 per cent of the moneys available in direct payments to those whose land lies further west. This means that from 2004 to 2006. migrant workers from the newly acceded countries. for instance. than was the citizen of the old EU of 15 countries. the European Investment Bank and a range of smaller initiatives never amounted to more than 6 per cent of the total EU budget. a very small proportion when you consider that enlargement added 20 per cent to the total population and that this new 20 per cent was considerably poorer. provoking fears for both the broader region’s stability and the possibility of a huge growth in American inﬂuence in what was . that if we are to explain the headlong rush into enlargement. for a limited time. for example. Initially. The Balkan War undoubtedly played a role. private capital was expected to take the lead. not gaining full access to CAP-related payments until 2013. on average. and infrastructural improvements including. development of physical infrastructure and education and training of the workforce – necessary to attract private investment. The bulk of this will go on agriculture.46 The European Union under which public funds would attempt to create the conditions – through.
less dependent on agriculture. For the political elites of the accession countries themselves. yet the EU seems indifferent. the conditions which applicants for membership must meet.Enlargement 47 seen as the EU’s ‘natural’ territory. where the bulk of the western electorate could at least see the attraction of the end of the national division. For these people. however. the income-per-head of capital cities such as Prague. when in March 2005 it postponed talks over Croatia’s application because of that country’s failure to deliver a suspected war criminal to the International Criminal Tribunal. Bratislava and Warsaw began to approach the EU average. included political and human rights demands as well as those related to the strictly economic business of the EU’s core agenda. if only for themselves and their friends. the ﬁt and the welleducated – the opportunity to embrace the ‘western’ lifestyle they craved. promoting the emergence of a middle class and offering to a signiﬁcant minority – including the young. the promise has been partly fulﬁlled. Without the type of institutions found in the existing member states – parliamentary democracy. On the other hand. the price . enlargement held the promise of stability and prosperity. with the real explanation for the EU’s failure to provide adequate ﬁnancial support for the enlargement process being that they simply had no choice. harmonious development towards a society with a modernised economy. The levels of public investment which would have been required to offer at least the chance of an even. explains why the ‘Copenhagen Criteria’. While much of the region languished in economic stagnation or decline. The potential for explosive social unrest that such divisions bring is obvious. though some had gained power or inﬂuence through precisely the kind of corruption and underhand methods which the Copenhagen Criteria were in part designed to address. as much as their propaganda value. Even in Germany. This. and their political supporters. it has shown itself willing to use the power it has to say yea or nay to applications in order to further political ends in the face of corruption and cronyism. as impending EU membership certainly stimulated certain areas of the economy. be no more than an appearance. able to offer the chance of signiﬁcant material progress to the mass of the population. while guaranteeing stability without repression. and overall rates of unemployment remained immensely high. were simply unacceptable politically. as. arguably.6 This may. a degree of freedom of expression and from arbitrary arrest – it was understood that newly-implanted market economies would be unlikely to recover from the distortions which accompanied their birth.
they were simply not consulted.000 people per year. but rather well-qualiﬁed people whose loss from the east would be the west’s gain. A poll by the EU’s ofﬁcial statsgatherer Eurobarometer predicted that migration as a direct result of enlargement would amount by 2008 to no more than 1 per cent of the working age population of the new member states over the next ﬁve years. concluded that the biggest danger was the harm which would be done to the new member states by what could amount to a brain drain. On the European level. increasingly. In fact.7 Facts.48 The European Union of reuniﬁcation has proved too much for many to swallow. under speciallynegotiated provisions. it was evident from before the mass accession that the predicted ﬂood would hardly amount to a trickle. Enlargement also provoked fears in the ‘old’ member states that poorly-paid or jobless workers from the east would ﬂood into the higher-wage economies of countries now obliged to open the doors to them. For this reason it recommended that the EU increase funding to stimulate growth. and the EU’s politicians and bureaucrats proceeded to their big bang enlargement in the face of the indifference of the majority and the outright hostility of a growing and vociferous minority. the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. By way of a derogation from the Treaty articles and legislative measures guaranteeing free movement of labour. There was much talk of the opening of ‘ﬂoodgates’. all bar the UK. This was a dangerous game indeed. thereby offering talented and qualiﬁed people the opportunity to ﬁnd fulﬁlling work without having to travel to the other end of the continent to do so. however. Ireland and Sweden announced that. A study by the EU-funded research body. even barricaded halls of European governance than they are on the streets outside. As none could be offered. Even these would not for the most part be unskilled workers competing for low-paid jobs. unity has none of the romantic resonance which it may have within a divided nation. where. the western electorate wanted concrete results. ‘swamping’. centre-left parties. whatever the integrationists would like to believe. they would bar workers from the new member . and so on. play a limited role in political decision-making and the mythological nature of the impending ﬂood did not stop most of the EU15 from taking advantage of their right to restrict access to their labour markets. and attempts to exploit this from the usual unsavoury political elements of the far right and their fellow travellers in centre-right and. around 220. but its dangers are perhaps less visible within the increasingly cloistered.
Iceland.8 Whatever the rights and wrongs of the big bang enlargement. it will be twice as bad if we become full EU members’ and those who argue that EEA membership offers all the advantages of being in the EU without the loss of sovereignty.9 Finally. Turkey has not been given a target date. already voluntarily participate in large sections of the European Union’s economic arrangements through the European Economic Area (EEA). but talks have begun. 54 per cent) to nearly unanimous (Slovakia. the last of which has declined to participate in the EEA. it failed utterly to capture the imaginations of the peoples of the countries involved. Ukraine and Moldova have also recently announced an interest. 92 per cent). were exempt from the ban. EEA membership gives ammunition to both sides of the debate. Norway and Iceland. following the accession of most of them. with opponents divided between those who say ‘look how bad it is in the EEA. shouldn’t we’ fever. to Norway. Although every country which held a referendum recorded a majority in favour of accession which ranged from clear (Malta.Enlargement 49 states. while Croatia and Macedonia have also submitted ofﬁcial applications. Lichenstein and Switzerland. turnouts were in almost all cases low (Hungary was bottom with 46 per cent. Malta again the exception. This was originally an arrangement between the European Community and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). in the new member states so few people showed up that they dragged the overall rate down from 1999’s 49 per cent to a new low of 46 per cent. and those who had already worked under contract for at least twelve months. the three developed countries (leaving aside statelets such as Lichtenstein and San Marino) of Europe which remain outside break out into periodic bouts of ‘should we. which also did not affect the right to travel and settle for those of independent means. Despite a rise in turnout in the EU15. Two of them. Self-employed people. while proponents of EU membership take the line that limiting oneself to EEA membership . a body which once housed all European developed countries not in the Community but which is now reduced. Bulgaria and Romania are supposedly on course for accession in 2007. Further enlargements are already in the pipeline. It has also been made clear to the rest of the Balkans’ countries that they will be encouraged to join as they move towards fulﬁlment of the political and economic conditions. with 91 per cent) while those in the European Parliamentary elections which followed only weeks after membership was achieved were embarrassing.
but bearing in mind what happens to your ﬁsh when you join.10 the policy may not prove sufﬁciently popular in a country with a robust democracy. its pro-EU elites could pull it off.50 The European Union merely deprives the country of a seat in the Council and its quota of MEPs. Norway has said ‘no’ more than once. Finally. though a highly developed country. has such a peculiar economy and such a strong populardemocratic political system that it is difﬁcult to see how. Iceland is now clearly developing a political caste which favours membership. Switzerland. but again there are elite forces which will not rest until the people get the answer right. in the foreseeable future.11 .
Some of the political leaders who ﬂaunt their newly-discovered ‘European’ credentials as if they were marks of a peace-loving internationalism are in fact what used to be called Great Power Chauvinists: in place of an all-conquering France. The result was Maastricht’s creation of the Second Pillar and the replacement of Political Cooperation by a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). as change in Central and Eastern Europe gave way to chaos and war. by extending majority voting in certain areas of foreign policy and. with its own army and a relationship with the United States which would recreate the kind of wary respect with which the nineteenth century Powers eyed each other across the negotiating table. and there was only one superpower. The break-up of Yugoslavia and the subsequent horrors in Croatia. the argument was increasingly heard that if ‘Europe’ wanted to be taken seriously it must develop an independent capability to respond – politically. to bring the dream of a united and assertive ‘Europe’ closer. There are those who dream that a united Europe might make it two. the collapse of the Soviet Union changed everything. Bosnia and most recently Kosovo ampliﬁed these calls. FROM YUGOSLAVIA TO AMSTERDAM In the 1990s. diplomatically and ultimately militarily – to crises on its own borders. Suddenly. pressures had mounted to abandon the virtual taboo on moves towards a genuinely common foreign policy. they enjoyed no formal supranational powers. the familiar realities of a bipolar world were gone. by providing for the appointment of a High 51 . most strikingly perhaps. Germany or Britain they favour a strong multinational Greater Europe. Once again. Amsterdam attempted to go further than this. In the urgent context created by the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia. With the end of the Cold War.6 The Common Foreign and Security Policy Before Maastricht. the European Community had no real ofﬁcial foreign policy and though foreign ministers of the member states met regularly.
if not a burning fuse. This is of particular concern to the UK. the ﬁrst appointee to this post. It has been argued that the position of neutral member states is protected by Article J7(1) which states that ‘The policy of the Union in accordance with this Article shall not prejudice the speciﬁc character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States and shall respect the obligations of certain Member States. a decision which must. became. which see their common defence realised in NATO. but again only if ratiﬁed by all member states. or. the Western European Union. Finland. lapdog.52 The European Union Representative for the CFSP. the military wing of the EU. rather than undermine.2 The fact that one of its open aims was to promote the co-ordination of armaments manufacture is a blatant demonstration that the EU’s much-vaunted commitment to peace comes with strings. in effect. the second biggest contributor to NATO and the United States’ most reliable European ally.’1 In fact. Its provisions represented a further erosion of the autonomy of the member states. though not immediately. if you prefer. however. with responsibility to draw up and put into practice any decisions with defence implications. In 1999. took ofﬁce. the Amsterdam Treaty provided for the formulation of a common defence force. its own – for which read the US’s – hegemonic role. Amsterdam sharpened the Union’s military aspects. The Treaty merely empowered the Council to set up such a force should it wish to do so. Demand for change came both from outright militarists and from those who . a careful reading of this Article in the context of the rest of the Treaty demonstrates that it is the latter part of this clause which carries the punch. A long-standing but largely moribund defence cooperation organisation. be ratiﬁed by every member state. Recognition of the special. attached. highly political and therefore partly extra-commercial nature of the weapons industry had been under pressure for some time before Amsterdam. former NATO general secretary Javier Solana Madariaga. J7(1) is there to reassure NATO that an emerging EU defence policy will complement. Ofﬁcial integration of the WEU into the Union could occur. Ireland and Sweden – which had long been neutral. and be compatible with the Common Security and Defence Policy established within that framework. the man who had presided over the bombing of Yugoslavia. By deepening the foreign and defence policy role of the EU. In addition. including most disturbingly the four – Austria. The Treaty made such neutrality difﬁcult if not untenable. under the North Atlantic Treaty.
but not be limited to humanitarian and rescue missions. in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to action by NATO’. ‘in accordance’ with the Western European Union (WEU). peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management. And as just another industry. through many ofﬁcial statements. Amsterdam integrated the WEU’s responsibility for ‘humanitarian and rescue tasks. Such actions would include. and a readiness to do so.5 per cent of the EU’s total GDP) treated as anything other than just another industry.5 In case anyone was left in any doubt as to what was intended. at a European Council meeting held in June 1999. backed up by credible military forces. allowing ‘the Union’ and not the Maastricht formulation’s ‘Union and its Member States’ to ‘deﬁne and implement a common foreign and security policy’. that ‘the Union must have the capacity for autonomous action. the Treaty states that ‘the European Council shall deﬁne the principles of and general guidelines for the CFSP.4 Moreover. including for matters with defence implications’ (author’s italics).The Common Foreign and Security Policy 53 could not bear to see such an important sector (it has been estimated to employ around 800. as has since. including peacemaking’ – known as the Petersberg tasks after the place where they were originally formulated – into the EU.’3 Amsterdam changed the institutional balance of power. together with the President of the European Commission. As thenIndustry Commissioner Martin Bangemann said shortly before the Amsterdam Summit: ‘The fragmented nature of the European defence industry clearly gives it a competitive disadvantage. and they would not be limited either to the EU’s own territory nor to its immediate neighbours. the means to decide to use them. their deﬁnition is so wide and vague as to allow almost anything. and ‘peacemaking’. including any form of armed intervention. responded to the Kosovo crisis and subsequent NATO bombardment by declaring. The post-Amsterdam CFSP includes the ‘progressive’ (instead of Maastricht’s ‘eventual’) framing of a common defence policy.000 people and to contribute between 2 per cent and 2. crisis management. While the Petersberg tasks may well include worthy and genuinely humanitarian missions. Japan and elsewhere.6 . its major problem was maintaining competitiveness in the face of growing competition from the United States. the 15 heads of state and government. In addition. become clear.
mainly in policy implementation. including joint armed forces. the others being the European Community and Justice and Home Affairs. The Maastricht Treaty established a three-pillar structure. and it provides for the integration of the WEU – the defence organisation which brings together European NATO members – into the European Union. A state may register a ‘constructive abstention’. Decisions were initially by unanimity. which may include opting out of the action or policy decided upon. The Council is assisted by a Political and Security Committee and by a High Representative for the CFSP who may also speak for the EU itself if asked to do so by the Presidency country.7 . in which case the matter may be referred to the European Council if the member states decide by QMV that they wish to do so. or it can use the power of veto. and the Commission. and Title V constitutes one of the three ‘pillars’ of the European Union. however. Once a Common Strategy has been deﬁned. potential political crises and situations that might have signiﬁcant repercussions on the CFSP • produce reasoned policy option papers for the Council. measures may be adopted by QMV.54 The European Union HOW THE CFSP WORKS The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is governed by the provisions of Title V of the Treaty on European Union. The Unit’s tasks are to • monitor developments in areas relevant to the CFSP • provide assessments of the Union’s foreign and security policy interests and identify areas on which the CFSP should focus • provide timely assessments and early warning of events. The Commission now has a limited role. it is implemented by the Council of Ministers which is able to take decisions under it using QMV. The High Representative is in turn assisted by a Planning and Early Warning Unit. should the European Council decide it. Since Amsterdam. Parliament and ECJ had no competence. The European Council is also empowered to deﬁne a ‘Common Strategy’ governing the CFSP approach of the Union in regard to a particular problem. The CFSP opens the way for the EU to develop a common defence.
crisis-management.’9 The plan commits member states to developing by 2010 the ability to respond to crises throughout the world. introduced a number of changes. Responses might include humanitarian and rescue tasks. already well under way. The EU must be able to ‘take the decision to launch an operation within 5 days’ and its forces able to implement such a decision within ten days after such a decision is taken. by the time of this meeting. Member states of this peace-loving Union further committed themselves to developing ‘Battle Groups’ .8 Since Nice. given that it is composed of unelected ofﬁcials. prepares recommendations on the future functioning of the CFSP and the CFSP aspects of meetings of the General Affairs Councils. the now 25 EU member states have underlined the fact that employment of the military capabilities at their disposal shall not be limited to actions within the Union’s own territory. peace-keeping and joint disarmament operations. as would agreements with third countries or international organisations. composed of senior diplomats acting as national representatives at senior or ambassador level. ready to share in the responsibility for global security. provided these were necessary to a joint action or common position which itself had already been agreed. The Council’s ‘special representative’ would henceforth be appointed by QMV. Meeting in Brussels just a fortnight after enlargement. it would be responsible for deciding what actions might be taken by the Union in keeping with the division of powers. the PSC is authorised. Astonishingly. the Political and Security Committee (PSC). In the event of a crisis. its ﬁrst task being to identify gaps in hardware and ensure that they were closed. under Article 25 of the Nice Treaty. which entered into force on 1 February 2003. defence ministers adopted a security plan entitled ‘Headline Goal 2010’ which begins by stating that ‘The European Union is a global actor. military units which could be deployed from 2007. Plans for a European Defence Agency were. Established in 2001 but having no ofﬁcial powers until the Nice Treaty’s entry into force. . to exercise political control and strategic direction of a crisis management operation. ofﬁcially committing themselves to be able to respond to crises throughout the world by 2010.The Common Foreign and Security Policy 55 THE NICE TREATY’S REFORMS AND DEVELOPMENTS SINCE The Nice Treaty.
to say the least. the CFSP is purportedly designed ‘to safeguard the common values. which gives it political interests which must be promoted. questionable. Whether such values can be said to exist at all is a matter of intense philosophical debate and speculation. Beyond these practical considerations.56 The European Union COMMON (MARKET) VALUES? The arguments in favour of this militarisation are straightforward. however. independence and integrity of the Union in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter. Box 6. moreover. fundamental interests and independence of the Union’. what tends to irritate opponents of the CFSP is the pretence that what is being defended is a common set of values and interests to which all Europeans. including those on external borders. to preserve peace and strengthen international security.10 As with so many aspects of the European Union. automatically and unquestioningly subscribe. and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. the EU and its member states account for more than 50 per cent of both international development aid and humanitarian aid and a third of aid to the Middle East. to promote international co-operation. That they might include a particular version of the market economy is. and indeed all civilised or decent people.11 • • • • . to strengthen the security of the Union in all ways. fundamental interests. The EU is a strong economic presence in the world. Enlargement has brought its borders bang up against some rather troubled regions. to develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law. Together. as well as the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Paris Charter.1 The Five Ofﬁcial Aims of the CFSP – as Deﬁned in the Treaties • to safeguard the common values. though never amongst the EU’s ruling elites.
in fact. because it can fairly be cited as substance to the allegation that the EU is on its way to becoming a supranational state. something of a blank cheque for future use. or employer. Firstly. ﬁnally divorcing it from economic activity. but this proved difﬁcult to implement. it confers the right to move freely within the territory of the Union. the rights conferred seem negligible and the obligations. because the usual idea of citizenship is that it confers rights and obligations. the proposal generated much controversy. citizenship as usually deﬁned. a symbolic but empty gesture. or self-employed person) or a close family member of someone who was one of these. Thirdly. at worst. The widespread feeling that the EU is remote and beyond the control or even inﬂuence of ordinary people is thus accompanied by a fear that things will be demanded of people – taxes? loyalty? military service? – which they have never agreed to make available and which are properly offered only to their country. however. which prior to 1990 was conditional on one’s being economically active (a worker. In fact.or herself. every national of any member state is entitled. but they are limited and not those normally associated with nationality. if outside the EU and in a country where his or her nation has no diplomatic representation. Only states have citizens.7 Citizenship. Two years later this right became an aspect of EU citizenship. Most importantly. The Single European Act sought to abolish frontier controls. In 1990 the right of residence in a member state other than one’s own was extended to anyone with sufﬁcient means to support him. Secondly. It does confer certain rights. At ﬁrst sight it might seem that this is. every European Union citizen residing in a member state other than his or her own is entitled 57 . anyone holding nationality of an EU member state became automatically a citizen also of the Union. In this case. and for a number of reasons. ‘European Union citizenship’ is not. to use the embassy and consular services of a member state which does have such facilities. Secondly. Justice and Security Following Maastricht. though currently nonexistent.
the right to petition the European Parliament and to apply to the European Ombudsman is something which has been trumpeted as belonging to the rights of the ‘European Union citizen’. citizen or not. distant whiff of it even managed to . Finally. Trade unionists. or have any idea what the holder of the ofﬁce can do for them. was the fact that for the ﬁrst time Amsterdam turned member states’ attention to the existence of widespread dissatisfaction with the EU. however. The right to petition has been enjoyed in many parts of Europe since the Middle Ages. anarchists. as they no doubt do in the case of the Parliament. and some vague. even by those (such as women and foreigners) who were denied all other forms of political participation. And sure enough. bizarre. has the right to use his or her services. closed world of the late-twentieth-century power elite was temporarily disrupted. Dutch police ofﬁcers. and people from a wide variety of causes and groups. as well as a smaller but vociferous opposition from both left and right which grew from and fed off a suspicion and indifference which in some member states was almost ubiquitous. would probably have taken the right to petition for granted. if they know of the existence of the ofﬁce of European Ombudsman at all. Greens and other environmentalists. In fact. Reality arrived on the EU’s doorstep. Perhaps as important as anything in the words of the Treaty. Yet this is clearly not a right of citizenship at all. legally resident in one of the member states. gathered on the streets of Europe’s most famously libertarian city. not to be outdone by mediaeval kings or Estates General. The only genuinely new right it contained was the stipulation that the European Union ‘citizen’ would henceforth be able to write to a range of EU institutions in any of the ofﬁcial languages. most people.58 The European Union to vote in municipal and European Parliament elections under the same conditions as the country’s own nationals. The cosy. violent fashion as is normal for their colleagues in many other parts of the world. the rules governing the Ombudsman make it quite clear than anyone. the left and far left. previously renowned for their willingness to give you a light (whatever you happened to be smoking) now demonstrated that they were also able to behave in the same unreasonable.1 THE AMSTERDAM TREATY The Amsterdam Treaty failed to address the embarrassing lack of substance in this concept of Union citizenship.
race or ethnic origin.Citizenship.2 Whether this had any discernible effects out there in the real world is open to question. both of which deal mainly with employees’ rights. The Preamble of the section of the Amsterdam text known as the European Community Treaty makes reference not only to this Convention but also to the Council of Europe’s 1961 European Social Charter and the 1989 Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers. The Amsterdam Treaty. The Court of Justice already enjoys some competence to combat discrimination on the grounds of nationality. however. The demonstrations. or its institutions. . would have meant further extensions of the EU’s competence into areas which most member states were not prepared to accept. The result was a series of ‘compromises’ which established limited new commitments by the EU and its member states. The sole possible exception – though Amsterdam left the whole area extremely grey indeed – is the formal power given to the ECJ to ensure respect of ‘fundamental rights and freedoms’ by the EU itself. nor in what has been suggested since. were the culmination of a long process during which pressure was put on the member state governments and the Commission to offer something more to ordinary people than a ﬂimsy and irrelevant citizenship. disability. which has been illegal since the original Treaty of Rome was signed. indicates that the member states are willing to cede control over these areas of policy to any kind of supranational institution. Nothing in the Treaty. the EU has the power to take appropriate action to combat discrimination. especially those guaranteed by the Council of Europe’s European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). According to the Treaty of Amsterdam. religious and other beliefs. This meant that whilst little new was offered. age or sexual orientation. however. Much of what had been demanded. but the result has been many ﬁne words and no real advance. Justice and Security 59 seep past the massed ranks of riot police and under the solid doors of the Amsterdam Stadhuis. conveys no power to individuals to bring actions relating to other forms of discrimination before the Court if they do not receive redress from the national courts. moreover. the Treaty stresses the importance of respect for fundamental rights. This had involved not only earlier street demos and marches but consultations with trade unions and NGOs about what they wanted to see. The Commission was required to come up with proposals to give substance to this power. Discrimination covers gender.
we read that ‘Union policies shall guarantee a high level of consumer protection. the Charter merely establishes the rights which already exist on the basis of the common constitutional traditions and international obligations of the member states.60 The European Union There was enough in Amsterdam and in the debate which preceded and followed it. and many leading politicians and ofﬁcials are themselves unclear about the difference. this is only achievable by those who enjoy a reasonable income. Such laws exist to one degree or another in all member states. some of which are useful. especially when it comes to protecting the rights of those buying goods and services outside their own countries. however. The Charter is full of such pious declarations. under Article 38. Both views are represented at the highest levels.’ The language of the Charter is often vague to the point of meaninglessness. of course.’ Of course. By its own account. of the need to establish an EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. was a declaration by the European Council at the Cologne Summit of June 1999. Article 51 of the Charter states speciﬁcally that it ‘creates no new competences or tasks for the Community or the Union. to convince decision-makers in the EU and its member states that further steps might be taken to increase the relevance of the Union to ordinary people’s lives – or to take further steps towards a superstate with its own supranational constitution. Enforcement is much patchier and more problematic.’ What a ‘high level’ constitutes is.3 THE CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS The resulting Charter contains no rights which are not enjoyed by the citizens of the EU’s member states under national law and international agreements such as the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation. Consumer Protection. the only way consumers can be protected is through strong laws backed up by rigorous enforcement. whatever its motives. They are backed up by a body of EU consumer protection measures. The next step. For example. Article 38 will do nothing to address this problem. Moreover. which for almost . Article 25 on the Rights of Older People states that ‘The Union recognises and respects the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life. or undecided over which course to take. a matter of opinion.
we are entitled to ask what such an apparently worthless document is actually for. at the appropriate levels. as it reproduced the Charter’s content.’ This is a statement that is breathtakingly free of content. Pensions are entirely in the control of national authorities and the Charter has nothing to say about them. offered no rights not already possessed. The result. The conclusion must remain that this was no more than a propaganda exercise.4 One might have expected the Constitutional Treaty. However. unresolved. Article 27 states that ‘Workers or their representatives must. and as the relevant Article. the Article indicates only that national authorities should enforce EU law. Such being the case. to any idea that the Charter should be legally binding demonstrated that it is not only those who oppose (or are ‘sceptical’ of) the European Union who perceive the danger of this.Citizenship. the qualifying phrase is invariably added: the only rights you really have are those guaranteed by national laws and practices. this in fact provided no resolution. however. The essential dishonesty of the whole Charter exercise is revealed whenever any potentially controversial matter is dealt with. the legal status of this guarantee of rights was itself unclear. Either it is a propaganda exercise to bolster the image of an increasingly unpopular European Union.5 . a sweetener for the unpalatable neoliberal pill which formed much of the rest of the proposed new Treaty’s content. six years on from its signing. such as the UK. including Britain. or it is a deliberate step on the road to a superstate. and was hemmed in with all sorts of qualifying phrases. in particular anything touching on the rights of employees. Where rights appear to be guaranteed by the Charter. Justice and Security 61 all retired people means a decent pension. All it says is that the law must be obeyed. the seed of a new ‘European’ constitution. is that the precise legal status of the Charter remains. In countries where workers have traditionally no right to consultation or information. Resistance from numerous member states. There are two possible answers. like the Charter. something most people over about four years old are already aware of. had it been accepted – or were it now to be accepted in some amended form – to resolve these questions. be guaranteed information and consultation in good time in the cases and under the conditions provided for by Community law and national laws and practices.
it did move much of the Third Pillar into the jurisdiction of the EU institutions. rules governing physical entry to and exit from the Union. On the back of these developments the Council and Commission together produced.6 The incorporation of the Schengen system and the general extension of EU powers in the area of civil liberties was widely criticised. into the EU’s normal framework. the development of Europol and closer judicial co-operation. drug trafﬁcking and other serious forms of international crime. albeit one which bypassed the institutions of the European Community in favour of a state-tostate approach known as the ‘Third Pillar of the European Union’. judicial co-operation in civil and criminal matters respectively. the European Court of Justice was given no powers either to hear individual civil . above all by people concerned that such democratic control of police and courts as existed in the member states would be weakened or bypassed. and police cooperation to prevent terrorism. The Third Pillar applied to nine areas of what was deﬁned as ‘common interest’.62 The European Union THE CITIZEN. leaving the planned Europol again outside any visible democratic control. There was much here to set off civil liberties alarm bells. particularly as the European Parliament was excluded from the decision-making procedure. Whilst Europol would clearly be under no effective control by national courts. The plan envisaged the incorporation of the Schengen system. fraud on an international scale. These were asylum policy. JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS Maastricht placed earlier informal co-operation in the ﬁeld of justice and home affairs on a proper legal footing. for example. In an attempt to respond to this criticism. and drew up a timetable regarding free movement of persons. in 1998. combating drug addiction. immigration. this last to include the organisation of a system for exchanging information within a European Police Ofﬁce to be known as Europol. customs co-operation. security and justice’. an action plan on the best way to implement Amsterdam’s provisions on what the Treaty termed ‘the area of freedom. What remained were police and judicial cooperation on criminal matters. combating trafﬁcking in people and other organised crime. an agreement between the majority of member states aimed at establishing freedom of movement between them. though the Amsterdam Treaty did not get rid of the three-pillar structure.
but a great deal about control of refugee and asylum policy. is much narrower. sexuality and health.7 If the citizens of the EU’s member states think they have problems. Europol’s extensive data collecting powers include the right to collect information on known and suspected criminals. as the management board operates on the basis of majority voting. this is clearly an irresponsible erosion of the accepted meaning of the instrument for the international . According to these critics. Its deﬁnition of ‘refugee’. but it is given no power. hold an annual debate on developments. and this data may refer to such irrelevant considerations as racial origin. the Quakers and a number of NGOs about the provisions concerning asylum and refugees. excluding people persecuted by groups not enjoying. whether at national or EU level. the body which runs it under the supervision of those governments.8 Despite the fact that all member states are signatories to the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees. as well as immigration in general. Even if the request is respected. or when those deﬁned as state authorities may be no more than one of a number of rival groups temporarily in control of the state apparatus.Citizenship. the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). for example. National Parliaments have only the power to request that their governments issue particular instructions to their representatives on Europol’s management board. and ask questions. religious observation. or answering to those who enjoy. the Treaty violates the convention on refugees which every member state has signed. spare a thought for those people merely resident. however. but also on anyone ‘presumed’ to be planning to commit a crime and even on potential victims or witnesses. state power. merely the right to express its views and have them taken into account. or attempting to become so. but by Amnesty International. it can be overruled. The Treaties have little to say about the rights of resident non-citizens. The European Parliament is referred to several times in the relevant Article of the Amsterdam Treaty. political beliefs. Justice and Security 63 liberties complaints or to exercise any general jurisdiction over the behaviour of police or other law enforcement bodies. Provisions in the Amsterdam Treaty have been criticised not only by left and anti-racist groups. the Treaty conﬂicts with it at a number of points. In an era in which many states have imploded. This spooks’ charter is reinforced by the fact that the borderhopping cops’ investigative and operational powers appear immune to scrutiny by any democratically elected or otherwise answerable body.
asylum and migration. and the collective of states which is the EU. a greatly reduced incidence of terrorism when compared to periods in the quite recent past when the UK. an agreement between the member states over implementation of refugee and asylum policy. in fact. rather than the one we are constantly assured is bringing us all ever nearer to a borderless. these were already becoming visible before 9/11. existing process of integration. and the blurring of the line between suspicion and guilt. right. It is easily forgotten. The constant erosion of the powers of democratically elected bodies. been seen as rights. the deliberate removal of the security apparatus from any form of popular control. all point to worrying tendencies amongst those who are leading the real.9 Taken together. As I have indicated above. as can be seen from a simple analysis of the new Charter. internationalist future. however. Italy. When the ‘War on Terrorism’ was declared. is willing to tolerate organised dissent. at least of the pre-May 2004 15. nationalistic and religious causes. but the degree to which the state. Greece. and the United States administration under George W. in most EU countries. as well as what it deﬁnes as ‘disorder’. What have long. Belgium and Germany all suffered persistent politically-motivated and extra-judicial violence from people identifying themselves with left. overall. as well as by the Madrid bombing of 2004. directly contradicted by its actions in the sensitive ﬁelds of international policing. France. The Dublin Convention of 1998. peaceful. Ireland. are now being redeﬁned as privileges which . the European Union had already equipped itself with a framework which would make the building of a thoroughgoing security state possible. Bush began to convert solid rights into conditional privileges. Spain.64 The European Union protection of refugees. those in London in 2005 and the continuing wars in not-sodistant Iraq and Palestine. has met similar criticisms. though there is no doubt that they have been greatly accelerated by that event. that Europe has. these various measures clearly demonstrate that the European Union’s commitment to ‘Fundamental Rights’ is not only empty. it is. AFTER 9/11 Numerous developments in the European Union’s approach to security are now of extreme concern to those seeking to defend civil liberties and human rights from arbitrary violation by states and their servants. It is hard to escape the conclusion that what has changed is not so much the size of the threat of violence.
the Council. SIS II extended the system in other ways. Justice and Security 65 must be given up.Citizenship. a wholly new Visa Information System (VIS) will contain personal information . for the greater good. which gave access to the system not only to the ten accession countries but to the UK and Ireland. and that it would become more so on enlargement. In addition. somewhat discouraging to know that the EU. but what if this is happening a thousand miles away. indeed. approved – and indeed required – the use of biometrics in passports and visas. for example. but these are extremely difﬁcult to ensure across borders – you might. under pressure from the US. creating new categories of undesirables – ‘terrorist suspects’ and ‘violent troublemakers’ – and more sophisticated cross-referencing. In addition. data which may lead to their exclusion from the Schengen area. on occasions. This led to the development of what came to be called SIS II. At the end of 2004. under a legislative procedure which gave the Parliament no more than the right to be consulted. moreover. allowing biometric identiﬁcation data. most notably allowing US authorities access to the names and other details of all passengers on Transatlantic ﬂights. the SIS. The ﬁrst of these is the right to privacy. but there was an immediate perception on the part of the authorities that it was inadequate. The Europol–US agreement and the EU–US agreements on extradition and judicial cooperation. and in a language unknown to you? It is. in a form which they can neither access nor challenge and. The system was established in 2001. be able to do something about it if you discover that your local police force is illegally storing data on you. has signed since 2002 a series of international agreements undermining the principles of its own laws – the 1995 and 1997 Directives on data protection and telecommunications privacy – which had been regarded positively even by civil rights activists. contain several features which breach the earlier directives. just might.11 A further cause for concern is the Schengen Information System. which did not participate in the Schengen system itself. for example – data to which the individuals cited have no access and the accuracy of which they have therefore no means of challenging.10 Strong standards of data protection would answer some of the concerns about biometrics. in a language which they may be unable to understand. Again. agreements with other countries as well as international organisations allow the supply of data to various authorities – the World Customs Organisation. too. data may be stored on individuals.
the response of the political elite is not to reform the police forces of the member states. but to increase and legitimise the surveillance of participant groups and individuals. to allow member states to establish border controls and refuse entry to people whom there is no reason to suspect of anything other than the intention to exercise their right peacefully to demonstrate. especially those who arrive seeking asylum and see their applications rejected. and to develop paramilitary police forces whose commitment to the democratic rights of peaceable citizens is. counter-summits and other forms of protest. Violence has been rare. When the European Commission issued further proposals which would make it possible for police forces to exchange data concerning any type of criminal record – a proposal which would require an enormous change in existing UK laws – it was criticised by the EU’s own data protection watchdog as ‘not proportional’ to the problem it sought to solve. questionable. principally football matches and political demonstrations. about the rights of noncitizens. the potential for using the excuse of possible violent disorder to curtail the democratic right to demonstrate in favour or against a political goal is even more worrying. to say the least. in addition.66 The European Union supplied by non-EU citizens making visa applications to member states every year. Police forces have been developing a perspective and practices in relation to international co-operation in the face of mass. the listing of individuals and organisations as ‘terrorist’.13 Finally.12 One of the purposes of the creation of the ‘violent troublemakers’ category is to enable police to prevent named individuals from travelling to events seen as linked to the possibility of violent affray. While football fans’ civil rights are as important as anyone else’s. A number of deaths and serious injuries have occurred during forced repatriations. Every major summit since has been accompanied by marches. It should instead. is clearly open to abuse. Nevertheless. without recourse to appeal and on evidence which comes entirely from state security forces. There are serious concerns. there is considerable evidence . international demonstrations since the Amsterdam Summit brought tens of thousands on to the streets to protest the increasingly evident stranglehold on the European level of politics by neoliberal ideologues. and evidence of police provocation has always emerged in its wake. the European Data Protection Supervisor said ‘be limited to speciﬁc serious crimes and should provide precise safeguards to the data subject’.
moreover. Racist behaviour by police and immigration ofﬁcers and others in authority is commonplace. Behind all of this. lies an assumption. There are currently proposals. in their treatment of asylum seekers within their borders. and the standards for assessing whether someone is a ‘genuine’ refugee. unjustiﬁed by any real upsurge of political violence in Europe. but many member states.Citizenship. Such developments give the expression ‘area of freedom and security’ of which the EU authorities are so fond a hollow. or any real ‘ﬂood’ of refugees or asylum seekers. one who might suffer victimisation if forced (or persuaded) to return home appear to be tightening. are foisted on developing countries using various trade-and-aid related carrots and sticks. and with apparent impunity. now routinely breach this treaty. especially if their skin is brown or black. a thin euphemism for camps in a non-EU country where all applicants for asylum would be held. and that they are guilty unless they can prove otherwise. or so it increasingly appears. including the UK.14 . Readmission agreements. This would breach the Geneva Convention on Refugees. Justice and Security 67 that repatriations deemed ‘voluntary’ are often agreed to only under coercion. designed to avoid a situation in which the country to which a refused applicant is to be deported will not admit the individual involved. that people crossing borders are a problem. to establish ‘external asylum processing centres’. as can be seen by anyone undertaking a cross-border journey in Europe. even Orwellian ring.
while the UK electorate had been promised a referendum when the government decided that ﬁve tests must be met before membership could be considered. As a referendum has been promised. THE CONVERGENCE CRITERIA AND THE GROWTH AND STABILITY PACT Like the whole of the integrationist project. Devised by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. The proposal had already been rejected in a referendum by the people of the two Scandinavian countries. these tests were not being met. the euro’s primary purpose is to narrow the room for manoeuvre enjoyed by elected governments.1 However. they have been heavily criticised as having been designed to allow the government to choose its moment. these tests were as follows: • Can Britain’s economy run in sync with the euro-zone long term? • Will joining the euro affect our ﬂexible labour market? • Will it make unemployment worse? • Will it affect our world beating ﬁnancial services industry? • Will it stop foreign ﬁrms investing in Britain? The persistent media consensus was that. European Monetary Union (EMU) is politics masquerading as economics. As Chancellor 68 . Sweden and Denmark took part. will mean a ‘yes’ – than it will with a set of questions to which people of different political views can clearly give different answers. while Labour remains in power. that moment is likely to have much more to do with the government’s anticipation of getting the result it wants – which. the EU’s long-projected single currency. was introduced at the beginning of 2002. Whatever other motives may lie behind the creation of a single currency or incidental advantages it may have. All EU member states bar the UK. because they are interpretative rather than relying on hard statistically-based data.8 Monetary Policy The euro. despite some progress.
In democracies. The level of annual average long term interest rates may not exceed by more than 2 percentage points the level ‘in the three best performing member states in terms of price stability’. laid down at Maastricht and incorporated in the Treaty on European Union. or should be falling substantially. which can stimulate demand for exports and suppress demand for imports. this level. or must show at least a satisfactory reduction towards this ﬁgure. at least for broad public consumption. national authorities had a wide range of economic and political choice. then. but they are rarely. Traditionally. Gross government debt may not exceed 60 per cent of GDP. These are the rules. or be only temporarily above. or directly creating jobs. The government deﬁcit (total public sector) may not exceed 3. by improving infrastructure or education. Where this is not the case.0 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). elections cease to have a great deal of meaning. The real arguments for the euro are the same. If there is no Monetary Union there cannot be Political Union and vice versa. A reduction in the debt ratio of 2 per cent of GDP annually would normally be satisfactory.Monetary Policy 69 Helmut Kohl put it in a speech to the Council of Europe in 1995. . What is it about these rather dry-sounding criteria which makes the euro such a transparently political project? Quite simply. The criteria are as follows: Annual average inflation may not exceed by more than 1. by employing such means as currency devaluation.5 percentage points the level ‘in the three best performing member states in terms of price stability’. they are designed to reduce the choices available to member state governments.’2 The political motivations of the project are evident if we examine the convergence criteria. so that whatever goals they wish to pursue must be achieved within the conﬁnes of a highly liberalised market economy. as the arguments for such an economy. for example. which must be followed if a nation wishes its currency to qualify for full membership of EMU. presented as such. They can lower interest rates in an attempt to encourage economic activity. elections are held as a means whereby the people can determine (or at least inﬂuence) such choice. They can borrow money and invest it in an economically beneﬁcial way. ‘We want the political uniﬁcation of Europe. though still close to. Governments have generally responded to economic difﬁculties.
tabloid rags and bar-room bores. Moreover. or at least scale down. The 3 per cent limit on deﬁcits would be ofﬁcially maintained. and while this may not be directly attributable to the euro’s introduction. predicted though it was by politicians. moreover. were unhappy. the Growth and Stability Pact. which purportedly makes the convergence criteria obligatory for eurozone members. There is no sign. and around 3 per cent in France. In effect. under 1 per cent of the working population of Denmark. but member states would be given more leeway to exceed it in special circumstances. The question then becomes this: are the advantages of monetary union so great that they justify this loss of democratic control? Since the establishment of the euro. This. of its rate increasing. The ﬂood of workers from the new member states. Smaller countries. and the stated views of a majority of EU enterprises that they would welcome greater mobility. was openly and repeatedly deﬁed by both France and Germany as economic growth dwindled away and discontented workers took to the streets to force their governments to abandon. in March 2005. there remains only labour mobility: in good times workers will move in. worried about the possibly inﬂationary results of French and German laxity. never materialised. the EU in general has hovered on the brink of recession. unelected and therefore unaccountable European Central Bank. the European Commission’s report on the implementation of its own ‘Action Plan for Skills and Mobility’ admitted that it was falling. in bad times they will seek work elsewhere. however. simply does not happen in the European Union. Indeed.4 This led. In every member state. deep cuts in social spending. . foreign workers from outside the EU greatly outnumber those from within its borders.70 The European Union If none of these things is available. they are handed over to a constitutionally independent. Finland. People do not cross borders to look for work. Despite the existence of long-standing communities from the Mediterranean in the rich cities of the north. it has also clearly done nothing to prevent it.3 Monetary union either abolishes the traditional powers developed by national government or greatly restricts them. as usual. despite much breathless talk of our all being Europeans. Germany and the Netherlands consists of EU citizens from outside the country. but the big countries. to reform of the Pact. though it is logical to assume that the incorporation of a number of states which previously supplied immigrant workers who were not then EU citizens will indeed shift the balance of nonEU to EU immigrants in the richer member states of the north and west.
then so must Ireland. and has almost tripled since 1980.5 The fact that successive British governments have for over a quarter of a century followed precisely the kind of policies which the single currency is designed to encourage may make it seem surprising that the UK has repeatedly declined to adopt it. is that the weakness or strength of a currency is something which governments have traditionally. and sometimes successfully. aspects of Britain’s economic life and even of its culture would mean that the country would have particular problems related to monetary union. As individuals. however. Household indebtedness is therefore very much the norm. the connection is obvious even to that vast majority of people which ﬁnds economics less than gripping. increased by only slightly less over roughly the same period. having the merit of truth. If interest rates rise and you lose your job. rather than the sort of atavistic ﬂag-waving popular amongst the currency’s opponents on the right. having risen in the ﬁrst ﬁve years of this century from an estimated 95 per cent of post-tax annual income to 125 per cent. however. which might lead to opposition to entry which goes way beyond the section of the electorate which votes for UKIP. ‘Secured debt’. The single currency means that one size must ﬁt all: if Germany has a strong currency. if Austria has high interest rates. If interest rates rise and your mortgage repayments go up.Monetary Policy 71 got their way.6 The initial weakness of the euro – it fell for some time below dollar parity – was ridiculed by opponents. you may be unaware of the connection. which is overwhelmingly accounted for by mortgages on dwellings. then so must Portugal. sought to manipulate in order to pursue particular policy goals. The point. largely as a result of the fact that houses are bought on mortgages by people further down the economic ladder than would be normal elsewhere. Yet no one drew the obvious conclusion that the whole basis of the Growth and Stability Pact is misguided and should be rethought. private citizen Britons are more directly affected by interest movements than is usual in other parts of the EU. It is perception of these problems. The argument that a period of economic slowdown requires a more subtle approach to limits on public spending is a powerful one. and if the ECB . However. or bad management by your employers. but its subsequent huge rise against the dollar brings its own problems. preferring to believe that it was bad luck. for a strong currency increases the price of European goods and services on the world market.
no trade unionists. It also obliged member states to • render their central banks independent of the political authorities. no people of colour.7 In the end. democratic institutions on macroeconomic policy. governments and institutions directly answerable to them to exercise control over macro-economic policy. Box 8. a second stage. during which the single market would be completed and economic coordination reinforced. including the establishment of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). EMU abolishes the right of elected parliaments. Whatever economic advantages it may or may not have. which are ill-served by high exchange rates.1 Monetary Union After an initial stage lasting from 1 July 1990 to 31 December 1993. saw the establishment of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) to assist member states in co-ordinating policies.’ It is too early to say what will emerge from this. a matter now far too important for anything so frivolous to be allowed to intrude. to their own geo-political ambitions. . no small business people or farmers. the tiresome inﬂuence of popular. though. then so must everyone else. since the euro’s establishment ‘two rival ﬁnancial and monetary systems are competing worldwide for the control over money creation and credit. in one extremely clever stroke. in common with supporters. The strong currency has helped to fuel the Europhile dream of having a world currency to rival the dollar. and to oversee the development of the European Currency Unit (ECU). not economics. It hands it instead to a group of people drawn from the elite of a single profession. to prepare the ﬁnal stage of monetary union. the single currency as prescribed in the Maastricht Treaty abolished. must come clean and talk about politics. from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 1998. As radical political commentator Michel Chossudovsky has argued. but it is clear that the strong euro is at least partly a result of the European political-ﬁnancial elite’s willingness to sacriﬁce the interests of ordinary Europeans. opponents. This group contains almost no women. the notional currency which preceded the euro. It is constitutionally ‘independent’ – a positive-sounding word which is always used to describe the European Central Bank but for some reason rarely applied to other dictatorships.72 The European Union is obliged by Treaty to prioritise low inﬂation.
Luxembourg. Portugal. – – – . a budgetary deﬁcit not exceeding 3 per cent of GDP. in euros. Spain. Ireland. or close to that level owing to a sharply diminishing trend. 3. and Finland. Belgium. Introduction of the euro: On 1 January 1999: – the parities of the participating currencies and their rates of conversion into euros irrevocably ﬁxed. 5.5 percentage points that of the three best performing Member States during the year preceding the third stage. the ESCB and national and Community public authorities to oversee and assist with changeover. maintenance of the national currency within the normal ﬂuctuation margins of the European Monetary System for at least two years. and new public sector debt instruments issued. Third stage (1 January 1999 – 1 July 2002) • • The establishment of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Bank (ECB). the amounts expressed in national currencies in contracts converted into euros. 2. without devaluation. or close to that level. France. the Netherlands. a long-term interest rate that does not exceed by more than 2 per cent the average of the three best-performing member states in terms of price stability.Monetary Policy 73 • • discontinue their overdraft facilities with their central banks and their privileged access to ﬁnancial institutions. the euro became a currency in its own right (but no coins or notes issued until 1 January 2002). 4. an average rate of inﬂation that does not exceed by more than 1. government debt not exceeding 60 per cent of GDP. endeavour to fulﬁl the following ﬁve convergence criteria: 1. The third and ﬁnal stage was ﬁxed by the European Council. Italy. Germany. provided that it has declined continuously. member states’ monetary policy and exchange rate policy carried out. which decided that it would begin on 1 January 1999 and that the initial participating nations would be Austria.
and sanctions under the excessive deﬁcits procedure.74 The European Union – on 1 January 2002 at the latest. The Governing Council consists of the President and Vice-President of the Executive Board and the Governors of the Central Banks of the • .2 Who’s in charge of the euro? The European Central Bank (ECB) (est. though the exact pace of this withdrawal was left to the member states. It monitors excessive public deﬁcits. and. all appointed by the EMU member state governments for a non-renewable period of eight years. for the implementation of monetary policy on the basis of the decisions of the Governing Council. Vice-President and two to four other members. by laying down the timetable for implementation. after the Commission has issued its Opinion. July 1998): • Directed by an Executive Board comprising a President. • Box 8. The Executive Board is responsible for the daily management of the ECB and. the Council of Ministers decides whether a member state has such a deﬁcit and recommends measures to be taken by that member state with a view to eliminating it within a speciﬁed time-limit. Should the member state fail to adopt such measures. while France and Germany went unpunished. provided it was achieved by by July 2002 Coordination of economic policies under the euro is conducted according to the following system: the Council of Ministers lays down the broad guidelines of the economic policies of the member states and of the Community after reporting to the European Council and taking account of its conclusions. euro banknotes and coins were put into circulation alongside national currency notes and coins. This was done in the case of Portugal. which were quickly withdrawn. the Council may decide to impose sanctions. • Stability and Growth Pact maintains budgetary discipline indeﬁnitely: • by requiring member states participating in monetary union to draw up and submit stability programmes to maintain medium-term budgetary equilibrium. The Council then ensures compliance with these broad guidelines and monitors economic developments in the member states. in particular.
prepares for the possible accession of EU member states not already members of the euro-zone. 1 July 1998) consists of the ECB and the national central banks. to conduct foreign-exchange operations arising from the exchange-rate policy established by the Council. Parliament and Commission. Cannot take decisions independently. A General Council consisting of the President and Vice-President of the ECB and the Governors of the Central Banks of all the member states of the European Union.8 . two by the Commission and two by the ECB. all of which are carried out with a view to its fundamental responsibility.Monetary Policy 75 • EMU member countries. It is thus the ECB’s supreme decision-making body. to address an annual report on the activities of the ESCB and the monetary policy of both the previous and the current year to the Council. to ensure the smooth operation of payment systems in the euro-area. to hold and manage the foreign reserves of the participating Member States. to contribute to the smooth conduct of policies relating to the stability of the ﬁnancial system. Took over most of the functions of the Monetary Committee. to authorise the issue of banknotes in the euro-area. It is governed by the decision-making bodies of the ECB and has the following tasks. two appointed by the member states. It deﬁnes monetary policy and establishes the necessary guidelines for its implementation. which it succeeded on 1 January 1999. The Euro Council co-ordinates economic policies in the euro-zone. The ECB has the following tasks: • • to administer the European System of Central Banks. however. They must be conﬁrmed by the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecoﬁn) in accordance with the usual procedures laid down in the Treaties. The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) (est. The Economic and Financial Committee has six members. to maintain price stability: • • • • • • to deﬁne and implement the single monetary policy.
VITAL REGULATION OR ‘BARRIER TO TRADE’? This. a White Paper ‘on completing the internal market’?1 The answer lies in the murky area of ‘barriers to trade’. the immediate goal of the 1957 Treaty of Rome was the establishment of a single. laws designed to protect the consumer or the environment in a mischievous way. If you want to create a single market. imports of products from other member states. the Treaty established deadlines for the removal of customs duties or tariffs. By the late 1960s. however. or placing quantitative restrictions on. do not happen to conform to the precise description contained in your code of laws. with very rare exceptions. excluding foreign imports which. for example. the simple removal of obvious impediments such as tariffs or duties on imports is only the beginning. Member states were also banned from excluding. then. 76 . Why. in 1985. the exceptions speciﬁcally allowed by the Treaty of Rome. or ‘common’ market. Anyone who has followed the recent history of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and opposition to it will understand that there is often another side to the story. This process was successfully concluded well within the allotted time.9 The Internal Market Whatever its longer-term political objectives may have been. unless they could show that the goods were a threat to public health. anything made in one of the Six could be exported to another member state without duty having to be paid. they tended to take advantage of the potential of such things as technical speciﬁcations to exclude foreign competition (or at least place it at a disadvantage) as well as on some occasions giving a somewhat loose interpretation of those exceptions to free trade allowed by the Treaty. did the Commission feel it necessary to publish. order or morals. To that end. though in reality perfectly safe and reliable. As member states rapidly removed tariffs and duties. You must then convince or force national authorities not to use. is to look at the matter in a one-sided way – the way in which enthusiasts for a single market tend to look at it.
as it could be viewed as forcing one member state to lower its standards to those which prevailed in others. and both helped lay the foundations of internal market case law. this involves not only the removal of duties. but only under very strict conditions and with the permission of the European Commission. which has strict rules on ‘purity’ dating back to the sixteenth century. In the second. In the ﬁrst. The ECJ ruled that this was an unacceptable interference with trade. Germany was forced to accept the import of beers which contained additives forbidden under the national law. The Treaty of Rome prohibits any form of state aid that is likely to distort intraCommunity competition. the EU ostensibly attempts to establish fair trade between nations. All can therefore be declared illegal. consumer protection laws. Environmental regulations. establishing the principle that. but attacking anything and everything which can be seen as a government or other national authority giving an unfair advantage to its own producers over those from other countries.The Internal Market 77 Like the WTO. rules to promote public health or the safety of workers. This latter case was more worrying to consumer advocates. or tide a company through a sticky patch – to give a helping hand to an enterprise in its own country? The answer is that it may do so. Both involved booze. Powers to regulate state aids are classed as part of competition policy. with the only difference on this level between the EU and the WTO being that the EU has far more extensive power and involves a much greater handing over of decision-making from national institutions to supranational bodies. in 1987. Two important rulings by the European Court of Justice illustrate the potential conﬂict between environmental protection or consumers’ interest (to take just two examples) and the drive to remove trade barriers. a product which could legally be sold in one member state could legally be sold in all of them. can all result in the exclusion of particular foreign imports. with the exceptions mentioned above. on the grounds that it is incompatible .2 The elimination of hidden barriers to trade prevents countries from placing their ﬁrms’ foreign competitors at a disadvantage. But what about the opposite approach? What if a government wants – perhaps in order to preserve jobs in an area of high unemployment. a problem to which opponents of the EU (as well as anti-WTO activists) like to draw attention. the Cassis de Dijon case of 1979 concerned a German law which prevented this French beverage being sold over the border because its self-description as a ‘liqueur’ did not conform to the German deﬁnition. And just as in the case of the WTO.
are therefore directed against three targets: concerted practices (where ﬁrms make secret deals. In addition. tax breaks. The rules are policed by the Commission. exceptionally. and use of state aids to enable a ﬁrm or industry to gain an ‘unfair’ advantage over rivals in another member state. The Commission sometimes even stages Untouchables-style dawn raids which does its staid. Competition policy is the glue that holds the single market together. the Commission may investigate company mergers likely . Exemptions are allowed in certain instances. abuse of a dominant position in the market for a particular good or service. aid to promote culture and heritage conservation (with the same proviso). and the body of law generated since. those given at favourable rates of interest or other conditions). which has the power to investigate cases. the supply of goods or services on preferential terms. loan guarantees. assistance is sometimes allowed for aid to underdeveloped regions. to promote the execution of a major project of European interest or remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state. or to make good the damage caused by exceptional events such as natural disasters.3 COMPETITION POLICY These rules on state aids are part of a broader approach known as ‘competition policy’. issue exemptions or bring abuses to an end. restriction or distortion of competition within the common market’. but they may do so to promote technical progress. and. for example to avoid price competition). ‘State’ aid includes that which might be given by a local authority or any other body which distributes public money. The details laid out in the Treaty. In addition. ﬁrms are not permitted to co-operate in order to limit production or carve up markets. where it is felt that an arguably anticompetitive practice is in the long-term interest of ‘the market’ or of the economic wellbeing of the Union as a whole. and levy ﬁnes. Article 81 of the Treaty of Rome forbids measures ‘which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the prevention. As well as straightforward grants or ﬁnancial awards.78 The European Union with the common market. to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or areas. For example. Exemptions are allowed for aid having a (strictly interpreted and narrowly deﬁned) social character. and the use of any sort of public ownership or part-ownership to gain an advantage. overfed image no harm at all.e. for anything to which the Council gives its assent. this covers soft loans (i.
development. The removal of technical barriers to trade is clearly a process that offers different national producers mutual advantages. If one member state does it best. however. because its effects are capable of extending well beyond what are normally considered to be trade-related areas of life. a series of amendments to the Treaty of Rome which entered into force on July 1. is over-restrictive. Yet it also carries dangers. everyone should copy them. 1987. and impose ﬁnes. Progressive supporters of the EU have always argued for the highest existing standards and best current practices to be generalised. is invariably a huge lobbying effort from the industries who would be obliged to respond to greater restrictions. because the existence of a single set of technical speciﬁcations reduces the cost of research. These unfortunate bereaved souls were . Problems appear when you begin to argue about standards.4 THE SINGLE EUROPEAN ACT The Commission’s 1985 white paper on the internal market laid the basis for the so-called Single European Act (SEA). Council and in the national governments are invariably told. order mergers not to go ahead or particular aspects of them to cease. decision-makers at the Commission. Parliament. the EU’s version of a ‘single internal market without barriers to trade’ serves to make obligatory a certain interpretation of the ‘free market system’ or of ‘capitalism’ and therefore lies at the heart of a left critique of this ‘Europe’. to certain well-deﬁned policy areas – generally those concerning the completion of the internal market. The highest standard. would be expensive to implement and (this is always the big one) would ‘cost jobs’.5 The major institutional change introduced by the SEA was the extension of majority voting. ORPHANS AND JOBS In nineteenth-century America there was a tendency for those who opposed any and all restrictions on the developing capitalist economy to claim that their only real concern was with the small investments of ‘widows and orphans’. which had previously been quite restricted in use. manufacture and marketing. Against this idea. WIDOWS.The Internal Market 79 to create dominant market positions affecting trade between member states. In fact. well beyond even the strictly economic.
industrialists. trade unionists. He or she. interests. The respective power of. This is true at national level. Labour is a direct human activity which requires the presence of the sentient being involved. the protection of which for some reason appears to demand ever-lower social and environmental standards. the lowest common denominator. one which hugely favours not best existing practice but. food processors. thoughts. . aspirations. but the costs and difﬁculties of lobbying in Strasbourg are that much greater. and so on. on the other. on the one hand. An internal market is supposed to be based on what have been called the ‘four freedoms’: freedom of movement of goods. on the contrary. agribusiness. the lobby of ﬁnanciers. despite the inconvenience caused to the system by these phenomena. and the general reason for this is that although the ‘free market’ system insists on regarding labour as a commodity. environmentalist or public health groups and their sympathisers in left and Green political parties. capital. in the case of the acceptance of catalytic converters by car manufacturers. and. consumer protection lobbies. problems and pastimes which do not contribute to the productive process. The modern equivalent is the magic word ‘jobs’.80 The European Union wheeled out by politicians and industrialists who were not otherwise noted for their compassion. who knew well enough that effective but expensive solutions to air pollution were needed. The result is that the only real exceptions to the lowest common denominator rule tend to result from crises (such as the BSE or dioxine scandals) or to come when the interests of the richest countries or manufacturers appear to coincide with those of the consumer. but it is almost (though not quite) always. stop there. The last of these has caused the EU more headaches than almost any other subject. increasing the advantage enjoyed by those with money and power. services and labour.6 FOUR FREEDOMS: SOME FREER THAN OTHERS The single internal market’s implications do not. it is of course no such thing. desires. The result of the vigorous activities of hugely rich corporations and their highly-paid and multitudinous lobbyists is usually presented as a compromise between ‘extremes’. and saw the attachment of a reassuring-sounding gizmo to the exhaust system of cars as a way of staving off pressure in favour of something much more inimical to their proﬁts. for instance. moreover. This has always made the idea of the free movement of labour a complex issue. of course massively favours the former. continues to have many needs. This is what happened. feelings.
however. a small number who are simply footloose. for a maximum three months. husband. child beneﬁts and family allowances. wife or parent. you will be treated. Such willingness is conﬁned almost exclusively to speciﬁc groups: young people intending to see something of the world before they begin a career. those which do not depend on a person’s having worked and paid into a scheme. and in this element state authorities are with few exceptions allowed to limit payments to their own citizens. though non-contributory. If you have worked and paid into a scheme for unemployment insurance. Finally. pay or conditions. You are not. the contributory element of any system must be non-discriminatory. state retirement pensions. the desperate. to receive beneﬁts from their last country of employment. sickness beneﬁts. is probably not the place to look for an explanation of why trans-frontier labour migration is close to non-existent within the EU. In addition. This is what is often termed the ‘safety net’. and. in relation to hiring. These are usually designed to guard against destitution. Most people . for example. The question of welfare rights. ﬁnally. persons seeking work in another member state are entitled. People’s willingness to move to seek or take up employment elsewhere is in practice limited by numerous factors. Other rights enjoyed by EU migrant workers include ‘aggregation’. Generally speaking. Close family members of migrant workers also derive certain rights from the employment of their. but only in order to seek or carry out employment. entitled to non-contributory welfare payments. although having been employed a person had the right to remain in the country where he or she worked. and are paid when all other possibilities fail. and so on. then you are entitled to beneﬁt. though problematic. The right to reside after employment ends is in practice limited by the fact that states may discriminate when it comes to welfare systems. The right to reside was conditional on the migrant’s having employment. through which pension rights accumulated in one country may be added to those gathered in another. so that if you work for 20 years in one country and 20 in another. must be paid to migrants. with certain provisos.The Internal Market 81 The Treaty of Rome gave ‘workers’ (its own word) the right to move freely within the territory of the European Economic Community’s member states. as if you have worked for 40 years in the same place. whether or not you are a citizen of the country in which you worked. adventurous or on the run from the law or worse. the highly educated. Employers may not discriminate between nationals of different member states.
7 The European Union can only have legitimised it when. however. but there is always a core which does not vary. CAPITAL Capital. The biggest and bestknown exception is the United States. to discriminate in favour of local providers of services. and has a culture which contains a large element of the homogeneous: laws and customs. Turkey or Teesside. labour mobility will continue to be conﬁned to the above-listed groups. systems of housing and education and so on. The situation on the ground. The achievement of such a degree of cultural uniﬁcation would require changes in European society which would make it as unrecognisable to us as we would be to ancient Romans. it broke its own rules by allowing the older member states to restrict access to their labour markets in respect of workers from these countries. can be quite different to that which exists on paper. and in each case the legislative situation has been greatly reformed since the original Treaty was signed. to question unfamiliar qualiﬁcations. which has a single common language. enjoys complete freedom of movement and rarely encounters obstruction or prejudice when it arrives at its . it can be extremely successful in making it impossible for foreigners to take advantage of rights contained in treaties and regulations. It is all too easy for an obstructive authority. on the entry of ten countries in May 2004. to erect barriers to the establishment of a business. the rights of self-employed people and the freedom to provide services are other issues which have to be tackled on the road to the achievement of free movement. and to make a new place interesting. and without it.82 The European Union who leave their home countries – or even their home regions – in order to ﬁnd work do so because they have no choice. unlike labour. has been a single market for over two centuries. but it can equally well be directed at the preservation of valued local customs and traditions. Such behaviour may be motivated by xenophobia. however. Many are men who move without their families. Whatever the motivation. and a narrow band of differences – often enough to allow for regional pride. do differ between states and regions. or even an individual bureaucrat. sending most of their pay home to Portugal. This is not the case everywhere in the world. it is unlikely to happen in a thousand years. food and drink. Mutual recognition of educational and vocational qualiﬁcations. but not threatening or bewildering. ‘Globalisation’ notwithstanding.
TENs. And so was born the idea of Trans-European Networks. motorways are built in the name of ‘relieving congestion’. PRIVATE GOOD. but this has been conducted in parallel to huge pressure to liberalise . The fact that it makes big corporations far more difﬁcult to tax is. A case can certainly be made for the opposite view. however. and the fact that it applies to movements into and out of the Union as well as those within it. of course. when the movement for a Tobin Tax began to attempt to exert pressure on decision-makers. in an answer to a question posed by Swedish Left Party Euro-MP Jonas Sjöstedt. The idea is that such cross-border transactions now represent such huge amounts of capital that a tax so small it would hardly be noticeable to the individuals or ﬁrms involved would nevertheless be capable of raising signiﬁcant amounts of revenue. the European Commission clearly stated that such a tax would be forbidden under the EU’s rules. which though admittedly an enjoyable way of getting around western Europe for those who can afford it do little to tackle the real problem of a declining rail network. the proceeds of which would be used to address global inequality. or so it is argued. the emphasis has been on the creation of so-called ‘information highways’. roads. despite extensive evidence that they are completely ineffective in doing so. The inﬂexibility of this law. Under TENs. In telecommunications. for the right to move capital freely is written into the Treaty.The Internal Market 83 destination. was conﬁrmed by the European Commission in 2001. facilitated these movements.9 Whether such freedom stimulates economic activity is a question which is never posed in the mainstream media. and for that you need better railways. The Directive of 1988 was for clariﬁcation purposes. Aid to rail promotes high speed trains.8 EMU has. unquestionable. a Tobin Tax would involve a very small tax on international capital movements. despite the European Commission’s constant lip service to the environmental advantages of rail over road. Named after a Nobel Prize-winning economist who devised the plan. inland waterways and so on. A Directive of 1988 guarantees the full liberalisation of all capital movements. PUBLIC BAD There is not much value in having the right to sell your Aberdeen kippers in Athens if you can’t get them there. Unfortunately. particularly regarding electronic systems which directly facilitate the running of the internal market.
more or less by stealth. Numerous details. Nowhere in the Treaties does it say that the state must withdraw from economic life. strictly interpreted. but then what precisely is the point of them? The fact is that publicly-owned undertakings are an embarrassment to the Treaty of Rome. This is because market distortion is generally the whole point of social ownership. which in this case would be to allow large numbers of people to suffer and die for want of funds. buses may be municipally-owned in order to ‘distort’ a market which. though other targets are to underwrite European ﬁrms’ international competitiveness by supplying them with relatively cheap (as well as reliable) energy. rather than shareholders’ proﬁts – they cease to function in the way that was envisaged by their instigators. When publicly owned enterprises are forbidden to use the advantages of public ownership to compete with private ﬁrms – for example. For example. however. TENs in the energy sector aim at the integration of increasingly liberalised gas and electricity sectors. The Treaty of Rome does not forbid public ownership. health care is usually publicly-funded in order to ‘distort’ the natural consequences of the market. the ability to transfer wealth from more productive to less productive economic activities in the interests of the general good. particularly of competition policy. TENs have also been directed at the integration of waste management policy and water delivery. Nationalised industries can no doubt be just as ruthless and therefore just as proﬁtable as any private ﬁrm. loans from the European Investment Bank and from private capital. can. would force people to walk everywhere. sometimes in the form of loans guaranteed through the European Investment Fund. Public enterprises may not be granted privileges which gives them an advantage over potential competitors in other member states: Austria’s state-owned monopoly of import and wholesaling of alcoholic drinks was abolished when the country joined the Union. it outlaws the practices which make it advantageous. it is simply that. The drive to complete the single internal market also saw the introduction. for example.84 The European Union as a supposed precondition of the modernisation of services. of an assumption into the commandments of Political Correctness by which the EU is ruled: private enterprise good. be interpreted to mean just that. an aim which is clearly approved by corporate capital but which does not always sit easily with environmental objectives or with the interests of the ordinary domestic consumer. . public enterprise bad. were it allowed to function ‘freely’. TENs projects are ﬁnanced from the Cohesion Fund.
Whilst it may have appeared to increase the variety and lowered the price of goods available to the consumer. vicious and hugely successful assault on transport workers’ pay and conditions) is hardly an unquestionable boon. Iceland and Lichtenstein – also participate. Its supporters argue that it has succeeded in reducing the cost of manufacture and transport of goods. furthermore. is said to increase ‘Europe’s’ economic weight and thus its political clout. The big market. Yet the qualifying rules for such an exemption are vague and shifting: in postal services. French apples . for example. The result is that it is possible to buy Swedish or Welsh mineral water in Belgium. have become less and less signiﬁcant. The problem this approach causes is known as ‘cherry picking’: private ﬁrms get all the lucrative business whilst the taxpayer is left to ensure that sheep farmers can get a bus to their nearest pub and lighthouse keepers continue to get Christmas cards from their mums. perhaps. for example. good in some ways. but damaging or otherwise undesirable in others. like most things. The transport of goods is now so cheap that costs. a country whose normal weather is rain.10 The single internal market project can be said to have been. through a system known as the European Economic Area. though by how much is disputed and difﬁcult to specify. Cheaper transport. a success. as not only the EU25 but the three small countries which remain in the European Free Trade Association – Norway. (which may in any case have more to do with a decade of relatively low oil prices coupled with a sustained. in terms of their contribution to prices. provided any such exemption is necessitated by the particular tasks assigned to the undertaking and does not disrupt trade to an extent that would be contrary to the Community’s interests. while pressure on member states to open their public transport systems to competition has been unrelenting. It has created a market of some 455 million people in 28 countries. the space reserved for the public service is subject to progressive reduction. and those providing a service of general economic interest – may be given privileges which would normally contradict the Treaty of Rome. to the extent that this has been achieved it has been at the cost of enormous environmental damage.The Internal Market 85 Two special categories of undertaking – those responsible for a ﬁscal monopoly. in its own terms. MIXED BLESSINGS Many of the alleged beneﬁts of the single market are.
but great costs to the environment as well as to small producers and distributors. freight trafﬁc is shifted from rail to road and new motorways spring up to disﬁgure the landscape. environmental controls. Many of what might seem the obvious pluses of a single labour market have turned out to be rather more problematic than we were told would be the case. the European Union. For the rest of us. The suggested approach. This in turn puts downward pressure on those things which beneﬁt the rest of us but cost corporate proﬁts: wages. because the range of fruit grown in any particular country or region becomes ever narrower. The free movement of goods has some beneﬁts. brought forward by outgoing Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. Variety is not increased. moreover. jobs naturally cluster in booming urban centres at the expense of ‘less favoured regions’. As with so many things. Like the WTO.86 The European Union travel to Italy and Italian apples to France. was so extreme that it was rejected even by some members of the European Parliament’s largest political group. The proposed Directive on Services in the Internal Market’s most controversial feature was that it was designed to allow service-providing companies in most sectors to register their company in one member state in order to provide services in . the picture is at best much more mixed. health and safety regulations. It is hard to see how free movement of capital beneﬁts the mass of people who do not own any. with its enforcement powers through the Commission and Court of Justice. the movement of productive facilities from higher to lower cost countries. Removal of frontiers to the movement of capital and goods has also encouraged delocalisation. In a similar way. well-known in the Netherlands as an ideologue of the right. especially when it comes to enforcement of rights. the beneﬁts are clear. makes it more difﬁcult for national authorities to take action in defence of these. as transport costs lower. the centre-right European People’s Party. SERVICES The one area in which the EU has conspicuously failed to create a thoroughgoing single market is in relation to services. social standards. and the fact that banks maintain outrageously high charges for people who wish to move small amounts of money between countries tells its own story. For big corporations. the balance sheet of costs and beneﬁts arising from the single market tends to depend on who you are.
nothing more. His promised rethink did not extend to a withdrawal of the text as it stood and it did not prevent tens of thousands of demonstrators from marching through Brussels later in the month in protest at the proposal. emanating from the country in which it was registered. this was tantamount to proposing that the notorious ﬂag of convenience system be extended from maritime shipping to the rest of the economy. Irishman Charlie McCreevy. than a box number. embodied in . Bolkestein’s unfortunate successor as Internal Market Commissioner. Under the so-called Country of Origin principle a ﬁrm would be obliged only to follow the laws on.’ He further promised that ‘sectors such as health and publicly funded services of general interest’ would be excluded. the Commission was inclined to think again. and then proceed to do business in a member state with relatively high standards. especially among the new member states. Aside from the fact that. the European Commission’s thinking during 2005 showed that they saw the existing single market as incomplete to the degree that it was holding back the Union from the fulﬁlment of its stated economic goals. working conditions or environmental protection. and that ‘concerns about the operation of the country of origin principle’ would be addressed. this approach would clearly risk provoking what is known as ‘social dumping’. promised the Parliament in March 2005 that the text would be amended in order to make it ‘clear that conditions and standards for workers will not be affected in any way’. A company could register in a country with the most minimal requirements in relation to. for example. how it treats its workforce or how well it respects the environment. say. though his further statement that the principle was necessary made it difﬁcult to see how his ﬁrst promise could be kept. Given the storm of protest that greeted the proposal when it arrived at the European Parliament. there are countries whose standards are already low. As registration would not require a company to have any real relationship to its ‘Country of Origin’. This is not what this proposal is about and we should put an end to this confusion. These goals. a ‘race to the bottom’ to see who could attract the most registrations through having the least exacting requirements.11 PLANS Aside from the Services Directive. adding that ‘I don’t want to hear any more talk about so-called social dumping. in fact.The Internal Market 87 another.
construction products continued to be governed by different speciﬁcations in different member states. More surprisingly. early in 2005. perhaps. that there had been encouraging progress. Although the Commission stated. two key indicators of the single internal market’s success. More needed to be done. but they had failed to eliminate completely the backlog. non-implementation of agreed internal market measures had fallen dramatically. envisaged the Union’s becoming the world’s most competitive economy by 2010. ‘the Community still faces considerable challenges in eliminating remaining tax barriers and providing a more favourable tax environment for an efﬁcient Single Market capable of generating more employment opportunities’.6 per cent. In 2005 it was still being suggested. especially in controversial areas such as biotechnology. According to the Commission’s own assessment. creating a barrier to trade in the goods concerned.’ Nevertheless. and subsequent downward pressure on real wages and the ‘social wage’ of welfare and education spending. it excepted services from this assessment and complained that ‘Economic indicators suggest that market integration is not moving fast enough. Almost ﬁfty years after the Treaty of Rome pledged the original Six to getting rid of it. In 1998 one of the suggested solutions for these problems was the introduction of a Community Patent.88 The European Union the so-called Lisbon Programme. from over 13 per cent at the end of the Action Plan in 1998 to 3. Great differences remained in relation to the protection of intellectual property. ‘state aid expenditure remain[ed] a major source of distortion in the Single Market’. through the deregulation of labour markets as well as of sector after sector of the economy. The fact that taxation remained largely the prerogative of national governments meant that differences in tax rates and practices continue to hinder cross-border trade. moreover. This was largely to be achieved at the expense of working people. Recognition of professional . especially as both trade in goods and price convergence between member states. the Action Plan for the Single Market which it established in 1997 had been extremely successful. as the Commission euphemistically put it. Those jobs again. were slowing down. or. a ‘European’ alternative to national patents. although companies seeking to do business across borders were still faced with too much ‘red tape’. Member states had made great strides in implementing agreed measures.12 These complaints have scarcely changed since. although signiﬁcant exceptions to the principle of an area without impediments to trade remain.
including an integrated VAT system based on adjacent rates from one country to another and the principle of payment at the place of origin. safety and economic interests of consumers as well as to promoting their right to information. however. based on completion of the trans-European transport. as buying goods and services is as much an economic act as is production of the same. it can be difﬁcult to get different national traditions and practices in relation to vocational qualiﬁcations to mesh. and so on – rather than as citizens. environmental protection and consumer protection measures. little attention was paid to the matter before the ﬁrst EC Consumer Action Programme began in 1975. Individual member states are speciﬁcally authorised by the Treaty to take more stringent measures than those agreed at EU level.13 The integrationist dream is that the internal market will in the foreseeable future lead by inexorable steps to a united Europe. presumably. integrated physical and ﬁnancial infrastructure. good will tended to evaporate as member state governments became most concerned to protect the position of those who had the power to kick them out of ofﬁce. education and to organise themselves in order to safeguard their interests’.The Internal Market 89 qualiﬁcations. energy and telecommunications networks. continued to create difﬁculties. workers. the Treaty of Rome was principally concerned with people as economic actors – employers. only since Amsterdam has the EU paid close attention to what the Treaty (Article 153) describes as the Community’s duty to ‘contribute to protecting the health. complete freedom of movement for citizens and legally resident or visiting non-citizens. and ‘legal instruments to enable businesses to operate effectively throughout the market’ (by which is meant.14 CONSUMER PROTECTION As we have seen. founded on what the Commission has called a European home market in which all member states would adopt the euro. measures such as the Directive on Services). In fact. Even with good will. Nevertheless. there would be a harmonised tax system.15 Other requirements laid down in the Treaty include the stronger integration of consumer interests into other policies. safety. This did not rule out competence for consumer policy. . As the Union suffered economic slowdown and diced with recession. long a problem area. the taking into account of scientiﬁc evidence in the evaluation of proposals concerning health.
airline fares and overbooking. Major EU measures in favour of the consumer include the 1992 General Product Safety Directive. misleading advertising and price indication. with particular reference to the developing single market.90 The European Union providing they do not conﬂict in other ways with the Treaty. as well as scares over dioxins. In the wake of the ongoing BSE crisis. and food. new telecommunications technologies (the ‘Information Society’). a series of directives restricting the marketing and use of dangerous substances. and increasing. The aims of EU consumer policy are given as enabling the consumer to exercise his or her rights to protection of health and safety. and medicines. consumers in the applicant states of central and eastern Europe and in developing countries. consumer credit. with the Commission perhaps waiting until the magic wand of the Euro waves the problem away. in 1998) by the Commission for systematically preventing its Italian dealers from selling VW and Audi cars to non-Italian clients – mostly Germans who crossed the border to save thousands of Marks by buying a German car in Italy. Volkswagen was actually ﬁned (102 million ECUs. and protecting health and safety. participation. The Action Plan also concerned itself with environmental questions (‘sustainable consumption’). to ﬁnancial services. was based on these priorities. Priorities for Consumer Policy 1996– 1998 (COM(95)0519). and to representation. distance selling. consumer representation. particular attention is now being paid to food. time share and package holidays. Famous abuses which the EU authorities have failed to deal with include the fact that cars are distributed under a monopolistic system which is mysteriously allowed to ignore all of the normal rules of competition policy and which results in price differentials between member states of up to 40 per cent. essential public services. and unfair terms in contracts. pesticide residues and GMOs. ecoli. Initiatives guided by these principles have concentrated on informing the consumer so that he or she can make an educated choice. salmonella. The most recent Action Plan. A Community System for the Exchange of Information aids communication between member states on dangerous products. directives were also agreed on consumer redress. toys. During the 1990s. a difﬁcult one to call for those who believe in patriotic shopping. Rip-offs associated with crossborder payments have also proved stubborn. ﬁnancial and legal interests. liability for defective products. Also governed or affected by EU legislation are door-to-door sales.16 . and rules governing cosmetics. countless food safety laws. information and education.
These ten principles are listed as follows: • • • • • • • • • • Buy what you want. repeated food scares have drawn attention to the need for improved consumer protection in that area. problems would be greatly reduced. creating a perceived need for protection for the consumer who is far from home and trying to cope in a foreign language.17 . In this they are almost certainly correct. under such circumstances. Protection while you are on holiday. or even the possibility. although people show no more inclination to move permanently from their home countries to other member states. Consumer Protection in the EU is an information leaﬂet and not a legislative programme. High safety standards for food and consumer goods. These two developments are reﬂected in the European Commission’s most recent statement on consumer policy. but a belief in the likelihood. In addition. the Commission’s attitude being that if member states would correctly implement and enforce existing law. No new legislation to make these supposed rights a reality is proposed. of effective redress for cross-border shoppers in a Union of 25 countries is quite simply utopian. Effective redress for cross-border disputes. Sometimes consumers can change their mind.The Internal Market 91 In recent years. Know what you are eating. send it back. travel for business and leisure has risen enormously. Consumers should not be misled. Consumer Protection in the European Union: Ten Basic Principles. If it doesn’t work. Contracts should be fair to consumers. where you want. Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware – is. Unfortunately. Making it easier to compare prices. the only truly effective consumer protection.
has had to be represented in its own right at trade negotiations with third countries. as it effects external trade. imports are governed by a set of common rules applying to all products from outside the EU. The aim was to reduce destructive competition between member states. Indeed. Products originating from certain countries may also be subject to special restrictions for political reasons. In recent times the EU has taken part in trade embargoes against. In other areas. This Tariff must of course be agreed between 25 member states with sometimes diverse and conﬂicting interests. In addition to the CCT. with regard to agriculture and ﬁsheries the member states play very little direct part in negotiations. after which the Commission gets on with it. national negotiators are obliged to respect a ruling of the ECJ in determining their stance. which are subject (world-wide) to quotas and special rules. It also established a common external tariff as part of a common commercial policy governing trade relations between the Community and the rest of the world. External trade has long given the European Commission its highest proﬁle on the world stage. where responsibility for policy remains to a great extent with the individual member states.1 IMPORTS The most important element of the EU’s trade policy remains the Common Customs Tariff (CCT). Because of the existence of the customs union. which then communicates this to the Commission. or 92 .10 External Economic Relations The creation of a customs union in 1968 removed a number of remaining restrictions on the internal market. the EC. then EU. with a special system governing textiles. as well as to ensure that once goods had been imported. but it must also be negotiated with international trading partners within the system mediated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). A set of guidelines and goals is agreed by the Council. of course. they could move around the EC as freely as could those manufactured within it.
policy choices are narrowed by the ban on state aids. in which case a countervailing duty can be imposed to offset the price reduction brought about by the subsidy. Caribbean.3 If member states believe that they have been subject by a particular third country to unfair trading practices – such as the dumping of goods for below cost price.External Economic Relations 93 placed other forms of restriction on inter alia. Belarus. or parliaments. including ‘retrospective surveillance’ covering the recent history of imports of the commodity or commodities involved from the alleged offending country. the same problems apply to external imports as is the case with trade between member states. Member states may also be prevented from imposing quotas or bans in response to demands from their own citizens. Burma. or refusing workers the right to organise). in . These are usually hangovers from agreements which predate the Treaty of Rome and have their roots in colonial systems or those negotiated when former colonies became independent. This may result in what is ofﬁcially known as ‘surveillance’. Environmentally-damaging products. can be subject to restrictions only if these are agreed by the rest of the EU. Other than straightforward dumping. Sudan. Liberia. Congo. Ivory Coast. ostensibly at least to prevent the collapse of economies dependent for historical reasons on trade with one or more EU member states. which is sometimes done to cut losses. This occurs particularly under the ACP system (the initials stand simply for Africa. Croatia. Iraq. or with the deliberate intention of harming a rival national industry – they cannot act independently. Preferential treatment may therefore be exercised. The perceived danger is that. trade embargoes such as that imposed on Iraq after the ﬁrst Gulf War cannot be unilaterally lifted by a member state which may have decided the time has come to do so. special arrangements govern the import of various farm products. China and the US. both the EU and WTO allow protective measures to be taken in cases of exports from third countries where the products in question have been made cheaper by state subsidies.2 Finally. which investigates. As far as trading partners are concerned. but must bring the matter to the attention of the Commission. though the third country involved can contest the validity of these by taking its case to the WTO. Clearly. or those from ﬁrms or countries which are exploitative (for example by using child labour. Action may include the imposition of anti-dumping duties. On the other hand. Paciﬁc) which for the most part embraces the member states’ former imperial possessions.
this might give its own national producers what the EU and its treaties see as an unfair advantage. though exceptions are allowed. been to attempt to eradicate such aids but to harmonise systems in pursuit of that mythical grail. Any proposed action by the Commission must then be approved by the Council. but outside of the special case of the Common Agricultural Policy this is generally limited to providing ﬁnance for joint action and research. was originally the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). There is also some EU-level assistance to exporters. international trade has been governed by multilateral institutions. but it is far more likely to be the commercial needs of big corporations. Exports may not in general be subject to quantitative limits. The Commission may equally decide to do this on its own initiative. be approved by the Commission. The general approach has not. if a member state believes that market conditions are such that limiting the amount of a commodity which can be exported would be justiﬁed. it must ask the Commission to initiate what is known as a ‘Community information and consultation procedure’. If the Commission concludes that extraordinary measures are justiﬁed. Obviously. after the collapse of the alternative trade system dominated by the Soviet Union. Since 1947. of course. Such authorisations may apply to a commodity or group of commodities. EXPORTS As well as the CCT and other measures governing imports. One major exception applies to petrol and natural gas. .94 The European Union common with the WTO. capitalist world. insofar as it constitutes a state aid. Occasionally this may be public opinion. the level playing ﬁeld. devise its trade policies independently. the European Commission is likely always to bow to the most powerful of pressures. gave birth to the WTO. for the western. it can make exports subject to special authorisation. the most important of which. trade in which is sensitive and regulated by a complex system of international agreements. Any measure taken by a member state to stimulate exports must. either from the whole of the EU or a region or country. which. The EU does not. however. and may also be limited to particular destinations. including events such as trade fairs and seminars. Normally. the Community operates a common set of arrangements on exports. if one member state were to give aid to exporters of a particular commodity.
quite clearly attempts to abolish these debates. the EU is the world’s biggest trader. a temptation which has grown with its territory. do not admit to taking decisions at all. the ‘freeing’ of trade. or between the ‘social market’ and socialism – to new fora at new levels of international debate and co-operation. in fact. on the contrary. one would expect the Union to be amongst the WTO’s best pupils. delocalisation of production and even (the case of Yugoslavia is the best documented) to war. reaches into every corner of life. like the EU itself. What began as an economic project.External Economic Relations 95 The WTO philosophy is ‘free trade good. This is the meaning of ‘anti-globalisation’. has become a crusade which. is to pursue the alternative – the creation of a self-sufﬁcient market behind impenetrable external borders. the solution to the apparent paradox of why the most internationally-minded people see globalisation as a threat. they follow inevitabilities created by mysterious ‘market . As this is also the driving philosophy behind the EU integrationist project. as the temptation for the Union. liberalisation. Instead. to use protectionist devices. moreover. to wage cuts. always been the case. The logic which led from the Common Market to the Single European Market. Within the context of the Common Agricultural Policy. and there seems little prospect of this changing. and to take decision-making ever further from the people into remote bodies which. privatisation and the imposition of institutionalised external pressures (Structural Adjustment Programmes for the Third World. to negate or ignore the contradictions which give rise to them. the Growth and Stability Pact for the European Union) which have led to the dismantling of welfare states. This hypocrisy. This has not. Taken as a bloc. is not a politically and economically neutral phenomenon which simply transfers the same arguments – between market economies and mixed economies. Both are. when it suits it. to the single currency and beyond. should not blind us to the facts: the Union has been a major driving force behind the liberalisation of world trade. like ‘Europe’. for example. and here and there in other spheres as well. the European Union continues. Globalisation. protection bad’. works in the same way at the global level. however.4 GLOBALISATION ‘Free trade’ has become the dominant economic philosophy of global capitalism and is now broadly interpreted to imply wholesale deregulation.
the EU would improve access to developing countries’ products. a major source of discontent in the Third World and a major cause of bankruptcy in its countryside and destitution in cities subject to ever-growing overcrowding as farmers. stock and barrel. the invisible hand strangling the life from any alternative which may remain.2bn people living on less than a dollar a day’. early in 2003. In most countries where basic services are privately owned. Nationalised production of goods is now a rarity. Belgium and the Netherlands which enjoyed preferential access to European Community markets. the EU would cut subsidies to agricultural exports. Britain. but public ownership of service industries remains widespread. Many states seem curiously unaware that the only way to improve efﬁciency is to allow wealthy European and American corporations to buy up their service industries lock. but they clearly see it as a means of education in the niceties of twenty-ﬁrstcentury economics. The EC was also . In addition to cutting subsidies. Plans. Nevertheless it was able to pursue a limited agenda through the Lomé Convention. as one newspaper put it. the European Community could not point to anything in the Treaty of Rome which speciﬁcally gave it competence in the area of development policy. however. for ‘Brussels is determined to win large gains for its highly competitive banking.. The demands did not stop at water. the concern is now less remaining barriers to trade in goods than the huge and potentially lucrative world market in services.. telecoms and business service ﬁrms . Leaked documents revealed.96 The European Union forces’. DEVELOPMENT POLICY Until Maastricht.’5 As with the proposed Directive on Services in the Internal Market. providers are subject to minimum requirements and ownership by foreign interests is forbidden or restricted. In return. Portugal. The European Union is. moreover. forced off the land by cheap imports. Some would call the Commission’s attitude ‘blackmail’. made up for the most part of ex-colonies of France. ‘would allow European ﬁrms to charge for providing water to some of the 1. ﬂood in to urban centres looking for a means to survive. not content to allow the invisible hand to do all of its own work. an agreement with the ACP group. that the Commission had drawn up secret plans aimed at ‘persuading’ poor countries to open their service sector markets to foreign competition.
External Economic Relations 97 party to various Association Agreements with developing nations and to numerous other trade agreements with a development element. We have seen. and you will ﬁnd the lofty goals embodied in the Commission’s rhetoric . reduction of poverty. the EU has agreements with countries of two regions of the Near and Middle East. The situation in the institutions mirrors that found so often in other areas. In addition. giving it four principal objectives: to promote sustainable economic and social development. New Articles added at Maastricht put the policy on a ﬁrmer legal footing. the EU is empowered by its Treaty to offer humanitarian aid and administers a special fund to combat world hunger. which is responsible for the day-to-day administration of development and trade policies. Jordan. Tunisia and Morocco on the one hand. and so on. Syria and Lebanon on the other. integration into the world economy (for which read. What type of reform is seen as desirable is laid down in the Maastricht Treaty: democratisation. This in turn implies that policy should prioritise measures that encourage domestic reform. The people speciﬁcally responsible within the Commission are at least aware of the issues. with special attention to the very poorest countries. even if the constraints under which they work and their own ‘free market’ ideologies render their efforts to address them ineffective or worse. however. covering Algeria. adoption of the ‘free trade’ religion) and a campaign against poverty. various nature conservation and other environmental treaties. sees aid as a ‘lever for economic and political reform’. economic and social development. The overwhelming weight of opinion is that development policy since Maastricht has. integration of developing countries into the world economy. of which Lomé is only one. Stray into other Directorates-General. Finally. largely failed. and Egypt. The implementation of the resulting policy is carried out partly through regional agreements. The Union is also involved in a large number of international agreements and conventions with development implications: the World Trade Organisation. the rule of law and respect for human rights. and consolidation of democracy. such as environmental or social policy. what this means in practice. in relation to the EU’s role in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations. it has formalised trade relations and agreements on ﬁnancial and technical aid with several developing countries and trade blocs in Latin America (where the trade bloc is known as Mercosur) and Asia (ASEAN). The Commission. In addition. if measured against its stated aims.
. economic growth at all costs. there is much talk of aiding them to achieve what are known as the ‘Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)’.7 per cent of GDP allocated to overseas aid which was agreed as a target as long ago as 1970. the Netherlands and Denmark have reached this level. is strictly speaking outside the terms of reference of this book. however.7 per cent until 2087. while Italy’s is a miserly 0. for all its faults. only Luxembourg.17 per cent amd Germany does not expect to reach 0. however. one which over time tends to drag each member state down to the lowest common denominator. as national development aid continues to account for a far greater proportion of overall transfers than anything paid through the Commission. wealthy countries are supposed to achieve at least the level of 0. Of the 25 member states. Sweden.8 This. under their ultimate control – undoubtedly lead. cannot be directly blamed on the European Union. is no more than the agglomerated political expression of the governments of 25 countries.98 The European Union readily subordinated to the supposed realities of international trade. if the terms of trade are ever to be transformed from a tool of exploitation to an instrument of cooperation and progress. and one which makes it virtually impossible for an individual country to take the kind of bold and radical step which will be needed. for example.7 In order to meet the MDGs by the year 2015. and the interests of the EU’s multinational corporations. It is also one which gives each one of those countries an easy excuse for anything which its people or parliament dislikes. The fact that this target has been reached by only a handful of countries.6 It is true that alongside attempts to force poor countries to liberalise their service industries. after all. That they choose not to do so should remind us that the European Union. a set of poverty-reduction and quality-of-life targets which emerged from a series of international conferences held during the 1990s. except insofar as it demonstrates that it would be within the EU member states’ power at least to alleviate the suffering to which the Union’s trade policies – which are.
Employment and Social Policy
Europe’s economy has for some time been growing more slowly than that of the US and has recently seen a fall in the rate of productivity growth. Since 1996 the average annual growth in EU output per head has been 0.4 percentage points below that of the US.1 Despite the fact that a more equal distribution of wealth, access to affordable health care, greater job security and signiﬁcantly lower rates of crime in most parts of Europe mean that life for ordinary men, women and above all children is in the main simply much better in the developed parts of the EU than it is in the United States, this is seen as an enormous problem. It would be imprudent simply to deny that there is any problem without ﬁrst examining whether the lower rate of growth threatened to undermine these social achievements. However, it must ﬁrst be noted that part of the reason for that lower rate of growth lies in the greatly superior working conditions enjoyed by most European employees in comparison to their US counterparts, and the fact that workers in Europe are happy to take their share of any increase in prosperity in forms which do not contribute to GDP. It is also important to remember, in this context, that GDP does not measure quality of life. Since World War Two paid holidays have steadily grown in length in the countries of the EU15, for example, whilst this is not the case in the US. In practice few people have the choice as to whether to take longer holidays or higher wages as their incomeper-day improves. If they did, they would no doubt be divided by personal circumstances and temperament, but surely not into a rational, admirable group who took the money and an irrational, contemptible group which chose to have extra leisure time. Yet to fetishise GDP growth is to commit precisely that error.2 There are, of course, other ways to enhance production than simply by working more hours. Yet in the end increased productivity, however achieved, will always offer the choice of more wealth or more leisure, whether that choice be exercised individually or socially. The irony of the EU’s approach to its economic problems is that, in fetishising growth, it risks undermining everything which, through both their contribution to that growth and their insistence, by industrial and
100 The European Union
political organisation, on its use for their beneﬁt, working people have achieved in the last half-century. At the Lisbon European Council (March 2000), the heads of state and government of the European Union famously declared that their goal was for the EU to become, by 2010, ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’.3 In this way full employment would be achieved and the overall EU employment rate would be raised to 70 per cent and that for women to more than 60 per cent by 2010. The Stockholm European Council a year later further declared the intention to raise the rate of labour market participation of the over-55s to 50 per cent. These targets were to be achieved on the basis of a growth rate of at least 3 per cent.4 Five years on, the Commission adopted, early in 2005, its ‘Social Agenda’ for the period 2005–10,5 prioritising the achievement of full employment and the other goals of what has come to be called the ‘Lisbon Strategy’ and its core, the European Employment Strategy (EES) (also known, once again after the place where it was adopted, as the Luxembourg Process). In practice the Strategy takes the form of an annual cycle, beginning with the European Council’s adoption of a broad framework for action based on an agreed set of common objectives and targets for employment policy. These include ‘Employment Guidelines’, renewed annually following a proposal from the Council, and stipulating common priorities for member states’ employment policies. National Action Plans are then drawn up in which each member state explains how it will put the Guidelines into practice. The Commission and Council next jointly examine each National Action Plan and present what is known as the Joint Employment Report. On the basis of this Report, the Commission presents a new proposal to revise the Employment Guidelines as necessary for the following year and the whole cycle begins again. If a qualiﬁed majority in Council votes its approval, a Recommendation may be issued targeted at a single member state. The EES is based on what is known in the jargon as the ‘open method of co-ordination’. The Lisbon Strategy was designed to be comprehensive, and therefore inevitably strayed into areas beyond the EU’s competence and into those which remained the responsibility of the member states. The hope was that through a combination of Commission monitoring and peer pressure to
Employment and Social Policy
keep up, ‘convergence’ would occur, by which was meant that concerted action would be taken by the member states. Progress is monitored by the use of quantiﬁable objectives or objectives which can be assessed qualitatively, which is clearly more difﬁcult. Annual reporting from each country is designed to facilitate comparisons of progress towards the achievement of these objectives as well as the identiﬁcation of best practices. According to the Commission, ‘This creates peer pressure to improve the quality and effectiveness of policy. Exchange of experiences and peer pressure are meant to steer policy debate and enhance the effectiveness of policies.’ Finally, an ‘integrated approach’ extends the scope of Employment Guidelines not only to labour market policy per se but to social, educational, tax, enterprise and regional policies. As the Commission explains, ‘Structural reforms cannot be obtained through isolated and dispersed actions or measures, but require consistent and concerted action over a wide range of policies and measures.’6 The Lisbon Strategy’s stated objectives included not only ‘realising Europe’s full employment potential by creating more and better jobs, anticipating and managing change and adapting to the new working environment, exploiting the potential of the knowledgebased economy and promoting mobility’, but ‘modernising and improving social protection’, as well as ‘strengthening gender equality and reinforcing fundamental rights and combating discrimination’. A labour market which functions more efﬁciently, creating wealth and providing widespread opportunity, is designed in part to enable the eradication of ‘poverty and exclusion and … the integration and participation of all into [sic] economic and social life’, as well as ‘promoting gender equality’ and combating discrimination in general.7 There is, however, a problem in reconciling these different ambitions which the Commission and integrationists in general consistently refuse to acknowledge. The problem occurs as a result of the kind of economics to which the integrationists are wedded, and which since Maastricht has become increasingly institutionalised, to the extent that it underlies even the proposed EU Constitution. According to this type of thinking, labour markets are over-regulated, anything but the most minimal ‘interference’ in the workings of the ‘free market’ simply encourages inefﬁciency, and the only way to stimulate employment is to liberalise the economy of the Union and its member states to the greatest possible degree. Deﬁcit ﬁnancing is always wrong, state aids are the root of all economic evil and wealth
102 The European Union
is created by entrepreneurs, who must be allowed to operate without ‘unnecessary’ restraint. The Lisbon Strategy is based squarely on this approach, and pressures on member states to conform to it have added to the narrowing of policy options available to member states, a phenomenon attendant upon monetary union. This makes it difﬁcult to take seriously the possibility of the various objectives’ being achieved, for it looks worryingly as if new jobs will come only at the price of secure working conditions, decent wages, and a well-funded social security and welfare system. The policies which might transform this from rhetoric to reality have been ruled out, sacriﬁced to the pursuit of a fetishised and vaguely-deﬁned ‘competitiveness’. Having lost their ability, for example, to manipulate their currencies’ exchange rates in order to cheapen their exports and thus stimulate employment, or to use strategic state aids or tax breaks to bring jobs to regions or sectors where they are needed, the EU’s member states have only one means at their disposal to defend the competitiveness of their economies. They must cut labour costs. Despite much talk of efﬁciency savings, the only real way to achieve this is through reducing both individual wages and the ‘social wage’, otherwise known as the welfare state. This ‘liberalising’ school of thought, which now includes almost every member state government, whatever its alleged political hue, holds that unemployment is caused almost entirely by over-regulation. For example, employers are reluctant to take on staff because it is so hard to get rid of them when they are no longer needed. Non-wage costs of employing labour, in the form, for example, of employers’ contributions to social insurance or state pension schemes, are said to be too high. The ideal system is seen as that of the United States, where it is easy to hire and ﬁre, and where the welfare state is less highly developed and therefore cheaper. The US’ supposedly impressive record of job creation is held up as an example which ‘Europe’ should follow. Relatively high levels of unemployment are taken to mean that a country’s labour market is over-regulated. The modern US’ apparent success in reducing unemployment through deregulation has been achieved by a number of methods, some of which are mere sleights-of-hand whilst others would be unacceptable to almost all EU electorates – which is not quite the same, unfortunately, as saying that they will never be implemented. American workers’ rights have everywhere been eroded. Wages are so low that it is now commonplace for people to have to do two or more
Many jobs carry no (or inadequate) health insurance rights.9 Unfortunately. The achievement of the goal of becoming by 2010 ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. so this commitment remained pious. to scrape a living in the informal economy.10 HOW SUCCESSFUL HAS THE LISBON STRATEGY BEEN? In May 2004 the Commission established what it called a ‘High-Level Group of Independent Experts’ under the presidency of former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok. the Growth and Stability Pact’s limits on public spending. Of course. or the ‘natural’ effects of the single internal market. hard to imagine a society which was not ‘knowledge-based’. Ofﬁcially. America has simply replaced its unemployed by a new sub-class of working poor. and those of its elements which look to anything other than deregulation and liberalisation as a means to create jobs. but what appears to be meant by the expression in this context is that there will be lots more computers everywhere. this ‘solution’ could be imported and would undoubtedly prove the same ‘success’ as it has in the US. and. are in prison. Lisbon’s aims are broader than simple labour market targets. Give the poor something to do and you’ve solved it. Much of the Strategy is aimed at moving in the direction of a ‘knowledge-based society’. mostly young men. or through prostitution or crime. capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’ was not. to be achieved at the cost of the ‘European social model’.8 Alternative views of employment generation have been growing steadily less inﬂuential since the Lisbon Strategy was originally adopted. liberalisation. stretching to social and even environmental improvements. it was stressed. lots more people educated and trained to use them. crucially. It is as if we are expected to believe that the essential problem is unemployment itself. appear increasingly vague and difﬁcult to quantify. rather than the poverty it engenders. whilst it would be misleading to see them solely as window-dressing. Over a million people.Employment and Social Policy 103 jobs simply to survive. whose independence was demonstrated by the fact that his turn-of-the-century government had begun the dismantling of the Netherlands’ once-impressive welfare state and . in fact. nothing whatsoever was done to halt the erosion of that model by deregulation. An indeterminate number of people have been bullied off the welfare rolls. It is. a crucial matter in a system where public health care is extremely limited.
Facing the Challenge’s conclusion was that results were disappointing. and underpinning partnerships for growth and employment. The Report proposed ‘action across ﬁve areas of policy’: • increasing Europe’s attractiveness for researchers and scientists. and creating an environment more supportive to businesses. making R&D a top priority and promoting the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). its criticisms had as much to do with the tendency of member states to forget that the Strategy was not supposed to be simply a liberalisers’ charter as they did with any failure to enhance ‘competitiveness’. Facing the Challenge. it advised the Commission and member states to do more to obtain popular support for the Strategy. Nevertheless. it was the failure of the EU and its member states ‘to act on much of the Lisbon strategy with sufﬁcient urgency’ which was at the root of continuing problems. in fact. poor coordination and conflicting priorities’ but also to ‘the lack of determined political action’. and urgent action to create a single market for services. a failure which was largely due to ‘an overloaded agenda. • facilitating the rapid start-up of new enterprises. pursuing policies which lead to long-term and sustained improvements in productivity through eco-efﬁciency. more than simple deregulation. • spreading eco-innovations and building leadership in ecoindustry. improving the quality of legislation. that the 2010 goals. Stressing once again the importance of sustaining the European social model. On the contrary. which hardly anyone. and that structural reform had to involve more than an attack on labour rights. It even criticised the Growth and Stability Pact as a hindrance rather than a help to good economic management. but required also investment in training and in productivity. when the High Level Group’s report. . has heard of. • completion of the internal market for the free movement of goods and capital. would not be met. • developing strategies for lifelong leaning and active ageing.104 The European Union the erosion of its once reliable public services. appeared in November. According to Kok’s High Level Group. there was nothing wrong with the Strategy itself. reducing the total administrative burden.
these had not been great enough to give much hope that the targets would be met. Enlargement ‘while welcome. businesses must be required to pay less tax. for all its relatively progressive-sounding rhetoric. according to the Kok Group. Although there had been a slight rise in labour market participation. ﬁnancial services) due to a slower rate of ICT diffusion’. This is put down to ‘insufficient investment in R&D and education. because the ‘new Member States tend to have very much lower employment rates and productivity levels’. the EU’s industrial sector is less oriented towards high-tech sectors than is that of the US. for example. female employment and employment for older workers. for example. simply not occurred. that in order to maintain the European Social Model. an indifferent capacity to transform research into marketable products and processes. and the lower productivity performance in European ICT-producing industries (including ofﬁce equipment and semiconductors) and in European ICT-using services (such as wholesale and retail trade. and regulation should be as unexacting as possible. and it is in these sectors that most growth has occurred. especially as net job creation had begun to fall. shares the views upon which the Strategy is founded. The Group admitted that developments in the broader economy had been unhelpful to member states. but to whisper such things in EU circles is heresy. This sounds a little like destroying the model in order to save it. as it is surely based on such things as reasonable working hours. The Kok Commission. has made Europeanwide achievement of the Lisbon goals even harder’. The transformation of Europe’s economy into one which is ‘knowledge-based’ has. In addition. The creation of an environment which was simultaneously more businessfriendly and based on a sustained or even strengthened version of the European Social Model. with only ﬁve countries being up to speed on the transposition of internal market directives. seems unlikely after a quarter of a century of persistent corporate-led assaults on that model and the tax-base which sustains it. R&D spending remained too low. the acceptance (albeit reluctant) by enterprises of their social responsibilities (including paying taxes) and strong regulation to protect people in their roles . They had not given sufﬁcient priority to completing the single market. workers must put in more hours.Employment and Social Policy 105 That these goals might not be compatible was not considered. Nevertheless they were at fault on a number of counts.
Moreover. Member States and the Commission should look at ways in which public procurement could be used to provide a pioneer market for new research and innovation-intensive products and services. These it listed as the ‘realisation of the knowledge society. their remit to assess its implementation rather than suggest reforms. the establishment of a favourable climate to business and enterprise. Public–private partnerships should be facilitated and encouraged as a means of boosting investment. building an adaptable and inclusive labour market. an improved relationship between industry and universities. but all of them – obviously tailored to the particular position of national economies’.11 THE FUTURE OF THE LISBON STRATEGY The Kok Group identiﬁed ‘ﬁve broad priority areas of policy where the European Union and individual Member States need to make progress to help both ensure its [sic] own economic dynamism and the vigour of the whole European economy from which each Member State beneﬁts’. It therefore stressed the vital importance of high levels of investment in research and development. In common with these broad generalisations. and the vigorous promotion of win-win environmental economic strategies are together sources of economic growth and higher productivity’. removal of obstacles to free movement of scientists and other researchers (including those from outside the EU). tax incentives for newly founded small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that invest in research. including services and ﬁnancial services. the completion of the internal market and promotion of competition. it is ‘not the pursuit of any one of these objectives that will raise Europe’s productivity and growth. urged the High Level Group. freer availability of risk capital. ‘Europe’s science base should be strengthened by funding and coordinating long-term basic research ranked by scientiﬁc merit via the creation of a European Research Council’. ‘At the same time. the Group’s more speciﬁc recommendations did not depart signiﬁcantly from the Strategy – it was. and greater public ﬁnancial support for R&D at the EU and national levels. as well as the environment in which we all live. after all. principally computer software. A Community patent should be .’ They also came down ﬁrmly on the side of the view that patents foster innovation.106 The European Union as employees and consumers. and that the patent system should therefore be extended to sectors where its use is controversial.
were now out on a limb.14 HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK In the same way and for the same reasons that the single market has exerted downward pressure on wages and social beneﬁts. Welfare systems must be ‘modernised’.. at least. Above all.13 ETUC’s alternative. State aid should not exceed 1 per cent of GDP. post. macroeconomic reform to stimulate demand and support growth by implementing a monetary policy that also has high growth (and not only low inﬂation) as its policy focus. the ETUC insisted that social dumping. the Kok report ‘prioritised growth and employment at the expense of promoting social cohesion and sustainable development’. rail and airspace fully liberalised. ETUC was barking at the moon. the recommendations of the Kok Group begin to look wearily familiar. In other words. and by urging the European Investment Bank to make full use of its lending options’. more of the same. it has forced employers to look for ways of reducing their costs. expressed in its Executive Committee’s resolution of December 2004 was ‘massive investment in positive labour market policies such as: Increased access to lifelong learning – Better social beneﬁt regimes. ETUC called for ‘a European Social Investment Action Plan to help workers confront the challenges of delocalisation.’ In addition. Obstacles to the free movement of services must be removed and essential services including electricity. supporting unemployed and excluded people – Policies to reconcile work and family life – (and) Action to ﬁght discrimination. Beyond this. health and safety at work is probably the least . and public procurement rules must be updated. Opinions which had been entirely mainstream until the 1980s.12 As the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) complained. In this area.. however. time and costs of protecting intellectual property’. One obvious candidate has been health and safety in the workplace. From that precarious position. When it comes to international measures such as the ﬁxing of an EU-wide standard. the European Union has taken action. longer working hours and wage cuts must play no part in the second phase of the Lisbon Agenda. by making the Growth and Stability Pact more ﬂexible.Employment and Social Policy 107 introduced as soon as possible to foster innovation at European level in order to ‘reduce the complexity. restructuring and globalisation . The internal market for ﬁnancial services must also be completed.
ﬁnancial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back to [sic] the creation and development of small and medium-sized undertakings’. mining. they would lose out in competition with ﬁrms in the least vigilant countries. young people. where companies move to countries with lower standards in order to cut costs. one designed to make possible actions targeted at individual problems).e. they usually ﬁnd a reasonable level of health and safety protection acceptable. it can also be wheeled out as an argument against excessive (for which read effective) regulation in a particular instance where such might not suit the interests of industry. asbestos). being in the main relatively heavily unionised as well as most visible to the public and enforcement authorities. temporary employees) and identiﬁable hazards (ionising radiation. working on Visual Display Units (VDUs). individual industries (building. not mine) were duly introduced. There was no further Action Programme after 2000.15 Though this is ostensibly designed to protect smaller ﬁrms from troublesome red tape. but the most important step came in 1989 with the adoption of a ‘Framework Directive’ (i. covering such matters as the safety of work equipment. The European Community has always enjoyed competence in this sphere and had previously conducted two ‘Action Programmes’. If standards were too lax. Nevertheless.108 The European Union controversial area of social policy. Fourteen ‘daughter’ Directives based on this framework (their mixed metaphor. The biggest ﬁrms with the most power and inﬂuence tend also to be the ones with the best records of health and safety. as the Commission’s view was that little or no new legislation .16 A Fourth Action Programme ran from 1996 until 2000. and included the SAFE (Safety Actions for Europe) programme. through which small grants are available to SMEs to ﬁnance practical steps to improve working conditions. exposure to carcinogenic substances at work. but its ability to take measures was greatly increased by the 1987 Single European Act which allowed decisions on health and safety in the workplace to be taken at Council by QMV. oil and gas drilling) particular groups of workers (pregnant women. It was successfully argued by some governments that a uniﬁed market demanded a common minimum level of protection for workers. and the main aim was to prevent ‘social dumping’. For this reason. the Articles of the Treaty which give the EU competence in this area are at pains to stress that any measures must ‘avoid imposing administrative. quarrying. A Third Action Programme was initiated in 1987. personal protective equipment.
This is an area of legislation which has suffered more than most from the problem of compliance and enforcement. hearing loss .Employment and Social Policy 109 was now needed. improved ‘prevention of occupational illnesses’ would give priority to ‘illnesses due to asbestos. ‘mainstreaming the gender dimension into risk evaluation. The Commission nevertheless concludes that further regulation is not the answer. construction. this means that henceforth we will have to rely far more on the good will of employers and on voluntary measures than on solid legislation. it proposes a mix of ‘quantiﬁed objectives’. especially of a psycho-social nature’. this is not encouraging. and risks related to dependence on alcohol. Instead. agriculture. and the extractive industries. so as to take account of the speciﬁc characteristics of women in terms of health and safety at work’. In addition. the Commission also recognises that new problems have arisen as a result of structural changes such as a reduction in job security for many workers and the increased participation of women in paid employment. on combining a variety of political instruments – legislation. Placing the issue of health and safety squarely in the context of the Lisbon Strategy. have been taken to the ECJ by the Commission for failure to comply with one or another directive. progressive measures and best practices. preventive measures and compensation arrangements. For those who view the phrase ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ as they might see ‘encouraging vegetarianism amongst tigers’. The Lisbon Agenda is clearly visible in the Commission’s statement that its plans to improve health and safety will be ‘based on consolidating a culture of risk prevention. and tackling ‘stress. drugs and medicines’. the ‘comprehensive’ package already on the statute books must henceforth be better implemented. or by weakening it during transposition. the Commission published a ‘Communication’ entitled Adapting to Change in Work and Society: A New Community Strategy on Health and Safety at Work 2002–2006. the social dialogue. and especially amongst SMEs. including the UK. In plain English. Rather. the Commission nevertheless claims to base its approach on a recognition of ‘the emergence of new risks. Admitting that rates of occupational accident remain very high in sectors such as ﬁshing. depression and anxiety. Instead of a new Action Programme. Several member states. harassment at the workplace. either by not introducing it into national law within two years. corporate social responsibility and economic incentives – and on building partnerships between all the players on the safety and health scene’.
and of the age factor. The ‘prevention culture’ must be ‘strengthened’ through education. and although it again stresses the role of the worker’s and employer’s own ‘awareness’ in this.17 Finally. speciﬁcally targeting young people and ageing workers. providing no representation for ordinary citizens whose immediate interests might also be affected. rather than having one imposed on them. with deep knowledge of their sector. consultation and participation in the decision-making procedures which determine the policies of the enterprises in which they are employed. and the EU ﬁnances a research facility. if management and unions agree. the Commission is obliged to put forward their agreement as a legislative proposal.110 The European Union and musculo-skeletal problems’. and possible ‘rationalisations’ and ‘simpliﬁcations’ of existing measures – are proposed. Research will also play a role in reducing occupational accidents and work-related illness. to study ways of improving workplace health and safety. An Agreement on Social Policy (ASP) appended to the Maastricht Treaty (signed by all the member states except the UK. All of this must be underpinned by research allowing us to take account of the role of structural factors. INFORMING AND CONSULTING WORKERS A further area in which the EU has long harboured ambitions is what it calls the ‘social dialogue’. the ASP removes the European Parliament from the process entirely. to seek a mutually acceptable solution to their problems. On the other hand. While no new measures – other than technical amendments. The argument for this is that it is better for the two sides of industry. . the Commission’s view is that ‘better application of existing law’ could be achieved. which did not accept it until the election of a Labour government in 1997) laid down a clear system whereby. The Commission also pledges to issue guides on how to apply existing law. of the relationship between the changing structure of employment and rates and types of occupational accident and illness. amounting to little more than additional technical assistance. the Commission does recognise the particular problem of enforcement of health and safety laws in the new member states. the rights of workers to information. in Bilbao. though its solutions are rather vague. it promises to ‘adopt a rigorous approach to ensuring that directives are properly transposed and the law is properly applied’ and calls for ‘common inspection standards’.
Employment and Social Policy 111 To put it simply. but without strengthening workers’ rights. but what about the passengers? This was not. Thatcher was not about to allow it to sneak back in from across the channel. including the notorious closure of Renault’s proﬁtable. the British objection to it. This was amended in 1998. It is a tradition which has deep roots in many continental countries. it is all very well for rail owners and railway workers to do deals. when trade unions enjoyed far more power and inﬂuence than is now the case. Other important directives are as follows: • 1977 (amended 1998) on the Approximation of the Laws of the Member States on the Safeguarding of Workers’ Rights in Conjunction with the Transfer of Undertakings: workers must be informed of the reasons for the transfer and the consequences. of course. of course. in any case. . precisely what Thatcher’s Tories saw as the root of all of the ills which they had been elected to cure. Though Britain has always been out on a limb. requires employers to negotiate with workers in the event of mass redundancy. differing traditions and practices have also made it difﬁcult for the other member states to reach agreement. and yet have their own afﬁliated trade unions. stateof-the-art factory in Vilvoerde near Brussels in 1997. The 1975 Directive on the Approximation of the Laws of the Member States Concerning Collective Redundancies. for example. demonstrate that the Commission lacks the will to enforce even those limited rights which the Directive supposedly gives them. It is also one which had a brief heyday in 1960s and 1970s Britain. This was. in which trade unions and employers’ groups are treated almost as partners in government. extra-legal and downright illegal method she could think of to destroy it. The ASP represents a tradition of ‘tripartism’. a somewhat meaningless obligation and one which is. used every legal. and such directives which have survived their course through the Council have been extremely limited in force. where Christian Democratic parties occupy more or less the same point on the political spectrum as do Britain’s conservatives. It should also be noted that a number of cases. • 1978 on Mergers of Limited Companies. not properly enforced. with the Miners’ Strike of 1984–85. gives similar rights to those affected by mergers. Having ﬁrst marginalised the trade union movement and then.
health and safety for pregnant workers and those who have recently given birth or are breast-feeding (1992). . under the Treaty of Rome.18 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND EQUAL RIGHTS FOR MEN AND WOMEN Because of their higher unemployment rates. The Treaty of Rome was certainly ahead of its day in asserting the principle that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work. the CEEP (representing smaller ﬁrms) and the European Trade Union Confederation.20 The EC/EU’s competence with regard to gender discrimination did not. and equality in working conditions (1976). vocational training and promotion. Amsterdam extended it as part of a general broadening of the principle of non-discrimination to situations outside the world of work and to groups other than women. however. Two framework agreements negotiated under the ASP cover parental leave (1996) and part-time work (1997). and placing the burden of proof in cases of employment discrimination based on sex on to the employer (1996).112 The European Union • 1994 on the introduction of European Works Councils: the ﬁrst Directive adopted under the ASP. as in other areas of policy the EU has succeeded in cultivating a progressive image by means of policy initiatives which. extending rights to self-employed women (1986). the undermining of welfare and other social provision since the imposition of the Convergence Criteria and the Stability and Growth Pact has had its most immediate impact on women. a framework agreement on parental leave was concluded in 1996 by employers’ body UNICE. covering access to employment. occupational social security schemes (1986 and 1996). before a directive was adopted which attempted to put this into practice. However. such as social security.19 Further legislative measures have followed. It was 18 years. are more direct and more visibly attributable to the Union. though hugely outweighed by the damage done by other measures. it gives workers in large multinational companies the right to form transnational Works’ Councils which management must consult. extend beyond the workplace or matters. greater child care responsibilities and longer life spans. In addition. closely connected with employment. both matters of particular interest to women. state social security (1978).
equality prize or certiﬁcate to be awarded annually to enterprises which have developed good practice to promote gender equality). an earlier Community Instrument) under the European Social Fund. The strategy has ﬁve strands: • Promoting gender equality in economic life (reducing occupational segregation. The strategy was initially laid out in a Commission Communication of 2000. The ‘Employment Guidelines’ around which the member states are supposed to design their annual labour market programmes speciﬁcally call for strengthened equal opportunities policies. It also ﬁnances a ‘Community Instrument’ (Employment NOW – NOW originally took its name from ‘New Opportunities for Women’.21 in 1997 the European Court of Justice upheld the legality of afﬁrmative action in relation to areas of employment or levels of a profession where women are under-represented. after casting it into doubt in a case heard in 1995. the EC/EU has conducted a series of Action Programmes. in addition ‘a supporting programme for the framework strategy to provide back-up for organising awareness-raising campaigns. The central idea now is that gender issues must be ‘mainstreamed’ into all policies. improving data collection and implementing transnational projects’. improving the use of the Structural Funds for the promotion of gender equality. EU action in this area has been organised around the Community framework strategy on gender equality (2001–05).22 Most recently. the major points of which were.Employment and Social Policy 113 As well as legislative measures. . speciﬁcally aimed at improving opportunities for women. developing a dialogue with the top management of enterprises operating in Europe on their contribution to gender equality in economic life. ﬁrstly ‘a dual-track approach’ in which ‘gender mainstreaming in all Community policies having a direct or indirect impact on the gender equality objective’ would be coupled with the introduction of special measures for women which were. Finally. and possibly creating a European label. the Commission stated. helping to reconcile working and family life. This would involve. encouraging lifelong learning and access to active labour market measures for women and promoting their employability and access to Information Technology (IT) jobs. strengthening the gender dimension in the European Employment Strategy. the fourth of which concluded in 2000. ‘still needed to remove persistent gender inequalities’.
disability. • Promoting change of gender roles and stereotypes (raising awareness about gender equality. • Promoting equal access and full enjoyment of social rights for women and men (improving the application of European legislation. including within the Commission itself). promoting women’s rights as human rights by supporting awareness-raising campaigns in the EU and in the applicant countries. however. economic and social decisionmaking. if required. implementation and evaluation of Community policies). particularly on social protection. and social exclusion or poverty. ﬁghting gender-related violence and trafﬁcking of human beings for the purposes of sexual exploitation). labour inspectorates and the legal profession about relevant EU legislation. These are welcome developments. including reviewing Directive 75/117 on equal pay. parental leave. maternity and working time. proposing new legislation. subject to multiple discriminations or women who face violence or sexual exploitation. . through inter alia raising awareness among NGOs. such as migrant women or women with disabilities. monitoring Community law and case law on equal treatment for women and men and. though it is important to remember that the broad thrust of EU policy has greatly increased pressure on the women whom these programmes are designed to help.114 The European Union • Promoting equal participation and representation (improving the gender balance in political. • Promoting gender equality in civil life (strengthening enforcement mechanisms. overcoming gender stereotypes in and via relevant Community policies). trade unions and employers. so that the Union is at least partly responsible for the problems they are seeking to ameliorate.23 DISABILITY AND AGEING The EU has very limited competence in relation to issues connected with ageing. It has. monitoring the integration of a gender perspective in the design. Programmes to counter sexual trafﬁcking and violence against women did help to raise the proﬁle of the issues. especially those. training on equality rights and the human rights of women. The Action Programme based on this Communication took various modest measures to put this into effect.
A Community Instrument (Horizon) provides ﬁnancial support for disabled people in vocational training. housing conditions and health care. and a European Year of the Elderly and Solidarity between the Generations (1993). largely conﬁned to sharing experiences between schemes in different member states and promoting best practice. Pensions remain the exclusive province of the member states. and the twin strands of the prevailing attitude to older people can de discerned from the fact. Since then. Again.24 The EU has even less competence to act in relation to retired people than it does over disability. the neoliberal exigencies of the Lisbon Strategy mean that any positive developments are no more than palliative. with transport. including three aimed at disabled people (the HELIOS programmes). The fact that 2003 was declared the European Year of the Disabled did nothing to alter this. The 1998 and 1999 employment guidelines also draw attention to the particular difﬁculties facing disabled people on the labour market. The ‘mainstreaming’ of disability policy called for in a 1996 Commission Communication has made little progress. Taken together. This has not prevented the Commission from instigating an Action Programme (1991–93). It also supports and consults a European Disability Forum representing a range of NGOs. Proposals for improved accessibility to public transport vehicles have so far foundered in Council. so that while the social affairs directorate general of the Commission shows concern and awareness.Employment and Social Policy 115 undertaken a number of Action Programmes. This attempt to reach out of its area of competence was curtailed in 1996 when the UK Conservative government successfully contested the Commission’s plans to allocate 6. for example. Economic slowdown and the problems occasioned by enlargement hindered the mainstreaming of disability issues. Finally. following a Council Recommendation of 1997. New antidiscrimination provisions introduced at Amsterdam have given the EU more potential to act. this is rarely shared by those dealing. but the results are still awaited. this means that the major determinants of quality of life for people beyond the age of retirement are dealt with by national and local authorities. nothing very much has been done. as does the power to establish a minimum income.25 while the principle concern evident from . disabled drivers can claim the same rights and privileges when visiting another member state as can residents of the country they are visiting. largely due to the expense. that they are classed with the disabled in the index of measures. ﬁrstly.5 million ECUs of the 1996 budget for measures on behalf of the elderly.
and is now in its second phase. which began in January 2000 and will run until 2006. Erasmus (higher education). on the other hand. especially as. the member states were wary of handing over competence to a supranational body. . The Community began life as an ostensibly purely economic project: ‘training’ implies preparation for a job. between ‘training’ on the one hand. by the 1980s education aimed at adults (including university level courses) was seen as a legitimate area of interest for the Community. at least in most countries. tradition and religious and other beliefs. The Commission propagates the myth that Europe’s ageing societies will increase the dependency ratio of workers to nonworkers.850 million. more old people almost always means fewer children. With a budget of €1. In practice.116 The European Union the Commission’s approach is summed up by the heading ‘increasing the employment of older workers and delaying the exit from the labour market’. children are a dead weight on the economy while old people are often highly productive in the non-wage economy as child carers. in other words to take one’s place as a productive member of the economy. this is patently not the case. As. Socrates is divided into eight ‘Actions’: • Action 1. encouraging transnational co-operation between schools. and ‘education’ on the other. This was formalised at Maastricht and Amsterdam. volunteer workers and in many other capacities. The reasons for the division were understandable. with the EU’s role being conﬁned to encouraging co-operation between member states and taking measures which support or supplement their own actions. ‘Education’. In practice this takes the form of a number of programmes. Member states retain responsibility for their education and vocational training systems. Given that a large part of this.26 EDUCATION AND TRAINING Prior to Maastricht. has (or ought to have) a major non-vocational element. demographically. encourages transnational co-operation between universities and mobility of university students. • Action 2. in developed countries. an artiﬁcial division had arisen within EC policymaking. so that now the EU has limited but clear competence over education as well as training. has to do with national culture. Comenius (covers pre-school to secondary education) and is aimed at ‘reinforcing the European dimension of school education’. Socrates was launched in 1995.
7 and 8 (small innovatory and experimental programmes). committing themselves to a coordinated development of a ‘European dimension for higher education’. Finally. information and communication technologies in education). Principal among these was the Commission Communication Education and Training 2010. As well as funding students and direct work with young people.150 million. Minerva (open and distance learning. In addition to these speciﬁcally educational or vocationaleducational programmes.28 THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND The most signiﬁcant source of support for vocational training is. which is the main ﬁnancial tool through which the . despite this plethora of Community Instrument. taken initiatives bearing directly upon education. the European Social Fund (ESF). Lingua (teaching and learning of languages). • Action 5. though its scope remains limited. on the completion of the initial phase in 1999 it was extended. On the basis of this assessment. A number of other small schemes encourage co-operation and exchanges with developing countries in the ﬁelds of education and training. • Action 4. Leonardo Da Vinci is a separate Action Programme aimed at vocational training. the Youth for Europe Programme embraces a number of exchange schemes aimed at involving young people in work for the community outside their own member states and in the developing world. Grundtvig (adult education and other educational pathways). until 2006.27 Students in higher education are able to take advantage of a European Credit Transfer System enabling them to move between universities in different member states.Employment and Social Policy 117 • Action 3. with a budget of €1. • Actions 6. the EU has. the EU member states plus a number of other European countries signed the Bologna Declaration on the European Dimension for Higher Education of 19 June 1999. seeks to encourage the European dimension of lifelong learning. First established in 1994. the difﬁcult business of mutual recognition of qualiﬁcations has continued to make painfully slow headway. which bemoaned what it described as ‘a shortfall of investment in human resources in the Member States compared with the US and Japan’. despite its restricted competence.
the sharing of best practices. to avoid long-term unemployment. ESF funds concentrate on poorer regions and those with problems brought about by economic change. • promotion of a skilled. and innovative approaches to the problems involved. The idea is to generate a virtuous circle through which private capital will be attracted to these regions. Following the reform of the Structural Funds at the beginning of 2000. proportion of the money needed for a project must come from national sources. well-trained and ﬂexible workforce.29 . to facilitate the reintegration of the long-term unemployed and to support integration into the labour market of young people and persons returning to work after a period of absence. • speciﬁc measures to improve access and active participation of women in the labour market (career prospects. setting up businesses. the ESF was given ﬁve priorities: • development of active labour market policies to combat and prevent unemployment. education and counselling in the context of a lifelong learning policy. and entrepreneurship. The ESF provides ‘matching’ funding for training and other employment initiatives. • promotion of equal opportunities for all in terms of access to the labour market.118 The European Union European Union translates its strategic employment policy aims into action. for example those areas historically dependent on heavy industries. with particular attention to persons at risk of social exclusion. innovative and adaptable forms of work organisation. In addition. access to new job opportunities. though this is usually in the form of ‘matching funds’: an equal. the ESF attempts to encourage international co-operation. or some. • promotion and improvement of vocational training. and so on).
119 . The ﬁrst European Community Environmental Action Programme (EAP) was adopted in 1973. as means to further environmental policy. Given that EC/EU policies have done a great deal to bring about the environmental crisis which we are facing. however. have been reluctant to hand over the sort of power which might. In 1961 with the publication of Rachel Carson’s seminal text Silent Spring.1 This in part reﬂects the increasing urgency and seriousness of such problems as pollution of seas. although it was unmentioned in the original Treaty of Rome. Nowadays even the major corporations which continue to pollute the planet feel the need to pay lip service to environmental responsibility. a greater acceptance by the member states of organs of cooperation which are at least partly supranational or federal in character. This is less controversial in ﬁelds where there is a clear transfrontier aspect to an issue. Each successive Programme has been much more wide-reaching and ambitious than its predecessor. in theory. enable the EU’s centralised institutions to get to grips with the environment.12 The Environment and Public Health Environmental law. is now a major feature of European Union activity. the rise of Green parties and movements and the ‘greening’ of progressive politics in general. Awareness of the importance of such issues was conﬁned to a fringe in 1957 when the Treaty of Rome was signed and the Community established. These developments have been accompanied by the gradual weakening of resistance to the centralisation of power at Community level. and the Union is now on its sixth. and since then we have seen the environment move to the top of many people’s concerns. waterways and the atmosphere. the member states. ﬁne and subsidise – the ‘instruments’ which the European Commission has proposed to the Council. climate change. modern environmentalism was born. In practice. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). whilst recognising that international decision-making bodies are needed to confront problems which do not respect borders. on a number of occasions. member states can hardly be blamed for hesitating before handing over powers to tax. and environmental problems in general ﬁt this bill. contaminated food and new technologies.
For a corporation. often with impressive results. which has generally been to the overall beneﬁt of environmental and public health policy. however. gives the European Parliament a relatively powerful role. shows that the caution induced by the BSE and dioxin scandals melts away all too quickly in the heat of the power and inﬂuence of multinational corporations. environmental policy is subject in general to the co-decision procedure. in the case of at least some real areas of policy – the protection of migratory birds. the EU must answer for the billions of euros of structural fund money spent on . it cannot compete with the massively funded disinformation machine employed by corporations. In fact. also been offset by a clear failure to adopt a coherent overall strategy and the virtual collapse of attempts to green other areas of policy such as those affecting industry and transport. is hardly inspiring as a green credential. or the establishment of nature reserves – blame lies squarely with the member states who. the impact of the inadequate steps taken has so far been extremely limited. For NGOs which form the umbrella European Environmental Bureau. at least slowing down or even reversing the pollution of the atmosphere and water courses. In addition to the damage wrought by the CAP. Furthermore. for example. though this is tempered by the fact that at every stage of the legislative process MEPs are lobbied heavily. Much-vaunted agricultural reform has led to a widespread assumption that the structural problems afﬂicting EU agriculture have somehow been dealt with. for example.120 The European Union which gives the European Union more centralised power than it enjoys in any other area. The EU’s limited successes in the environmental field have. Although the environmentalist lobby in Brussels is highly active and well-organised. The fact that since the reforms at Maastricht and Amsterdam. having agreed to potentially effective directives (at a time when unanimity was still required) have failed to implement them. as well as the notorious CAP itself. mercifully still to a large extent stalled but set to take off following the reform in 2003 of the system governing their approval. the success or failure of an amendment to a directive can mean millions of euros. On the other hand. The arrival of genetically modiﬁed crops. doing little to halt the ravaging of the countryside. success might bring good publicity and help to recruit members or boost fundraising. speciﬁc pieces of legislation have often met with a degree of success in tackling the problems to which they are addressed. or at least that things are better than they were.
grown in Northern Germany. traded between member states. has failed to save either the ﬁsh or those who catch them from near and possibly imminent extinction. and that it met criteria based on an ecologically conscious cost-beneﬁt analysis. airports and all the rest of an unlovely and poorly-planned infrastructure. woods which undermine biodiversity and can cause untold and unpredictable damage to water courses and other features of environmental. Meanwhile.2 Subsidies are paid for unmarketable crops – Greek tobacco. the CAP’s troublesome little brother. The drive for a single internal market at all costs has also produced anomalies which can range from the absurd to the catastrophic. Article 3D of which states that ‘environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the deﬁnition and implementation of Community . Potatoes. Afforestation programmes destroy traditional landscapes and replace them with serried ranks of alien species of trees. in fact. economic and aesthetic importance. most notoriously. Mainstreaming has been incorporated into the Treaty since Amsterdam. despite the fact that the vast majority gain nothing whatsoever from the deal. despite the fact that almost every EU country grows them. but also the environmentally destructive rice plantations of Northern Italy – and then further subsidies given to enable their export. dams. If this meant greater variety. at least there would be some point to it. of course. which generally means roads. but a ‘mainstreamed’ environment policy would set out to ensure that the road was absolutely necessary. then taken back to their birthplace for sale. moreover. These are built. not merely when policy is formulated which from the outset is aimed at that goal. The necessary transport requires infrastructure. at the taxpayers’ expense. the range and variety of apples available in each member state has declined as a direct result of the CAP.The Environment and Public Health 121 worthless or damaging projects for roads. that it was built with as little damage as possible. the Common Fisheries Policy. are driven south to be washed and packed. the point of building a road is not to improve the environment but to make it easier for people and goods to get to and from the places served by the road. For example. The term ‘mainstreaming’ indicates that a particular goal – originally it was applied to gender equality – is borne in mind whenever policy is formulated. as well as of the intensiﬁed competition brought about by the single market. Apples are driven back and forth. All of this is carried out despite the ostensible requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for most major infrastructure projects.
however. ‘Towards Sustainability’. as one would expect from a body of legislation driven by commercial considerations rather than genuine concern for the long-term future of the planet or the immediate wellbeing of the people who live on it.’ The results are. in practice huge pressures work in a direction antagonistic to such a principle. remain a long way from being translated into any discernible impact. the environmentally destructive methods imposed by the CAP. the priorities it takes for granted are disturbing. highly signiﬁcant that the ﬁrst environmental proposals to be dealt with by QMV – following the Single European Act of 1987 – were those which affected the internal market. and the obligations entered into by the Union and its members in the WTO and other international agreements. to put it kindly. While this was a clever way to get a foot in the door. Legislation tends to be most successful when it accords with the interests of industry. was the first to give prominence to the idea of a ‘horizontal approach’ which would affect policies whose primary purpose was not environmental. however. Poorer states can sometimes be persuaded to accept higher standards by offers of ﬁnancial assistance. care one way or the other about the environment is faintly absurd.122 The European Union policies and activities …’ These ﬁne words. Unfortunately. Thus. or trades can be made along the lines of ‘You vote for my tight emission controls and I’ll make sure you don’t have to do anything about enabling disabled people to use your public transport. prominent amongst which are the enormous inﬂuence of big corporations on EU decision-making. especially if that industry is dominated by big corporations and located predominantly in one of the powerful member states. which expired in 2000. the fact that they care about their competitiveness is selfevident. patchy. and no doubt even from the critical nature of what is happening to the planet. energy. whilst the idea that German corporations. its government and industry leaders actually demand stronger measures elsewhere. Pressure also comes from public opinion. Industrial policy. more important than to breathe clean air or . apparently. ﬁsheries and tourism would henceforth be expected to take account of the principles of sustainable development. in some cases. Restrictions which do not overly inconvenience corporate industry or agriculture have always a chance of seeing the statute books. transport. Relatively strong regulation in a powerful member state can thus mean that. for example. It is. The Fifth Environmental Action Programme. To trade is. and individual sectors such as agriculture.
given major responsibility for implementing the programme. and avoidance wherever possible of binding measures.The Environment and Public Health 123 drink fresh water. but this created a problem of monitoring and enforcement which they seemed ill-inclined to address. These are so broad as to be almost meaningless. however. for example. Implementation is also not aided by the fact that individuals have no right to proceed against their governments for non-compliance with EU law. Its effectiveness was widely seen as undermined by vague and sometimes unrealistic targets. Priorities include climate change. The usefulness of policies emerging from these conﬂicting pressures varies hugely. the environment and health. with competition policy or fisheries.4 KYOTO The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol appended to it have been signed and ratiﬁed by the EU and all of its member states. speciﬁc and well-targeted action. or reduced acidiﬁcation of forests and water courses. for instance in relation to employment-related legislation. a right which exists in other spheres. If the EU is to build on its limited and partial successes in reducing industrial emissions of harmful gases and particles. Widespread criticism of the Fifth EAP illustrates this.3 Enforcement has never been Brussels’ strength. Even now. It is hard to escape the conclusion that member state governments are happy enough to purchase a green image with their successors’ money. protecting nature and biodiversity. they will be retired or out of ofﬁce before the bill arrives. Its past record does not bode well. and resource and waste management. In the 1980s. the Directorate-General for Environment lacks the enforcement powers and personnel enjoyed by those which deal. but these priorities have not changed. lead and mercury in the general environment. cuts in phosphorus. then it will need to use these broad categories as a starting point for tough. Whether the Sixth Environmental Action Programme will succeed in remedying these defects remains to be seen. agreeing to expensive measures knowing that whilst they will get the credit. The Protocol obliges participants – which means every signiﬁcant country on . Maastricht extended QMV to almost all aspects of environmental policy. following the principle of subsidiarity. Member states were. the Third Action Programme devoted all of three lines to the problem of implementation.
each Annex 1 state. so loosely deﬁned that all 25 EU member states are included – had to aim to stabilise their greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. Joint Implementation (JI) is a similar system. is in relation to emissions trading. This began in January 2005 and while it is too early to assess the degree . under which developed countries and polluting ﬁrms within them may gain credits by transferring emission-reducing technologies to developing countries. those for the EU15 were negotiated en bloc. agreed to cut its emissions by a certain quantity. however. Although the ten member states who joined in May 2004 have in each case their own emission allowances and reduction targets. as the developed countries are known. An international exchange has been established where ‘right to pollute’ credits may be traded. This has been successfully achieved and it is this which gives the Union an opportunity to operate an internal system of emissions trading. countries and enterprises may participate in the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM). The system is designed to work like a normal stock exchange. Emissions trading. and whether companies opt to buy credits or take direct measures to reduce their own emissions will clearly depend on the market-determined price of a ‘right-to-pollute’ credit. The EU is also using this system internally. If a corporation or country believes it can better achieve its quota by buying someone else’s emission credits – units allocated according to each country’s agreed level of emissions – then it may. As well as taking direct steps to reduce their emissions. the Kyoto Protocol sees the market as a potential mechanism for solving a problem which even its staunchest defenders admit it helped to create. Industrialised countries. In keeping with the spirit of the age. Under the Protocol’s rules. within certain restrictions. Under the Protocol. Where the market idea really becomes clear. do so. This has meant that these countries have subsequently had to agree a division of the burden. gives them an option. which sets individual emissions targets for each country. the EU committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent during the ﬁrst commitment period from 2008 to 2012.124 The European Union earth with the notable exceptions of the United States and Australia – to establish national programmes for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The burden is shared between the member states under a legally binding burden-sharing agreement. the difference being that it applies to deals between developed countries or ﬁrms based in them. however.
to varying degrees. These. moreover. or the numbers of nuclear power stations built. If you live in the shadow of an industrial plant belching out fumes which are destroying your children’s health. or the number of biodiversity-rich forests destroyed for the building of mega-dams. Emission credits also make no distinction between ‘end-of-pipe’ solutions and those which reduce the actual quantities of polluting fuels burnt. because a country’s credits are based on so-called ‘grandfathering’. a number of general criticisms can be made. however. atmospheric pollutants responsible for various other public health and environmental problems. developing and implementing alternative technologies and. the industries responsible for them tend to be found in the areas where the lowest-income groups are also concentrated. This again meant that the ﬁrms which had produced the most pollution in the past would be given the biggest right to pollute in the future. and so on – work by lowering the amount of pollutant resulting from the burning of a given amount of fuel. scrubbers. The system is moreover unnecessary.The Environment and Public Health 125 to which it has been successful in its own terms. it does not affect the amount of fossil fuels dug or pumped out of the ground. the emissions trading system will make only a small contribution to reducing emissions.e. and through technical improvements increasing the efﬁciency of fuel use. Firstly. A second problem is that the six greenhouse gases do not only provoke climate change but are also. In most countries. it is initially intended to operate at the level of the ﬁrm. even according to the most optimistic estimates. would involve . the historically most polluting countries have a head start. on how polluting they were in the past. above all. Emissions trading does nothing to address the accompanying problems associated with atmospheric pollution and may even help to perpetuate them. Although member states will acquire the right to participate directly in the system. ‘End-of-pipe’ solutions – variously known as ﬁlters. Finally. it is little consolation to know that the ﬁrm which owns it acquired the right to do nothing about the problem by honestly buying emission credits from a company 2000 km away on the other side of Europe. Whilst this is certainly a worthwhile achievement. conservation measures. i. and a member state’s ﬁrst task was to distribute credits to the ﬁrms in the sectors included. because the problem could be solved by redesigning transport systems.
public disquiet had reached a level where people were simply not willing to accept the word of industry-hired scientists and politicians with a proven track record of telling bare-faced whoppers. In fact. the energy sector and from including households. the industry because they reluctantly accepted the same reasoning. but this is being increasingly counterbalanced by rocketing CO2 emissions from transport as Europe disappears under concrete and tarmac. Council and Parliament and in the face of a massive and unscrupulous lobbying effort by the giants of agricultural biotech. Emissions have been reduced in manufacturing industry. the EU introduced a raft of new laws governing genetically modiﬁed organisms and goods produced from them. emissions then began to rise. which itself necessitated changes in European and member state law. Everyone wanted new laws: the EU authorities and most member states because they had come to the conclusion that they could continue to develop agricultural biotechnology only when the public was conﬁdent that they were being protected from the potential dangers. hard negotiations between the Commission. New laws were introduced governing the deliberate release of GMOs and requirements for GMO-based products. Under pressure from this discontent. the UK moved from coal to gas as a principle source of energy. They established a system . This failure has meant that although the EU reduced its emissions by 3. the broad public because they wanted such protection.5 GMOs From 2001 to 2003.3 per cent between 1990 and 2000 and thereby met its initial commitment under the Protocol. and the steel industry in most parts of the EU15 collapsed. These considerations led the EU to ratify the Cartagena Convention on Biosafety. an international agreement governing trade in GMOs. removing a major source of pollution. the initial target was achieved largely because German reuniﬁcation led to huge drops in output in the former GDR.126 The European Union the kind of radical steps which the EU and its member states persist in refusing to take. These new laws were made necessary because following a number of food-related health scares. after long. member states were refusing to authorise any more releases of GMOs into the environment or any new GMO-based products. and an increasingly signiﬁcant and active slice of the population who had decided that they neither needed nor wanted GMOs and wanted them stopped.
when they could be affected by so many local conditions.The Environment and Public Health 127 based on traceability. It would be wrong. Replacing more than forty existing Directives and Regulations. Whether these will prevent their further development. The authorisation procedure was designed to ensure that only GMOs which are safe for human and animal consumption and for release into the environment could be placed on the European market. Some areas of the law remained vague and others decidedly unsatisfactory. Initially the Commission stated the belief that this should be left to the member states to organise. permitting the inadvertent presence of GM materials up to a level below which they would not need to be labelled.6 REACH: A NEW FRAMEWORK FOR CONTROL OF CHEMICALS In relation to EU environmental policy. one of the greatest areas of controversy during the ﬁrst years of the century concerned the proposal for a new regulatory framework for chemicals. the possibility of changing this decision began to emerge. to take decisions over such matters as exclusion zones centrally. either to prevent their cultivation or to keep them off supermarket shelves. other users and consumers to choose whether or not to purchase such products. it is too early to say. given that all other aspects of the GMO-related legal code had been determined centrally. were set far too high. with the Commission asking member states to report on their experience of the system to date and promising. In 2005. they argued. under which GMOs could be tracked ‘from ﬁeld to plate’. or. to ‘reﬂect on possible further steps’. Known as REACH (Registration. in the face of such reports. Thresholds for contamination. This reasoning was little short of absurd. REACH would also require companies . whatever their citizens may want. the proposal would require firms manufacturing or importing more than one tonne of any given chemical substance per year to register this in a central database. the EU and its member states now have the strictest system of control of agricultural biotechnology of any country or bloc in the world. Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals). the growing of conventional or organic crops alongside GM varieties. Labelling rules are designed to allow farmers. EU member states do not have the right to exclude GMOs from their territory. reassure the public and bring them round to accepting genetically modiﬁed foodstuffs and other products. Nevertheless. as the industry hopes. One of the missing elements which may now be addressed relates to the question of ‘co-existence’.
known. It would then decide whether is should be authorised and if so. If the risks emanating from the use of such a substance could be adequately controlled. however. The two policy areas are also separated at EU level by the question of competence. In the face of this blatant attempt to intrude upon the chemical industry’s inalienable right to poison us. eight Public Health Programmes have since been conducted. authorisation would be granted. and the signs were that the proposal would be weakened in both Council and Parliament before what was left of it became law. whether the use of the substance in question was socially and economically important and whether there were substitutes.128 The European Union to assess the risks arising from their use and to take the necessary measures to manage any risk they identify. The public authorities could evaluate any substance where they had reasons to suspect that there was a risk to human health or the environment. importers. for the Union did not acquire any powers in relation to public health until Maastricht. users. consumers and for health and the environment. They are dealt with by the same Parliamentary Committee. from the French. This balance would be to the long-term beneﬁt of chemicals manufacturers. for example. Substances regarded as potentially dangerous would require authorisations for particular uses from the Commission. According to the Commission. On the basis of the competence acquired in that Treaty. covering such matters as communicable diseases.7 PUBLIC HEALTH Public health and the environment are clearly. small and medium sized enterprises. ‘The proposed new system would set high standards for protection of health and the environment while safeguarding the competitiveness of enterprises and improving the potential for product innovation. If not.’ Whether this will turn out to be the case or not remains to be seen. as political issues. although responsibilities at the Commission are divided between the Directorate-General (DG) Environment and that for Public Health and Consumer Affairs. the Commission would assess the level of risk. whether restrictions should be imposed. lobbyists descended on Brussels in unprecedented numbers. cancer. reversing the burden of proof from public authorities to industry for ensuring the safety of chemicals on the market. difﬁcult to separate. accident prevention and . as DG Sanco.
A network has been established for research and other co-operation in the struggle against communicable diseases. and targeting actions to promote health and disease prevention by tackling the key underlying causes of ill health. for good or ill. an exclusively national competence. This makes harmonisation difﬁcult. for any attempt to harmonise raises the thorny question of who pays for what. including. and that the member states continue jealously to guard their right to control their own health systems. in some cases free. Though roundly condemned by both Parliament and Council. is largely conﬁned to supporting actions controlled by the member states. In addition.The Environment and Public Health 129 environmental sickness. strengthening rapid response capacity. the infamous Bolkestein Directive. the safety of human blood and blood products for medical use. included health care in its scope. Every member state enjoys a health care system which is predominantly publicly funded and which is heavily subsidised. less disease-speciﬁc approach was adopted and a new six-year programme established with three strands: exchange of medical information. where the market is seen in principle as a suitable form of organisation for any sector of the economy. and . a broader. Although the programme is small. controversially. The result is that the EU’s input. inter alia. The original proposal for a Directive on Services in the Internal Market. and the ﬁght against tobacco. it was no more than a logical conclusion to the path which the EU has taken since Maastricht. the integration of health-related goals into other EU policies. all of which came to an end in 2002. was carried out the following year. aspects of it fuel the suspicion that major inroads may be in the process of being made into this until recently unquestioned national competence. with a budget of only €312 million. An evaluation of the eight programmes. If this seems limited – and the amounts of money involved do tend to be relatively small – then it must be remembered that the EU’s competence in relation to public health remains very limited. on the effectiveness of health systems. at the point of care. and encouraging the spread of what it sees as ‘good practices’. On the basis of this evaluation. Talk of a Directive on Essential Services. statements of various kinds have been issued regarding. particularly in relation to coordinated reactions to major threats to health including bioterrorism and potential global epidemics. for example. explicitly removing health care and certain other vital service activities from the usual rules of the internal market.
130 The European Union recognising their fundamental difference from other traded services. has failed to bear fruit. was given no more than an advisory role to fulﬁl its task of restoring ‘consumer conﬁdence’ or. the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). ‘… contribut(ing) to a high level of consumer health protection in the area of food safety. have forbidden member states from imposing a duty on this patient to seek prior consent. the Parliament’s centre-right group. bowing to subsidiarity. He then discovers that the operation is available straight away in another member state. been spared the expense of his treatment. with members of the EPP. One of the issues to which Bowis and others across the political spectrum most strongly objected related to the controversial matter of patients who go from their home country to another member state seeking treatment. however. EU rulings give him the right to take advantage of this availability and under certain conditions to claim reimbursement of the cost from his own health service which has. EFSA provides expert advice on the safety of food and animal feed. The classic case would be. including former Tory health minister John Bowis. In the end. condemning him to further months of anxiety and discomfort. FOOD SAFETY The numerous food scares of the 1990s led to a decision to establish a new. through which consumer conﬁdence can be restored and maintained’. a system such as the NHS where most treatment is free at point of care is not designed to operate along market economy lines and might well have to add a whole layer of bureaucracy in order to cope. more speciﬁcally. centralised scientiﬁc institution capable of providing what we are assured will be independent and objective advice on food safety issues. potentially plunging state-funded systems into chaos and making ﬁnancial planning extremely difﬁcult. Moreover. after all. declaring major aspects of the proposal unacceptable as they impinged on health care. despite its name. say. Beginning life as the central proposal of the Commission’s White Paper on Food Safety. The proposed Services Directive would. the only question would be the extent of the body’s authority. Based in Parma in Italy. a city famous for both cheese and ham. Disquiet over this is certainly not conﬁned to the left. a heart patient who is placed on a waiting list by the NHS. as well as on related issues such as nutrition. animal welfare and .
An important aspect of this is the preparation of risk assessments for use in the development of policy. or that feeding growth hormones to cattle is by deﬁnition ‘safe’. Established in 2002. EFSA’s effectiveness will clearly depend upon the extent to which it is able to maintain its independence in the face of the kind of industry pressure which has undermined similar institutions in the US. where a revolving door between public authorities and major food corporations has led government into such absurd positions as the view that GMOs are ‘substantially equivalent’ to their natural parents.8 .The Environment and Public Health 131 plant protection.
Article 39 of the Treaty of Rome promises a policy which offers farmers a reasonable standard of living on the basis of stable market conditions and. more than any other aspect of the European integrationist project. There was to be. is the CAP. Article 40 then offers a choice of ways in which these goals might be achieved. indeed. delivering a quantity and variety of food which has ensured that all but the very poorest have access to an adequate diet. for consumers. to increase agricultural productivity whilst guaranteeing the incomes of farmers. the most important and costly of European Community actions. however. but an embarrassment to its staunchest supporters? The CAP’s central goal was. It was designed to ensure that the people of the six founder states would never again go hungry. are not to be trusted with the prosaic business of ﬁlling our bellies or. in every case. it has consistently raised the price of food above that which prevails on the world market.13 The Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy The Common Agricultural Policy. a common Community organisation of markets. Only the means to achieve this differed. until recently. affordable prices and security of supply. in many striking ways the CAP continues to remove agriculture from the hurly-burly of 132 . Although modiﬁcation of this original blanket exemption began almost immediately. Why. was constructed in the 1950s by people whose memories of depression and war were still fresh. farmers’ pockets. then.1 It seems that free markets. which states that speciﬁc provisions of the CAP take precedence over normal competition rules. In meeting this aim it has been spectacularly successful. What makes agriculture a special phenomenon within the EU is Article 42. Although one of its stated aims has always been to ensure reasonable prices for the consumer. not only the bête noire of sceptics and opponents of the Union. whose wonders are reckoned limitless when it comes to the distribution of the baubles of twenty-ﬁrst century consumerism. stabilising markets and assuring the food supply.
if all else fails. as well as market conditions such as good and poor harvests or unusual rises or falls in demand. which succeeded in signiﬁcantly reducing surpluses. however. of protectionist devices to prevent imported products from being sold at lower prices than are their EU-grown equivalents.The CAP and the CFP 133 increasingly liberalised capitalism. given to voluntary sector groups who organise its distribution to those in need. In ﬁxing these prices. barrier-free market. merely a target. the CAP is based on Community Preference. In such cases surplus produce is. Finally. particularly for farmers in poor countries driven off . Although 2003 saw the most thorough reform of the CAP for over a decade. the use. on the basis of Common Market Organisations (CMOs). like that of 1992. though state aids are subject to the same rules as apply in other sectors. This price is. in other words. In addition to the principle of an internal. Bucking this trend. a policy which has become increasingly controversial as the ‘free trade’ ethos has driven all other notions of how international commerce might be managed into the margins of political and economic thought. the relevant level is known as the withdrawal price. which remove obstacles to trade in primary agricultural products between member states. or. destroyed. How then. the Council takes account of overall inﬂation. where possible. then an intervention organisation in each member state is legally obliged to buy and store the product in question. does the CAP work? Firstly. but the damaging consequences. it left these basic principles intact. Where food which is too perishable to be stored is concerned (mainly fruit and vegetables). the CAP is supposed to perform a redistributive function: the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) is designed to redress any economic disruption brought about by decisions taken under the CAP. though this is no longer commonplace. the EU ﬁxes a threshold price. one which is above world prices. a minimum under which products may not be imported. and market conditions may put it under pressure. Prices of agricultural commodities are set each year by the Council. a number of aims are pursued: farmers’ incomes are enhanced by pricing regimes which maintain prices at an artiﬁcially high level. distilled into industrial alcohol. to a level known as the intervention price (or basic price in the case of meat from pigs). Destruction is avoided by exporting surplus produce. Export subsidies are paid to make this worthwhile. If the actual price farmers are receiving falls too far below the guide price.
2 The smaller the farm. Criticism of the CAP has long been severe. If this resulted in lower food prices it might constitute an effective redistributive mechanism. Criticism has also come from trading partners who object to the exclusion of agriculture from what are now. Finally. in the framework of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). precisely the opposite is the case. even the supposed beneﬁciary of all this. however. Firstly. and it has focussed on more than one aspect of the system. as the CAP inﬂicts a double burden of artiﬁcially high prices. the CAP accounts for just under half of the EU’s annual expenditure. this disguises an absolute increase of around 50 per cent over the decade. coupled with taxation. the greater proportion of net income is spent on food. with the result that the devastation of nature is compounded by the wholesale destruction of rural communities. farmers in most member states have for a long time seen their incomes decline. have also greatly reduced the scope of export subsidies. to maintain prices paid to farmers at around double the level found on the world market. and EU obligations negotiated under the Lomé Convention. and with the applicant countries of central and eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Although in proportional terms spending has declined since the early 1990s. the normal rules of world trade. the farmer. Overall. Even the supposedly cost-cutting agreement reached at the Berlin Summit of March 1999 accepted a rise in spending for the period 2000–06. as well as the general distortion of competition such subsidies bring about. is suffering. Unfortunately. where subsidies and artificial encouragement to domestic industries are severely restricted. has led to the EU’s agreeing to restrict this system to a speciﬁed list of commodities and to a smaller overall volume. there is the sheer expense. as the poorer an individual or family. under the WTO. cutting expenditure only against a notional mighthave-been. It was the EU’s desire to win negotiating credits in the round of World Trade Organisation talks which began at Doha in 2003 which did most to build up the head of steam which led to that year’s reforms. Bilaterally agreed tariff reductions under what is known as the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). .134 The European Union the land by the availability of low-priced imports. Despite being virtually forced by the rules of the CAP to employ the most environmentally destructive methods. the more likely this is to be the case.
with farmers being forced to take more account of market conditions. and therefore of different member states. animal health and welfare. The latest. which has been estimated to have cost an inﬂation-adjusted €3 billion since 1970. are in irreconcilable conﬂict. whilst avoiding building up food mountains and preserving the countryside. ‘cross-compliance’ would reward sustainable methods and environmental standards would be mandatory. food safety and quality. under pressure from enlargement and the coming WTO talks. the CAP’s bizarre procedures offer huge opportunities for fraud. When the CAP was reformed in June 2003. have made some headway. and sustainable rural development. ‘Intervention’ should become no more than a safety net. while more environmentally-friendly production methods would be supported in a variety of ways.4 made budget stabilisation a priority for the CAP and stressed the need to bring about a closer alignment with world prices and to couple this with direct income support. These attempts have. based on a system of aid granted independently of production. foundered on the rocks of farming interests. however.The CAP and the CFP 135 As well as failing to give them effective support. attempts have been made at reforms which would fulﬁl the EU’s obligations under the GATT (now the WTO) to reduce and eventually eliminate subsidies. In this context it for the ﬁrst time allowed member states to introduce what it termed. reiterated the goals set out at the 1999 Berlin Summit. a statutorily required analysis of developments. moreover. relating income support more to need and enhancing the CAP’s role in rural development. Agenda 2000. Priorities would be the protection of the environment. In 2002 the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the common agricultural policy. Not only does this waste time which might be better employed farming. ‘optional modulation’. and provision would be made to ensure the smooth incorporation of the agriculture of the new member states. but have once again come up against the immutable fact that the interests of different groups of farmers. the CAP traps farmers into a bewildering maze of bureaucracy. subsidies would be shifted from product support to direct producer support. its population and environment. the notorious policy was . a ﬁnancial framework for the Union from the year 2000 submitted by the Commission in July 1997 (COM(97) 2000). urgently necessitated by the prospect of enlargement. it was clear that farm ministers had at least read the MTR and that.3 Since the late 1980s.
It was also evident. public-health and animal-welfare standards. the Countryside Alliance. in crisis. that vested interests remained a massive brake on the process of developing an agricultural policy suitable to the conditions of twentyﬁrst-century Europe rather than the EEC of the 1950s. rather than obliging them all to follow the same agenda. like those in most of the rest of the world. with some member states fearing that the new system would lead to a complete abandonment of production in certain areas and sectors. Friends of the Earth complained that CAP subsidies were paid out in the new central and eastern European member states with no regard to the environmental consequences. unless drastic action is taken. The payment will be ‘decoupled’.8 THE COMMON FISHERIES POLICY European ﬁsheries are. Nevertheless. reform of the market system for a number of commodities. calculated on the basis of the amount of direct aid received during a reference period (2000 to 2002). however.7 while Britain’s right-wing rural pressure group. a number of exceptions were allowed in the ﬁnal deal. had succeeded in making major inroads into overproduction.6 developing countries continued to complain that EU farm subsidies were destroying their own agricultural producers. Aid to big farms will be reduced and the money saved spent on an enhanced rural development policy. and a number of special measures such as support for biofuels.5 Accompanied by changes in intervention prices. All the signs indicate that. The biggest reform is the introduction of the ‘single farm payment’. The equation . though disappointing at the time. However. it will no longer be related to production levels. no one was convinced that the EU had fulﬁlled its ambition of reforming the CAP sufﬁciently to give itself a strong negotiating position in the coming round of WTO negotiations. the reform was more thoroughgoing than any since that of 1992 which. humanity is in danger of exhausting what has been one of its major sources of food for possibly tens of thousands of years. complained of the unevenness which would result from merely empowering member states to pursue reforms. in other words. The payment will be conditional upon cross-compliance with environmental. it was criticised from many sides as not going nearly far enough.136 The European Union at last to receive a major overhaul.
it is the most spectacular and persistent failure. If a member state disagrees with the measures. The crisis of the EU’s ﬁsheries forced the Union and its member states to face up to the need for radical reform. aid will continue to be authorised for the support of ﬁshermen and vessel owners forced temporarily to stop ﬁshing. 2002 in the form of three Regulations which came into immediate effect. Of all the EU’s policies. waters upon which whole communities depended for their livelihoods. emergency measures may be taken by the Commission for a period of six months. A maximum ﬂeet capacity level has been set for each member state which will be reduced as boats are decommissioned. product quality or ﬁshing techniques. It has allowed factory ships to plunder waters traditionally ﬁshed by relatively sustainable methods. In the long term. Their aim was to attempt to ensure the industry’s survival in the face of the massive diminution of its natural resource. In the event of a serious threat to the conservation of resources. or to equip vessels with satellite vessel monitoring systems. The Common Fisheries Policy has manifestly failed to tackle this problem. In a transitional period. it may refer the matter to the Council. conserve the essentially fragile marine ecosystems on which they depended and thus maintain the supply of ﬁsh to consumers. Reform came in December. the men and women who make their livings from them. A more long-term approach was promised. Attempts were made to preserve livelihoods.The CAP and the CFP 137 does not work out. However. aid will be used only for the improvement of working conditions. Too much of the ﬁsh stock has been pulled from the ocean for purposes which are wasteful and following policies which are short-sighted in the extreme. in which ﬁsheries management would be based on multiannual management and stock recovery plans designed to replenish ﬁsh stocks. and for the withdrawal of vessels. Savings from these cuts will be spent on retraining and . aid for the permanent transfer of EU vessels to third countries will be abolished. premiums for which will be increased. for early retirement and for retraining. It has failed to protect either the ﬁsh. however. renewable for a further six months. It has produced unfair catch divisions between national ﬂeets. as with the CAP. causing persistent antagonisms between member states. or the consumer. As well as subsidies for building new boats. vested interests and political decision-makers who could not see beyond the next election stood in the way of the kind of drastic action which was needed. entering into force on 1 January 2003.
which will not be organised on national lines but on the basis of ‘sea areas’ under the jurisdiction of two or more member states. scientiﬁc experts. while from 2005 aid for building new ﬁshing boats ceased. based as it inevitably is on a compromise between countries with. The new policy is. as well as local. The conservationist group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) estimates that a 40 per cent reduction in the size of the EU ﬂeet over the next ﬁve years is necessary. as in the case of the CAP. and environmental groups and consumers from the maritime or ﬁshing zone in question. Attempts are being made to improve enforcement by the establishment of a new ‘Community control and enforcement system’ involving both EU and national inspectors organised in a Joint Inspection Structure and a Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA). The new CFP does appear to represent a major improvement. scarcely free of its own ﬂaws and weaknesses. regional and national authorities. Conditions for the payment of subsidies for modernising boats have become much stricter. as the new measures are being phased in between 2004 and 2006. Finally. and these will need to be agreed by the Fisheries Council. Conservation is now based on what is termed an ‘ecosystem-based approach to ﬁsheries management’ incorporating the precautionary principle. putting an end to a major anomaly. so that it will be some time before their full impact is felt. representatives of other sectors related to ﬁsheries and aquaculture. and the belief that such a cut is possible seems optimistic. Whether these will undermine the reformed policy’s positive aspects it is too early to say.9 . however. Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) have been established whose membership consists of ﬁshermen. a place of inherent uncertainty.138 The European Union compensation for loss of income resulting from ﬁshing restrictions imposed under recovery plans. will have no executive or decision-making powers but only the right to be consulted and to make suggestions. a number of Community Action Plans. Though the goal of allowing sustainable ﬁshing is an ambitious one after decades of irresponsible plundering of the sea’s resources. leaving the question wholly in the political realm. it is at least slightly reassuring to see that the approach of total meltdown is capable of focusing the minds of one group of ministers. essentially irreconcilable interests. complement the new policy. most importantly a plan to integrate environmental protection requirements into the CFP. The RACs. Recovery plans will determine cuts in capacity.
2 The Common Fisheries Policy Following the Reform of 2003 • • • ‘Scrapping Fund’: emergency fund to encourage the decommissioning of vessels. Provision for emergency measures by the Commission applicable for a period of six months and renewable for a further 6 months and by Member States for their own waters for three months. independent of production. Cross-compliance: payment linked to respect of environmental. savings to be used to ﬁnance enhanced rural development policy. • • • • • Box 13. Financial discipline: a mechanism to ensure that the farm budget (ﬁxed until 2013) is not overspent. animal and plant health and animal welfare standards. Revisions to the market policy of the CAP. quality of production. and animal welfare. A more long-term approach to fisheries management based on multiannual recovery plans for stocks outside safe biological limits and of multiannual management plans for other stocks. food safety. A simpler system for limiting the ﬁshing capacity of the EU ﬂeet in order to reach a better match with available resources.1 The Common Agricultural Policy Following the Reform of 2003 • Single farm payment: new system based on a single farm payment for EU farmers. Aid for building of new • • • . Rural development: strengthened rural development policy including new measures to promote the environment. and requirement to keep all farmland in good agricultural and environmental condition. including cuts in price of dairy products and cereals and reforms in other sectors. including catch targets.The CAP and the CFP 139 Box 13. New set of objectives focus more on sustainable exploitation of resources and the precautionary principle. Member states will be allowed to adopt non-discriminatory conservation and management measures applicable to all ﬁshing vessels within their twelve-mile zones. though exceptions may be maintained to avoid abandonment of production. Modulation: reduction in direct payments for bigger farms.
including to those wishing and able to continue ﬁshing on a part-time basis. . Member states which exceed their ﬁshing opportunities will be penalised by the deduction of quotas. Each RAC will cover sea areas under the jurisdiction of at least two member states. consumers and representatives of other relevant interests. Aid from member states to fishermen and vessel owners who have to suspend ﬁshing due to unforeseeable circumstances may now be allocated for three consecutive months or for six months over the entire period between 2000 and 2006. The Commission will be empowered to carry out inspections on vessels. Retraining aid extended. Existing rules on access to national waters have been largely maintained. Sanctions will be harmonised. Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) will be made up by ﬁshermen. Control measures will be strengthened. scientists. based on a deﬁned share of the stocks for each member state. premises of businesses and other bodies with activities relating to the CFP.140 The European Union • • • • • • • • • • vessels and permanent transfer of EU vessels to third countries abolished and new restrictions placed on aid for modernisation. Co-operation among member states will be reinforced. as has the principle of relative stability. The Commission is authorised to take immediate preventive measures. but only with the inspected party’s permission. if there is evidence that ﬁshing activities could lead to a serious threat for the conservation of resources. applicable for a period of three weeks and prolonged up to a maximum of six months.
a more uniﬁed system. on this basis. however. on paper. the right of carriers from one member state to offer services in another. and in transport there remains a great deal to be done before we arrive at the free market EUtopia dreamed of by the Union’s ideologues. or even that it was a genuine ‘Common Market’ at all. In addition to problems speciﬁc to transport.14 Transport It has always been the intention of the European Community to develop a Common Transport Policy (CTP) and. the CTP came into being with the Treaty of Rome. seemed even further from realisation. the attempt to revive the CTP faced all the usual difﬁculties of the single market project: incompatible national standards regarding technical speciﬁcations. difﬁculties (particularly acute in the case of transport. 141 . which may be why transport has become cheaper whilst steadily decreasing in reliability and contributing an ever-greater share to major problems of air pollution. even – and this was for many years the great sticking point – where both the place of departure and the destination were in the same country. Efforts have been more successful in some sectors than others. Much of this has been achieved. these attempts proved a miserable failure. safety and the environment which differed greatly in stringency. and carriers from one member state are free to offer services in another. rules governing workforce conditions. One of the major priorities of the drive to create a single EU internal market was to overcome the continuing national control of transport systems. Until the mid-1980s. national markets have largely been opened. The initial problem was to cure the member states of the border habit. climate change. which was characterised by a high proportion of public ownership) in enforcing rules on state aids and other aspects of competition policy and the fact that not everyone was (or is) convinced that liberalisation was a good thing. A second aim of the CTP. noise and a host of other forms of social damage. enforce liberalisation and bring about. at least. making it as easy to travel and shift goods between them as it was within the frontiers of a single state. making something of a mockery of the idea that the Community indeed had a uniﬁed transport policy. In road transport.
human and ﬁnancial costs of congestion. pollution and accidents whilst furthering the internal market and economic development in general. The problem which the European Commission attempted to face in its 2001 White Paper was that. In addition. could be used to make all transport systems both more efﬁcient and safer. The initial aim would be to ‘allow the market shares of the other modes to return to their 1998 levels and thus . that enlargement will exacerbate this increase. and that the resulting ‘saturation of the major arteries’ will require ‘major investment’.142 The European Union 2001 WHITE PAPER ON TRANSPORT The European Commission made another attempt to tackle these problems in its White Paper on the future Common Transport Policy. Excusing itself from even considering more drastic solutions on the reasonable grounds that subsidiarity considerations mean that it lacks the power to carry these out. or making each transport mode reﬂect its true costs by adjusting taxation accordingly. presented in September 2001. an ‘equation’ which arose from the fact that economic growth leads almost automatically to increased mobility. This could in part be achieved by ‘internalising external costs’. This would be addressed by attempting to shift freight and passengers from road to rail and by increasing the use of water-borne forms of transport. having described the huge fall in the cost of transport since 1970 and consequent massive across-theboard increases in demand as a ‘success’. The White Paper proposed 60 measures ostensibly designed to reduce the environmental. the Commission’s White Paper is based on the perceived need to break the link between economic growth and transport growth. all in the face of a predicted rise in freight transport of 38 per cent and passenger transport by 24 per cent by 2010. the Commission recommends ‘a series of measures ranging from pricing to revitalising alternative modes of transport to road and targeted investment in the transEuropean network’.1 To its credit. as well as changes in laws and their enforcement. the European Commission does not conclude from this that we need lots of new motorways.2 On the contrary. though travelling around Europe one’s impression that the Old Continent is being rapidly covered in concrete and asphalt does make this somewhat surprising. In the White Paper’s ‘Policy Guidelines’ it stated that ‘A complex equation has to be solved in order to curb the demand for transport’. it was faced with having to perform the contradictory task of having to curb this demand. technical and organisational means.
The Gothenbourg Council of 1999 pointed to shifting the balance from road to rail and water as the key to this. Both of these could be aided by the encouragement of ‘intermodality’. while passenger transport by bus and coach is in the process of deregulation. but all that is required for a shift from less to more sustainable forms of transport to occur. accompanying measures aimed at improving safety. are no more than necessary measures to prevent the sort of embarrassing shambles to which British transport users have grown accustomed since the Thatcher government’s retreat from public ownership 20 years ago. Take away ‘distortions’. allowing the most efﬁcient choice to be made. is what amounts to a raft of internal market measures.Transport 143 make for a shift of balance from 2010 onwards’. say. as the Commission acknowledges. train to water or water to rail. the integration of transport systems so that any given passenger or freight journey can proceed smoothly from. Instead. require reducing the use of fossil fuels through the development of alternatives and increasing efﬁciency. and all will be well. The internal aviation market. are designed above all to prepare national systems for both deregulation and interoperability. whilst welcome.3 All of this sounds very impressive. as ever. and the use of environmentally friendly vehicles. . to internalise external costs. its advantages are largely annulled by the imposition of a liberalised market. it is true. while public ownership is not openly discouraged. but in the main to allow private investors to make proﬁts. is that it is presumed that the market. partly designed. The answer. The three ‘Railway packages’ adopted by the Commission in 1999. The Commission also recognises that this will be difﬁcult. accessibility for disabled people. Member states must gradually open their rail freight markets to competition and. has been fully liberalised since the late 1990s. Regulation to protect the safety of road users is seen as necessary. and that it will not be achieved by concentrating exclusively on transport policy measures per se. or so the Commission would have us believe. transport must be integrated into ‘sustainable development’. 2001 and 2004 respectively. at least until you begin to look at how it is supposed to be achieved. as if the two were intimately linked.4 Other modes of transport do not carry the same legacy of national organisation of publicly owned systems. but it would also. The internal market for goods transport by road which accounts for almost half of freight transport. mainstreaming environmental objectives into transport policy. liberalisation and deregulation will deliver. In the light of this drive for deregulation.
the United Left Group and the Greens would oppose the deal and that this might be enough to defeat it. A bloc of liberalising. However. exhibits a number of features which offend the liberalising zeal of the European Commission. people denied boarding due to overbooking. and many MEPs on all sides of the house were hesitating. had succeeded in forestalling a measure which would have allowed unqualiﬁed personnel to carry out tasks which require proper . though the rules were effectively relaxed in response to the crisis suffered by the industry after 9/11. it was known that the Socialist Group. has been fully liberalised since the mid-1990s and in general state aids are forbidden or severely restricted. Only an extraordinary volte-face by the Socialist Chair of the Parliament’s team of MEPs allowed the measure to carry. harmonising measures known as the ‘Single European Sky (SES) package’ has been accompanied by initiatives to improve passenger safety. however. opening up different service sectors for competition. Member states themselves remain generally unconvinced that the kind of doctrinaire drive to deregulation which has transformed the European economy since the end of the 1980s provides an appropriate model for an industry in which safety must be paramount. When the crucial vote came. This was not the end of it. so that the two institutions had to go into formal Conciliation. involving powerful trade unions and well-organised sympathetic MEPs. the Parliament’s approval was conditional on further amendment.144 The European Union for example. for example. for when it came before the full parliament it was voted down and the Commission was forced to go back to the drawing board. common rules on the the allocation of slots at Community airports. EU action is therefore generally limited to ensuring ‘fairness’ in the competitive market through.5 Sea transport. including the establishment of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). mass demonstrations of angry dockworkers and their supporters were being held in Brussels. After two years and a number of amendments the measure ﬁnally won the approval of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. Strasbourg and Rotterdam. Early in 2001 the Commission introduced a proposal for a Directive on market access to port services. though generally in private hands. for example. a measure designed to prevent member states favouring national carriers or discriminating for other reasons between different airlines. The concerted action. Whilst these parliamentary and bureaucratic procedures were taking place. as well as some improvements in the consumer rights of. however.
6 The inland waterway market was totally deregulated in 2000. The Commission claims that TENs will help fuel growth and that this will bring jobs. 15. it even states they will reduce trafﬁc congestion and therefore pollution.000 km of railways. that applicant countries’ integration will be facilitated and other neighbours will beneﬁt from improved links with the wealthy EU. as well as energy and telecommunications infrastructures. and for once the Commission had to wake up to the fact that there was a world outside the elite circles in which it prefers to do business. and the Marco Polo programme outlined below. TENs. beneﬁting everyone. hampered by the fact that transport systems. were designed to serve separate countries rather than to facilitate travel between them. including 22. ‘embody the concept of sustainable mobility which seeks to improve . Aside from the attempt to deregulate port services. as speeding up the phasing out of single-hull tankers. the Commission’s proposals. says the Commission. the EU has fully liberalised its ailing shipping sector.Transport 145 training. or so it was argued.000 km of new and upgraded track for High Speed Trains. approved by the Parliament and Council in 1996. The Port Services Directive would have cost thousands of jobs and more than one worker’s life. and more speciﬁcally as a reaction to a number of disasters involving oil tankers – most spectacularly the scandalous Prestige affair of 2002 – the Commission has declared its determination to enforce compliance with existing law from all ships in European waters. energy and telecommunications. TENs are ﬁnanced by a mix of EU. 267 airports. that peripheral regions will beneﬁt from improved links. as well. In response. but has not been seen as requiring further EU legislation speciﬁc to the sector. combined transport corridors and terminals. were for 70.000 km of new roads. They were designed to address the fact that the development of the internal market had been.7 TRANS-EUROPEAN TRANSPORT NETWORKS (TENS) The Maastricht Treaty established Trans-European Networks in transport. more speciﬁcally. member state and private ﬁnance and will cost an estimated €400 billion by 2010. which has nevertheless continued to lose out to ﬂags of convenience. As far as transport (known as ‘TEN-T’) goes. and networks of inland waterways and sea ports.
Large-scale pilot projects were intended to promote intermodal international freight services. it nevertheless won approval and is currently in the development stage. began life in 2003 and is intended to run until the end of 2006. the transport sector. little has been done to produce reasoned proof of the economic beneﬁts of TENs. the claim that TENs will enhance regional economies is no more plausible than the counter-claim that they will lead to more centralisation of production in already prosperous areas. In addition. however. These criticisms were ampliﬁed when imminent enlargement led to the extension of TENs to the new member states. proposed in 2002. that too much is being spent on roads. The programme. Not everyone is convinced. which did indeed lean far more heavily towards rail and water transport.8 MARCO POLO AND GALILEO Finally. a list of priority projects. including by the European Parliament. the Commission adopted the first of these Renaissance gentlemen’s name as the label for a programme.and medium-distance conventional rail. The Commission responded to these criticisms by publishing. in 2003. the objective of which was to shift 60 billion tonne-kilometres9 of road cargo to short sea shipping and railways. Criticised by cost-conscious MEPs for unnecessarily reproducing the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS). that most of the investment in rail is in High Speed Trains which hold few beneﬁts for ordinary people and are less environmentally advantageous than would be a major investment in short. but which were nevertheless criticised. for in most cases failing to prioritise environmental considerations. though the Commission has now presented a proposal for a ‘Marco Polo II’ which would run up to 2010. with a budget of €100 million.11 .146 The European Union the environment and preserve tomorrow’s natural resources without sacriﬁcing today’s economic growth’. amongst others. Critics argue that TENs are too expensive. some of which involved these countries. Environmental safeguards were cursory and a far greater proportion of the available funds was invested in roads than would seem justiﬁed in countries which had inherited strong if outmoded rail networks from their days as planned economies.10 The Galileo satellite radio navigation system is intended to provide information on the positioning of users in. At this stage of research.
little attempt has been made to ensure complementarity between different systems. are employed in transport.1 per cent for passengers. or 4. Moreover. The creation of a huge single market increased demand for transport in Europe. and so on. The volume of freight moved by road increased by about 3. Household spending each year on transport totals €600 billion. • • • • • • • • • • • .Transport 147 Box 14. and cross-border trafﬁc by 2.3 per cent between 1990 and 1996) and trafﬁc through the Union’s principal sea ports (up by just 0. On average this is 14 per cent of each household’s annual income.2 per cent of the total working population. the transport sector grew 2. and boosted cross-border movements in particular. total trafﬁc within the EU increased at a rate of 2 per cent a year. EU residents travel an average of 35 km each day.1 per cent between 1990 and 1996. 42. Road freight transport more than doubled between 1970 and 1995. Every year. Air passenger trafﬁc grew by 7.8 per cent between 1980 and 1990 and 6. Demand for freight transport is forecast to double within 20 years. whilst carriage by inland waterway (up by 0. Between 1980 and 1994.5 to 1 per cent a year from 1980 to 1996) have remained virtually stagnant.4 per cent.000 people die on the roads. During the 1980s and 1990s. The result of this imbalance is visible in trafﬁc jams. congested airspace. and 6 per cent of this went across borders. the conversion of station buildings.1 The problems In the European Union: • Transport services are provided to a total value of over €500 billion a year.6 per cent between 1990 and 1996. Freight movements by rail have steadily declined: down 1. This number increases to 14 million if we add those employed in the transport equipment industry and all those working in transport-related businesses. The transport sector thus accounts for 4 per cent of the European Union’s GDP.3 per cent a year for freight and 3. Six million people.1 per cent between 1980 and 1990 and down 2. decline of river trafﬁc. €70 billion is invested each year in transport infrastructure. equivalent to 1 per cent of the EU’s GDP. closure of railway routes. pollution and accidents.1 per cent between 1980 and 1990 and by 0.5 per cent a year between 1980 and 1996.
. The cost to the EU’s member states has been estimated at over €100 billion a year and rising. seriously undermining the strategy against global warming launched worldwide after the 1997 Kyoto summit. equipped with the very latest in engine technology progresses about as fast as a coach and horses did a hundred years ago. If nothing is done at EU level to reverse the trend.148 The European Union • In 1999 a car. transport will be responsible for 40 per cent of CO2 emissions in the EU by the year 2010 (compared with 26 per cent in 1999).
however – and in particular the last of these 149 . with poverty and social exclusion rocketing and its social effects becoming ever more visible. where per capita GDP increased from 64 per cent of the Community average to almost 90 per cent between 1983 and 1995. will complete this extraordinary transformation. The removal of remaining barriers to the movement of goods. services and capital. beyond that of Turkey. as it would increase the degree to which taxpayers in the rich member states were asked to subsidise people in poorer areas. in rich and poor regions and member states. and it was felt necessary to establish a mechanism allowing for the transfer of relatively large amounts of money between different regions of the Community. especially in the streets of Europe’s cities. Since then. A regional analysis over the 1986–96 period gives a quite different picture. and relatively well off. The possible admissions in the near future of Romania and Bulgaria. developed. and even. with income in the poorest 25 regions rising by very little – from 53 per cent of the EU average to 55 per cent. This was controversial. the Union of 15 did appear to have experienced a certain convergence between rich and poor. with the average income in the four poorest member states rising from twothirds to three-quarters of the EU average in the eleven years up to 1996. Looked at nation-by-nation. The unfortunate fact that the drive to complete the single market might increase regional disparities had long been quietly accepted.15 Regional Policy Though it always had its pockets of poverty. only with the admission of Ireland did the EC accept its ﬁrst member state that could not be classed as industrialised. the states which once made up Yugoslavia and some of those which formed the Soviet Union. The best performer of all was Ireland. however.1 It was in response to fears of just such developments that the Single European Act gave the European Union’s institutions the legal competence to create a regional policy. the growth to 15 members included the admission of three more relatively poor countries – Spain. Portugal and Greece – while the 2004 enlargement transformed the EU into a Union of 25 countries on all sorts of income levels. Income disparities everywhere. have widened.
2 Generally speaking. a new instrument. would inevitably mean that some regional economies would see their traditional industries disrupted and would need to be helped through a period of transition in which they sought new means of earning their living. or so we were promised. and to gender equality. The Cohesion Fund was designed to assist only the very poorest regions and was available only to the ‘poor four’: Greece. the Structural Funds do not supply 100 per cent of the cash needed to ﬁnance a project. and the further deepening of integration in the form of Economic and Monetary Union. The division of ﬁnancial responsibility depends upon the particular Fund and the criteria under which the money has been allocated. to increase their effectiveness as a means of combating unemployment and regional disparities of wealth. the restructuring of European industry which would result from the completion of the single EC market. was introduced in 1994 as part of a package of reforms designed to make the funds more effective and ‘additionality’ respected. Payments are made according to what is loosely called ‘matching’: a member state government or other public or private institution invests in a project and the money is matched by a payment from the Structural Funds. the second greatest share after the CAP. the single market would require certain countries. though its precise form might be hard to predict. to then be approved by the Commission and Council. By 1999. lead to greater concentrations of wealth in areas already well-favoured for such things as transport and ﬁnancial infrastructure. in most cases the poorer ones. ‘additionality’ means that member states must use any Structural Fund money to ﬁnance projects which would not otherwise . was added to the existing Structural Funds: the European Regional Development Fund. In addition. to invest in expensive improvements to meet such demands as higher environmental standards. Put simply. European Agriculture Guarantee and Guidance Fund and European Instrument for Fisheries Guidance. Spain and Ireland. the Cohesion Fund. The revamped and greatly enlarged funds would also pay greater attention to environmental questions.150 The European Union – could. Portugal. Finally. structural fund spending amounted to 36 per cent of the total EU budget. A further reform followed: the plan for the period 1994–99 aimed to give the Structural Funds more coherence. whereby member states would produce a uniﬁed and coherent plan for the funds. it was feared. European Social Fund. The ‘single programming document’. With Maastricht.
regions eligible under old Objective 6. The budget for seven years was a total of €213 billion. the reform was designed to enable the Structural Funds to be extended to newly admitted countries. Madeira and the Canary Islands). A major aspect of the reform was the reduction in the number of Objectives – the criteria determining how money is spent – from seven to three. The agreement aimed to enhance the effectiveness of the Structural Funds by further concentrating spending.Regional Policy 151 have gone ahead. Although the Funds are (with the exception of small schemes known as the Community Instruments) to some extent under the control of the Commission and Council. remote regions (the French overseas départements. as they did. This leaves the danger that they will simply use the Funds to pay for things which they would otherwise have ﬁnanced from the general budget. The Tories also rightly estimated that the British people in any case were of the opinion. as follows: • Objective 1 promotes the development and structural adjustment of regions whose average per capita GDP is below 75 per cent of the European Union average. The British Tory government did this more or less openly. that there was no greater virtue than low state spending. and with no little justiﬁcation. loose monitoring has led to a chronic problem of fraud and waste.3 AGENDA 2000 Further reform took place at the beginning of 2000 on the basis of an agreement which began life as part of the Commission’s all-embracing planning document Agenda 2000. Finland and Sweden became members. that the country paid out far too much to Brussels and got far too little back. the Azores. As well as improving the effectiveness of operations in the existing member states. believing. to which the new member states would have access. • Objective 2 contributes to the economic and social conversion of regions in structural difficulties which are nevertheless . As well as the additionality problem. which gave aid to very sparsely populated regions and was part of the deal when Austria. including €18 billion earmarked for the Cohesion Fund. it is the member states who decide who actually gets the cash. Two-thirds of available money goes to Objective 1.
and to promote equal opportunities between men and women and trans-national. including the Community Instruments (see below). to development. With the adoption by Greece of the euro at the beginning of 2001. such assistance is aimed at services for enterprises. • investment in education and health (Objective 1 areas only). structural adjustment and creation and maintenance of sustainable jobs. to protect the environment. or. in all eligible regions. but slightly fewer than does Objective 1. to diversification. in regions covered by Objective 1. revitalisation. the ERDF contributes towards ﬁnancing the following measures: • investment to create and safeguard sustainable jobs. improved access and regeneration of economic sites and industrial areas suffering from decline.152 The European Union ineligible under Objective 1: former industrial and declining rural and ﬁshing areas. depressed urban areas. Development of the endogenous potential by measures which support local development and employment initiatives and the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises. Measures are in all cases expected to take into account the need to develop research and technological facilities including information technology. crossborder and inter-regional co-operation. the . direct aid to investment. This also covers not far off a ﬁfth of the total population. transfer of technology. • Objective 3 gathers together all the measures for human resource development outside the regions eligible for Objective 1. rural areas and areas dependent on ﬁsheries. Within the areas eligible under these Objectives.4 THE EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (ERDF) The ERDF now provides assistance under the new Objectives 1 and 2.5 THE COHESION FUND The Cohesion Fund is intended to contribute to the strengthening of the economic and social cohesion of the European Union. and aid for structures providing neighbourhood services. development of ﬁnancing instruments. provision of local infrastructure. • investment in infrastructure (including TENs) which contributes.
5 per cent to Objective 2. including transitional assistance to the new member states. which.44 billion. divided into different sections. THE COMMUNITY INSTRUMENTS The Community Instruments (CIs) were set up in 1989 and. 12. have their own dedicated fund. the decision was taken to concentrate the funds into four larger CIs.3 per cent to Objective 3 and 6. • Urban: regeneration of urban areas in crisis. and inter-regional cooperation.35 per cent of the total allocation for the Structural Funds (2000–06). Following the experience of this six year period. the Community Instruments and innovative actions amounted in 2005 to €195 billion. Denmark and the UK – continued to shun the single currency. • Leader +: rural development. with 0.7 per cent going to Objective 1. decides who gets how much money. as only three EU member states. The total appropriation for the Structural Funds. enlargement once again made this aspect of the Cohesion Fund necessary.45 billion. all of them wealthy – Sweden. transnational.Regional Policy 153 Cohesion Fund’s initial goal of equipping countries to join the eurozone was achieved. the Peace Initiative. concentration of course meant that each of the remaining funds was much larger than its predecessors. the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance. and. However. In 1994 the CIs were reformed and guidelines issued which foresaw the operation of 13 initiatives at a cost in all of €13.6 . In 1995. The rest forms part of the aid to ﬁshing communities. Despite this reduction. unlike the rest of the Structural Fund instruments are under the direct control of the Commission. representing 5. The four funds now in operation are: • Inter-reg III: cross-border. a special programme for Northern Ireland. under agreed guidelines.0 per cent to the Community Instruments. • Equal: transnational co-operation to combat discrimination and inequalities in access to work. like agricultural areas which receive support from the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund. 11. was added. as the Employment CI had been. The budget was reduced to €10. which.
. Such potential is indeed evident. their success will depend largely on the amount of money available. This is unlikely to prove a harmonious process. The most thorough guide to the European Commission’s thinking on the future of regional policy is contained in its ‘factsheet’ Cohesion Policy: The 2007 Watershed. and reﬂect the ‘knowledge economy’ strategy of investment in sectors likely to contribute most to the goal of making the EU’s economy the most productive in the world. for which read regional policy. It should be simpler. The problem with this is the familiar one of being ‘against sin’ – only when the Commission gets down to deﬁning sin and virtue and how to go about avoiding one and achieving the other does the potential for controversy arise. be more targeted on poorer regions.7 The main theme of this document is the need to integrate cohesion policy. Aid should. conﬂicts will not arise. Clearly. it is difﬁcult to assess the Commission’s chances of success. according to the Commission’s long-held view reiterated in this document. with its broad objectives as set out in the Lisbon agenda. when the current multiannual plan expires. especially given the economic difﬁculties through which much of the Union is passing. more efﬁcient and more transparent. competitiveness. and employment co-operation. whether or not these proposed reforms are accepted. and as we are dealing with a proposal brought forward in mid-2004 for implementation in 2007. The proposed reform is ambitious. moreover. after which the Commission will ﬁll in the operational details of whatever has been agreed by the member states.154 The European Union THE FUTURE OF REGIONAL POLICY Whether these Structural Funds will be able to cope with the results of enlargement without further reform it is too early to say. as the poorer member states become politically more conﬁdent. which takes up around a third of the EU budget. in that it would scrap the current Objectives and replace them with three new ones: convergence. which will be determined by the adoption of a new set of ﬁnancial perspectives during either 2005 or 2006. with some input from the European Parliament. though it is at least likely that. though it should be sufficiently flexible to respond to changes elsewhere.
telecommunications. in its determination to enforce a competition policy designed to bring about a liberalised market where the sort of interventionist approach suggested by the term ‘industrial policy’ becomes impossible. external trade. say. everything else falls into place. papers white and green: the EU’s true raison d’être can be found here. bolstering some measures. The EU’s major industrial policy goals run like a recurrent motif through every area of policy. giving shape and coherence to what at ﬁrst appears to be a chaotic and incoherent body of legislation. EMU.16 Industrial Policy and Energy The European Union has no speciﬁc. In contrast to the picture which emerged when we looked at the environment or development policy. recommendations. The likely beneﬁciaries of a sound development strategy or victims of one which is poorly designed or deliberately exploitative are men. systematic industrial policy in the way that it has a policy for. Instead. The ‘green’ NGOs who lobby Brussels for effective laws to tackle urgent environmental problems have together not a hundredth of the resources that a single multinational corporation can bring to bear on blocking the same. an assumption which underlies EU policy-making. industries must be ‘restructured’ and everything subordinated to the principle of ‘competitiveness’. Once you have decided that ‘what’s good for business is good for Europe’. what might be termed an ‘EU industrial policy’. communications. action programmes. 155 . agriculture or transport. whilst development and the environment are quickly forgotten by Commission personnel not speciﬁcally responsible for those areas. women and children whose voices have few opportunities to make themselves heard in the world. the needs of industry never are. World trade must be liberalised. it can be seen that industrial policy is fully ‘mainstreamed’. undermining others. research and development. and energy. is in reality an amalgam of elements of other policies laid out in many different sections of the Treaties: the completion of the internal market (including competition policy). Thus. otherwise known as proﬁt. Instead. in a sense by default: the interests being dealt with are simply too powerful to ignore. social and regional policies. then.
Competitiveness. whatever the social and environmental cost. Noting the shift from manufacturing to services. Social and employment policies. but unless Europe’s infrastructure was more geared to industry’s demands. Research is business-led. the Commission emphasised the interdependence of the two and the rising demand for highly . In 2002 the Commission Communication Industrial Policy in an Enlarged Europe2 suggested ways in which industrial policy could be reshaped to meet the demands of the Lisbon agenda and of the coming enlargement. though it is of course ensured that it is these which receive the most publicity. then the legal right to make goods in Aberdeen and sell them in Athens would have little or no effect on the real world. this is avoided if it would place a powerful European corporation in jeopardy. guided by the so-called Lisbon Strategy. which had grown from 52 per cent of the industrial output of the EU15 in 1970 to 71 per cent in 2001. while this requires lip service to be paid to opening up EU markets to foreign competition. almost exclusive real purpose of the EU is to create a vast business-friendly area. The single internal market must be completed. so that huge road-building projects. with only relatively small amounts being spent on projects of direct beneﬁt to ordinary citizens. telecommunications and energy in order to make a physical reality of the ideological and legal achievement that was then the single internal market.156 The European Union because this will give European manufacturers and service providers access to foreign markets and cheaper imports equipment. What amounts to the founding document of post-Maastricht industrial policy was the 1993 Commission White Paper Growth. the facilitation of ever-increasing air travel and the development of high speed train networks proceed apace while on the ground urban public transport deteriorates and its rural equivalent disappears. because underneath all the rhetoric the central. Employment: The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st Century1 which called for more resources to be devoted to research and development and for education and training to be tailored to the needs of industry. aim to promote competitiveness rather than such old-fashioned values as workers’ rights or the eradication of poverty. Transport policies concentrate on the development of the sort of infrastructure on which business insists. It also urged greater effort to realise the plan for Trans-European Networks (TENs) in the areas of transport. However. Barriers could be removed. while nothing is done to enable developing countries to diversify their economic bases in case this should undermine EU market domination.
7 per cent in the US and 3 per cent in Japan). unless urgent action was taken.9 per cent of GDP in 2000 compared to 2. This makes it somewhat surprising that. in particular its manufacturing industries. These two facts alone serve to demonstrate the place that energy has always had in the hierarchy of EC/EU concerns. This is a lot to give up. depending on possession of carbon fuel reserves. positive and negative. especially when the ability to manipulate one’s national currency to give a boost to competitiveness has been thrown away. but also by socialising costs: in other words. after three major revisions of the Treaty in less than ﬁfteen years. resources can be transferred from other areas of the economy in order to lower energy costs for everyone. this is more a sign of a sort of effortless. In addition. Energy supply in most countries remains to a signiﬁcant extent in social ownership and often under the direct control of the state. It is not only politically a highly sensitive area. the extent of investment in nuclear energy and the amount of public interest. In addition. on the gap in productivity growth between the EU. so was the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). almost unconscious ‘mainstreaming’ than it is of indifference. the objective situation of each member state in relation to energy is enormously varied. some member states have been extremely reluctant to hand over too much competence and control over energy to the Union. moreover. in one or . It also laid emphasis. whatever the actual structure of ownership. At the same time as the European Economic Community was created by the Treaty of Rome. had security of energy supply as one of its principal concerns. however. however. Cheap energy can be achieved by efﬁciency. which it related to a relatively low level of investment in research and development (1. it still contains very little specifically about energy. be exacerbated by enlargement. As with industrial policy. as a means of underwriting the competitiveness of a country’s industries. through government intervention in the form of subsidy or tax measures. and its weak performance as regards technical innovation.Industrial Policy and Energy 157 skilled labour in both. however. and its main competitors in the USA and Japan. These problems would. but in economic terms a potentially highly contentious matter: national energy policy has always been used. ENERGY POLICY The European Coal and Steel Community which preceded and laid the ground for the EEC.
158 The European Union another energy source. ﬁrst stressed in that White Paper. lower prices. in the event of its success. resistance from member states. Though there is agreement in principle that the proportion of renewable energy sources in total energy consumption should be raised. spending far more of its budget on these than it does on renewables or on biofuel. Thus. a contradiction running through EU energy policy which tends to undermine whatever good intentions the Commission may have. not fully complete until 2005. in some cases. EU energy policy continues to be recognisably that set out in the Commission’s 1995 White Paper on Energy Policy for the European Union (COM(95) 682). Commission. There is. as well as protecting the consumer and the environment. militating against conservation measures. will exacerbate the problems of climate change. oil. translates into organised action. an inarguable good. in particular coal. For different reasons coal. In most sectors this is. and a target of 15 per cent of total energy use by 2010 has been established. even if some may believe that it is outbalanced by other. nuclear power and renewable energy sources are all capable of generating not just power but an emotional response amongst the public which. less welcome consequences. however. in general. though it must be said that this is the fault of the member states rather than the Commission or Parliament. as well as nuclear power.5 EU energy policy continues openly to promote the use of fossil fuels. . both of which have consistently argued for a greater share of the energy budget to be devoted to these alternatives. to subject energy supply to the same neoliberal market rules as governed other sectors. however. the liberalisation of electricity and gas. but also natural gas. every lowering of prices comes with a huge environmental bill attached. atmospheric pollution and waste that overuse of energy brings in its wake. limiting public intervention to a minimum of support aimed at safeguarding the public interest and welfare.3 Seven years later the Green Paper Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply4 followed in 2003 by the Commission Communication Energy Infrastructure and Security of Supply. each of which has its own vested interest in one or another aspect of the status quo. has greatly hindered any progress towards concrete measures for the realisation of this target. In relation to such matters as transport and energy. amongst other things. Liberalisation is. Parliament and Council underlined the need. if they do indeed lower prices. supposed to result in.
However. it is too early to say how successful it will be. The object of these common programmes has been to co-ordinate national policies and research carried out directly in the name of the European Union. The Treaty empowers and obliges the Community to adopt a multiannual research and development framework programme – in fact. TECHNOLOGY. as with so many measures discussed in this book. as the First Framework Programme for Research and Development had already begun. at least in theory. in 1994. according to the relevant Treaty Articles. security of supply is guaranteed and pricing fair. those with an inherently cross-border element – environment. been skirted with some success by the inclusion in . EU research and development policy’s purpose is to strengthen the scientiﬁc and technological basis of European industry and to encourage it to become more competitive at international level. Information regarding the source of electricity will have to be available to the public. are not mentioned has. The fact that other goals. to take a few examples – are seen as particularly appropriate for a multi-national approach.) We are now on our sixth. either in its own terms or in the wider interests of the planet and its inhabitants. resources pooled and costs lowered. The system will not be fully in place until at least 2006 so. Certain kinds of research. for example. public health.Industrial Policy and Energy 159 Criticisms of liberalisation have led to the incorporation of some mitigating features into the relevant measures. however. (A sub-programme for Euratom continues to require unanimous approval. it was again the Single European Act which provided explicitly for Community competence. communications systems and transport telematics. enabling consumers to. approval of this programme is by Qualiﬁed Majority. National regulatory authorities are supposed to ensure that minimum public service obligations are met. favour renewables or shun carbon fuels or nuclear power. Since Amsterdam. more directly concerned with the welfare of the citizens who pay the bills. In this way duplicated efforts could be avoided. simply putting on a more secure legal footing something which was already reality. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Although research and development have been ﬁnanced at supranational level in western Europe since the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. overall efﬁciency increased.
Italy. which runs from 2003 to 2006 established as its basis a new European Research Area (ERA). using new technology to create ‘virtual’ centres of excellence whose purpose will be to coordinate the work of the various actors involved from the public. The Programme’s ‘thematic’ priorities are listed as: • Life sciences. genomics and biotechnology for health. the EU hopes to help its member states and the corporations based in them to compete with Japanese and American industries with high research input. Germany and Spain. private and university sectors. FP6 will be based on what have been termed ‘networks of excellence’. • Nanotechnologies. a structure designed to improve cooperation not only between member states but between different relevant sectors. By ﬁnancing and helping to determine the direction of research. ‘integrated projects’ will pull together the research effort around certain priority scientiﬁc and technological objectives. In addition. • Information society technologies. new production processes. global change and ecosystems (including research in the area of energy and transport). • Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society.160 The European Union the Maastricht Treaty of a clause which allows the Union to ﬁnance research provided it is ‘deemed necessary by virtue of other Chapters of this Treaty’. . The JRC is actually a complex of research facilities covering different scientiﬁc and technological areas and includes a controversial atomic energy research facility in the Netherlands as well as sites in Belgium. • Speciﬁc activities covering a wider ﬁeld of research (including horizontal research activities involving small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) and speciﬁc measures in support of international co-operation. • Sustainable development. The 6th Framework Programme (FP6). in which case they are carried out by the EU’s own Joint Research Centre (JRC). and sometimes makes grants to enable groups of researchers in different member states to co-ordinate their work. Research programmes may be 100 per cent ﬁnanced. The EU also offers part-ﬁnancing to other research projects which ﬁt its aims. knowledge-based multifunctional materials. • Food safety and risks to health. • Aeronautics and space.
a rough estimate being that the nationally-allocated budgets add up to some one hundred times the level of EU spending. arguing for the establishment of funding criteria that put public interest ahead of ‘wealth creation’. . These critics. argue for a redistribution of the research budget away from areas such as genomics and information technologies and towards sustainable agriculture. nutrition and serious alternative treatments. The focus and execution of the Union’s responsibility to promote research and development has been criticised on a number of counts. Others criticise the orientation of research and the corporate-dominated choice of recipients. and include ethical and safety conditions on funding. who include numerous scientists working outside of the corporate sector and concerned by the increasing domination of the research agenda internationally by proﬁt-driven decisionmaking rather than human need.Industrial Policy and Energy 161 In addition. as well as broadly-deﬁned public health objectives which would include prevention. The European Parliament is consistently unhappy with the relatively small amounts allocated to R&D. a substantial part of the budget has been set aside for the purpose of establishing and developing the ERA. ecology and energy use in sustainable systems.
The proposed Constitution necessarily covered many diverse aspects. the Nice Treaty having stipulated that such should be held by 2004. after the summer break. the completely unrepresentative Convention2 submitted its draft. the legal system. the proposed text was put to an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). At the end of the Convention. foreign and defence policy. 162 . and Europe’s cultural. just before new elections for the European Parliament. philosophical and religious heritage. the rights and procedures in relation to accession and secession.3 Despite the confusion deliberately generated by a shocked EU elite after the massive defeat of the eventual proposal by the electorates of France and the Netherlands. it is necessary to look at each of these issues in turn. as required.17 The Rejection of the Constitutional Treaty: What Next for the EU? Following the Nice Treaty’s failure to establish a workable system – one which would allow the European Union to expand in size in an orderly fashion while acquiring a range of new competences and functions – the decision was taken to establish a Convention whose purpose would be to write a new Constitution for ‘Europe’. all 25 governments of this newly enlarged Union must endorse any proposed text. For any amendment to the current Treaty to be agreed. including institutional reforms. Given the complexity of the proposals on the table. ﬁscal. ﬁnancial and economic policies. The IGC began its work a few weeks later. the real position has always been quite clear. this was a tall order. The idea was that the IGC should be completed in time for the admission of the ten new member states in May 2004. from the most trivial all the way up to a sweeping new constitution. In order to understand the difﬁculties which plagued the proposal from the start. citizens’ rights. to a summit of the European Council in Thessalonika in June 2003.1 Presided over by veteran French Gaullist Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. the structure of the new Union.
two individuals can. His or her task would be to chair Council meetings. they feared that the new ofﬁce would weaken the European Commission. Appointed by the European Council using QMV. A President serving for two and a half or ﬁve years could provide a central ﬁgure and give the Union a recognisable face both within and outside its territory. no longer having their shot at the presidency guaranteed by a system of turn-and-turn-about. The current system is seen as having a number of drawbacks which these proposals are designed to overcome. which must unanimously agree his appointment. claim the title ‘President’: the President of the European Commission. The foreign minister would be responsible for EU foreign policy which. set its agenda. Javier Solana) and the Commissioner for external affairs. the foreign minister’s task would be to conduct the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and. and with the agreement of the president of the Commission. who is chosen by the member states. It is criticised for failing to provide continuity or focus. the Union designed by the Convention would have a ‘foreign minister’.What Next for the EU? 163 INSTITUTIONAL REFORM Currently. would continue to be subject to national veto. and be the face of the EU beyond its borders. The foreign minister would combine the functions currently fulﬁlled by the High Representative (itself a newly-created post still held by the ﬁrst appointee. which is seen as a more reliable defender of their interests than would be a QMV-elected President. He or she would be both a member of the Commission and the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Council. however. This President would serve a term of two-and-a-half years. In addition to a new President. In addition. they would never succeed in having one of their nationals elected. in relation to the European Union. Under the proposed Constitution. the smaller countries fearing that. The proposal was criticised for replacing one institutional muddle . breaching the hitherto strict separation of powers between the two bodies. renewable once. try to further agreed policies. the European Council would elect its President by QMV. The plan was most popular with the big member states. represent it when appropriate in international negotiations and at international events. and the President or Prime Minister of the member state which happens to occupy the six-month rotating ‘Presidency’. after which their favoured candidate would have to be approved by the European Parliament. as with the President.
would encounter new difﬁculties to which new solutions would have to be found. however. but citizens would have the right to petition it for the introduction of new laws.164 The European Union (confusion over what the High Representative should do and what the Commissioner should take responsibility for) with another. would be cumbersome and unwieldy. the Parliament would see its currently very strong role in determining the budget somewhat weakened. Perhaps the biggest institutional shake-up concerned the make-up and functions of the European Commission. the Parliament would gain real legislative powers in relation to energy policy. with these being allocated on a rotating basis every ﬁve years. most controversially. rather than. from . the least federalist-minded EU leaders felt that its use pointed towards a superstate. Under the proposed Constitution. It was believed that a Commission of 25 or more individuals. The proposal would. were also unhappy with the title ‘foreign minister’: as only governments have ministers. as it was always more than likely that in the interim period the Union of 25. all areas of environmental policy where co-decision does not already apply. from 2009 each country would have just one Commissioner. as now. as the foreign minister’s precise role and place in the EU institutional hierarchy was unclear. end the anomaly of the EU having a foreign policy but no single person with whom. The delay until 2009 lent something of an unreal air to these proposals. The Commission would retain its exclusive right of initiative. space policy. notably the UK. so in this original proposal only 15 of the 25 would have had voting rights. In addition to those areas currently falling under the co-decision procedure. On the other hand. transport. some aspects of social security. say. and the current means of allocating votes would. the bigger member states having two and the smaller only one. and. and later possibly 27 states. Each member state would offer a list of three names – at least one of which would have to be a woman – from which the President would make his or her selection. constituted as at present. The Constitution would also change the role of the European Parliament. Some member states. however. Within the Council. QMV would become the rule rather than the exception. In addition. giving it the right of co-decision with the Council of Ministers across a much broader range of policy issues. the European Council would have the power to extend QMV by unanimous vote to any area currently subject to the unanimity requirement. home affairs and justice. the US State Department can discuss it.
The proposed Constitution is the result . but this majority must represent at least 60 per cent of the EU’s population. Every extension of QMV is a step towards a federal superstate. secondly. however. Instead. and yet those who favour such a state rarely present their opinion openly. insisted on retaining a national veto. Britain. This would undermine democracy in two broad ways: ﬁrstly. arguments for more and better QMV are invariably technocratic: any other system would lead to deadlock. Ireland and the Nordic countries. Nevertheless. It would have given the Union competence over both the deﬁnition and implementation of these policies. and erode the whole concept of a legitimate national interest. especially those from countries which require a direct popular mandate for any constitutional change. the proposal to allow QMV to be extended indeﬁnitely by heads of state and government hugely erodes the democratic prerogative of ordinary citizens. the proposed Constitution would create the entirely new ofﬁce of European Prosecutor. in particular. This sinister-sounding individual would have as his or her task the combating of serious cross-border crime and any illegal activities directly affecting the interests of the Union. Finally. FOREIGN AND DEFENCE POLICY: THE MILITARISATION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION The proposed Constitution sought to provide the means to develop a more genuinely common foreign policy designed to lead inexorably to a common defence policy. particularly from the UK. led to some compromise. This is a sensitive issue. although resistance to the creation of such an ofﬁce. it became clear that these proposals went too far for many member states. the Prosecutor’s powers were so vaguely deﬁned that they would in practice be determined by future power struggles and not by the text of the relevant Article. as the member states have traditionally jealously guarded their control over criminal law.What Next for the EU? 165 2009. be replaced by the so-called ‘double qualiﬁed majority’: for a proposal to be adopted a simple majority of member states would have to be in favour. The proposed changes were designed to make integration easier. During the IGC. it would mean that even more policies could be imposed on particular member states against the express wishes of their people or elected representatives. reduce the power of small member states in relation to big ones. and oblige them to support a policy once it is determined.
the Enlightenment. stating categorically that the Union is subordinate to the member states. and Poland even threatened to take an obstructionist line if it did not get its way. making reference to the classical tradition. Some governments would have preferred to scrap the proposals in the draft Constitution and simply incorporate the Charter into the treaty. which does not contain any rights not already enjoyed. and respect for law. The draft tried to calm the fears of authoritarian governments such as Britain’s by stating that it did ‘not extend the scope of application of Union law’. Giscard d’Estaing is a product of France’s admirable secularist tradition and quite rightly resisted mention of any speciﬁc religion in favour of broader references to a religious and humanist heritage.4 Some governments. at least on paper. Some strongly Catholic countries wanted an explicit reference to Christianity. either through national constitutional guarantees or through their countries’ endorsement of international instruments such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However. CITIZENSHIP AND CITIZENS’ RIGHTS The draft Constitution incorporated the Charter of Fundamental Rights agreed at Nice. were these rights to apply in the same ways as other EU laws. that it derives its powers from them and can . but this merely added to the confusion.166 The European Union of an attempt to ﬁnd a compromise between those who sought a national veto and those who would have been happy with full-blown QMV: majority voting would only be applied to foreign policy if heads of state and government unanimously instructed their ministers to take a vote. has teeth. were sceptical of the need for such a Charter. by all citizens of the EU’s member states. However. The preamble to the Constitution stated that the EU draws its inspiration from Europe’s ‘cultural. unlike the European Court of Human Rights. FEDERALISM AND SUBSIDIARITY The proposed Constitution would deepen the reassurances ﬁrst heard at Amsterdam. notably the British. for all his faults. which. the central role of a human individual endowed with inviolable and inalienable rights. citizens would gain the power to pursue them through the European Court of Justice. religious and humanist’ inheritance.
‘legal personality’ to the European Union. it would also make explicit the principle of proportionality. having done so. The proposed Constitution also clariﬁed the right of member states to secede. To soften this. If a third of member state parliaments assert that a proposed measure breaches the principles of subsidiarity and/or proportionality. and that it could sue and be sued in courts of law. leaving the EU would be complicated and negotiations of mutual beneﬁt. a law which conﬂicts with an EU law. the fact that the primacy of EU law over national laws is made explicit would mean that if a member state were to enact. but making it explicit is nevertheless a clear step towards federalism. meaning that it could sign treaties and other international agreements on behalf of all the member states. then what are the negotiations designed to achieve? Obviously. In addition. scope for interpretation and therefore conﬂict seems broad. it would also state for the ﬁrst time – though this has.What Next for the EU? 167 act only in those areas where the objectives of the intended action cannot be sufﬁciently achieved by the member states but can be better achieved at Union level. Although this looks like a nod towards anti-federalism. other than a duty to inform the Council and negotiate an agreement setting out the practical arrangements for withdrawal. the national law would become invalid. in fact. give. or if it has on its statute books. FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC POLICY The absence of any central power to tax is the biggest single factor which prevents the European Union from being. as things stand. a true federal state. as most people would presume that it went without saying that a democratic country taking a democratic decision to leave a democratic family of nations would have the right to do so. for the ﬁrst time. but with such a vague Article governing the process. FISCAL. and without explicit conditions. And what if the two parties could not agree ‘arrangements’? Could the Council impose conditions? If not. and national parliaments would for the ﬁrst time be given a role in the monitoring of EU legislation. it could simply present it again! The proposed text would. It is therefore of great signiﬁcance that no proposal to grant it such powers emerged from the Convention. On the other hand. the Commission would have to reconsider – though. always been the case – that European law takes precedence over national law. however. This is inherent in the logic of the existing Treaties. it is in reality somewhat alarming. Under the .
According to that system. The issues around which their differences revolved were numerous. a text to which every member state had one objection or another. both countries were to be allocated 27 votes while Germany. The difference is that whereas co-ordination is taken to mean such things as moving forward in step. as the euro-zone countries would be able to take measures without consulting other member states. would have 29. which two independent countries could easily agree to do – for those within the euro-zone the ‘guidelines’ become rules.168 The European Union Constitution as proposed. They can be summarised as: • Spain and Poland’s refusal to accept changes to the decisionmaking system that had been agreed at Nice. Most other member states supported (or at least accepted) this.5 Neither Germany nor France was happy with this. wishing to keep a national veto on most aspects of tax and . though it would also establish two clear levels of co-ordination. and so the heads of state and government arrived in Brussels in December 2003 with Giscard’s text on the table. This would in effect partly institutionalise the status quo. nor could they be ﬁxed or harmonised under the direction of the Commission or any other European Union institution. and no serious compromise proposals in their brief cases. favouring instead the ‘double qualified majority’ system. following guidelines of best practices. which has twice the population of either Spain or Poland. the UK was one of the countries most concerned to reserve certain policy areas to the system of unanimous voting. and simply being helpful – things. In addition. and not every one was important to every member state or prospective member state. with other member states merely accepting a general co-ordination. in other words. members of the eurozone would be subject to the ﬁscal discipline that (supposedly) came with adoption of the single currency. Instead. with the ECB controlling monetary policy and the Commission having the power (at least in theory) to punish rule-breakers. WHY WAS NO AGREEMENT INITIALLY REACHED? Considerable disagreement over the details of the proposed Constitution was not initially sufﬁciently balanced by any strong desire to succeed. but the UK had serious reservations. taxes would not only not be directly gathered at EU level. as now.
in 2002. while its economy sucked in demand and dominated high value-added production. France supported Germany in calling for a freezing of the EU budget. Now Germany’s economy is less successful it wanted to curb spending. as it wished to cut its own contribution to the central funds. it was heavily ﬁned. including a less savage – or at least more gradualist – attack on welfare systems and the public sector. This was eventually ‘settled’ by an agreement to make decisions on enforcement more responsive to cyclical changes in the . • The reasons behind the different member states’ resistance to anything which smacked of their giving up inﬂuence in favour of a greater say for their ‘partners’: in the run up to the Convention. • Spending: when Germany was at the height of its boom it could tolerate an EU where it was the main contributor to central funds that were used to subsidise the poorer parts of the Union. without which.What Next for the EU? 169 social security policy. it would be in danger of becoming the largest net payer to EU funds. in 2003 France and Germany saw their own budget deﬁcits go well over the agreed limit ﬁxed by the Maastricht agreement. However. Britain was concerned to keep the budget rebate negotiated during the 1980s. • Failure of the Growth and Stability Pact: when the German economy was booming its leaders insisted on imposing stern ﬁscal discipline on the euro-zone. no one was able to impose the same kind of discipline on these big. while the rest of the existing EU ranged from outright hostility to Bush’s aggressive expansionism to. judicial co-operation and defence and foreign policy. Deepening economic problems called forth rival solutions. at the least. Portugal breached the agreed limit. powerful countries as had been so easy in the case of small. When. as did Poland and most of the new member states. Spain and the UK pursued a slavishly pro-US foreign policy. reaching 4 per cent. and during the period it was in session. which would have the effect of reducing subsidies to countries such as Poland and Spain. As things turned out. though far from being the richest member state. with the budget deﬁcit growing in most EU member countries. criticism of Bush and Blair’s decision to attack Iraq. with Britain and Spain leading the neoliberal pack and France and Germany favouring a more mixed approach. In addition. big differences emerged between different blocs of member states. poor Portugal.
appear to be hoping that they will witness a repeat of the economic ‘miracle’ which transformed Ireland. a nebular European army. pro-NATO foreign policy and reﬂect the United States’ mixed feelings over any attempt by the EU to develop an independent force. The two nuclear-armed states.170 The European Union • • • • economy. it should be allowed back into the grown-ups’ playground. Germany’s attitude is that. France would not accept this. not having invaded anyone at all for ages and ages. a place of ready markets and cheap labour. are not likely to encourage such optimism. France and Britain. Defence and Foreign Policy: there were continuing differences of opinion over the establishment and precise nature of the planned EU ‘core defence group’. their citizens will have to wait. The new member states are generally pursuing a pro-US. but great differences persisted as to the extent of his or her powers. however. but not until agreement had been reached on the constitution. also. European President: the idea of having a single ﬁgurehead for the Union and chair of the European Council was popular. before they enjoy . The new member states from the former Communist bloc. while most other member states would certainly prefer any mention of religion or spirituality in the Constitution to be limited to generalities or guarantees of freedom of conscience and profession. Poland and Ireland wanted a speciﬁc mention of Europe’s ‘Christian heritage’. Religion: Spain. tend to be suspicious of Germany. which for historical reasons continues to labour under numerous restrictions applied since 1945 to its right to arm itself. aside from being placed in a position in which alternatives to EU membership are difﬁcult to see. Britain was unhappy about any attempt to extend QMV to foreign policy issues. European Commission and Parliament: the dispute revolved around whether all member states should retain a commissioner. Unlike Ireland. they may have to wait some time before they are allowed (or persuaded) to adopt the euro. France and Germany perceive the new members of the European Union as the EU’s own Mexico. Lying behind the initial collapse was the fact that different member and applicant states have very different ideas of what enlargement should achieve. Conditions imposed on them.
the Irish. the Heads of State or Government were willing to accept the Taoiseach’s invitation to declare in principle that they were determined to overcome remaining differences of opinion. The new member states in general lag far behind countries like Germany and the Netherlands in terms of industrial production and economic ‘modernisation’. who took over the EU Presidency in January 2004. the EU’s leaders had made themselves look foolish and wasteful. In the immediate wake of the initial failure. combined with the reality of enlargement. Through the cumbersome and transparently undemocratic process of the Convention and the ultimate rejection of its work. clearly had quite serious political errors. in the weeks following. The new voting system was not due to be implemented until 2009. the inability to agree a Constitution would have no profound consequences.What Next for the EU? 171 the full freedom to travel to other EU countries to work. were beginning to sound out the various leaders to see what might yet be achieved. and only by coming to a swift and apparently amicable solution could this be put to rights. the Convention. It was either that or face squarely the fact that the usefulness of the European Union to its ‘citizens’ was no longer evident to the vast majority of those so dubbed. Under the conditions of entry to the CAP it seems inevitable that the result of EU accession will be ruin for whole sectors and whole areas of the countryside. persuaded member states to return more quickly to the negotiating table than had been thought likely. and they will receive only 25 per cent of the agricultural subsidies which would be available to them if the current system were simply extended to include them. the way it operated and the nature of the proposal it produced. However. for example. In the short term. THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE One reason why the summit failed was clearly that it did not need to succeed. Their economies are heavily dependent on agriculture. and to set up a series of ministerial meetings resolved to ﬁnd compromises . By the time of the Dublin Summit of March 2004. The collapse of negotiations and the response to this from national parliaments and the media. optimistic EU integrationists were thin on the ground. especially as most of the more far reaching changes would have been implemented only after a considerable delay. However. the summit’s collapse was a huge political setback and the events leading up to it.
• The Commission as a body would. to approve the new text. The Commission • The Commission to be appointed before the end of the year would have one member from each member state. as now. but as now. However. in Brussels. and on 17–18 June. The door was. however. The Council • When the Council is acting on a proposal from the Commission or Union Minister for Foreign Affairs. in truth differed little from that proposed by Giscard d’Estaing. The important features of these changes concerned. the Council would have one month to nominate a new one. individuals might be removed only by the Commission President’s asking for their resignation. This was fully successful. for the most part. with member states being ‘treated on a strictly equal footing as regards determination of the sequence of. Should the candidate be rejected. The text. • There would be a new Union Minister for Foreign Affairs who would be a member of the Commission. At least four members would be needed to form a blocking . left open for further change as the system may be reformed by a unanimous vote of the Council. • The President of the Commission would be appointed by the Council subject to a simple majority vote of approval by the Parliament. nominations to be by QMV. their nationals as Members of the Commission’. a qualiﬁed majority under QMV would now be deﬁned as at least 55 per cent of member states comprising at least 65 per cent of the Union’s population. worked out over nine ministerial meetings and countless intermediate sessions involving the most senior of each government’s civil servants. be subjected to a vote of approval by the Parliament and might be removed by a vote of no conﬁdence by the same body.172 The European Union leading to agreement on the outstanding issues. from the end of its ﬁve-year term of ofﬁce it would be reduced in size to a number equivalent to two-thirds of the total number of member states. and the time spent by. the Heads of State or Government of the Fifteen came together with their ten new colleagues. institutional and ﬁnancial matters. and can be summarised as follows.
‘the Council shall discuss the issue’ and ‘do all in its power to reach . representing also 65 per cent of the population. Multiannual Financial Framework • The member states’ commitment to EU budgetary discipline is reaffirmed in the form of a commitment to impose. No member state shall have more than 96 of these. has already been contradicted by events since it was signed. should object to a decision. Stability And Growth Pact • This was subject to a declaration.. The Parliament • Membership would be limited to 750. The Euro • Special provisions were laid down for voting in Council in instances where only euro-zone countries would be entitled to participate. the qualiﬁed majority would be deﬁned as 72 per cent of the members of the Council.. When not acting on such a proposal. Economic And Employment Polices • Member states would be obliged to coordinate their economic and employment policies within broad guidelines determined by the Union. however many member states there may eventually be. The reafﬁrmation of the commitment to ‘the goals of the Lisbon Strategy’ is more credible. an inherently non-binding statement which. but the details were left to a unanimous decision of the European Council to be taken before the 2009 election and ‘as necessary thereafter for further elections’. a satisfactory solution .’ These changes would be introduced on 1 November 2009.. by . but fewer than needed to form a blocking minority.. as it stated that ‘a rules-based system is the best guarantee for commitments to be enforced and for all Member States to be treated equally’. If a substantial number of member states.What Next for the EU? 173 minority. though even in that case it is notable that levels of spending originally projected to achieve the Strategy’s aims did not survive the budgetary review of 2005.
Economic. and succeeded in winning some apparent concessions. Among ‘least favoured regions’. but equally anxious not to agree to anything which might undermine their sovereignty. the additional text noted. This controversy was. and must await further law. Again. and areas which suffer from severe and permanent natural demographic handicaps’. but its legal status. with which the annual budget must each year comply. Eurojust • As with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. with member states anxious to enable cooperation. or developments in jurisprudence. which had been agreed at Nice. a curious procedure given that that is precisely what it is intended to make possible. with the UK in particular concerned that it should not be binding. areas affected by industrial transition. Enhanced Co-operation • Slight changes to the text were made in order to guard against the obvious possibility that enhanced co-operation should lead to a ‘two-speed Europe’. Relatively low income countries had been unhappy with the original text. Charter of Fundamental Rights • The controversy over the Charter of Fundamental Rights had concerned not its content. a binding Multiannual Financial Framework. the language in the declaration concerning Eurojust was deliberately left open to more than one interpretation. including the newly acceded countries. including as they do . controversy surrounded the precise legal position of this new system for judicial cooperation.174 The European Union unanimous vote in Council and with the Parliament having no more than the right of consent. Social and Territorial Cohesion • This was naturally a particular concern to poorer member states. ‘particular attention shall be paid to rural areas. a further treaty or declaration. however. though this last would also be of beneﬁt to poorer regions of states which overall ﬁgure amongst the Union’s richest. fudged rather than resolved: the Charter’s status was no clearer after the agreement than before it.
though it had been endorsed by referendum in Spain where participation had. however. under the heading ‘Transport’. then.What Next for the EU? 175 ‘northernmost regions with very low population density’. clearly a concession to some of the EU’s least enthusiastic member states. the exclusion of the UK and Ireland from common policies relating to border controls. been embarrassingly low. 2. 3. This was also. A concern for ‘Territorial cohesion’ also lay behind the declaration. WHAT NEXT? The proposal. 4. and the operation of transport facilities’. then reborn at Dublin. a number of concessions to individual member states were needed. These can be summarised as: 1. the French and Dutch turned out in huge . Unlike the Spanish. an assertion by the Netherlands that it will not fully go along with budgetary provisions until ‘a satisfactory solution’ is found ‘for its excessive negative net payment position vis a vis the European Union budget’. that ‘account shall be taken of cases where (the application of transport-related EU law) might seriously affect the standard of living and level of employment in certain regions. Declarations and Protocols Relating to Individual Member States • In order to secure agreement. did not survive the attentions of the electorates of France and the Netherlands. having been originally strangled at birth. a euphemistic reference to the position of Gibraltar ‘as a European territory for whose external relations a Member State is responsible’ and to which the Constitutional Treaty will apply. asylum and immigration. Energy • Here the member states asserted their ‘right to determine the conditions for exploiting (their) energy resources’ and to ‘take the necessary measures to ensure their energy supply’ in keeping with the Treaty. an assertion by the Netherlands of its right to determine its relationship with the Antilles.
which in many ways it was. People were frank about voting against. by enough people standing up and saying ‘No. most people can see merits in both systems. however. that in voting ‘Yes’ they would be voting for a stronger dose of what they had been handed since Maastricht: privatisation. including in relation to the mix of public. in each case poll evidence pointed clearly to the fact that the left’s arguments had been decisive. unless it is stopped by conscious action. Balkenende and Berlusconi. People generally understood well enough. liberalisation. This EUtopia of the right may be achieved by the presentation of a renewed or revised Constitution. on the simple grounds that the proposal was incomprehensible.6 Now that the Constitution has suffered these defeats. its will unrestrained by considerations of social solidarity or environmental protection. unless he or she had spent years steeped in the mysteries of Eurospeak.176 The European Union numbers and voted decisively against a Treaty which was widely regarded as elitist. believing that different approaches are appropriate for different areas of the economy. Whatever I as a radical socialist or the neoliberals whose views prevail in Brussels and Washington may think. if not incomprehensible. It may involve the addition of annexes and protocols reassuring the electorates of those countries . state or social ownership and free market capitalism which should characterise their countries’ economy. The European Union’s journey rightwards will continue.’ There are alternatives. its acceptance would have represented a tremendous victory for all those who wish to see Europe made into a perfect environment in which corporate capital can ﬂourish. If the Constitution had been adopted. this is not what we want and we are not going to tolerate it. Even the ultraconscientious citizen who decided to read the thing in its entirety would inevitably misunderstand whole sections. to the principle of universal access. or we will end up with the kind of free market paradise beloved of Blair. Although traditional right-wing scaremongering about mass immigration and the possible impact of Turkish entry played a role. People saw the Constitution as a threat to their public services. all in the name of a mysterious ‘competitiveness’ which appears to be devouring everything which Europeans have achieved over 60 years since our continent lay in ruins. or abstaining. and we must ﬁnd them and insist upon them. and to their right to determine their own future. deregulation. the forces behind it will undoubtedly make another attempt to foist what will amount to the same programme on us.
What Next for the EU?
which have voted ‘No’, offering sops or even genuine concessions. A third possibility is that the elite will proceed as recommended in the old spoof on ‘The Red Flag’, which has the Labour Party singing ‘We’ll change the system bit by bit, so nobody will notice it.’ What is certain is that the anti-democratic forces which now dominate European political life are not going to disappear. These people have wasted millions of euros of our money on a failed Convention and an Intergovernmental Conference whose work has been thrown out by the electorates not of notoriously ‘eurosceptic’ countries such as the UK or Sweden, but by those of two of the original member states, countries in which the existence of some form of European Union goes unquestioned. Their response to this was, however, not to reassess their politics, still less to apologise, but to claim that they were misunderstood. Brecht once accused the government of the GDR, the former East Germany, of wanting to dissolve the people and elect a new one. Dominique de Villepin, who became French Prime Minister in the wake of the referendum debacle, did not go quite so far, saying instead that it was important to ‘interpret the message’ that the French people had sent. The widespread response to this may have lacked Brecht’s wit, but it was nevertheless apposite and amusing: which part of ‘Non’ did he not understand? This European Union is a neoliberal project and an antidemocratic one, with or without its new Constitution. Time and again we see reforms, carried out in the name of economic integrationism, which undermine political democracy. Countries are admitted to the Union following referenda in which the ‘Yes’ campaign’s propaganda consists of lies, half-truths and irrelevancies. We are witnessing, in addition, the militarisation of a ‘Union’ which is supposedly being constructed in the name of peace, and the inﬂicting on people of an unwanted and bogus ‘citizenship’ over which none of the ‘citizens’ has been so much as consulted. Monetary union is sold to people in the most facile way, with no explanation as to what it really means and no admission of what it is really for. Successive summits attempt to convince us that a system which has kept unemployment high for decades can be transformed into a job creation machine, though of course we may have to give up a few social rights to achieve the promised land of full employment. A Community responsible for the Common Agricultural Policy, certainly the biggest single cause of environmental degradation in western Europe since the war, now presents itself as a champion of the environment. And so on. Try as
178 The European Union
I might, I have been unable to identify a single policy area in which the Treaty of Rome has in itself had a beneﬁcial effect. Everything the EU does is either undesirable or could have been better achieved by other means, and this will only change when we, the peoples of Europe, change it.
My ambitions in writing this book were twofold. Firstly, I wanted to provide students with a basic guide to how the European Union functions. There are plenty of these around already, of course, but they are invariably written by people with a vested interest in spreading the integrationist gospel. This can make them quite painful to read, but it also distorts what they have to say. Certain arguments – such as that Qualiﬁed Majority Voting is inherently undemocratic, or that all sorts of feasible alternatives to this European Union exist – are deemed unworthy of consideration and simply ignored. For this writer, on the other hand, such questions go to the heart of the matter and, whatever side of the fence you eventually land on, no meaningful analysis of the EU is possible until they have been dealt with. My second aim was to present a critique of the EU and its integrationist project which attempts to get right away from the question of nationalism and internationalism. I have written this book as an Englishman who recently moved from Belgium to France. Until the beginning of 2005 I worked for an international organisation, representing a Dutch political party on the secretariat of the United Left Group in the European Parliament. Like most left-minded people of my generation I associate the Union Jack and ﬂag of St George with fascist demonstrators. I believe nationalism to be the religion of fools and a major weapon in the armoury of charlatans. Yet I have no more time for ‘European’ nationalists than I do for any other kind. The sight of adults waving ﬂags is generally an unedifying spectacle, whatever symbols appear on them, twelve gold stars included. On the other hand, the fact that decisions should be taken as close to home as possible, that the further away in distance and culture decision-making bodies become, the greater advantage to the rich lobbyist, these are sound reasons for defending the rights of national parliaments to do what they are supposed to do: express the will of the people. The fact that elected national bodies do this imperfectly is inarguable; but the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the Economic and Social Committee – none of these expresses any will other than its own.
180 The European Union
Culturally, nationalism is a dead end and the world deserves to be the oyster of all of us. ‘European’ nationalism, as promoted by the self-styled ‘pro-Europeans’, is no different to any other kind. The EU is just part of a continent which is, in reality, merely a peninsula of the Eurasian land mass. The successful Norwegian campaign against accession had a slogan which captures this perfectly: Europe is too small for us.
THE EUROPEAN UNION: A SUMMARY OF THE CRITICISMS
In each chapter of this book you will ﬁnd reasons, I believe, to question whether the EU in its present form is really the best approach to governance in the twenty-ﬁrst century. Having spent 18 years working within one of its institutions (the European Parliament), I have seen nothing to disabuse me of the view that the integrationist project serves only one agenda – that of the multinational corporations (MNCs) whose growing hegemony of power at all levels threatens everything that has been gained by people in developed countries over the last two centuries: democratic rights and freedoms, economic security, the chance to live a digniﬁed, productive, fulﬁlling life. This chance is now denied to a greater or lesser extent to growing numbers of people, whilst for most in the underdeveloped world it is further away than ever. Numerous impulses fed into the original drive to establish the European Economic Community: the desire for a sustainable peace and the fear that Franco-German rivalry would once again destabilise the continent was certainly one of them. In the main, however, the Treaty of Rome set out to make western Europe safe for capitalism, and in particular for the biggest corporations, which wanted a domestic market comparable to that available to their American rivals. Since then, the power of corporations has grown, and that of other social forces diminished. This is reﬂected in the four major treaties – the Single European Act, and those of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice – which have carried integration ever further since the mid-1980s, and it reached its apotheosis in the text of the so-called Constitutional Treaty, in reality no constitution at all but a neoliberal political programme, an audacious attempt to transform a temporary political ascendancy into a set of permanent arrangements and institutions. Of course, other inﬂuences can be detected: the hesitancy of some member state governments when it comes to handing over
you subsidise a private ﬁrm to provide it. when examined. a cultural conservatism growing in part from the continuing power of Christianity (of various brands) in European social life. taller. however. or education. The case for ‘the market’ is now rarely put – it is simply assumed. and what’s good for business. The consistent theme. public transport no longer exists in huge stretches of rural and small-town America. which has dominated the theory and practice of big capital and its political servants for almost two decades. that assumption is carried further and deeper. you ﬁrst question its necessity: thus. Nationalised industries must be sold off (in reality. so that the ﬁrm’s shareholders pick up the gains while the taxpayer covers the losses. is that what’s good for business is good for everyone. And if people with more money can buy better food or a bigger car. Universal postal services are no longer needed because it makes more sense to ensure that everyone has email. which lies at the heart of what is now known as ‘neoliberalism’. And so on. Privatisation is necessary. because well. at least publicly. even. Where the market proves truly unable to provide a necessary service. The corollaries of this idea. here and there. the aspirations of ‘ordinary’ men and women. whilst the inﬂuence of the state gives way to the ‘free play of market forces’. to the fringes of the right. The so-called Washington Consensus. everyone has a car (which of course is not true) and if you do provide buses nobody uses them. and with each successive revision of the Treaty. is that government expenditure as a proportion of GDP must be reduced. because state-run enterprises . most have been virtually given away). of course. Yet it rests. an understanding on the part of the more conscious sections of the ruling elite that the burgeoning environmental crisis is not some myth dreamed up by crazed ecowarriors. we are told. is to be able to make proﬁt with as few restraints as possible – even where these restraints involve the wellbeing of the environment or the people and other beings which inhabit it. If you do admit that a service which cannot possibly be proﬁtable is nevertheless necessary. It means ﬁrst of all that the state must withdraw from most spheres of economic activity. are far-reaching. why shouldn’t they also spend their money on health care. more beautiful than the rest? Even to pose such questions demonstrates a moral bankruptcy and egotism which was once conﬁned. but which is now commonplace. on the shakiest of foundations.Conclusion 181 power to supranational institutions. or having themselves or their children genetically modiﬁed so that they are brighter.
Furthermore. the European Commission. because its growing powers have been gained at the expense not of the Union’s unelected authorities but by further reducing those of the member states and their parliaments. Mercosur for Latin America. Firstly. Yet the World Trade Organisation is greeted with universal hostility by those on the left of politics or in the green movement. the EU is by far the most highly developed. The Council of Ministers. to impose policies on peoples whose parliaments have never been given the chance to approve or disapprove them. its remoteness (and that of the Commission). The policies pursued by member state governments are increasingly constrained by EU rules which oblige them to impose a ‘free market’ logic on ever-broader areas of the economy. in both geographic and cultural terms. ASEAN for the Far East and the European Union for a growing area of Europe. if only in the Englishspeaking world. A political viewpoint which once had to compete with others has the ﬁeld to itself. The European Parliament is so remote an institution that a majority of the EU electorate does not bother to exercise its right to vote in elections to it. The idea. the WTO. the World Bank. Yet the increase in its powers has done nothing to democratise the Union. remove power ever further from the people. its institutions and their basis in the Treaty of Rome and its amending treaties. and so on – and in huge ‘regions’: NAFTA for North America. This means that the ballot box no longer offers a way to bring about any fundamental change in the direction of policy. still current in anti-EU circles. with the partial exception of the Commission. whilst resistance to the EU is seen. It is a ‘truth’ which guides the behaviour of the great institutions which run the system at global level – the IMF. Of these. which at least represents elected governments. as anti-internationalist and inward-looking. Decisions are taken by remote institutions – the European Central Bank. that the EP is a talking shop with no real power is outdated. from the lives of the vast majority of citizens tilts the balance away from . not answerable to anyone who is elected. There is in fact no weight of evidence in favour of this view. and the one whose agenda most closely resembles that of the WTO.182 The European Union are inefﬁcient. meets behind closed doors and has the power. Let me then finish by summarising why. in more and more instances. and none is regarded as necessary. I am also an opponent of this European Union. the Court of Justice – which are unelected and. as someone whose thinking and practice have been shaped by the traditions of the anti-capitalist left. transformed into a self-evident truth.
Now. What is certainly true. state socialism. together with a multiparty parliamentary system. a mixed economy on social democratic lines. is that the EU has removed power from national institutions which can be understood. Freedom of expression. however. Secondly. necessary because clearly political democracy cannot function without them. these freedoms. From top to bottom the Commission and Parliament are imbued with such an elitist. can provoke emergency action which may or may not include an effective remedy. it is the latest of the spoils of what was proclaimed as the West’s ‘victory’ in the Cold War. social and other NGOs. and handed it to a labyrinth of remote bodies in faraway places. of assembly and so on. Enlargement of the EU is not a means of bringing the two formerly divided halves of Europe into a harmonious whole. however. technocratic worldview that they are not even aware of it. much more in evidence to the west of the Iron Curtain than it was in the Eastern Bloc. however.Conclusion 183 popular institutions and democratic civil society and towards big corporations. these aspects of the Union have their effects across the board of policies and programmes for which it is responsible. or the need to mediate between competing national industries can lead to higher standards being imposed upon lagging countries. Until the dying days of the Soviet system. to say the least. It would be overly pessimistic to say that sustained campaigning can never gain anything without one of these circumstances being present. It is the multinationals which have the resources to keep up a permanent lobbying clamour in Brussels and Strasbourg. of the press. Democracy was. which threatens to kill thousands of people and destroy hundreds of thousands of livelihoods. were secondary to this. a degree and style of pressure which is utterly disrespectful to the democratic process and ultimately subversive of it. Countries which lived in former times in the shadow of the USSR are now . and it would be wrong to pretend that national political institutions represent some ideal of democracy. are the very deﬁnition of democracy. talked to and inﬂuenced. on the contrary. legislation which furthers the interests of the people rather than those of corporate capital almost never appears except as a result of one of two things: a crisis. democracy was deﬁned in large part as a political system which allowed people to choose between competing economic systems: market-based capitalism. or some combination of these. which is the automatic and unvarying political adjunct of a free market economy. such as the BSE scandal. Despite valiant efforts from environmentalist.
chaotic. Of course. and that fundamental to these is the ‘market economy’. to ‘improve’ their defence capability with every year that passes. Once in. this supposed guarantee of peace. Based on an assumption that there exist such things as common European values. the Common Foreign and Security Policy must take the prize. Together with the promotion of a vibrant. to be desired. their electorates have no opportunity to change this system through constitutional means. from a democratic viewpoint. The ‘Third Pillar’ tentatively introduced at Maastricht and reinforced in Amsterdam represents a major inroad into what have been. decisions are taken in an atmosphere of secrecy and elected assemblies at national and EU level excluded from the process. as is clear from a reading of the Treaty of Amsterdam and much. and other aspects of what are tellingly known as ‘home affairs’. a meaningless Charter of Citizens Rights agreed which imposes absolutely no new obligations on any of its signatories. the new ‘Constitution’ would have required all member states. including those which are historically and constitutionally neutral. but when such decisions are taken we will have . most of it supportive. Again. and is thus a blank cheque written to the future. hoping that the corrupt. immigration and refugee policy. The EU is also about maintaining internal order. to police the new Iron Curtain which is the border of the expanded Union with the countries of the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile. that has been written since that Treaty was signed. the criminal law. We shall see. unknown. increasingly liberalised version of market capitalism as their economic system. they could have stayed outside the EU and the WTO. of course. They have therefore opted to join. If the system through which other policies are determined leaves much.184 The European Union ‘free’ to join the European Union and adopt a particular. the most jealously guarded national competences: justice. Bogus conceptions of citizenship are written into the Treaty. but then no one would trade with them. the CFSP is designed to allow the establishment of an EU armed force to protect the economic and political interests of the Union’s most powerful member states. of course: a framework in which foreign corporations can make money. If adopted. steadily develops a military capability. after foreign policy. nepotistic and gangsterish capitalism which has replaced repressive state socialism will somehow be modiﬁed by being ‘in Europe’. This is what is meant by ‘stability’. the Union. competitive arms industry this is the CFSP’s purpose. What the Union will require of us now we are all its citizens is.
one of the narrowest ruling elites in recent history. the perfect excuse to erode rights won over 200 years of developing liberal and democratic socialist political thought. and they are imposed by an unelected board of central bankers. for what do non-specialists know about how to run a school or a hospital. in other words. Interesting choice of word. Probably the biggest single act of subversion of democracy committed in the name of the European Union. The great danger with this is that this attitude can equally be applied to other areas of policy. The Maastricht Treaty’s convergence criteria for admission to the single currency and the rules for participation exactly follow the Washington Consensus. Since the introduction of the single currency. in most countries. so why not apply the same logic to them and let experts decide everything? . a particular idea of ﬁscal prudence. These rules are impervious to electoral change. directly answerable to them. obliging member states to respect very narrow. at least until the proposed Constitutional Treaty. until recently. has been the establishment of the single currency. it is determined by a Central Bank constitutionally defined as ‘independent’. Before the advent of the euro. one which those same elected politicians are forbidden by the Treaty even to seek to inﬂuence. In the context it means that it is able to operate entirely free of any constitutionally-sanctioned interference from the people or their elected representatives. to submit to a common interest rate which may be utterly inimical to their actual needs. or plant biology. that ‘independent’. rights which were. the euro. macro-economic policy was decided by elected politicians together with central banks which were. whether that new motorway is really needed or that forest really did have to be felled? Macro-economics is not in any obvious way a more difﬁcult discipline than ecology. taken for granted by most citizens of western parliamentary democracies. The same can be said of Stalin. or health care economics. about whether biotechnologies are safe. The bogus ‘War on Terrorism’ launched in the wake of 9/11 has given the EU’s leaders.Conclusion 185 no involvement in them. Hitler or the Sultan of Brunei. arbitrarily established limits on public borrowing and debt. and to prioritise low inﬂation as a policy target: to follow. yet dictators are never described as ‘independent’. backed up by popular struggle. like those of the US. The defence of this system is that ordinary people and politicians simply don’t understand how the economy works and would get it all wrong.
this European Union. which interestingly has been most marked in what are seen as the most ‘successful’ economies. when it is genuine and functioning. Nor do the malign effects of this European Union stop at its borders. remove from the peoples of the member states.186 The European Union The answer is that in democratic societies the people. and its highly selective commitment to free trade and its protectionism in defence of its member states’ industries and agriculture have contributed much to the underdevelopment which has afﬂicted many of its poorer trading partners in the last three decades. however. In its relationships with the rest of the world. It is precisely this right which the single currency. Simply because we need an international approach to the problems facing humanity in the twenty-ﬁrst century does not mean that this international approach. Its muchvaunted environmental policies have done little or nothing to redress the damage wrought by Common Agricultural. being ordinary mortals with limited knowledge and specialisms. is to establish policy goals. Finally. and even the politicians. it acts quite unrestrainedly in pursuit of the short-term interests of European owners of capital. The method is to take an obvious statement – that environmental problems require crossborder solutions. and the single internal market which it was designed. the European Union distorts the natural desire of people to live in peace and co-operation with their neighbours. allows them to do. to underpin. In reality. that the globalised economy demands international co-operation if it is not to be controlled by the unrestrained. a single currency based on discredited and extreme monetarist principles. cannot possibly decide every aspect of policy. What they can do. the Netherlands and Ireland. a . Transport and Fisheries Policies. though competition is stiff. The integrationist answer to problems invariably involves ever greater transfer of power from nation state to Union institution. beyondthe-law actions of corporate cowboys. the last of which may just take the prize for the most disastrous of EU measures. It is then the task of experts to work out how such goals can be achieved. the Union demonstrates a merely rhetorical awareness of the imbalance of power between North and South and the dangers this holds for both. and what democracy. in part. that a large market and a uniﬁed currency may hold advantages – and draw from it specious conclusions. The EU’s employment and social policies have been entirely ineffective in reducing either unemployment or the growing social divide. those in which growth has been most rapid and sustained.
or a ‘Constitution’ which is in reality a neoliberal political programme are the only or best forms of international co-operation on offer. they have even been known to dissolve long-standing Unions. and make a bonﬁre of all those national myths we were force-fed as children. to create a genuine internationalism. but sometimes they react in quite a different way. the European Union in its present form is an obstacle to real co-operation across borders of language. Effective resistance is possible. we must ﬁrst leave all the ﬂags at home. and identify real alternatives for tackling the urgent problems facing all of our nations. then we must set about a root-and-branch re-examination and reconstruction of global governance. and tear down walls. look at the EU’s policies and just how they are made. a starting point for doing just that. Unless you happen to be the CEO of a multinational corporation. and what can be put to the service of the people should be reformed. forget about whose picture is on our money. If we are to develop genuinely international institutions which enable co-operation to take place whilst preserving the democratic rights of the peoples of different nations. culture and history.Conclusion 187 political system which seems almost designed to maximise corruption and the hegemony of wealthy elites. People denied peaceful means to bring about change can become apathetic. In order to defend what is left of democracy. What cannot be reformed should be discarded. I have tried to make this book. As anyone who has witnessed the events of the last two decades in Europe should know. the IMF. NATO and other instruments of globalised power. In common with the WTO. with its bibliographies. I believe that you will ﬁnd that only one conclusion is possible. Its likely result is an ever-growing divide between those who exercise power and those who must suffer the consequences of decisions taken by this elite. Instead. . Though this may be the intention of some involved in the integrationist project. they are unlikely to enjoy the consequences. reject the counsel of technocrats.
htm. can be found at http://europa. I avoid the term ‘federalist’. 5. 4.com/ManageArticle. which. MEP. The Nice Treaty stipulated that this would occur from the admission of the 18th member state.asp?C=60&A=11868 2. The full text of the EU and EC Treaties as they looked after amendment at Amsterdam.htm. 3 THE INSTITUTIONS 1.int/summits/nice1_en. Winter 1998. 6. 2. The option is made necessary only by France. Patricia McKenna. eu. summary of the Treaty and the background to it is at http://www.Notes 1 INTRODUCTION 1. as well as a comprehensive guide to the Treaty and various other documents and pieces of background information. A useful background article on the Nice Treaty can be read at http://www. available at http:// investmentsmagazine. I have used this term throughout to mean someone who favours a more powerful. has an elected head of state. The full text of the Single European Act is available at http://europa.historiasiglo20. the ‘Maastricht Treaty’. membership of the Union leapt from 15 to 25. uniquely amongst member states.pdf. with full executive powers.int/abc/obj/amst/en/. A thorough. as this denotes only one particular form of integration which is not always the one favoured. 3. can be read at http://europa.int/abc/obj/treaties/en/entoc01. Investments Magazine. eu. historiasiglo20. but uncritical.eu. See note 1 above. 188 .htm. no. This condition was fulﬁlled when.org/europe/maastricht. As for ‘pro-European’. p. 3.htm#II.int/abc/obj/treaties/en/entoc113. supernational European Union.europarl. 2 THE TREATIES 1. 5. The full text of the Treaty on European Union.int/eur-lex/lex/en/treaties/ dat/12001C/pdf/12001C_EN.org/europe/niza.eu. 1 February 2005.eu. on 1 May 2004. The Conclusions of the Presidency of the European Council meeting at which the Treaty of Nice was agreed can be found at http://www. this is a propaganda term intended to imply that to oppose or be unenthusiastic about this European Union is to be opposed to any conception of ‘Europe’. The Treaty itself is at http://europa.htm. Spectre. its President. This site is also notable for a picture of a crowd of two people celebrating the Treaty’s signing. Ibid. 2.
21. 9.cor. being more of an idea than an actual entity. pdf.htm.eu.ﬁndlaw. which (when operating) enjoys legislative power over an area of a larger political entity.lp. and one from a different political perspective. Links to factsheets describing the work of the IGC of 2003–04 can be found at http://europa.europarl. September 2004. 16.int/ constitution/en/lstoc1_en.asp.htm.eu.int/facts/1_3_7_en. which has nothing to do with the European Union! 6. A more detailed assessment than I have space for. 12.eca. which led to their endorsement by a large majority of MEPs.int/en/index.eu. Constitutional Treaty Article I-16.eu.htm.int/showPage. The ofﬁcial account of the ECJ and its work is at http://europa. available at http://europa.esc. Constitutional Treaty Article I-16. and links to further information about COREPER. can be found at http://www. is at http://www.int/ institutions/court/index_en.htm. and a body such as Stormont. in other words.htm. Each Presidency organises its own website. structure and activities.htm. the European Council.org/ page84. spectrezine.eu. 20. To look at the current and past Presidencies’ websites.freedomtocare.answers.eu. Slightly more detail.eu. is at http://www. available at http://europa. Quoted in Steven P. For more on Paul van Buitenen. 22.htm gives the ofﬁcial account of the Commission’s powers. tap ‘EU Presidency’ into your search engine.int/ hearings/commission/2004_comm/result_en.htm. 18. See http://www. This should produce a list going back several years.int/scadplus/cig2004/index_en. 7. Unlike the other major institutions. http://www. See http://www.eu. . The Council’s website is at http://ue. A full account of the second round of European Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate. Neither body should be confused with the Council of Europe.int/hearings/ commission/2004_comm/default_en. See Chapter 5.europarl.int/ constitution/en/lstoc1_en. spectrezine. 8. 19. available at http://www. The ofﬁcial website of the European Court of Auditors is at www. include a UK county council or similar intermediate but essentially local government structure. 5. 10.europa. ‘European Political Parties: An assault on democracy’.org/europe/Europarties.europarl. can be found on the European Parliament’s website at http://www. It would not.int/comm/role_en.eu. McGiffen.com/topic/coreper. A brief account of these events which is nevertheless more detailed than space here allows is at http://library.Notes 189 4. eu.eu.htm.int/pages/en/home. The results of the first round.ASP?lang=en.int/. a state parliament within a federal structure as in Belgium or Germany. 11. see http://www. 13.htm.htm. 15. 17.com/articles/00008/000963.eu. The deﬁnition of a regional assembly embraces national but not state-level parliaments such as those of Scotland or Catalonia. does not have its own website. 14. which was followed by the Parliament’s refusal to accept some nominations and its querying of others.
int/facts/1_2_1_en. See.int/comparl/cont/site/default_en.org.int/comm/budget/infos/ publications_en.1. 7.eu.htm.int/newsroom/migration.htm. 7. http://www. ‘Migration Likely to be about 1 per cent.europarl. Survey Says’. website of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.int/comm/governance/index_en.int/ dors/oeil/en/default. http://europa.int/comm/enlargement/ report_11_00/ – 101k – 18 avr 2005.europarl.eu. WWF press release ‘EU Enlargement: Boon or Bane for Nature?’.2.html carries up to date news from this perspective. The Union’s revenue and expenditure at http://www. account of the budgetary procedure go to http://europa.htm. Sources and scope of Community law.int/facts/1_5_1_ en.eu.1. 2.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l34013. The European Parliament’s function as a monitor of the budget can be followed through the website of its Committee on Budgetary Control at http://www.htm. The European Commission’s enlargement website at http://europa.int/comm/budget/budget/index_en. For a more detailed.int/comm/budget/pdf/execution/execution/ ﬁnancialreport03/rapﬁn_en.europarl.190 The European Union 4 HOW THE EUROPEAN UNION MAKES LAW 1.uk/info/pubs/ bbriefs/bb11.bbc. . ‘EU Postpones Croatia Entry Talks’. ‘Strategy Paper 2000’.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4351357.stm.int/comm/ igc2000/dialogue/info/practical/support/presentation/presentation1.int/ comm/enlargement/index_en. but ofﬁcial.eu. http://www.eu. See ‘Enlargement’ on the ofﬁcial website of the European commission representation in the United Kingdom.htm.eu.eu.eu.eu.htm. See Institutional Changes for an Enlarged Europe. co. 2.org/news_facts/newsroom/features/news. available at europa. 6. http://www.eu. 6.europarl. For up-to-theminute discussion on the problems arising from the EU legislative process and possible solutions to them.eu.eu. 3. or http://europa.htm. cfm?uNewsID=12792. The ofﬁcial account of all aspects of the budget can be found at http:// europa.htm#stages.eu. See http://europa.htm. for example. BBC News (on-line). 4. 3.int/comm/budget/index_en.5.htm. 2003. pdf. 5 ENLARGEMENT 1.cec.pdf for the EU Financial Report. 5. http://www. For more details see European Parliament Fact Sheets 1.htm. See European Parliament Fact Sheets 1.eurofound. You can follow any proposed measure through the EU legislative process by using the Legislative Observatory at http://wwwdb. This was the most recent available to the author. 5. see the Commission’s ‘Governance’ website at http://europa. http://news.panda.eu. More recent reports should be available when published at http://europa. 4.
8. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Migration Trends in an Enlarged Europe (2004), http://www. eurofound.eu.int/publications/ﬁles/EF03109EN.pdf. 9. Hard information (ﬁgures, and so on) is taken from the Commission’s ‘Enlargement’ website (see note 1 above) and the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section at http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/faq/index. htm. 10. See Chapter 13. 11. For the ofﬁcial view and some useful information on Norway’s current relations with the EU, see the European Commission, The EU’s relations with Norway, http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/norway/ intro/; ofﬁcial information on the EEA can be found at http://europa. eu.int/comm/external_relations/eea/index.htm.
6 THE COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY
1. Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union, http://europa. eu.int/eur-lex/en/treaties/dat/C_2002325EN.003301.html. 2. Patricia McKenna, ‘The Amsterdam Treaty: The Road to an Undemocratic and Military Superstate’, http://www.notlimitednyc.com/folio/pmckenna/ pdf/AmTrBook.PDF. 3. These are very broad estimates, as reliable information on this secretive industry is hard to come by. See the report Arms Industry Transparency at http://www.notlimitednyc.com/folio/pmckenna/pdf/AmTrBook.PDF. The Bangemann quote comes from McKenna, ‘The Amsterdam Treaty’. The ﬁgures come from European Parliament Fact Sheets 4.7.10. Defence industry, http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/4_7_10_en.htm. 4. Title V of the EU Treaty (CFSP), also known as the ‘Second Pillar’, contains the provisions establishing a Common Foreign and Security Policy. See The Amsterdam Treaty: A Comprehensive Guide (the ofﬁcial rundown on the Treaty) at http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/a19000.htm. 5. Ibid. 6. See, for example, Judy Dempsey, ‘EU-led Forces “Could Intervene” in Sudan Conﬂict’, Financial Times, 12 April 2004; Shada Islam, ‘The EU’s First-Ever Security Doctrine: In the Wake of Squabbles over Iraq, Europe Unites under a Common Foreign Policy’, YaleGlobal, 4 July 2003, http:// yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=2023. 7. See the ofﬁcial CFSP website at http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_ relations/cfsp/intro/, and Conclusions of the European Council, Cologne, 3–4 June 1999, http://www.europarl.eu.int/summits/kol1_en.htm#V. 8. See the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s John Goodwillie, ‘Security Aspects of the Nice Treaty’, http://indigo.ie/~goodwill/nice. html. 9. Headline Goal 2010, http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload/2010per cent20Headline per cent20Goal.pdf. 10. NATO Handbook, Chapter 15: ‘The Wider Institutional Framework for Security: The European Union (EU) – The Common Foreign and Security
192 The European Union Policy (CFSP)’, at http://www.nato.int/docu/handbook/2001/hb150302. htm. 11. CFSP website, http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/cfsp/intro/.
7 CITIZENSHIP, JUSTICE AND SECURITY
1. Treaty on European Union, Ofﬁcial Journal of the European Communities, C 191, 29 July 1992; see also French government website for an interesting look at Maastricht-conferred citizenship from a less sceptical point of view, http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/label_france/ENGLISH/DOSSIER/ presidence/05.html. 2. Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and related acts, Ofﬁcial Journal of the European Communities, C 340, 10 November 1997, http:// europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/en/treaties/dat/11997D/htm/11997D.html. 3. Ibid. 4. Text and commentary on the Charter can be found at http://www. europarl.eu.int/charter/default_en.htm. 5. Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, Art. I-9, http://ue.eu.int/ igcpdf/en/04/cg00/cg00087-re01.en04.pdf. 6. See The Schengen Acquis and its Integration into the Union on the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs website at http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/ l33020.htm. 7. See European Parliament Fact Sheets 4.11.1. Justice and Home Affairs: General Aspects, http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/4_11_1_en.htm. 8. These concerns were summarised in The Right to Asylum in the European Union, a section of Human Rights Watch’s 1998 World Report, which remains available on-line at http://hrw.org/worldreport/Helsinki-28.htm; see also Riva Kostaryano, Transnational Participation and Citizenship: Immigrants in the European Union, http://www.transcomm.ox.ac.uk/ working per cent20papers/riva.pdf. 9. See European Parliament Fact Sheet 2.3.0. Freedom of Movement for Persons, http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/2_3_0_en.htm. 10. See Council Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004 of 13 December 2004 on Standards for Security Features and Biometrics in Passports and Travel Documents Issued by Member States, http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/LexUriServ. do?uri=CELEX:32004R2252:EN:HTML. 11. An interesting discussion of these issues is presented by the Ombudsman of one member state, Emily O’Reilly of the Republic of Ireland, in International Ombudsman Institute VIIIth International Conference Workshop 10, Protecting Rights and Freedoms, 9 September 2004, http:// ombudsman.gov.ie/24aa_156.htm. 12. See Schengen Information System II on ofﬁcial EU Justice and Home Affairs website, http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l33183.htm; see also ‘SISII Takes Ominous Shape’ at http://www.statewatch.org/ news/2002/apr/01sis.htm. 13. ‘European Data Protection Supervisor Says Exchange of Criminal Records Proposal is Not Proportionate – Will the Commission Heed the Opinion?’,
Statewatch News, 13 March 2005, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2005/ mar/03eu-dp-crim-record.htm. 14. A more detailed guide to post-9/11 developments is the Statewatch Submission to the Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights in the EU, www.statewatch.org/news/2003/oct/22swsub.htm; see also the report of the body to whom this submission was made, EU Network of Independent Experts in Fundamental Rights (CFR-CDF), The Balance Between Freedom and Security in the Response by the EU and its Member States to the Terrorist Threat, http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/cfr_cdf/ doc/obs_thematique_en.pdf.
8 MONETARY POLICY
1. For a good overview see Alan J. Brown, ‘Five Economic Tests’ CIO Report, July 2003, http://www.ssga.com/library/povw/alanbrown5 conomictests20030722/page.html; see also ‘Two Near Misses and Two Nos in Euro Tests’, Financial Times, 3 June 2003. 2. Quoted in Jeremy Nieboer, The Pros and Cons of Monetary Union, http:// www.bullen.demon.co.uk/nieboer.htm. 3. See Price Waterhouse Cooper, ‘White Paper’, Managing Mobility Matters: A European Perspective, 2002; European Commission, Report on the Implementation of the Commission’s Action Plan for Skills and Mobility. COM (2004) 66 ﬁnal, 6/2/2004, http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_ social/skills_mobility/doc/com_04_66_ﬁn_en.pdf. 4. ‘Eurozone Teetering on Brink of Recession’, EU Business, 09 September 2003, http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/030909124356.j6s30b0u/. 5. ‘EU Ministers Finalise Euro Deal’, BBC News on-line, 21 March 05, http:// news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4367149.stm. 6. Rob Hamilton, ‘Trends in Households’ Aggregated Secured Debt’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Autumn 2003, http://www.bankofengland. co.uk/qb/qb030301.pdf,; Matthew Hancock, ‘Household Secured Debt’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Autumn 2004, http://www. bankofengland.co.uk/qb/qb040302.pdf. 7. Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation: The Truth behind September 11 (Shanty Bay, Canada: Global Outlook, 2002) 8. Technical details are taken from European Parliament Fact Sheets Part V, Economic and Monetary Union, http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/default_ en.htm#5.
9 THE INTERNAL MARKET
1. European Commission, Completing the Internal Market: White Paper from the Commission to the European Council (Milan, 28–29 June 1985) COM (85) 310. 2. The Cassis de Dijon ruling can be read at http://law.pravri.hr/hr/zavodi/ ielcl/040227/cassisdeDijon.pdf; see http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/3_ 2_1_en.htm for a more detailed explanation of this aspect of the internal market.
194 The European Union 3. See European Parliament Fact Sheet 3.3.3. State Aid, http://www.europarl. eu.int/facts/3_3_3_en.htm. 4. See European Parliament Fact Sheet 3.3.1. General Competition Policy and Concerted Practices, http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/3_3_1_en.htm. 5. European Parliament Fact Sheet 3.1.0. Principles and General Completion of the Internal Market, http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/3_1_0_en.htm. 6. See ‘Chemistry Cleans It Up’, http://www.pr.mq.edu.au/macquest/ sciences2.htm 7. See European Parliament Fact Sheet 2.3.0. Freedom of Movement for Persons, http://www.europarl.eu.int/facts/2_3_0_en.htm. 8. The full text of the Directive is at http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/ LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31988L0361:EN:HTML. 9. ‘Tobin Tax Illegal in European Union’, Spectre Weekly News Review, 17 March 2001, http://www.spectrezine.org/weeklynewsreview/wnr17,03,01. htm. 10. For an interesting and informed view of this problem, see Further Liberalisation of the Postal Services, National Federation of SubPostmasters Submission of Written Evidence to Sub-Committee B of the House of Lords European Union Committee, at http://www.subpostmasters.org. uk/research per cent20brieﬁng per cent20further_liberalisation_of_the_ po.htm. 11. See Charlie McCreevy, Speeches: The Services Directive, http://europa.eu.int/ comm/commission_barroso/mccreevy/speeches/index_en.htm; see also Steve McGiffen, ‘The Directive That Came From Hell’, 28 January 2005, http://www.spectrezine.org/Editorial/servicesdirective.htm. 12. European Commission, Internal Market Strategy, http://europa.eu.int/ comm/internal_market/en/update/strategy/. 13. European Commission Press Release, ‘Single Market: Good Progress Except in Services’, http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/ update/strategy/index.htm. 14. European Parliament Fact Sheet 3.1.0. Principles and General Completion of the Internal Market. 15. Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union, http://europa. eu.int/eur-lex/en/treaties/dat/eu_cons_treaty_en.pdf. 16. See the website of the European Commission Directorate General on Health and Consumer Protection, europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/health_ consumer/index_en.htm; for a more critical view see the website of the European consumer groups’ umbrella organisation, BEUC, http://www. beuc.org/Content/Default.asp. 17. European Commission Directorate General on Health and Consumer Protection, Consumer Protection in the European Union: Ten Basic Principles, July 2004, http://europa.eu.int/comm/consumers/cons_info/10principles/ en.pdf.
10 EXTERNAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS
1. For a detailed account of the EU’s customs system, see http://europa. eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/s28000.htm.
htm. see the publication from the British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND). 3. Oxfam. 23–24 March 2001. http://europa. Presidency Conclusions.developmentgoals. eu. Tackling Poverty: A Proposal for European Union aid reform. for example.consultmcgregor. A comprehensive list of such actions can be found at http://europa.uk/what_we_ do/issues/debt_aid/eu_heroes_villains. See. http://europa. For a full account of how the ACP system works. Larry Elliott and Charlotte Denny.eubusiness.htm.int/comm/employment_social/social_policy_agenda/social_pol_ag_ en. For the ofﬁcial view. http://europa.wscsd. .pdf. Jobs Top EU Executive’s 2005–2009 Gameplan’ available inter alia at http://english.htm.gatswatch.eu.com/PDFs/ GDP%20and%20GPI. The Internet offers a number of explanations of the problematic nature of GDP as an indicator of economic or general wellbeing which are much fuller than there is space for in this book.int/comm/external_relations/cfsp/sanctions/measures. 5. See ‘EU Guides – External Trade in the European Union – Overview’.org/index. and Debt?’.org/ 8. Alternatives to the GDP at http://www. 4.bond. Guardian.eu. The EES: A Key Component of the Lisbon Strategy. epochtimes.htm. ‘EU’s Secret Plans Hold Poor Countries to Ransom’.htm. The EES: A Key Component of the Lisbon Strategy. 6.com/guides/trade.se/static/pdf/conclusions/conclusions_eng. 2. http://www. for a more critical view.int/comm/development/index_ en.html.oxfam.eu.php3?id_article=121.eu2001. European Commission Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs. on the website EU Business at http://www. 7.Notes 195 2. and Problems with GDP as an Indicator of Development and Better Alternatives at http://www. http://www.eu. 3. see http://europa.org. See http://www.com/news/5–1–25/26004. ‘Growth.pdf.int/ scadplus/leg/en/s05032. European Employment Strategy Home Page. European Employment Strategy Home Page.uk/pubs/eu/tacklingpov. Yves Clarisse (Reuters report. 6. 25 January 2005). European Commission Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs.org/ejournal/ article.htm.html.html.org.int/comm/ employment_social/employment_strategy/index_en. Stockholm European Council. see http://europa. 5. PDF. 11 EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL POLICY 1. 25 February 2005.int/comm/ employment_social/employment_strategy/index_en. 4. eu. Social Agenda 2005–2010. the website GATSwatch follows developments in this area and contains links to material representing allpoints of view: http://www. European Commission. at http://www. Trade. ‘EU Heroes and Villains: Which countries are Living Up to Their Promises on Aid.
htm. European Parliament Fact Sheets 4. 1.117. 9. A full list of labour law measures is at http://europa. C-450–93 held that positive action policy on recruitment and promotion contravened the 1975 Directive on equal treatment Judgment of the Court of 17 October 1995. http://europe.eu. The ECJ ruling of 17 October 1995. 14. Kalanke.int/growthandjobs/index_ en.int/. Ibid.europarl. where they are listed on the ‘Analytical Register – Freedom of Movement for Workers and Social Policy’. Intervention.int/comm/lisbon_strategy/index_en. However. http://europa.eu.equalitytribunal. gender-related legislation has no separate category.html. Reference for a preliminary ruling: Bundesarbeitsgericht – Germany.eu.5. ETUC Executive Committee Resolution adopted 22 March 2001. Eckhard Kalanke v. background and current ofﬁcial documents on the Lisbon Strategy can be found at http://europa.htm.ie/htm/equality_legislation_ reviews/pdf/council_directive_75.equalitytribunal. The EES: A Key Component of the Lisbon Strategy.eu. no.html. 12.osha. 15. European Employment Strategy Home Page. http://www. http://www. htm. so for a slightly less comprehensive but easier-to-use listing try the Republic of Ireland’s Equality Tribunal website at http://www.pdf. 11. http://europa. European Commission Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs.int/comm/employment_social/general/com00–379/com379_ en. 18.htm.int/facts/4_8_5_en.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus! .eu.org. Ibid.htm. 21. 17.eu.196 The European Union 7.org/Network/NewsNotes/galbraith. http:// www. http:// europa. eu. All of these measures can be found in full on the EU’s Community Legislation in Force (Lex) website.int/eur-lex/en/lif/reg/en_register_05202010. Freie Hansestadt Bremen. http:// europa. for an expert analysis of the illusory and unsustainable nature of US economic ‘success’. European Agency for Health and Safety at Work.int/comm/ employment_social/labour_law/documentation_en. ‘The American Economic Problem’. vol. See James Galbraith. Facing the Challenge: Report from the High Level Group chaired by Wim Kok. http://europa. 13.ecaar. 16. European Commission Communication.eu. 19. Equal treatment of men and women – Directive 76/207/EEC – Article 2 (4) – Promotion – Equally qualiﬁed candidates of different sexes – Priority given to women. The full text of all ETUC resolutions on the Lisbon Agenda can be found on the website: http://www. 4 (2004).europa. Health and Safety at Work.etuc. Historical.8. 20.int/eur-lex/en/lif/ind/en_analytical_index_05. 10.pdf. go to http:// www.eu. Directive 75/117 on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to the application of the prionciple of equal pay for men and women.htm.ec.ie/htm/ equality_legislation_reviews/eu_directives.eu.html .int/comm/ employment_social/employment_strategy/index_en. 8. For a complete list of EU health and safety at work legislation. Case C-450/93. Social Policy Agenda.
are at http://europa. 6. Reference for a preliminary ruling: Verwaltungsgericht Gelsenkirchen – Germany. at http://www.htm. 5.16. Our Choice.htm.europarl. This is necessarily a sketchy account of the Kyoto Protocol. McGiffen. prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=61993J0450. and a summary.eu. http://europa. 12 THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH 1. http://europa. UK Research Group Calls for Change of Approach’.htm.php?p=50. 26.int/.eu. The European Social Fund.htm. eu. Freedom of Establishment. Vocational Training and Youth Policy.3.htm. A critical comment on the Kyoto Protocol’s emissions trading system.int/facts/4_16_0_en.2. 22 March 2005.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_d oc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=61995J04 09. gives details of the latest development.int/comm/employment_ social/esf2000/index-en.8. Education.eu. for a full account of the European Union’s laws on biotechnology see Steven P.int/scadplus/leg/en/s02311.int/comm/environment/newprg/. Full details of EU action in the area of disability policy can be found at http://europa.ac.int/facts/3_2_3_en.htm. Full details of EU action in the area of gender equality can be found at http://europa.int/scadplus/leg/en/cha/c11309.htm. 25. entitled ‘As Climate Change Treaty Comes into Force. European Parliament Fact Sheet 4. 29. 2. Land Nordrhein-Westfalen. including contributions from NGOs.eu. The European Commission’s climate change home page is at http://europa.Notes 197 22. http://europa.nottingham. Freedom to Provide Services and Mutual Recognition of Diplomas.htm. can be read at http://www.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l28027.2.0. Hellmut Marschall v.int/scadplus/leg/en/s02310.eu. 23. . A ‘Global Assessment’ of the Programme. more information from ofﬁcial sources can also be found at http://europa. European Parliament Fact Sheet 3. That is.int/comm/environment/newprg/. 3. February 1996.europarl. Case C-409/95.int/comm/environment/eia/home.uk/law/ hrlc/hrnews/feb96/affacti. at http://www.eu. See Increasing the Employment of Older Workers and Delaying the Exit from the Labour Market. called Environment 2010: Our Future.int/comm/environment/climat/ home_en. See Peter Noorlander.htm. European Commission ESF 2000–2006.int/comm/environment/newprg/global. Student Human Rights Law Centre Newsletter. European Parliament Fact Sheet 4. ‘Commission Conﬁrms Quality of European GMO Legislative Framework’. Equal treatment of men and women – Equally qualiﬁed male and female candidates – Priority for female candidates – Saving clause. The Programme. For full information go to http://unfccc. European Commission Press Release.eu. 24.eu. is at http://europa.org/weblog/index. http://europa. spectrezine. 27. Judgment of the Court of 11 November 1997.eu. http://www.eu. 4.htm. ‘Afﬁrmative Action: Recent Developments’. 28. the same URL covers actions in favour of older people.eu.eu. htm. http://europa.
pp. 6–37.pdf.oecd.edu/outreach/ publications/2003/FAPRI_Staff_Report_02_03.htm. 9.int/about_efsa/catindex_en. ‘The Common Fisheries Policy’. 8. Analysis of the 2003 CAP Reform. http://europa. for example. European Commission Transport Policy: Policy Guidelines of the White Paper. 14 TRANSPORT 1. 10 November 1997.eu. see European Parliament Fact Sheet 4. http://www. 173–308. see also Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Staff Report 2–03. 6. Euractiv website ‘Africa Calls for Further Cuts of EU Farm Subsidies Ahead of WTO Talks’. European Commission.efsa.euractiv. Wall Street Journal. 7. see Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).eu. euractiv. For a more detailed summary of the reforms.pdf. http://www. The consultation document is at http://europa. Analysis of the 2003 CAP Reform Agreement. http://europa. .foeeurope. Consolidated Version of the European Union Treaties.htm. for a thorough analysis. http://www. eu. See Chapter 15. 2005).htm. 5.org/news/03/030627cap. http:// www. See. but Agriculture Remains Behind’. 13 THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY AND COMMON FISHERIES POLICY 1. See ‘Over 3 Billion Euro in Farm Subsidies Misspent’. http://europa.htm. Friends of the Earth Europe Press Release 15 October 2004.pdf. The value of French farm land. http://www.html. 8.eu.int/comm/ﬁsheries/reform/ index_en. at http://www.htm A detailed account of the hostile lobbying is at http://www.2. 2. 7.missouri. ‘CAP Reform Still Not Enough’.corporateeurope. 4. See ‘Europe Goes Free Market.int/comm/environment/ chemicals/whitepaper.countryside-alliance.org/lobbycracy/BulldozingREACH. ‘CAP Cash Starts Rolling into New Europe – But with No Environmental Safeguards’.int/comm/ﬁsheries/doc_et_publ/cfp_en.int/facts/4_ 1_2_en. and ‘Reforming the Common Fisheries Policy’. http://www.htm.eu. for example.198 The European Union Biotechnology: Corporate Power versus the Public Interest (London: Pluto Press.com/ Article?tcmuri=tcm:29–112802–16&type=News – this website provides an excellent source of material on the CAP in general.fapri.int/comm/energy_transport/library/orientationslb-en.org/dataoecd/62/42/32039793. The full text of the original proposal can be read at http://europa. http://www.org/press/2004/MK_15_Oct_CAP.1. 10 August 2000. eu.europarl.int/comm/enterprise/chemicals/chempol/whitepaper/reach.htm.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29–129612–16&type=News. fell two-thirds during the last quarter of the twentieth century. pp.eu.Ofﬁcial Journal C340. The reforms of the CAP.html. 3. Countryside Alliance Press Release.
eu.org/press/2004/joint_12_March_NGOs. Transport Policy: Policy Guidelines of the White Paper. http://europa. See European Commission.htm. Maritime Transport.eu. 2003–2010. 2.eu. http://europa.pdf. http://europa.htm. 3. European Commission. Ibid.eu.eu. 7. which contains details of some of these measures as well as links to recent safety legislation including the Regulation (EC) No. 417/2002 on the accelerated phasing-in of double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers. Ibid. European Commission. See European Commission.html. European Commission Inforegio Fact Sheet. http:// europa. 5. http://europa.int/comm/dgs/energy_transport/galileo/index_ en.int/comm/regional_policy/sources/docgener/ informat/reg2007_en. http:// europa. if you had to move three tonnes of apples 100 kilometres. 1726/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 2003 amending Regulation (EC) No.int/ scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l60013.Notes 199 2. See European Commission.eu.htm. The Single European Sky. http://europa. Inland Waterway Transport. ‘Towards Sustainable Mobility’ at http://europa. European Commission. see also Friends of the Earth Europe Press Release 12 March 2004. 8.eu.htm. See. 3.int/comm/transport/iw/overview/objectives_en. A tonne-kilometre is a normal unit representing the movement of one tonne of goods over a distance of one kilometre – so. The Trans-European Transport Networks ‘TEN-T’. 5. Rail Transport and Interoperability. 2000) – actually a map and booklet. 7. The Marco Polo Programme. http://europa. 15 REGIONAL POLICY 1. 01 October 2003.eu.html. European Commission. this would represent 300 tonne-kilometres.int/ comm/transport/air/single_sky/index_en. eu.int/comm/ten/transport/index_en. 6.htm. Structural Policy Reform. .eu. Cohesion Policy: The 2007 Watershed. 4. See European Commission.int/comm/transport/rail/index_en.int/comm/transport/ themes/mobility/english/sm_4_en.int/comm/energy_transport/library/orientationslb-en. 4.htm. for example. ‘NGOs Call on Council to Follow European Parliament on Green Safeguards for TEN-t Projects’.foeeurope. for example.int/comm/transport/marcopolo/index_en. http://www. 9. Ibid. Ibid. which shows accomplished and planned transport-orientated building. http://europa.htm.pdf. 10. Galileo: A European Satellite Navigation System. Ibid. the Map of Activities on Transport in Europe (Amsterdam: A Seed Europe. 6. See European Commission. 11. European Commission Directorate General for Transport and Energy. 12.
edu/archive/00001129/01/energy_white_ paper_COM_95_682.int/igc/index.eu. 3.pitt. ‘Press Statement on the Dutch NO Against the European Constitution’.200 The European Union 16 INDUSTRIAL POLICY AND ENERGY 1. Available at http://aei. Reuters Report.html. White Paper. Growth.pdf. 3.sp. 5. on Dutch vote. 5. French Reject Treaty’. asp?lang=NL&content=.eu.europarl. Financial Times. Emma Thomasson and Paul Gallagher. Available at http://europa. 4. 30 May 2005.pdf. Competitiveness.pdf. http://europa. ‘French No Vote Leaves EU Treaty in Chaos’.eu. html.htm.int/comm/enterprise/enterprise_policy/ industry/doc/com714_2002_en. Kartika Liotard. The IGC official website is at http://ue. www.pdf. The text of the Charter as well as background and comments can be read at http://www. see John Thornhill.nl/international/. Energy Infrastructure and Security of Supply. 4.nl03. Communication from the Commission. and Employment: The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st century.eu. 5 December 1993.eu. 2. . 2. ‘Europe in Crisis after Dutch. 6.htm.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2003/ com2003_0743en01. Text of and information about the Treaty of Nice is at http://europa. For a report on French ‘No’ and background.eu.int/charter/default_nl.int/docs/ Treaty/cv00850. Peggy Hollinger and Martin Arnold. This Green Paper has several elements. COM(93) 700 ﬁnal. The draft text can be read at http://european-convention. all of which can be accessed via links from http://europa. See ‘Convention and Intergovernmental Conferences’ in Chapter 3 for details of its composition.int/comm/energy_transport/en/lpi_lv_en1.eu. 1 June 2005.int/comm/nice_treaty/index_nl. MEP. 17 THE REJECTION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL TREATY: WHAT NEXT FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION? 1. eu.int/en/record/white/c93700/contents. http://europa.
Present and Future of the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan. Toth. Stefano Fella and Michael Newman. EU Law (Oxford University Press. Vol. Directory of European Union Political Parties (John Harper. Vol. Europe: A Concise Encylopaedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein (Proﬁle. Society. Rethinking Europe’s future (Princeton University Press.Recommended Reading 1 INTRODUCTION Books Timothy Bainbridge. European Integration in the 21st Century: Unity in Diversity? (Sage Publications.). 2002) John Pinder. 2000) Dick Leonard. 2005) Alex Warleigh. 2001) David Calleo.indiana..htm. 2001) Maria Green Cowles and Desmond Dinan (eds) Developments in the European Union. 2002) Alan Dayton. 2003) Simon Bromley (ed. The European Union: How Does It Work? (Oxford University Press. 2005) David Phinnemore and Lee McGowan. 2003) Belen Balanya et al. Oxford Encyclopaedia of European Community Law (Oxford University Press. European Union: The Basics (Routledge. 2002) Juliet Lodge. 2001) Andrés Rodrigues Pose. Governing the European Union (Sage Publications/Open University Press.: Regional and Global Restructuring and the Rise of Corporate Power (Pluto Press.). (Palgrave Macmillan. 2000) A. Dictionary of the European Union (Europa Publications. 1991. 2004) Websites A collection of links to universities and private research organisations around the world that participate in the study of the European Union is at http:// www. II. The European Union: Economy. Ninth Edition (Penguin. The Economics of Europe: From Common Market to European Union. 3rd edition (Penguin. 2000) Alan V. Deardoff (ed. 2003) Elizabeth Bomberg and Alexander Stubb. The 2004 Elections to the European Parliament (Palgrave Macmillan. 2004 ) Paul Craig and Grainne de Burca. 201 . The Economist to the European Union (Economist Books.G. Inc. 2004) Mary Farrell. The Penguin Companion to the European Union. The European Union: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press. I. and Polity (Oxford University Press. 2002) Rodney Leach. The Past.edu/~unionet/academic. 2002) Dennis Swann.
2 THE TREATIES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMUNITY AND UNION Books Peter Coffey. A range of material critical of the EU from a left perspective can be found on the website edited by the author at www. Reforming the European Union (Longman. 2000) Larry Siedentop.htm.html A concise and irreverent. 2nd edition (Peter Lang.ch/internat/geser1. Negotiating ﬂexibility in the European Union: Amsterdam. The best daily source of EU-related news is www.eurotreaties. European Integration On-line Papers (EIOP) claims to be.202 The European Union A comprehensive EU bibliography with links to other sites is provided at http://www. with hypertext links.spectrezine. European Integration After Amsterdam (Oxford University Press. Ever Closer Union: An Introduction to European Integration. It contains numerous papers discussing the various treaties. but because of its ‘bibliography’ (EU Information Sources in the UK and Links). as well as a very useful list of papers and other resources on European Union affairs.com/.com. 2000) Alexander Stubb.org. http://www. 2003) Your Devust. . 3rd edition (Lynne Rienner. 1999) David Galloway. and currently in force. The ofﬁcial ‘consolidated’ text – the Treaty of Rome as amended by all subsequent treaties. 2000) Karlheinz Neunreither and Antje Wiener.or.law.eu. ‘the most comprehensive virtual library for EU research’ and can be accessed at http:// eiop. The Treaty of Nice and Beyond: Realities and Illusions of Power in the EU (Shefﬁeld University Press.nyu. 2005) Per Gahrton. Democracy in Europe (Penguin. but nevertheless informative. Theories of European Integration (Palgrave Macmillan.eu.int/eurlex/en/treaties/dat/C_2002325EN.edu/library/foreign_intl/european. 2001) P. are at http://www. 2000) Ben Rosamond. Lynch. The European Union at the Crossroads: The EU’s Institutional Evolution from the Schuman Plan to the European Convention.socio. Nice and Beyond (Palgrave Macmillan. The New EU After Amsterdam (European Parliament Green Group. is at http://europa.int/facts/default_en. N.html.htm Contains the essay ‘Why the EU Cannot Succeed’.europarl. http://www.euobserver. 2002) Websites The text of every Treaty pertaining to the EU and its predecessors can be found at http://www.org. covering a wide range of EUrelated matters. Rees. Most useful to students in the main not because of the information it contains.at/. encyclopaedia of the EU.org/dictionary/e.html. 2003) Desmond Dinan. The latest European Parliament Fact Sheets. http://www. and is. The Future of Europe Revisited (Edward Elgar.euro-know.cec.003301.uk/. Neuwahl and W.
html is designed to keep you up to date on legislation in force in the European Union and new legislation as it is enacted. 2000) Rinus van Schendelen. 2000) Bernard Steunenberg and Jacques Thomassen (eds). A Practical Guide to the EU Labyrinth.htm 4 HOW THE EUROPEAN UNION MAKES LAW Books Daniel Guégen. at http://europa.htm contains the Eurim Guide to DecisionMaking in the European Union by ex-Conservative Euro-MP Bryan Cassidy. The Market Meets its Match: Restructuring the Economies of Eastern Europe (Harvard University Press.co. 2002) Websites You can access all of the ofﬁcial EU institutions and information services through a single gateway at http://europa. 2002) Paul van Buitenen.eurim. also known as ‘Oeil’.europarl.stm contains a good summary of each important treaty as well as much else of value. Machiavelli in Brussels: The Art of Lobbying the EU (Amsterdam University Press. The Council of Ministers: Political Authority in the European Union (Pinter. Amsden et al.eu. The European Court of Justice (Macmillan. 2000) Websites http://www. tracks legislative proposals as they move through the various stages of the process and is at http://www2.org/cassidy. The European Parliament: Moving Toward Democracy in the EU (Rowman & Littleﬁeld.bbc. The European Parliament’s On-Line Legislative Observatory. 1998) .uk/1/hi/in_depth/europe/euroglossary/default.jsp 5 ENLARGEMENT Books Alice H. 2002) Philippa Sherrington. Blowing the Whistle (Politico’s Press..eu.int/eur-lex/en/index. 3 THE INSTITUTIONS Books Renaud Dehousse. Democracy in the European Union: Integration through Deliberation? (Routledge.int/oeil/index. 2000) Erik Oddvar Eriksen and John Erik Fossum (eds). 4th edition (Editions Apogée: Collection Sésame Pour l’Europe.int/index-en.eu. EUR-Lex.Recommended Reading 203 The BBC’s Euro-glossary at http://news. 1998) John Petersen and Michael Shackleton (eds) The Institutions of the European Union (Oxford University Press.
org/. Somewhat out of date but still useful as background is Florika Fink-Hooijer. Market Failure: Eastern Europe’s ‘Economic Miracle’ (Pluto Press.).5. 1998) Vassiliki N. JUSTICE AND SECURITY Books Joanna Apap (ed.int/docu/ handbook/2001/hb150302. European Journal of International Law. Guay. The European Union in the Wake of Eastern Enlargement. Vol. 7 CITIZENSHIP. 2003) Websites The European Defence Industries Group has a website at http://www. European Union Foreign Policy: What it Is and What it Does (Pluto Press.edig.euroguide.htm. 1998) Fraser Cameron (ed. ‘The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union’. The Making of European Foreign Policy (Palgrave Macmillan. At Arms’ Length: The European Union and Europe’s Defence Industry (St Martin’s Press. 2004) . 2004) Neill Nugent (ed.). 2002) Karen E.eu.).int/comm/ enlargement/index_en.html.html. Driven to Change: The European Union Enlargement Viewed from the East (Manchester University Press.org/journal/Vol5/No2/art2. (Routledge.204 The European Union Laszlo Andor and Martin Summers. Justice and Home Affairs in the EU: Liberty and Security Issues after Enlargement (Edward Elgar. See also the site of the Centre for European Security and Disarmament at http://www. The Future of the European Union: Integration and Enlargement. 2004) Amy Verdun and Osvaldo Croci (eds).2. org/. http://www. 6 THE COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY Books Terrence R. No. Contemporary Issues and Debates in EU Policy: The European Union and International Relations (Manchester University Press. NATO’s take on the CFSP can be read at http://www.nato.html contains a variety of resources on enlargement.cesd. 2005) Websites The EU’s ofﬁcial enlargement home page is at http://europa. European Union Enlargement (Palgrave Macmillan. Institutional and Policy-making Challenges (Manchester University Press.). posted at http://www.org/euroguide/subject-listing/enlargement. ejil. Dimitrova (ed.). 2004) Antoaneta L. Smith. 2004) Hazel Smith. Koutrakou (ed.
org/‘Monitoring the State and Civil Liberties in the European Union’. Links to sites expressing a wide variety of views and offering comprehensive information are at http://info. 2000) Andrew Geddes. 2004) Peter Coffey. Updated daily. 2000) Malcolm Levitt and Christopher Lord. http://www. and governance.ecb. The Politics of Budgetary Surveillance and the Enforcement of Maastricht (Oxford University Press. 2005) Gallya Lahav.uk/~RDavies/arian/euro. 2003) Karen Henderson (ed. 2000) Andrew Martin and George Ross.edu/ subject_guides/westeuropean/wwwes/jha1. Realigning Interests. 2004) Bernard Moss (ed. 2001) .).euro-information.pitt. regulation. Open Borders: The Case Against Immigration Controls (Pluto Press. Political Economy of Monetary Union (Macmillan. 2004) Websites Links to a range of material can be found at http://www.statewatch.ac. 2000) Catherine Hiskyns and Michael Newman Democratising the European Union (Manchester University Press. The Politics of the Euro-Zone: Stability or Breakdown (Oxford University Press. Monetary Integration and the European Model of Society (Cambridge University Press. 2000) Andrew Geddes. 2001) Kenneth Dyson. Savage.html. Security and Justice in the Enlarged Europe (Palgrave Macmillan. Up-to-date ofﬁcial information can be found at http://www.library.int. 9 THE INTERNAL MARKET Books Michelle Egan. com/.guide.). The Euro: An Essential Guide (Continuum. 2005) Websites The European Central Bank’s website is at http://www. 8 MONETARY POLICY Books Michele Chang. Immigration and Politics in the New Europe: Reinventing Borders (Cambridge University Press.html. The Area of Freedom.Recommended Reading 205 Teresa Hayter. Monetary Union in Crisis: the European Union as Neo-liberal Construction (Macmillan. 2005) James D. Constructing a European market: standards.ex. Crisis and Credibility in European Monetary Integration (Palgrave Macmillan. Immigration and European Integration: Towards Fortress Europe? (Manchester University Press. (Oxford University Press. The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe (Sage.
htm. Global Trade. Labour and Human Rights (AI. including all relevant legislative texts. The international trade union federation Public Service International produces critical analyses of EU proposals. 1998) Websites One of the best sources of general background reading on trade-related issues and other aspects of international political economy is the website Global Issues That Affect Everyone at http://www. Oxford Encyclopaedia of European Community Law: The Law of the Internal Market (Oxford University Press. Philip.B.html. EU Trade Strategies: Between Regionalism and Globalism (Palgrave Macmillan.org/legislat/comweb.oxfam. The North American Free Trade Agreement and the European Union (Praeger. Go to http://www.world-psi. Towards a More Coherent Global Economic Order (Kogan Page. Gianaris. 2005) Websites The European Commission’s internal market website is at http://europa. Its website is at http://www. including those bearing on competition policy.org/index.uk/ index.htm: Towards True Partnership: EU-Africa Summit. 2000) European Commission. 1999) Alan Philips and A.int/pol/comp/index_en. eu. Toth. 2003) . htm..htm.org/aﬁca. 2004) Amnesty International. 11 EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL POLICY Books Matt Barnes et al. Aggarwal and Edward A.org/.int/comm/internal_market/en/index.G.org. 1998) Nikolas V. Links to various EU resources on its competition policy. The Origins and Evolution of the Single Market in Europe (Ashgate.htm.eu.org/pubs/euafpt2.vii. and the provision of essential services.206 The European Union Bill Lucarelli. An example of a critique of EU development policy is provided by development NGO ‘CIDSE’ at http://www.eurunion. 2000) A. The European Union in the US ofﬁcial magazine Europe has a special section on competition policy. 10 EXTERNAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS Books Vinod K. A CIDSE Position Paper: European Union Development Policy (2000).htm. Oxfam UK’s website produces frequent critical reports on EU trade and development policies which can be found at http://www. with links to each is at http://www. A list of consumers’ organisations internationally.globalissues. Poverty and social exclusion in Europe (Edward Elgar. including those concerned with the EU. state aids. The Single European Market (Longman. Fogarty (eds).cidse. are at http://europa.
Germany and the European Union (Manchester University Press. 2000) Ivor Roberts and Beverly Springer.pdf. .eu. eea. 2004) Christopher Knill and Andrea Lenschow.eurunion. 2002) Andrew Jordan and Duncan Liefferink (eds) Environmental Policy in Europe: The Europeanization of National Environmental Policy (Routledge.htm. 2000) Tim Jeppesen. The ofﬁcial European Environment Agency can be found at http://www.org/legislat/ envirweb. The Effectiveness of European Union Environmental Policy (St Martin’s Press. 2003) Wyn Grant.htm. 2001) Websites There is a wealth of useful material on the European Welfare States website at http://www. Mothering the Union. Wurzel. which represents NGOs and is at http://www. Not to be confused with the European Environment Bureau. Environmental Policy in the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan.pitt. Toshkov/MIT Press. The European Social Fund and the EU (Routledge. 2001) Gerda Falkner. Environmental Regulation in a Federal System: Framing Environmental Policy in the European Union (Edward Elgar.int/. Duncan Matthews and Peter Newell. 2001) Rudiger K.edu/~heinisch/eusocial.html. Andonova. 2002) Websites About.com’s ‘Environmental Issues’ site gives a great deal of straightforward information about EU environmental policies at http://environment. The High Level Group’s report on the European Employment Strategy is at http://europa.int/growthandjobs/pdf/kok_report_en. Social Protection for Dependency in Old Age: A Study of the Fifteen EU Member States and Norway (Ashgate.eu. EU Social Policy in the 1990s: Towards a Corporatist Policy Community (Routledge. Transnational Politics of the Environment: The European Union and Environmental Policy in Central and Eastern Europe (Dimiter D. 1998) Roberta Guerrina. Social Policy in the European Union: Between Harmonization and National Autonomy (Lynne Rienner.about. com/newsissues/environment/library/weekly/bleur. 2005) Jozef Pacolet et al..eeb. Implementing European Union Environmental Policy: New Directions and Old Problems (Manchester University Press. 2000) John McCormick. The ‘European Union in the US’ website has links to useful information through its environment page at http://www. Environmental Policy-making in Britain.org. 12 ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH Books Liliana B.Recommended Reading 207 Jackie Brine.W. Gender Politics in the EU (Manchester University Press.
mem. Easily the most entertaining website on the CFP is ‘Save Britain’s Fish’. 2000) Handley Stevens. http://www. The Reform of the European Union Common Agricultural Policy. 1996) John Whitelegg. 1996) Websites Go to http://europa.uk/index. Car Mania: A Critical History of Transport (Pluto Press. .europarl.eu. 13 THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY AND COMMON FISHERIES POLICY Books Robert Ackrill.int/comm/ﬁsheries/doc_et_publ/magaz/ﬁshing_en. 2004) Websites A lively blog on the CAP is Wyn Grant’s Common Agricultural Policy Page at http://members. 2004) Stijn Vanhandsaeme et al.htm. International Institute for Sustainable Development. available on-line at http://europa.208 The European Union The European Parliament Committee for the Environment.org/.savebritﬁsh. Environment and Society in the Twentyﬁrst Century (Pluto Press. Lost in Concrete: Activist Guide to European Transport Policies (A SEED Europe. 14 TRANSPORT Books Jonas Akerman et al. Friends of the Earth Europe produces critical comments on EU environmental initiatives and is at http://www.html. http:// www.int/comparl/envi/ default_en.org. The Common Agricultural Policy (Shefﬁeld Academic Press.eu. (eds) European Transport Policy and Sustainable Mobility (Routledge. The Politics of Fisheries in the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan. Agricultural Policy in Europe (Manchester University Press. 1997) Winfried Wolf. 2005) Christian Lequesne.int/comm/transport/site_map_en.foeeurope.com/~WynGrant/WynGrantCAPpage. htm.dk/aarhus-conference/newslet/articels/eurounio.htm gives an ofﬁcial view of the environmental implications of enlargement. Critical Mass: Transport.iisd. (eds).htm. Transport Policy in the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan. http://iisd1.html to navigate around the whole of Directorate-General Transport’s site.tripod.htm.ca/greenbud/reform.eu. 2001) Alan Greer. The Commission produces a magazine Fishing in Europe. Public Health and Food Safety can be found at http://www.
The European Spacial Planning Observation Network.ingentaconnect. while a quarterly.uk/sbe/planbiblios/bibs/ sustrav/refs/ST36.htm. with links is on a Nottingham University website at http://www.htm. Monetary Union and Class (Palgrave Macmillan.).lu/ transport/src/public1.lu/online/documentation/projects/policy_impact/111/ tor_2. Industries in Europe: Competition. Regional policy is looked at from a business perspective at http://www. can be found at http:// europa. is at http://europa.guide. An ofﬁcial EU monthly periodical. European Industrial Policy and Competitiveness: Concepts and Instruments (St Martin’s Press. The Politics of Europe. Real Convergence and Regional Policy in the European Union: Evidence from 1990s. http://ideas. The Coherence of EU Regional Policy: Contrasting Perspectives on the Structural Funds (Routledge.1.int/comm/regional_ policy/sources/docgener/panora_en. library.org/p/uba/hadfwe/con_2002–11.pdf. 16 INDUSTRIAL POLICY AND ENERGY Books Werner Bonefeld (ed. has produced a report entitled Territorial Impact of EU Transport and TEN Policies. The Regional Policy of the European Union: A Balance and an Outlook (2001) is available at http://www. European Collaboration in Research and Development: Business Strategy and Public Policy (Edward Elgar.htm.cordis. Guersent. eubusiness. html. A good bibliography on European transport.). and Policy Issues (Edward Elgar. Lawton.int/comm/regional_policy/newsroom/archiv_en.html. Trends. Inforegio Panorama. 2001) Yannis Caloghirou et al. 1999) Paul Balchin et al. 15 REGIONAL POLICY Books J..com/content/carfax/cre s/2001/00000035/00000002/art00007. Bernard Herz.eu.ac. which is available at http://www. 1998) . O.repec. Inforegio News. Regional Policy and Planning in Europe (Routledge..Recommended Reading 209 A collection of ofﬁcial EU publications can be found at the site of the Cordis ‘Research into Sustainable Mobility’ website at http://www. Bachtler and Ivan Turok (eds).eu.F.com/guides/regional. 2004) Peter Johnson (ed.pitt. 1999) Websites European Union Regional and Structural Policy is covered at http://www.1.html.edu/subject_guides/westeuropean/wwwes/regions.nottingham. 2003) Thomas C.espon. which is sponsored by the Community Instrument Inter-reg II.
aspx and the papers presented at the 2004 ‘Maastricht Forum’ on ‘European Integration: Making the Constitution Work’ which was held at European Institute of Public Administration. . Competition Law and Industrial Policy in the EU (Oxford University Press.lu/en/home. A Strategy for International Competitiveness and Social Cohesion (Edward Elgar. 2004) Peter Norman. cordis.nl/default.do?uri=OJ:C:2004:310:SOM:EN:HTML. 2003) Joao Maria Rodrigues.html. The Accidental Constitution: The Story of the European Convention (Gazelle. however. 2005) Websites The full text of the Constitutional Treaty is available at http://europa.htm. 2004) Wolf Sauter.eu. 17 THE REJECTION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL TREATY: WHAT NEXT FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION? Books Lynn Dobson and Andreas Follesdal (eds).eipa. The New Knowledge Economy in Europe.org/europe/Constitution2.html.210 The European Union Joao Maria Rodrigues.html. European Policies for a Knowledge Economy (Edward Elgar. is the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) at http://www. 2003) Jonas Sjöstedt.com/home/home.spectrezine. See also http://www.int/ eur-lex/lex/JOHtml. available at http://www.int/comm/dgs/energy_transport/index_en. on 19 November 2004.int/ comm/dgs/research/index_en.htm and http://www.eu. The most valuable site for research information. The website of the Directorate-General for Research is at http://europa. Maastricht. 1998) Websites The website of the European Commission Directorate-General for Energy is at http://europa.vote-no. The New EU Constitution: Centralised Rule and Market Liberalism (GUE/NGL.eu. Political Theory and the European Constitution (New York: Routledge.
27. Rocco 24 Canary Islands 151 capital. Tony 169. 169 Buttiglione. 64. 27. 175 European Commission role in establishing 21–2. 125. 54 and consumer protection 89 and disability 115 and discrimination 59. 39. 183 budget 38–42 budgetary authority 40–2 budgetary procedure 34. Jan Peter 176 Bangemann. 149 Bush. 95 Balkenende. Paciﬁc) group 93. 40–2 European Parliament role in establishing 26. 73. Silvio 176 biofuels 136 biometrics 65 biotechnology 88. 73. 160 Blair. 51. 84.Index ACP (Africa. George W. Jose 24 Belgium 26. 120. 49. 151 Azores 151 Balkan wars 46–7. free movement of 82–3 car industry 80. 164 and structural funds 40. 184 assent procedure 34. 176 Bolkestein. 160 Berlin Summit of 1999 46. 40–2 and Common Agricultural Policy 135. 151–2 Agreement on Social Policy (ASP) 110–11 agriculture see Common Agricultural Policy Algeria 97 Amnesty International 63 Amsterdam. 134 Berlusconi. Caribbean. Frits 86. 121–2 European Community Treaty 59 and European Parliament 26. 53. 64. 52. 96. health and welfare of 135. 90 Carson. 90. 126. 26. 150. 96 Action Plan for Skills and Mobility 70 Advocates-General 29 Afforestation programmes 121 Agenda 2000 39–40. 43. 139 and Common Fisheries Policy 39 compulsory and non-compulsory expenditure 39 and Constitutional Treaty 169 disputes between member states over 169. 154 United Kingdom annual rebate 38 Bulgaria 20. 26. 151. 53. 40–2. 63 and fundamental rights and freedoms 59 Intergovernmental Conference 17 and Justice and Home Affairs 62 and language rights 58 and national parliaments 63 animals. 115 and education and training 116 and environmental policy 120. 9–12 and citizenship 58 and civil rights 10 and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 52. 71. demonstrations 58–9 Amsterdam Treaty 6. 136 ‘anti-European’ 1 Antilles 175 armaments industry 52–3. 175 Bosnia 51 Britain see United Kingdom British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 1–2 BSE crisis 80. 43. 37 Association Agreements 97 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) 97 asylum policy 66–7 Austria 19. 87 Bologna Declaration on the European Dimension for Higher Education (1999) 117 border controls 66. Rachel 119 211 . 85. Martin 53 Barroso. 127.
54. 33–7 in Amsterdam Treaty 12 in Constitutional Treaty 164 and environmental policy 120 Cohesion Fund 9. 136. 53. 152. 139–40 Community Action Plans 138 Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) 138 and environmental policy 121 Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance 150. 142–5 see also transport Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers 59 Community information and consultation procedure 94 Community Instruments (CIs) 113. 93. 115. 150. 90. 135 and environmental policy 119–20. 40. 153 Community Preference 133 competition policy 35. 135. 133–4 and external trade 92. 103. 54 Common Market Organisations (CMOs) 133 Common Security and Defence Policy see Common Foreign and Security Policy Common Transport Policy (CTP) 141. 134. 165–6. 164 Petersburg tasks 53 Planning and Early Warning Unit 54 Political and Security Committee (PSC) 54. 163. 77–9. 153 Joint Inspection Structure 138 Regional Advisory Councils 138 Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 51–6 Battle Groups 55 Common Strategy 54 and Constitutional Treaty 163. 94 Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) 136–8. 152–3 and Agenda 2000 151 and Constitutional Treaty 174–5 European Commission ‘factsheet’ Cohesion Policy: the 2007 Watershed 157 and Lisbon Agenda 100.212 The European Union Cartagena Convention on Biosafety 126 Cassis de Dijon case (1979) 77 catalytic converters 80 CEEP. 117. 151. 170. (EU-wide small businesses’ group) 112 Charter of Fundamental Rights 60–1 and Constitutional Treaty 166. 181 Citizenship 7. 150. 94. 57–65 and Amsterdam Treaty 57–9 and Constitutional Treaty 166 and Maastricht Treaty 9 civil rights 10 Clean Development Mechanism 124 climate change 119. 123 and industrial policy 155 and public ownership 84 and transport 141 . 152–3 and TENs 84 Cohesion policy 32. 172 chemicals. 55 Western European Union (WEU) 52. 95 and protectionism 95 Common Customs Tariff (CCT) 92. 177 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund 133. control of 127–8 child beneﬁts and family allowances 81 children and dependency ratio 116 offences against 11 Christianity 166. 153 and export subsidies 94. 139 and budget 39. 107 in Nice Treaty 13 in Single European Act 8 see also regional policy Comenius (EU education programme) 116 Committee of the Regions (CoR) 31 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 132–6. 170 Headline Goal 2000 54 High Representative for 51–2. 123–6 and energy policy 158 and transport 141 co-decision procedure 26.
128 and European Central Bank 75 and European Commission 20. 55 and genetically modiﬁed organisms (GMOs) 126 and health and safety at work 108 and legislative procedure 33. 37 consumer protection 7. 61. 180 Declarations and Protocols relating to individual member states 175 and enlargement 44 and European Commission 170 and European Parliament 26. 140 Consumer Action Programme (1975) 89 Consumer Protection in the European Union: Ten Basic Principles 91 Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC). 54. 25. 26 and external trade 22. 21. 89–91. 30. 22 Euro Council 75. 162. 159 and food safety 130 and genetically modiﬁed organisms (GMOs) 127. 94 Fisheries Council 138 Foreign Affairs Council 163 General Affairs Council 16. 174 and chemicals policy (REACH) 128 and Committee of the Regions 31 and Common Fisheries Policy 137. 8. 85 and lobbying 80 ‘Priorities for Consumer Policy 1996–98’ (Action Plan) 90 and public health 128 Convention 18–19.Index conciliation procedure 35–6 Conservatives. 111 Constitution/Constitutional Treaty 2. 92. 34–8 and Lisbon Agenda 100 in Maastricht Treaty 9 in Nice Treaty 11. 74. 3. representation in 31 and energy policy 84. 138. 171 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights) see Council of Europe co-operation procedure 33. 173 and European Court of Justice 30 and European Parliament 21. 128 and internal market 76. 77. 173 and Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) 31 and energy policy 158 and environmental policy 119. 175–7 Spanish referendum on 175 consultation procedure 33. security and justice’ 62. 167. 65 and budgetary procedure 40–1. 36 Copenhagen Criteria 47 213 COREPER (Committee of Member States’ Permanent Representatives) 17 Council of Europe European Convention on Human Rights 59. 172–3 Declarations of 33 and disability 115 Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) 75 and Economic and Monetary Union 22. 52 and ‘area of freedom. British 27. 138 and Common Foreign and Security Policy 52. 170 and ‘European President’ 170 initial rejection by member state governments 169 rejection of in French and Dutch referenda 8. 75. 32. 34. 162–78. 17–19. 55 . 158. 60 European Social Charter 59 Council of Ministers 15–17. 55 Common Position 34 and Constitutional Treaty 164. 182 Agriculture Council 133 in Amsterdam Treaty 10. 162. 106 and air transport 144 in Amsterdam Treaty 12 in Charter of Fundamental Social Rights 60 and Common Agricultural Policy 132 and Common Fisheries Policy 137.
28. 70. 165 Croatia 43. 103. 44 dangerous products 90. 183. 27. 43. 114. 186 and Amsterdam Treaty 9. 156 of older people 105. 76. 107 democracy 25. 187 and Common Foreign and Security Policy 56 and Economic and Monetary Union 185–6 and enlargement 47 and Qualiﬁed Majority Voting (QMV) 165 Denmark 11. 112. 88 and Lisbon Agenda 100. 134. 102–9. right of EU citizens to 57 ‘Directives’ 32. 98. see Services in the Internal Market. 47. 11. 27. 68. 51. 99. 96–8. 35 Recommendations of 33 Requirement for unanimity in 33–4 and Services in the Internal Market. 10. 9 and regional policy 150 and social spending 102 see also Euro Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC or ESC) 31. 143 discrimination 7. 62. 115. 34 disability 10. 103. 160. 179 ECU (European Currency Unit) 72 education 116–17 Egypt 97 elderly people 115–16 emissions trading see Kyoto Protocol employment 7. 101. 10 and Constitutional Treaty 173. 175 and disability 114–15 and enlargement 47 and euro 68 and European Social Fund 117–18 and freedom of movement 81 and internal market 77. 109 Dublin Convention of 1988 64 e-coli 90 Economic and Financial Committee 75 Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) 65–75 and European Commission 22 origins in Maastricht Treaty 5. 153 deregulation 95 and Constitutional Treaty 176 of labour markets 88. 26. 100. 154 of women 105. 177. 144 development 39. 62. 115. 12. 114–15. proposed Directive on (2005) Countryside Alliance 136 crime 6. 113 energy policy 157–9 and TENs 84 and Constitutional Treaty 175 . 45 Czech Republic 26. 95. 59. 120 diplomatic representation. 107. 44. 155. 92 Cyprus 26. 101. 109. 101. 153 drugs. 128 data protection 65. 27. 92 customs union 5.214 The European Union Council of Ministers continued and Port Services. 104 of transport 143. proposed Directive on 144 Presidency 16 Qualiﬁed Majority Voting in 33–4. 11. 99–118. 59. 56. 66. 112–13 Employment Guidelines 99. 93 customs co-operation 10. 102. 63. illegal 6. 39. 115–16 and Structural Funds 150–2. 177. 49. 66 ‘Decisions’ 32 ‘Declarations’ 32 defence see Common Foreign and Security Policy delocalisation of production 86. 186 dioxins 90. 62 and crime 11 duties and tariffs 39. proposed Directive on 129 in Single European Act 8 and state aids 78 and TENs 145 and workers’ rights to information and consultation 111 Country of Origin Principle.
44 Euro see Economic and Monetary Union Eurojust 172 ‘Europe’ as short-hand for European Union 1 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) see Common Agricultural Policy European Atomic Energy Community (Eurotom) 157 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 144 European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 46 European Central Bank (ECB) 74–5. 177 and Common Fisheries Policy 138 and Constitutional Treaty 164. 85. 12. 84 and transport 83. 172 and consumer policy 91 and Convention 18 and discrimination 59 . 26 and industrial policy 156 and regional policy 45. 135. 168. 143. 139. 112–14 and Amsterdam Treaty 10 Community Framework Strategy on gender equality 113 and Structural Funds 113. 159 European Commission 19–25 and Amsterdam Treaty 10 and budgetary procedure 40. 146 Equal (Community Instrument to combat discrimination) 153 equal opportunities 59. 106 and lobbying 80 in Maastricht Treaty 9 mainstreaming of 143 in Nice Treaty 7 and regional policy 150 215 and research and development 159 and Services in the Internal Market. 171 and environmental policy 146 and European Parliament 24. 141. 8 and Structural Funds 150. (EU university education programme) 116 Estonia 26. 171 and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 56 and Constitutional Treaty 170. 41 and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 54 Communications of 33 and competition policy 22. 27. 121. 176 and consumer policy 89. 93. 101. proposed Directive on 87 in Single European Act 4. 86. 142. 90 and Council of Ministers 16 and Economic and Social Committee 31 and energy policy 158 and enlargement 43. 162 of 2007 (projected) 20 and Cohesion Fund 153 and Common Agricultural Policy 45. 168 European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) 17. 164. 150 Erasmus. 78–9 and Constitutional Treaty 19. 77. 109. 171 and TENs 146 and transport 142 Environmental Action Programmes (EAPs) 119. 80. 136. 156 and liberalisation 158 and Lisbon Agenda 103. 82. 48–9. 149. 43–50. 154 and research and development 157 and restriction of right to freedom of movement 46. 118. 123 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 121 environmental policy 119–28 in Amsterdam Treaty 6.Index Enhanced Co-operation 174 enlargement 43–50 of 2004 19. 157. 163. 89 and Common Agricultural Policy 135. 152 and TENs 83. 150 environmental economic strategies as source of growth 106 and European Court of Justice 30 and internal market 76.
170. 182 and civil liberties 62 and Constitutional Treaty 166 and discrimination 59. 97 Green Papers 34 and legislative procedure 33–8 and Maastricht Treaty 9 and Nice Treaty 7. see Amsterdam Treaty European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). 16. 22. 100 European Environmental Bureau 120 European Food Safety Authority 130–1 European Foreign Minister 163. 32 and external trade 22. 54 and Constitutional Treaty 8. 85 European Investment Bank (EIB) 46. 55 and Single European Act 8 Stockholm Summit 2001 100 Thessalonika Summit 2003 162 European Court of Auditors 30–1. 29–30. 164. 164. 13 Recommendations of 33 Social Agenda for 2005–10 100 and state aids 77 Tobin Tax. 49 and enlargement 44 and environmental policy 120 and human rights 33. 42 European Court of First Instance 29 European Court of Human Rights 30 European Court of Justice (ECJ) 15. see Council of Europe European Council 14–15 and Amsterdam Treaty 10 Cologne Summit 1999 60 and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 53. 26. 94. 107 European Investment Fund 84 European Monetary Union see Economic and Monetary Union European nationalism 179–80 European Parliament (EP) 15. 74 Lisbon Agenda 100 Lisbon Summit 2000 100 Luxembourg Summit 1998 100 and Maastricht Treaty 9 and Nice Treaty 13. 164. view of 83 and transport policy 83 White Papers 34 European Community (EC) 1 European Community Treaty. 85 European Economic Community (EEC) 157. 172 European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions 48 European Free Trade Area (EFTA) 49. 15 and European Court of Justice 29. 38 informal consultations 36–7 and legislative procedure 33–8 monitoring expenditure 42 and nomination of European Commission 23–5 . 96. 33. 113 Joint Employment Report of Commission and Council 99. 100 National Action Plans 99. 46 Declarations of 33 and European Monetary Union 73. 180 European Employment Strategy 99. 172 corporate lobbying of 29 election of 24. 167. 163. 100. 12. 92. 25–9 and budget 38 Committee on Budgetary Control 42 and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 54 and Constitutional Treaty 163. 113 and internal market 77. 86 and Maastricht Treaty 9 European Data Protection Supervisor 66 European Defence Agency 55 European Disability Forum 115 European Economic Area (EEA) 49–50. 172. 30. 173 Copenhagen Summit of 1993 45.216 The European Union European Commission continued and European Central Bank 75 and European Council 14. 93. 84.
73. 125 Green Papers. 26. 44. 169. 81. 95. 107 Great Britain see United Kingdom Greece 26. 170. 64. 166. 71. 19. 104. 63 agreement with US 65 ‘euro-sceptics’ 1. 170–1 Friends of the Earth 136 Galileo (satellite-based radio navigation system) 146 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 94. 135 217 foreign policy. 152 greenhouse gases 124. 74. 73. 162. see Common Foreign and Security Policy right of member states to secede from 167 European Works’ Councils 112 Europol (EU police force) 62. 77. 18. 70. agreement with US on 65 history and development of 180–1 and legal personality 167 militarisation. see European Commission Green parties 119 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 71. 107. 51. 27–8 resolutions of 33 Shadow Rapporteurs 36 and TENs 146 European Political Parties 28–9 European Prosecutor 165 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 150. see Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) ‘Four Freedoms’ 80 France 8. 36. 169 Grundtvig (EU adult education programme) 117 health and safety at work 86. Nigel 28 federalism 166–7 Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) 150 Finland 19. 26. 126–7. 131 Geneva Convention on Refugees 63. 168. 52. 160. 27. 37. 175 freedom of movement 57. 168. 107–10 Action Programmes 108–9 Commission Communication Adapting to change in work and society: A New Community Strategy on Health and Safety at Work. 170 Giscard d’Estaing. 74. 43. 112 . 103. 166 globalisation 95–6. 73. 64. 150 European System of Central Banks (ESCB) 75 European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) 107 European Union (EU) 1. 67 Germany 19. 26. limitations of as measure of real economic success 99 Growth and Stability Pact 70. 150. 149. 14 citizenship of 57 and democracy 182–6 extradition and judicial cooperation. 64. 43. 152 European Research Area 160 European Research Council. 80. 2–3. 169. 144 powers of 22–3 Rapporteurs 36 ‘readings’ 35–8 rejects proposed Directive on Market Access to Port Services 144–5 representation in 26. 135 General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) 97 Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) 134 General Product Safety Directive (1992) 90 genetically-modiﬁed organisms (GMOs) 120.Index Political Groups 35. 70. 98. 51. 162. proposal for 107 European Social Charter (1961) 59 European Social Fund (ESF) 117–18. 27. 2002–2006 109–10 Framework Directive (1989) 108 and women 109. 26 Farage. 70. Valery 18–19. proposal for 106 European Social Action Investment Plan. 27. 151 ﬁscal policy 167–8 food safety 130–1. 47. 27.
218 The European Union health policy. 24. 83 IMF (International Monetary Fund) 182. 26. 81–2 participation rate of older workers in 99. 165 internal market see Single European Market (SEM) International Criminal Court 47 International Labour Organisation (ILO) 60 Inter-reg III (Community Instrument) 153 Iraq 64. 101. 100 labour mobility 70. 52. 162. 50. 44. 27. 59 and Charter of Fundamental Rights 60. 166 and Common Foreign and Security Policy 56 and enlargement 47 and European Parliament 33. 143 of world trade 95 Lichtenstein 49. 90 Joint Employment Report 100 Joint Research Center (JRC) 160 Jordan 97 judicial co-operation 62 Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) 62–7 and Maastricht Treaty 5. 165. 104 Kosovo 51. 102–7. 104. Helmut 69 Kok. 53 Kyoto Protocol 123–6 labour costs 102 labour markets direct intervention 99. 103 and ‘convergence’ 100 and education 105 and enlargement 105 and ‘European social model’ 103. 102. 44. 99. 9 Kohl. 64. criticisms of by 107 and health and safety at work 109 and ‘knowledge-based society’ 103 and regional policy 154 Report of the High-Level Group of Independent Experts. 48. 187 immigration 63 industrial policy 155–7 information and communications technology (ICT) 105 Intergovernmental Conferences (IGCs) 17–19. 156 and ‘competitiveness’ 99. Lisbon Agenda Latvia 26. 27. 105 participation rate of women in 105 reform of 99. Wim 103. 45 Leader + (Community Instrument for poorer rural regions) 153 Lebanon 97 Leonardo da Vinci (EU training and education programme) 117 liberalisation of capital movements 83 and Constitutional Treaty 176 of energy supply 158–9 and Lisbon Strategy 103 of transport 141. 43. 73. 27. Facing the Challenge 103–7 and Research and Development 105. 64. paid 99 Horizon (unemployment initiative) 115 humanitarian aid 97 human rights and Amsterdam Treaty 10. see public health Helios (EU network for disabled people) 115 Helsinki Final Act 56 holidays. 73. 100. 85 Lingua (EU language education programme) 117 Lisbon Agenda/Programme/Strategy 88. 38 and Maastricht Treaty 97 and terrorism 64 of women 114 Hungary 26. 149. 170. 45. 105 European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). 49 Iceland 49. 175. 168 Ireland 26. European Employment Strategy. 27. 65. 106 . 150. 106 see also employment. 186 Israel 38 Italy 19. 102.
53. 44. 158. 27. right of 58 PHARE (Poland–Hungary Assistance in Restructuring their Economies) 46 Poland 26. 26. 27. 106–7 on software 106 Palestine 64 parental leave 112 Paris Charter 56 part-time work 112 peacekeeping 10. 62 McCreevy. 175 Nice. 27. 160. 54 and development policy 96–7 and education and training 116 and environmental policy 120. Patricia 6 Madariaga. 120. 155. 134 London bombings of 2005 146 Luxembourg 26. British 1–2 Mercosur (Latin American economic community) 97 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 97 Miners’ Strike (1984–85) 111 Minerva (EU open and distance learning programme) 117 Morocco 97 Multi-annual Financial Framework 174 multinational corporations (MNCs) political power of 182–3 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) 182 nationalism 179–80 219 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) 52. Charlie 87 McKenna. 155. 73. 98. 98 Marco Polo (transport programme) 146 media. 27. 98 Luxembourg Process. 12–13. 7. 85. 44 lobbying 29. 80. 170 . 54. Javier Solana 52 Madeira 151 Madrid bombing of 2004 64 ‘mainstreaming’ 121. 125. 123 and health 128 and Justice and Home Affairs 62 and regional policy 150 and research and development 160 three pillar structure 5. 73.Index Lithuania 26. 73. 8–9 and citizenship 57 and co-decision 26 and Common Foreign and Security Policy 51–2. 157. 183 Lomé Convention 96. 179. 54.143. 53 pensions aggregation 81 competence 115 Petersberg tasks 10. 79. 70. Treaty of 6–8. 187 nature conservation 97 Netherlands 8. see European Employment Strategy Maastricht Treaty (Treaty on European Union) 4–6. 86. 162. 96. 58 open method of co-ordination 99–100 ‘Opinions’ of the Economic and Social Committee 31 of the European Parliament 33 patents Community Patent 88. New Opportunities for Women 113 nuclear energy 46. 53 petition. 170. 180 NOW. 159 oil 85. 157 Malta 26. 126. 128. 27. 158 Ombudsman 26. 168–9 Northern Ireland Peace Initiative 153 Norway 49. 168. 103. 169. 166. 97. 162 and Committee of the Regions 31 and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) 55–6 and Economic and Social Committee 31 European Council meetings 14 and European Political Parties 28–9 Intergovernmental conference 17 and Qualiﬁed Majority Voting (QMV) 6.
67 Political Cooperation 51 Political Parties at European Level. 97. 55 and Single European Act 8 weighting of votes per member state 168 racism 11. see Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pollution 80. 62. 7. 45. availability of 106 Romania 20. 12. 27. 27. factory closure 111 renewable energy 158–9 Research and Development (R&D) 104. 114. 49. proposed Directive on 129 ﬁnancial 105. 164–5. 26. 98. recognition of 88–9 proportionality 6. 107 pure beer law (German) 77 Quakers 63 Qualiﬁed Majority Voting (QMV) 33–4 and Amsterdam Treaty 10 and Common Foreign and Security Policy 54. 59. 156 privacy 65 privatisation 95. 176. 181 productivity 100. 63. 34 Renault. 57 resident non-EU nationals. 119. 157. 65. 168 and environmental policy 122–3 and health and safety at work 108 and Maastricht Treaty 9 and Nice Treaty 6. 159–61 Sixth Framework Programme for (2003–06) 160 spending on 161 residence. 166. 150. 149. 112 services essential.220 The European Union police 9. Structural Funds ‘Regulations’ 32. 126. 107 . 74. see European Political Parties Political and Security Committee (PSC). 57. 101. 66. 125. 141. 104 agricultural 132 in EU compared to US and Japan 157 and Lisbon Agenda 106 in new member states 105 ‘pro-European’ 1 professional qualiﬁcations. 172–3 and democracy 33–4 ‘double qualiﬁed majority’ 165. 63. 45. 71. 142. 149 rural development 135 SAFE (Safety Actions for Europe) Safety Actions for Europe 108 salmonella 90 Santer. 96 public–private partnerships 106 public procurement 106. 73. 10. 147. 120. 43. Cohesion Fund. 167 protectionism 30. rights of 49. 107 freedom to provide 86 free movement of 86. 95. 156. 169 postal services 85 poverty 39. 170. 43. 104. 170 and Constitutional Treaty 163. restriction of by EU measure 66 risk capital. 65 self-employed. 158 Portugal 26. Jacques 23 Schengen system 11. 62. rights of 63 right to demonstrate. right of 11. 58. 67 REACH 127–8 Readmission agreements 67 ‘Recommendations’ 33 Redundancy 111 refugees 66–7 refunds. 149. 186 ‘provisional twelfths’ 41 public health 128–30 and the Common Agricultural Policy 136 DG Sanco 128 public ownership 84. 103. 11. 82. to member states 39 regional policy 149–54 and Constitutional Treaty 174–5 and poverty and social exclusion 149 see also European Regional Development Fund. 106. 145.
136. 48. Margaret 111. 116–17. 184. 73. Jonas 83 Slovakia 26. 169. 44. 150 see also Agenda 2000. 177 Swedish Left Party 83 Switzerland 49. 107 and transport 141 221 Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) 95 Structural Funds 150–4 and environment 120–1 and equal opportunities 113. 64. 104. 98. 150 and industrial policy 156 and regional disparities 149 and restructuring of industry 150 and transport policy 141–6 transposition of internal market measures by member states 105 White Paper on completing the internal market. 144 training 45. 100. 156 Trans European Networks (TENs) 83–5.Index promotion of competition among 106 shift from manufacturing towards 156–7 Services in the Internal Market. 65. 104 Action Plan for (1997) 88 and employment 80. 52. 44. 153. 107. 159 and social policy 4 Single European Market (SEM) 76–91. 108 social exclusion 100 Solana. 45. 175 state aids 77–8. 9. 117–18. 151. 94. 138 Sweden 19. 114. 171 ﬁsheries 137. 174 Spain 19. 43. 44. 134. 27. 135. 88. 93. 142 and environmental damage 85. 93. 121. 79 and barriers to trade 4. 126 Treaty on European Union (TEU) see Maastricht Treaty Treaty of Rome 32 aims of 1 and agricultural policy 132 amendments to 4 competition policy 78 and development policy 96 and energy policy 157 . 66 textiles 92 Thatcher. 160. 49. European Regional Development Fund. 89. 150. 96 and health care 129–30 single currency see Euro Single European Act (SEA) 4. 168. European Social Fund subsidiarity 6. 133. 145–6 and industrial policy 153 transport 141–8 cost of 85–6. 186 see also World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade unions 31. 166–7 subsidies 22. 67. 114. 26. 149. 45 Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) 106 social dumping 87. 27. Cohesion Fund. 32. 8. 126. 43. 27. 59. 143 Tobin Tax 83 trade. proposed Directive on (2005) 86. 27. 170. 169 agricultural 96. 105 and environment 80. 111. 115. 26. 112. 50 Syria 97 technology 159–61 telecommunications 83–4 data protection and privacy 10 TENs see Trans European Networks (TENs) terrorism 64. 68. 79 and co-decision 26 and common foreign and defence policy 4 and environmental policy 4 and frontier controls 57 and internal market 4 and regional policy 149 and research and development 4. 22. Javier 52. 155. 134. 77. external 92–8. 163 sovereignty 5. 1985 76 see also services ‘Single European Sky’ 144 single programming document 150 Sjöstedt. 49 Slovenia 26.
Paul 23 VAT (Value Added Tax) 38. see European Commission women access to labour market 112–14. 38. 27. 68. 102 working hours 99 World Bank 182 World Customs Organisation 65 World Trade Organisation (WTO) 76–7. 165.222 The European Union Treaty of Rome continued and environmental policy 119 and equal pay 112 and free movement of goods 76 and free movement of labour 81 and public ownership 84 and state aids 77–8 and transport policy 141 Tunisia 97 Turkey 38. 54. 135. 102. 97 and the Common Agricultural Policy 134. 123. 19. 49. 124 universities. 123 pollution of 120. 82. 170 United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) 1. see European Foreign Minister United Kingdom 2. 166. 89 Villepin. 53. 149 Unemployment see employment UNICE (EU-wide employers’ group) 112 Union Minister for Foreign Affairs. 71. 43. 61. 26. 169. Dominique de 177 Visa Information System 65–6 Volkswagen 90 voting rights of EU citizens 58 ‘War on Terrorism’ 64 Washington Consensus 181–2 waste management policy 84. 136 and Common Customs Tariff 92 Doha ministerial conference 134 World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) 138 Youth for Europe Programme 117 Yugoslavia. 111. 118 and Convergence Criteria 112 and Stability and Growth Pact 112 see also equal opportunities. 28 United Nations Charter 56 United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 134 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change See Kyoto Protocol United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) 63–4 United States 51. 43. 94–5. 39. 121. relationship with industry 106 Van Buitenen. 52. 123 privatisation of 96 Western European Union (WEU) see Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) White Papers. gender discrimination. 99. 158 water supply 84. gender equality workers’ rights Directive on the Approximation of the Laws of the Member States on the Safeguarding of Workers’ Rights in Conjunction with the Transfer of Undertakings (1977) 111 and Directive on Mergers of Limited Companies 111 European Works’ Councils 112 right to information and consultation 110–12 working conditions 99. see Balkan Wars . 93. 51.
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