The EU And Its Power

The European Union is a highly developed international organization which has traced it roots to the European Coal and Steel Community, which was created by the Treaty of Paris in 1951. This has showed how the EU has evolved over time, when the ECSC was created to resolve the security dilemma emanating from the hostility between France and Germany. The starting point was to “create radical and lasting economic interdependence between the participating countries,” as from the Treaty of Paris. Over time, more treaties have been added to the mandate of the EU, which has moved on from the sole issue of the economy to the category of European citizenship and foreign affairs. The creation of a single currency, similar market structure, and its growing policy competencies in two other areas such as justice and home affairs, and foreign and security policy also has demonstrated how the EU is a highly developed international organization.

However, the recent European parliamentary elections might have cast a slight stain on the EU. Politics cannot be separated from international organizations, and this is exemplified by Dixon’s view. He believes that “the choice of a new commission is likely to provoke a clash between the European Union’s leaders and the newly elected European Parliament.” This involves the potential selection of names associated with other organizations, such as Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund and Pascal Lamy, previously with the World Trade Organization, also quoted by Dixon. While choosing candidates not tied to a country directly such as David Cameron or Francois Hollande of the UK and France respectively, issues focused are bound to be divisive, and this still relates to Dixon’s options for the EU.

The EU’s intergovernmental integration has also evolved in such a progressive manner from treaties that it is hard for other international organizations to follow, due to the historical context that has arisen from the wars it has endured. The original Treaty of Paris, as mentioned, was to prevent a conflict happening between France and Germany, which aimed to avoid this by fostering interdependence via economic cooperation. As Rosamond mentions, “their economies would be bound together in welfare-enhancing ways that would make it irrational to defect from the arrangement.” This is logic arising from neoliberal ideas, and these ideas, over time, have been institutionalized and demanded to be followed on the basis of cooperation and norms. As today, the EU has nine core values, which are all related to foreign policy. The EU is shown as important in global governance as “an advocate of high regulatory standards and tough emission targets in the global politics of climate change.” The EU is a strong organization with pole position in global governance, as evidenced also with its Nobel Prize win. CELAC could follow EU, but it still remains to see if it can reach the heights of the EU, as it has arguably created a bloc within the Latin America and Carribean region, attempting to reduce cooperation with countries such as the UK and Netherlands.


One thought on “The EU And Its Power”

  1. Fragility and instability of the European Union is often regarded with a large emphasis on the European Parliament. In the piece “The EU and its Power,” Gar Meng Leong spoke of the parliamentary elections as a “stain” on the European Union’s political structure. Although there may be truth to this statement, it seems that other EU institutions have observed much less member state compliance and have threatened institutional structures more significantly. The ECJ of the EU; for example, has experienced tensions and threats of stability from member states. National high courts have ignored preliminary rulings from the ECJ and some have even set up administrative mechanisms to limit the coordination of the ECJ and the national courts. If there is to be focus on weaknesses and contestation—it should be concentrated on the ECJ rather than the parliament where there is much more substantiated evidence of defiance.


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