The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the system of government of the European Union in relation to the concept of national sovereignty. Analysis of the powers and functions of the EU’s main institutions and the relationship between them will be included. The relationship between these institutions will then be evaluated. Finally the relationship between the EU and member states with regard to national sovereignty will be evaluated.
The European Union was developed in response to national governments’ efforts to increase their countries’ security and economic wellbeing in an increasingly interdependent and competitive global market (Dinan, 2005). The idea had originally been put forward by Winston Churchill in 1946, when during a speech he suggested a ‘kind of united states of Europe’ (BBC News). Churchill had suggested this due to the vast divisions and tension that there had been in Europe previously. Europeans were also becoming more aware of their small economies and place in the world compared to the super power statuses of the Soviet Union and the United States. Beginning in 1950 as a trade relations union, concerned with economics rather than a political union, it has now through numerous binding treaties grown into a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent (European Union).
To provide democratic accountability, a number of institutions exist within the EU. These include the European Commission whose members are chosen by national governments and serves the interests of the EU as a whole. Representing and elected by the EU’s citizens, is the European Parliament. The Council of the European Union embodies the government...
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...ue to rules being made and laws proposed by unelected European Commissioners who are invulnerable to public opinion. Many feel that the EU is moving towards a federation which would result in member states having to give up much more sovereignty, however language, culture and expectations are making this difficult.
When a country becomes a member of the EU, sovereignty is challenged due to member states having to uphold the EU interests above national interests in several policies. Member states have to transfer sovereignty of a lot of law-making to Brussels. In ever-increasing areas of national life, no vote of the member states governments, however overpowering, can block, change or affect decisions taken by EU bodies. Therefore independent sovereign states are the only structures which allow the people of the state the benefits of full democracy and autonomy.
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