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Chapter

Cover European Constitutional Law

Conclusion. The Future(s) of the European Union  

This concluding chapter explores the European Union’s potential future evolution alongside two dimensions. A horizontal dimension focuses on the widening or narrowing of its membership, while a vertical dimension explores the deepening or flattening of its level of integration. Every change in the membership of the Union represents a fundamental change in its material constitution. This change can occur either through European enlargements or national withdrawals. Brexit in 2020 was the first instance in which a Member State withdrew from the European Union. Ultimately, the possibility of future reductions in EU membership cannot be categorically excluded; yet the political appetite seems minimal. And a national exit from the European Union will also be much harder for those States within the Union that have constitutionally committed themselves to European integration. The chapter then looks at the European Commission’s ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’, which presents five scenarios offering ‘a series of glimpses into the potential state of the Union by 2025’.

Chapter

Cover Steiner and Woods EU Law

1. From EEC to EU: A Brief History of the Development of the Union  

This chapter, which traces the chronological history of the development of the European Economic Community (EEC) into the European Union (EU), explains that the EEC was created by the Treaty of Rome (ToR) in 1957 and discusses Treaties which amended the ToR and led to the development of the EU. These include the Single European Act in 1987, the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999, the Nice Treaty in 2003 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The chapter also describes the nature of the EU and theories explaining the development of the scope of its activities. It summarises the history of the EU, including enlargement, debates over democracy, and the Brexit process, and explains the nature of the EU: supranational, intergovernmental or a form of ‘multi-level governance’?

Chapter

Cover Steiner & Woods EU Law

1. From EEC to EU: a brief history of the development of the Union  

This chapter, which traces the chronological history of the development of the European Economic Community (EEC) into the European Union (EU), explains that the EEC was created by the Treaty of Rome (ToR) in 1957 and discusses Treaties which amended the ToR and led to the development of the EU. These include the Single European Act in 1987, the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999, the Nice Treaty in 2003 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The chapter also describes the nature of the EU and theories explaining the development of the scope of its activities. It summarises the history of the EU, including enlargement, debates over democracy, and the Brexit process, and explains the nature of the EU: supranational, intergovernmental or a form of ‘multilevel governance’?