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Chapter

Cover European Union Law

3. The EU’s political institutions  

Steve Peers

This chapter examines the possible tension between democracy and effectiveness in the context of the EU’s political institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, and the Commission. To this end, it examines in turn the composition, powers, and functioning of each of these institutions, comparing them to national systems and assessing their democratic accountability and the effectiveness of their functioning. It shows that the role of various EU institutions has evolved over time—in particular to strengthen the legislative role of the European Parliament, and that body’s control over the Commission.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

3. The EU’s political institutions  

Steve Peers

This chapter examines the possible tension between democracy and effectiveness in the context of the EU’s political institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, and the Commission. To this end, it examines in turn the composition, powers, and functioning of each of these institutions, comparing them to national systems and assessing their democratic accountability and the effectiveness of their functioning. It shows that the role of various EU institutions has evolved over time - in particular to strengthen the legislative role of the European Parliament, and that body’s control over the Commission.

Chapter

Cover EU Law

3. The Institutions  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. There are seven principal institutions listed in Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union entrusted with carrying out the tasks of the Union: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the Court of Auditors. This chapter considers their respective roles and the way in which they interrelate, and also looks at other important institutions such as the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, and agencies. The UK version contains a further section analysing the relation between the UK and the institutions post-Brexit.

Chapter

Cover EU Law

3. The Institutions  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. There are seven principal institutions listed in Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union entrusted with carrying out the tasks of the Union: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the Court of Auditors. This chapter considers their respective roles and the way in which they interrelate, and also looks at other important institutions such as the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, and agencies. The UK version contains a further section analysing the relation between the UK and the institutions post-Brexit.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

6. The European Union  

The aims of this chapter are threefold. It first briefly considers the events that have led to the creation of the European Community (EC) and the European Union (EU). Secondly, it introduces the reader to the principal institutions of the Union: the European Council, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Court of Justice of the EU and General Court. The nature and functions of each of these bodies is considered. Thirdly, the chapter indicates, where appropriate, the nature of the institutional reforms which have occurred following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by the member states.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to European Law

1. Union Institutions  

This chapter discusses the five major European Union institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Commission, and the European Court. The provisions dealing with the EU institutions are split between the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Ultimately, each of the EU institutions is characterized by its distinct composition and its decision-making mode. Importantly, the EU is not based on a strict separation of functions between its institutions but follows a ‘checks and balances’ version of the separation-of-powers principle. This means that various EU institutions share in the exercise of various governmental functions.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to European Law

1. Union Institutions  

This chapter discusses the four major European Union institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Court. The provisions dealing with the EU institutions are split between the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Directly elected by the European citizens, the Parliament constitutes not only the most democratic institution; it is also the most supranational institution of the EU. Ultimately, each of the EU institutions is characterized by its distinct composition and its decision-making mode. Importantly, the EU is not based on a strict separation of functions between its institutions but follows a ‘checks and balances’ version of the separation-of-powers principle. This means that various EU institutions share in the exercise of various governmental functions.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law of the EU and UK

19. The EU merger control regime and the treatment of joint ventures  

This chapter discusses the application of competition law to mergers, focusing on the EU and the EUMR. In the EU, where a merger (‘concentration’) meets the relevant thresholds, it falls within the exclusive competence of the European Commission to examine the merger. Undertakings contemplating such a merger are required compulsorily to notify the Commission. The test of a merger’s acceptance is that of whether it substantially impedes effective competition in the internal market, in particular, but not exclusively, by creating or strengthening a dominant position. Using the powers set out in the Merger Regulation the Commission may authorize, or block, the merger over a two-stage process. Tight time limits apply. Appeals against Commission decisions are to the General Court.

Chapter

Cover EU Law Concentrate

4. Direct actions in the Court of Justice of the European Union  

Articles 258–260, 263, 265, 277, and 340 TFEU

Matthew J. Homewood and Clare Smith

This chapter discusses articles in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that provide for actions that are brought directly before the Court. Under Articles 258 and 259 TFEU, respectively, the European Commission and Member States may bring enforcement proceedings against a Member State in breach of Treaty obligations. Article 260 TFEU, requires compliance with the Court’s judgment. Article 263 TFEU concerns judicial review of EU acts. The outcome of a successful action is annulment. Article 265 TFEU provides for actions against the EU institutions for failure to act.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

9. Executive Powers  

Competences and Procedures

This chapter studies three executive powers in the context of the European Union. It begins with an examination of the political power to act as government. The ‘steering’ power of high politics belongs to two EU institutions: the European Council and the Commission. The Union ‘government’ is thus based on a ‘dual executive’. The chapter then moves to an analysis of the (delegated) legislative powers of the Union executive. The central provisions here are Articles 290 and 291 TFEU. The European legal order has allowed for wide delegations of power to the Commission; while nonetheless insisting on substantive and procedural safeguards to protect federalism and democracy. Finally, the chapter looks at the (administrative) enforcement powers of the Union. Based on the idea of ‘executive federalism’, the power to apply and enforce European law is here divided between the Union and the Member States. The Union can—exceptionally—execute its own law; yet, as a rule, it is the Member States that primarily execute Union law.

Chapter

Cover European Constitutional Law

9. Executive Powers  

Competences and Procedures

This chapter studies three executive powers in the context of the European Union. It begins with an examination of the political power to act as government. The ‘steering’ power of high politics belongs to two EU institutions: the European Council and the Commission. The Union ‘government’ is thus based on a ‘dual executive’. The chapter then moves to an analysis of the (delegated) legislative powers of the Union executive. The central provisions here are Articles 290 and 291 TFEU. The European legal order has allowed for wide delegations of power to the Commission; while nonetheless insisting on substantive and procedural safeguards to protect federalism and democracy. Finally, the chapter looks at the (administrative) enforcement powers of the Union. Based on the idea of ‘executive federalism’, the power to apply and enforce European law is here divided between the Union and the Member States. The Union can—exceptionally—execute its own law; yet, as a rule, it is the Member States that primarily execute Union law.

Chapter

Cover English Legal System

6. The law and institutions of the European Union (EU)  

After the ‘Brexit’ referendum the UK left the European Union (EU) at the end of January 2020. Whilst the UK is now no longer a Member State of the EU, the UK’s membership had a significant influence on the English legal system. This chapter looks at the impact of EU membership on the English legal system including its effect on law-making institutions such as Parliament. It examines the consequences of the UK’s recent withdrawal, including the effect of important legislation such as the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. The chapter offers very useful background reading on how EU law is made, interpreted, and applied in Member States. The EU is administered by several supranational institutions including the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The main sources of EU law are: primary legislation, i.e. the treaties; secondary legislation, including regulations and directives; and the case law of the CJEU. Where EU law and national law conflict, EU law is supreme. EU law may have direct effect, i.e. be enforceable by individuals before national courts, or indirect effect, where national courts are obliged to interpret national legislation and case law, so far as possible to conform with a relevant directive. State liability for breaches of EU law means that Member States are obliged to compensate individuals for consequent loss or damage.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

4. Governmental Structure  

Union Institutions II

This chapter focuses on the internal composition, internal powers, and internal procedures of the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Court of Auditors. The Commission constituted the centre of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), where it was ‘to ensure that the objectives set out in [that] Treaty [were] attained’. In guiding the European Union, it acts (together with the European Council) like the Union's ‘government’. The CJEU constitutes the judicial branch of the European Union. However, it is not the only one to interpret and apply European law. From the very beginning, the European legal order intended to recruit national courts in the interpretation and application of European law. Meanwhile, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) defines the ‘primary objective’ of the European Central Bank as the maintenance of price stability. Finally, the Court of Auditors is staffed by accountants, whose primary task is to ‘carry out the Union's audit’.

Chapter

Cover European Constitutional Law

4. Governmental Structure  

Union Institutions II

This chapter focuses on the internal composition, internal powers, and internal procedures of the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Court of Auditors. The Commission constituted the centre of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), where it was ‘to ensure that the objectives set out in [that] Treaty [were] attained’. In guiding the European Union, it acts (together with the European Council) like the Union’s ‘government’. The CJEU constitutes the judicial branch of the European Union. However, it is not the only one to interpret and apply European law. From the very beginning, the European legal order intended to recruit national courts in the interpretation and application of European law. Meanwhile, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) defines the ‘primary objective’ of the European Central Bank as the maintenance of price stability. Finally, the Court of Auditors is staffed by accountants, whose primary task is to ‘carry out the Union’s audit’.

Chapter

Cover EU Law in the UK

2. The EU institutions  

This chapter discusses the different institutions that make up the ‘EU government’. It begins by explaining the Article 50 TEU (Treaty of European Union) process, which sets out how a Member State can leave the EU. The chapter then describes the European Council, the European Commission, the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The two other EU institutions set out in Article 13 TEU include the European Central Bank and the Ombudsman. The chapter then considers how the roles of the EU institutions in the UK will change over the next few years following Brexit. It studies the Withdrawal Agreement and assesses what happens after the so-called transition period.

Chapter

Cover Banking Law and Regulation

7. European banking supervision and regulatory architecture  

Iris Chiu and Joanna Wilson

This chapter explores the European banking supervision and regulatory architecture. The aim of the introduction of European policy and law in bank regulation is was to build a single market in financial services and to give effect to the freedom of movement of capital. In the midst of the global financial crisis in 2008, the European Commission established a high-level group of experts chaired by Jacques de Larosière to recommend a blueprint for financial supervision in the EU going forward. The de Larosière Report provided a comprehensive analysis of the weaknesses in the financial sector in the EU and recommended stronger regulatory governance in many areas. The chapter then considers the Banking Union, a policy that introduces a new supervisory architecture for euro-area banks.

Chapter

Cover Complete EU Law

2. The official institutions of the European Union  

Titles in the Complete series combine extracts from a wide range of primary materials with clear explanatory text to provide readers with a complete introductory resource. This chapter discusses the official institutions of the EU, covering the composition, functions, and powers of the European Parliament; the Council of the European Union; the Commission; the Court of Justice of the European Union; the European Council; the European Central Bank; and the Court of Auditors. This chapter also briefly discusses the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions; and addresses, where applicable, the immediate and potential impact of the Brexit referendum.

Chapter

Cover EU Law Directions

2. The Union institutions  

This chapter focuses on the institutions responsible for executing the different tasks of the European Union (EU). The main seven institutions are complemented by two advisory bodies, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which are responsible for gathering inputs for use in decision-making. The initial institutions of the Commission, Council, European Parliament, and Court of Justice of the EU were expanded to seven to include the European Council, Court of Auditors, and the European Central Bank in 2009 with the entry into force of the Maastricht and the Lisbon Treaties. This chapter also describes the roles and responsibilities of the institutions, including the Council of Ministers of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the European Court of Justice (CJEU).

Chapter

Cover Foster on EU Law

2. The Union Institutions  

This chapter considers the main institutions of the European Union and their principal features, such as appointment, tasks, duties, and developments. These institutions include the Commission; the Council (of Ministers) of the European Union; the European Council; the European Parliament; the Court of Justice of the European Union; the Union’s advisory bodies; and other Union bodies. The chapter also considers Union financing. The chapter explains the changes to the original institution set-up, established over 60 years ago, which has been expanded and complicated quite considerably since, and also introduces the interrelationships of the institutions, in particular between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

3. The institutions of the European Union  

This chapter discusses the role and composition of the institutions of the EU. These include the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the European Parliament, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the General Court, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Committee of the Regions (COR), the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank. This chapter also discusses the EU’s associated bodies or agencies as well as their respective roles and the ways in which they interrelate with the EU institutions.