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Is the EU a federal state?

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Introduction

Is the EU a federal state? The main objectives of this paper are three: trace out the differences between federalists and intergovernmentalist in the building of the Union; find out, by looking at other federations, what makes a state federal, and then conclude whether the EU is presently, or moving towards to, a federal state. Federation - the ultimate peace treaty Proposals for a federalist unification of Europe came already in the 18th century. For Immanuel Kant, the federation was a means of achieving a perpetual peace. He saw the solution to trouble not in treaties but in a federation of peoples. Treaties were meant to be discarded. This federation, he argued has no aim to acquire any power like that of a state, but merely to preserve and sevure the freedom of each state in itself. This is, I think what brought the first efforts towards European Integration in the post-war period. For Winston Churchill, the United States of Europe would ensure peace, safety and freedom. The main thought behind Monnet's and Schumann's proposals for integration had as their main aim the control of Germany. ...read more.

Middle

Regarding the third federal principle, there is no division of the legislature. Infact there is no upper house representing the Member States. True, there is the Council of ministers, but that is an executive body which meets in private and thus it cannot be compared to a legislative body which engages in public debates. In the United States the Senate has always played a very important role as the representative of the states, which are unequal in population. Eight American states which together have a population of about five million elect 16 senators, while California with 31 million has only two, just as the small states. This is not the same for all federations. In Germany the larger lander return more members to the Bundersrat. This division of the legislature into two roughly equal chambers does not apply yet for the EU. The European Union has lots of executive bodies but then it is weak on the legislative side. It has whay many observers called a "democratic deficit" (verney). In the American system of government, there is an upper house (Senate) to represent the people of the various regions. ...read more.

Conclusion

3 federal law should constitue a separte legal system Federal law should constitue a sperate legal system which is different from both state and international law. Therefore no state legislature can amend Comminity law and therefore it is an indipendent legal system. 4 community law must be supreme over national law In the United States and Canada this is ensured by specific clauses in the Constituons. The Community Treties contain no such clause and one cannot state that the framers of the treties intended them to be supreme. However this has been achieved through case law. In the case Costa v Enel the ECJ stated that 'any provision of Comm law whether contained in the treaties or in community legislation, prevails over any provision of the law of the MS, and also of Constitutions. The European Court is in a waker positon only due to the fact that there is no right of appeal from a state court to the ECY. It can only make a reference. This differs from appealing. The European Court only decided questions of communiry law. It does not decide the case. The final judgment must always come from the MS coourt. This leads to 2 problems. The MS court may refuse to make a reference or it may refuse the judgement by the ECJ. ...read more.

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