To what extent is European community law supreme in member states?

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To what extent is European community law supreme in member states?


In this essay I firstly will be looking at the basic ideology of European community law, like the origins and the development of European community law and what institutions make the backbone of the European community. To understand supremacy we will look and understand about the vertical and direct effect of the European community law.

The year of 1946 is where European Community originates, where the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Zurich proposed “a united states of Europe”.  After much consultation and referendums this resulted in three communities forming (1) European coal and steal community with the signing of The Treaty of Paris 1951 (2) European Economic Community signing the Treaty of Rome 1957 which also included the European atomic energy community.

Today there are fifteen members whom are all committed to the development of a closer economic and politically community. This led to the Single European Act 1986 then the treaty of Maastricht 1992 thus providing a foundation (European Union) based on a European economic community which integrated a vast variety of activities like a monetary union to a common social policy. Consequently in 1993 the European Economic Community became the European Union.

There are four institutions that make the European Union. Firstly there is the Council of Ministers, this is the supreme body. Its purpose is to act upon any proposals that the commission put forward, for a proposal to be taken up voting takes place, only in a small instance does unanimous voting take place. The Commission is also a body of the European Union; it is more like the executive arm. The functions it carries out include enforcing the application of European Union law, looking at breaches and instituting proceeding before the European court of justice, but their main function is to formulate policy and initiate proposals for new law also maintain relations with the international obligations. It is essential to point out that the European Union is independent from all member states, as it represents the whole is in union and not an individual state. Another body of the European Union which does not have any legislative powers but a convulsive power is the Parliament. Even though it has no possessive power its influence is strong and on the increase. Post, The Single European Act 1986 it has introduced procedure where the council is obliged to be unanimous in adopting any proposals to which parliament has an expressed objection. Another function of the parliament is to manage the European Union budget. It also has the power to dismiss the commission.

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The European court of justice is set up to interpret European Community law. So any questions on the interpretation by national courts however important must give way to European Community law. Their major heads of jurisdiction are, to rule upon allegations that member state has not fulfilled treaty obligations, to supervise appeals against decisions, to rule upon compensations for damages caused by the institutions, to rule upon disputes between the European Community and its servants,

There are two main sources of European Community law, firstly there is the primary law, which are the treaties creating the union, which establish their ...

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