• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is the European Union, with the Constitutional treaty, an independent, democratic federal state?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent is the European Union, with the Constitutional treaty, an independent, democratic federal state? This essay explains the concepts of federalism and its principles. It also looks at how the European Union works, what are the duties of different institutions and what are the relationships between the Union and the Member States and their areas of competence, which are stated in the draft Constitutional treaty. After analysing and relating both it shows to what extend is the EU a democratic federal state. To start with it has to be defined what is called "federalism". "Federalism is the form of government, or constitutional structure, found in federation. Federation is a state comprised of a number of self-governing regions (often themselves referred to as "states") united by a central ("federal") government. In a federation the self-governing status of the component states is constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the central government." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation). The main concept of federalism is the separation of power, in more detail it is the separation of power between the two levels of government: central national government and regional state government. Each level of power has its own duties and areas of jurisdiction. For example, it is traditional that in a federal state defence is under the central government's control. It is important how the power distributes between the two government levels. ...read more.


The areas of shared interest are : "internal market; area of freedom, security and justice; agriculture and fisheries, excluding the conservation of marine biological resources; transport and trance- European networks; energy ;social policy; economic, social and territorial cohesion; environment; consumer protection; common safety concerns in public health matters ". (Article 13, Title II, Part 1, Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe). Areas of supporting, coordination or complementary action are: "industry; protection and improvement of human health; education, vocational training, youth and sport; culture; tourism; civil protection" (Article 16, Title II, Part 1, Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe). The duties of The European Parliament, The European Council, The council of Ministers, The European Commission, The Court of Justice and other institutions and bodies of the European Union are stated in the Constitutional treaty. The European Parliament in association with The Council of Ministers exercise legislative and budgetary functions. The Members of the Council of Ministers are the specialized ministers of the Member States. The Council of Ministers also has a function of political control and consultation. The European Council is composed of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States and the President of the European Commission. It shall define the Union's main political directions, priorities and way of development. The Council of Ministers in association with The European Parliament have legislative function. ...read more.


On the other hand European Union has many of the features of the federation. The most important principle of the federation, which is the division of government power between the central state government and the regional state government, already exists in the European Union. It also has clearly defined external borders and freedom of movement of persons within the borders. . It has its own Executive, which is the European Union Commission, Legislature, what are the European Union Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, and Judiciary, which is the European Union Court of Justice. It also has its own currency, the euro. Also, in the Draft Constitutional treaty there were stated the exclusive and shared powers. The central national government have both exclusive and shared functions, whereas the regional governments have only the shared functions. It shows that the subordination of the regional government to the central national government exists. That is another aspect of the federal state. The building of federation is a long and complicated process. It also depends on the world political and economical situation and every change in it can make the process longer. There are features or the federation in the European Union, but still there are some aspects, which can not be considered as features of federal state. The European Union is not a federal state yet, but it is definitely on the way of reforms, which will make it the federal state. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    ‘The main democratic deficit in the European Union is psychological, not institutional.’ Discuss.

    4 star(s)

    Thirdly and finally, Nugent points out that a considerable degree of policy cooperation and integration has been achieved at EU level. This can be interpreted as drawing nearer to the EU objective of furthering the interests of those who live in member states.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent has the European Union been successful in "establishing" a coherent European ...

    but also have an expansionary effect on the cohesion of Europe at the same time. Politics The underlying reason of establishing the EU is to ensure the peace in Europe after WWII. The breaking down of Berlin wall is seen as the major landmark in the peaceful way of the EU.

  1. To What Extent Does the EU Display a 'Democratic Deficit'?

    in place, although this is a situation it hopes to rectify soon with the introduction of the Constitution, which will contain a "Charter of Fundamental Rights". However, this charter will only apply to EU law, and not to any laws implemented on a national level.

  2. Has Europe become a federal superstate?

    The creation of the post of President of the EU with Herman Van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, create two permanent posts which hitherto the Lisbon treaty did not exist.

  1. An Analysis of the Powers of the European Parliament.

    It can reject the whole budget if it does not like the Council's final draft. There has been major confrontations with the Council by the EP as it sought to assert itself, for most of the 1980's this assertion was limited in effect, because although the EP formally enjoyed joint

  2. The Institutional Consequences of Domestic Politics on Africa's International Relations and Regional Cooperation.

    The Minister was quoted as having referred to the coup in Sierra Leone. According to him, 'the boys who took power in Sierra Leone come from houses like this.' Jabbing his finger at a corrugated metal shack teeming with children, he continued 'In three months these boys confiscated ass the

  1. The Institution of the European Union and Theories.

    Opportunities for Boots The opportunities offered by the European Union are: *Boots operates in the UK, the UK market share is 64 million whilst the EU consumer market is 375 million. This offers Boots scope for considerable economies of scale and increased profits.

  2. Who other than the governments of state, do you consider to be significant actors ...

    NATO was initially put together to guard against Soviet Russia entering into Europe and when west Germany joined in 1955 it prompted the Warsaw pact, a similar organisation for the east of Europe, which was disbanded in 1991. Since the end of the cold war NATO has needed to redefine itself as it had completed its original purpose.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work