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Eu Law Notes

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European Union Law

EU Today Briefly
 28 member states
 EU's trade with the rest of the world accounts for 20% of global imports and exports
 62% of EU member states trade is done with other EU states inside EU market
 Created by international treaties between states, which have been amended several times
 EU is an independent legal system with an institutional framework
 EU legal competency involves economic law, employment law, human rights law, competition law, environmental law, consumer protection, etc.
 EU enacts legal rules in the form of regulations, directives and decisions
Council of Europe
European Union
 28 member states
 47 member states
 European Court of Human Rights in
 European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
 Deals with economic cooperation between
Strasbourg, France
 Responsible for the European states
Convention on Human Rights 1950,  Effect in UK law is the European
Communities Act 1972 which entail civil and political rights
 Effect in UK law is the Human Rights  Each EU member state is a signatory of the
Act 1998
Council of Europe's EHCR
 EU vs ECHR- History, Origins and Objectives of European Integration
 Europe endured 2 world wars, and following harsh winters, fuel crisis, lack of exports, as well as the onset of the Cold War and the USSR
 France feared that Germany would regain strength and take up arms
 Economic and political cooperation was deemed necessary, where sharing of resources would lead to peace and economic prosperity
 Schuman Declaration:
o stated that European nations should come together, and this begins with
France and Germany ending conflicts

French and German production of coal and steel should be pooled and placed under a common independent high authority, which would allocate them so that nations could share these resources
Different Stages of Economic Integration 1- Free Trade Area
 Free trade of goods inside the area between the member states
 However, member states have independent external trade policies
 The external state could export goods in member state with lowest tariff and the goods then circulate within the free trade area 2- Customs Union
 Same as the Free Trade Area, but the external aspect of the policy is also harmonised and member states apply the same customs and duties on non-member states 3- Common/ Internal Market
 FTA and CU focus on goods
 Common Market includes 4 freedoms: goods, services, workers, and capital
 Aim was to remove all obstacles of trading inside the EU in order to merge national markets into a single market
 Article 26 of TFEU
 There are mechanisms that prohibit discriminatory taxation, and differences in external taxation policy
 EEC moving to ideas setting common regulatory standard, which would also facilitate economic movement 4- Economic and Monetary Union
 Aimed to coordinate economic policies of the member states
 Monetary Union: the currencies of member states became fixed through exchange rates or one common currency was established and circulated through all member states (EURO)
5- Political Union
 Brings a common government amongst member states, which is indistinguishable from a state
 Adds police, taxation, foreign policy, security policy Enlargement of EU Membership
 1973: UK, Ireland and Denmark joined (now 9)
 1980s: Greece, then Spain and Portugal joined (now 12)
 1995: Austria, Sweden and Finland joined (now 15)
 2004: adds 10 new member states joined as a result of the fall of the Berlin wall and the dissolution of the USSR (now 25)
 2007: Romania and Bulgaria joined (now 27)
 2013: Croatia joined (now 28)
How to Join the EU
TEU Article 49
 Any European state claiming to have the same values as those in TEU Article 2,
can apply to be a member state
 These involve respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law
Copenhagen Criteria
 Established by heads of states in 1993 1- Stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law and human rights and respect and protection of minorities 2- Functioning market economy and ability to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the EU
3- Ability to take obligations of the membership which include implementing
EU rules, standards and policies, as well as the adherence to the aims of the political, economic and monetary union
Procedure 1- Application: State formally applies to the Council, and the European
Parliament, European Commission and National Parliaments are informed 2- Negotiation: Governments of member states and candidate state negotiate 35 different areas.
3- Screening process: candidate must implement all 35 policy areas step by step 4- Accession: accession treaty approved unanimously by the Council and the
European Parliament consent to it, and all 28 EU member states as well as the candidate state sign and ratify it 4- Treaties of the European Union
 As treaties are revised and amended:
o The European institutions are given more power

Expansion of EU competencies

majority voting is favoured in an increasing amount of areas

Tension between supranationalism and intergovernmentalism

Tension between cooperation and loss of control of member states

6 to 28 member states
 Intergovernmental:
o between governments

states create binding rules through way of treaty

each state remains independent and sovereign and cannot be bound by a higher body

difficult to get things done because all member states would have to agree
 Supranational:
o independent high authority above states

states establish common institutions that are handed power and are beyond state control

decisions of supranational entities are binding to states

Decisions are no longer taken
The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) (Treaty of Paris) 1951
 Innovative and supranational approach to regulation that could bind member states
 6 members: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg
 From the onset of the European Integration Project, there is an economic rationale for the trading of coal and steel in an attempt to boost economic prosperity as well as prevent the 2 resources needed for war to fall into the hands of states that were previously at war
 This treaty looks to create a common market, common objectives and common institutions (Article 1)
 It wanted to abolish import and export duties and quantitative restrictions on the movement of resources (Article 4)
 ECSC Institutions:
o High Authority: an independent and supranational power to take decisions on coal and steel, which bind the member states

Council of Ministers: national representatives from the 6 member states that oversee the work of the High Authority and occasionally has lawmaking powers

Assembly: parliamentary functions and MPs

European Court of Justice: in Luxembourg, making sure that decisions taken by the High Authority are legal and remain in the confines the member states set out in the treaty

The European Economic Community (EEC) (Treaty of Rome) 1957
 6 original member states (UK invited but declined)
 Still centred around establishing the foundations of a closer union among
European states
 Focused more around the free market and freedom of movement of all goods rather than just the free movement of coal and steel
 4 fundamental freedoms: free movement of goods, services, capital and persons
 Provided a legal basis and competences where the 4 fundamental freedoms could move freely between member states, as well as to develop European
"common policies" that would replace national policies
 Treaty wanted to create a Customs Union by 1968
 EEC Institutions:
o Commission: Formerly was the High Authority, is the executive body, and it proposes legislation

Council: Made up of ministers from the member states, and was given more authority and was more involved in the law making process. The ministers are specialists in specific fields and are called upon when creating decisions and legislation for a particular topic

Assembly (European Parliament): members of parliament representatives of member states

European Court of Justice
 Law making

This involved the Commission proposing legislation, and the Council vote on whether to adopt or reject proposal

Under treaty, a unanimous vote was adopted, but this started changing to a majority vote

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