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The european union

Workshop on the EU for SKILLS Programme Students. the waves of 2010 Aleppo and Raqqa/Syria.

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The european union

  1. 1. The European Union History, Institutions and Policy Making Process Prepared by Muhamad SHABAREK A.D. in European Studies SKILLS Raqqa, 28/11/2011 1
  2. 2. What is the European Union • The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 27 European countries. • It has delivered half a century of peace, stability, and prosperity, helped raise living standards, launched a single European currency, and is progressively building a single Europe-wide market in which people, goods, services, and capital move among Member States as freely as within one country. 2
  3. 3. 500 Million People in 27 Countries 3
  4. 4. EU Symbols • The European flag: The 12 stars in a circle symbolise the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony among the peoples of Europe. • The European anthem: The melody used to symbolise the EU comes from the Ninth Symphony composed in 1823 by Ludwig Van Beethoven. • Europe Day: The ideas behind the European Union were first put forward on 9 May 1950 by French foreign minister Robert Schuman. This is why 9 May is celebrated as a key date for the EU. • The EU motto: "United in diversity" 4
  5. 5. Why the European Union • The EU’s mission in the 21st century is to: • maintain and build on the peace established between its member states; • bring European countries together in practical cooperation; • ensure that European citizens can live in security; • promote economic and social solidarity; • preserve European identity and diversity in a globalised world; • promulgate the values that Europeans share. 5
  6. 6. The Origins of the EU • Making war unthinkable among Europeans • Together managing main materials used in war: coal and steel 6
  7. 7. • 9 May 1950: Schuman calls for a European Coal and Steel Community • 6 founding States decide to share and co-manage coal and steel. 7
  8. 8. Founders New ideas for lasting peace and prosperity… Konrad Adenauer Robert Schuman Winston Churchill Alcide De Gasperi Jean Monnet 8
  9. 9. Ten Historic Steps 1951: The European Coal and Steel Community is set up by the six founding members. 1957: The same six countries sign the Treaties of Rome, setting up the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). 1973: The Communities expand to nine member states and introduce more common policies. 1979: The first direct elections to the European Parliament. 1981: The first Mediterranean enlargement. 1992: The European single market becomes a reality. 1993: The Treaty of Maastricht establishes the European Union (EU). 2002: The euro comes into circulation. 2007: The EU has 27 member states. 2009: The Lisbon Treaty comes into force, changing the way the EU works. 9
  10. 10. The treaties – basis for democratic cooperation built on law 1952 The European Steel and Coal Community 1958 The treaties of Rome: The European Economic Community The European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) 1987 The European Single Act: the Single Market 1993 Treaty of European Union – Maastricht 1999 Treaty of Amsterdam 2003 Treaty of Nice 2009 Treaty of Lisbon 10
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  12. 12. 3 Pillars (levels of competences) 12
  13. 13. Enlargement: from six to 27 countries 1952 1973 1981 1986 1990 1995 2004 2007 Candidates Croatia, Iceland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey 13
  14. 14. Membership Conditions (a) Legal requirements (b) The ‘Copenhagen criteria’ In 1993, following requests from the former communist countries to join the Union, the European Council laid down three criteria they should fulfill so as to become members. By the time they join, new members must have: 1. stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; 2. a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union; 3. the ability to take on the obligations of membership, including support for the aims of the Union. They must have a public administration capable of applying and managing EU laws in practice. 14
  15. 15. Neighbourhood policy Enlargements in 2004 and 2007 pushed the European Union’s borders further east and south, raising the question of how the EU should handle relations with its new neighbours. Stability and security are an issue in the regions beyond its borders, and the European Union wished to avoid the emergence of new dividing lines between itself and these neighbouring regions. For example, action was needed to tackle emerging threats to security such as illegal immigration, the disruption of energy supplies, environmental degradation, organised cross-border crime and terrorism. So the EU developed a new European neighbourhood policy (ENP), governing relations with its neighbours to the east (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and to the south (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria and Tunisia). Almost all these countries have bilateral ‘partnership and cooperation’ agreements or association agreements with the EU, under which they are committed to common values (such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law) and to making progress towards a market economy, sustainable development and reducing poverty. The EU, for its part, offers financial, technical and macroeconomic assistance, easier access to visas and a range of measures to help these countries develop. Since 1995, the southern Mediterranean countries have been linked to the European Union through political, economic and diplomatic ties known as the ‘Barcelona process’, later re-named the Euro- Mediterranean Partnership. At a summit meeting in Paris in July 2008, this partnership was relaunched as the Union for the Mediterranean, bringing together the 27 member states of the European Union and 16 partner countries across the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. The EU’s fi nancial assistance to both groups of countries is managed by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Its overall budget for 2007-13 is approximately € 12 billion. 15
  16. 16. 2011 EU budget: €141.9 billion = 1.13% of gross national income Citizens, freedom, security and justice 1% Other, administration 6% Sustainable growth: jobs, competitiveness, regional development 46% The EU as a global player: including development aid 6% Natural resources: agriculture, environment 41% How does the EU spend its money?
  17. 17. Solidarity in practice: the EU cohesion policy 2007-2013: €347 billion invested for infrastructure, business, environment and training of workers for less well-off regions or citizens 4 Regional fund 4 Social fund 4 Cohesion fund Convergence objective: regions with GDP per capita under 75% of the EU average. 81.5% of the funds are spent on this objective. Regional competitiveness and employment objective. 17
  18. 18. The euro – a single currency for Europeans EU countries using the euro EU countries not using the euro Can be used everywhere in the euro area 4Coins: one side with national symbols, one side common 4Notes: no national side 18
  19. 19. The single market: freedom of choice Four freedoms of movement: 4 goods 4 services 4 people 4 capital ©GettyImages The single market has led to:  significant reductions in the price of many products and services, including internet access and airfares.  40% drop in price of phone calls from 2000-2006  2.8 million new jobs 19
  20. 20. Free to move Schengen Area “Schengen”: 4 No police or customs checks at borders between most EU countries 4 Controls strengthened at EU external borders 4 More cooperation between police from different EU countries 4 You can buy and bring back any goods for personal use when you travel between EU countries ©Corbis 20
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  22. 22. The EU – a major trading power Share of world trade in goods (2007) Share of world trade in services (2007) Others 53.2% EU 17% United States 14.5% Japan 5.8% China 9.5% Others 40.6% EU 28.5% United States 18.2% Japan 6.8% China 5.9% Global Trade Player 22
  23. 23. The EU is the biggest provider of development aid in the world Official development assistance per citizen, 2007 93€ 44€ 53€ EU Japan United States The EU provides 60% of all development aid
  24. 24. Three key players The European Parliament - voice of the people Jerzy Buzek, President of of the European Parliament The council of Ministers - voice of the Member States Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council The European Commission - promoting the common interest José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission 24
  25. 25. The EU institutions • European Parliament Court of Justice Court of Auditors Economic and Social Committee Committee of the Regions Council of Ministers (Council of the EU) European Commission European Investment Bank European Central BankAgencies European Council (summit) 25
  26. 26. How decisions are made? 26 Citizens, interest groups, experts: discuss, consult Commission: makes formal proposal Parliament and Council of Ministers: decide jointly Commission and Court of Justice: monitor implementation National or local authorities: implement
  27. 27. The European Parliament – voice of the people 4 Decides EU laws and budget together with Council of Ministers 4 Democratic supervision of all the EU’s work Number of members elected in each country (January 2010) 27
  28. 28. The European political parties Greens/European Free Alliance 55 European Conservatives and Reformists 54 Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe 84 European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) 265 Non-attached members 27 Total : 736 Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats 184 European United Left - Nordic Green Left 35 Europe of Freedom and Democracy 32 Number of seats in the European Parliament per political group (January 2010)
  29. 29. Council of Ministers – voice of the member states 4One minister from each EU country 4Presidency: rotates every six months 4Decides EU laws and budget together with Parliament 4Manages the common foreign and security policy 29
  30. 30. Council of Ministers – number of votes per country Total: Malta Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovenia Denmark, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Finland Austria, Bulgaria and Sweden Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and Portugal Netherlands Romania Spain and Poland Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom “Qualified majority” needed for many decisions: 255 votes and a majority of member states From 2014: 55% of the Member States with 65% of the population 345 3 4 7 10 12 13 14 27 29 30
  31. 31. Summit at the European Council Summit of heads of state and government of all EU countries 4Held at least 4 times a year 4Sets the overall guidelines for EU policies 4President: Herman Van Rompuy 31
  32. 32. Next presidencies • Hungary January-June 2011 • Poland July-December 2011 • Denmark January-June 2012 • Cyprus July-December 2012 • Ireland January-June 2013 • Lithuania July-December 2013 • Greece January-June 2014 • Italy July-December 2014 • Latvia January-June 2015 • Luxembourg July-December 2015 32
  33. 33. A high representative for foreign affairs and security Catherine Ashton Double hat: chairs the Foreign Affairs Council meetings + Vice-president of the European Commission Manages the common foreign and security policy Head of European External Action Service 33
  34. 34. The European Commission – promotingthe common interest 27 independent members, one from each EU country 4Proposes new legislation 4Executive organ 4Guardian of the treaties 4Represents the EU on the international stage 34
  35. 35. 27 independent judges, one from each EU country 4Rules on how to interpret EU law 4Ensures EU countries apply EU laws in the same way The Court of Justice – upholding the law 35
  36. 36. The European Court of Auditors: getting value for your money 27 independent members 4Checks that EU funds are used properly 4Can audit any person or organisation dealing with EU funds 36
  37. 37. 4Ensures price stability 4Controls money supply and decides interest rates 4Works independently from governments Mario Draghi President of the Central Bank The European Central Bank: managing the euro 37
  38. 38. The European Economic and Social Committee: voice of civil society 344 members 4Represents trade unions, employers, farmers, consumers etc 4Advises on new EU laws and policies 4Promotes the involvement of civil society in EU matters 38
  39. 39. The Committee of the Regions: voice of local government 344 members 4Represents cities, regions 4Advises on new EU laws and policies 4Promotes the involvement of local government in EU matters 39
  40. 40. Drafting EU law • Before the Commission proposes new initiatives it assesses the potential economic, social and environmental consequences that they may have. It does this by preparing 'Impact assessments' which set out the advantages and disadvantages of possible policy options. • The Commission also consults interested parties such as non- governmental organisations, local authorities and representatives of industry and civil society. Groups of experts give advice on technical issues. In this way, the Commission ensures that legislative proposals correspond to the needs of those most concerned and avoids unnecessary red tape. • Citizens, businesses and organisations can participate in the consultation procedure via the website Public consultations. 40
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  42. 42. Civil servants working for the EU 4Permanent civil servants 4Selected by open competitions 4Come from all EU countries 4Salaries decided by law 4EU administration costs €15 per EU citizen per year Commission employs about 23 000 permanent civil servants and 11 000 temporary or contract workers Other EU institutions: about 10 000 employed 42
  43. 43. EU-Syria Cooperation • Syria is a signatory of the 1995 Barcelona Declaration and a member of the Union for the Mediterranean launched in 2008. Syria is also a member of the European Neighbourhood Policy , but does not yet benefit from all its instruments and incentives, pending entry into force of the EU-Syria Association Agreement . • The EU is Syria's main trade partner. Total trade represented more than €7 billion in 2008. The EU-Syrian trade balance remains positive for Syria. However, the non-oil products trade balance is in favour of the EU. In 2008, Syrian exports to the EU were dominated by crude oil and petroleum products (86%) followed by minerals (5%). Imports from the EU consisted mainly of machinery and transport equipment (35%) followed by petroleum products (20%), chemicals (13%) and manufactured goods (12%). • Until an EU-Syria Association Agreement is signed, the relations between the parties remain governed by a Cooperation Agreement signed in 1977. 43
  44. 44. 44 EU-Syria Cooperation is guided by the aim to consolidate Syria's reform efforts. Supporting a mix of political, social and economic reforms, the EU works on the basis of Syria’s own reform agenda “the Five Year Plan”. The EU's cooperation strategy with Syria is based on two programming documents that define shared objectives and identify joint cooperation projects. 1. The Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Syria sets out the strategic framework for EU-Syria cooperation for the period 2007-2013. It identifies three priority areas for action: 1. Support for political and administrative reform , including modernisation of administration, decentralisation, rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights; 2. Support for economic reform , including implementation of the Five-Year Plan, preparation for the currently initialled Association Agreement and preparation for accession to the World Trade Organisation; 3. Support for social reform , including human resources development and measures to accompany the economic transition process. The EU has allocated a total of € 129 million for the period 2011-2013. 2. The National Indicative Programme (NIP) 2011-2013 outlines priority actions in these fields, as well as their budget and sequencing. The NIP is the product of an intensive consultation process with Syrian authorities, Member States, other donors and non-state actors, as well as of lessons learned from past cooperation.