- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

European Union Treaties

Essay by   •  February 7, 2019  •  Essay  •  1,494 Words (6 Pages)  •  53 Views

Essay Preview: European Union Treaties

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

1.        Name and explain the major EU instruments and critically evaluate them.

The aims set out in the EU treaties are achieved by several types of legal act. Some are binding, others are not. Some apply to all EU countries, others to just a few.


A "regulation" is a binding legislative act. It must be applied in its entirety across the EU. For example, when the EU wanted to make sure that there are common safeguards on goods imported from outside the EU, the Council adopted a regulation. (Directly applicable). The MS need to make their law compatible if there is a class. Pass some legal measures so the regulations have their full effect


A "directive" is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve. However, it is up to the individual countries to devise their own laws on how to reach these goals. One example is the EU consumer rights directive, which strengthens rights for consumers across the EU, for example by eliminating hidden charges and costs on the internet, and extending the period under which consumers can withdraw from a sales contract. They way the directive is going to be implemented.

3)Decisions (binding)

A "decision" is binding on those to whom it is addressed (e.g. an EU country or an individual company) and is directly applicable. For example, the Commission issued a decision on the EU participating in the work of various counter-terrorism organisations. The decision related to these organisations only.

4)Recommendations (not binding)

A "recommendation" is not binding. When the Commission issued a recommendation that EU countries' law authorities improve their use of videoconferencing to help judicial services work better across borders, this did not have any legal consequences. A recommendation allows the institutions to make their views known and to suggest a line of action without imposing any legal obligation on those to whom it is addressed.

Direct effect, if the EU norm is capable of direct effect


An "opinion" is an instrument that allows the institutions to make a statement in a non-binding fashion, in other words without imposing any legal obligation on those to whom it is addressed. An opinion is not binding. It can be issued by the main EU institutions (Commission, Council, Parliament), the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee. While laws are being made, the committees give opinions from their specific regional or economic and social viewpoint. For example, the Committee of the Regions issued an opinion on the clean air policy package for Europe. (not binding)


2.        Who is the EU legislature? What has changed since the beginning of European integration?

In the EU legislative process, the Commission makes the proposal for a legal act of the Union. To become law, it must be adopted by the legislator. In most cases, the legislator is both the European Parliament and the Council. Article 14 and 16

What has changed:The EU Parliament started having advisory rule in the beginning… Single European act, the Lisbon treaty, Mastrich Treaty

The parliament is directly elected so they must have more power with the progression of time.


The principle of conferral is a fundamental principle of EU law. According to this principle, the EU is a union of member states, and all its competences are voluntarily conferred on it by its member states. The EU has no competences by right, and thus any areas of policy not explicitly agreed in treaties by all member states remain the domain of the member states, and the EU cannot legislate in those areas. Exclusive, Shared Competence

The principle of proportionality regulates the exercise of powers by the European Union. It seeks to set actions taken by the institutions of the Union within specified bounds. Under this rule, the involvement of the institutions must be limited to what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties. In other words, the content and form of the action must be in keeping with the aim pursued.

The principle of proportionality is laid down in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union.

Finally, the principle of subsidiarity ( share competence) is also fundamental to the functioning of the EU, and more specifically to European decision-making. In particular, the principle determines when the EU is competent to legislate, and contributes to decisions being taken as closely as possible to the citizen. Should actin taken by the EU or the MSs

4.        How do the principles of conferral, subsidiarity, and proportionality work together?

Subsidiarity and proportionality are corollary principles of the principle of conferral. They determine to what extent the EU can exercise the competences conferred upon it by the Treaties. By virtue of the principle of proportionality, the means implemented by the EU in order to meet the objectives set by the Treaties cannot go beyond what is necessary.

The Union can therefore only act in a policy area if:



Download as:   txt (9.3 Kb)   pdf (225.6 Kb)   docx (14.4 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2019, 02). European Union Treaties. Retrieved 02, 2019, from

"European Union Treaties" 02 2019. 2019. 02 2019 <>.

"European Union Treaties.", 02 2019. Web. 02 2019. <>.

"European Union Treaties." 02, 2019. Accessed 02, 2019.