European Union Law – Essay – Norma Makoni
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European Union Law
Norma Makoni
The operations of the European Union are hinged on its supranational institutions and progressive agreements among its 28 member countries. Since its inception in the mid 1950s, this organisation has witnessed significant growths and the consequent adoption of various treaties all aimed at rearranging the constitutional and legislative frameworks among its major institutions. The latest of such treaties was the Treaty of Lisbon adopted in 2007 and one which accorded the European parliament to a higher legislative and constitutional level1. As has been the case with most EU Treaties, at the centre stage of the Treaty of Lisbon was the distribution of constitutional and legislative powers among key institutions of the EU (the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers/ Council, the European Commission)2.There are however major debates concerning the extent to which this treaty created tangible changes to the legislative and constitutional powers of these institutions. This paper seeks to give a critical discussion on the constitutional and legislative power balance between various institutions of the European Union in the Post Lisbon period through a comparative analysis of such a power balance during the pre-Lisbon and post-Lisbon periods. Despite the seemingly major powers given to the parliament, the Council still remains partly more powerful than the parliament and the European Commission.

An Overview of the Pre-Lisbon Functionality of EU Institutions The pre-Lisbon European Union’s institutional Framework was born out of a political process pitting member states hence the seemingly complex decision making and governance system characterising this framework3. At the centre stage of these revisions are two contradicting views; the federal state perspective and the “sovereignst” perspective-which strives to create an intergovernmental governance and decision making framework4. These conflicting ideologies have at times created wide power imbalances between the above three institutions5. Under the Treaty of the European Community, the European Commission; the independent body representing the interests of Europe, was given the power and authority to make policy and legislative proposals. This institution was however not constitutionally mandated to make a final decision on the adoption of those legal and policy proposals. The role of deliberating on the adoption of those policy proposals was rather given to the Council as the independent intergovernmental body representing EU member countries. The Council would oversee the adoption of those legislative and policy proposals through simple majority voting and in collaboration with the European Parliament (the distinct body representing members of the European population)6. The Council largely remained one of the most powerful organs of the EU in the pre-Lisbon period. Initially; the Council would solely adopt legislative proposals ranging from such items as directives, regulations, and even final decisions. This made it a supreme institution, enjoying both legislative and executive powers. It would at times serve as the sole legislator with the European Parliament serving as a mere deliberative organ through which certain policy and legislative proposals could be discussed before being adopted by the Council7. Subsequent Treaties did however strengthen Parliament’s position as a legislative organ thus partly watering down the single legislative powers of the Council. This is perhaps demonstrated by the adoption of a co-decision procedure in 1992 which place the parliament at par with the Council in certain matters of legislative importance. The Pre-Lisbon European legal order therefore placed immense powers on the Council, followed by the parliament, and lastly by the Commission8.

The Post-Lisbon EU Institutional Framework and Changes brought by the Treaty of Lisbon According to the new Article four of the Treaty of the European Union, the post-Lisbon EU comprises of the following institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors and the Central Bank. The Treaty of Lisbon thus did elevated the European Council and the European Central Bank to the ranks of formal institutions of the Union without making substantial changes to the legal and constitutional mandates of these two institutions9. The European Council does not enjoy any legislative powers in the post-Lisbon institutional framework although this council was still given a non-legislative mandate to make some legally binding decisions. This largely implies that this organ still exercises some limited sort of constitutional power over the other institutions though this power does not include legislation in the post-Lisbon period. However its inability to actively take part in legislative matters still

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(2017, 12). European Union Law. Retrieved 12, 2017, from
“European Union Law” 12 2017. 2017. 12 2017 < "European Union Law.", 12 2017. Web. 12 2017. < "European Union Law." 12, 2017. Accessed 12, 2017. Essay Preview By: Norma Makoni Submitted: December 10, 2017 Essay Length: 2,052 Words / 9 Pages Paper type: Essay Views: 308 Report this essay Tweet Related Essays Enlargement of the European Union Enlargement of the European Union Before the European Union was ever called that, it was entitled the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The European 1,365 Words  |  6 Pages European Union Law EUROPEAN UNION LAW FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS (1) 1 Introduction What is the difference between: - a free trade area - customs union - common 1,061 Words  |  5 Pages Busines in the European Union In the past ten years, the Europe Union has gone through revolutionary changes in their economic and expansionary policies in uniting Europe. The EU Constitution 644 Words  |  3 Pages European Union Introduction In many facets, the European Union (EU) is thought to be an extraordinary accomplishment. Since its inception in the 1950’s, the EU has raised 941 Words  |  4 Pages Similar Topics Research Report On European Union Honorable European Union Member Get Access to 89,000+ Essays and Term Papers Join 209,000+ Other Students High Quality Essays and Documents Sign up © 2008–2020 EssaysForStudent.comFree Essays, Book Reports, Term Papers and Research Papers Essays Sign up Sign in Contact us Site Map Privacy Policy Terms of Service Facebook Twitter

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European Union Law And Operations Of The European Union. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from