Greece and the Pending European Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

2091).

Today, the European Union is an international organization comprised of 25 European countries that governs common economic, social, and security policies. While it was originally restricted solely to the nations of Western Europe, the EU has since expanded to include several central and eastern European countries (Gabel, 2006).

The countries of the EU today are, in alphabetical order, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Originally, the EU was created by the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into force on November 1, 1993; this treaty was intended to enhance European political and economic integration by creating a single currency (the euro), a unified foreign and security policy, common citizenship rights, and by advancing cooperation in the areas of immigration, asylum, and judicial affairs (Gabel, 2006).

In recent years, these trends towards unification and Europeanization have appeared unstoppable. In fact, in February 2005, voters in Spain ratified the European Constitutional Treaty or the European Constitution, as it is generally called (Gurfinkel, 2005). According to this author, "As the world knows by now, this is the document intended to supersede every previous all-European treaty and pact and to provide the European Union (EU) with a unified legal and political framework. Most Spanish political parties, including the ruling Socialist party and the main opposition party, had campaigned for a yes vote, which won by a resounding 75%. The turnout, however, was very low: 42% of registered voters" (Gurfinkel, 2005, p. 39).

At the time, this low voter turnout was largely ignored and the conventional wisdom among both pundits and politicians suggested that the results of the Spanish referendum would establish the trend for the other EU Member States that had likewise chose to conduct popular referendums on the constitution rather than deciding the matter in parliament. These nations were France (where the vote was to be held on May 29, 2005), the Netherlands (June 1, 2005), Luxemburg (July 10, 2005), Poland (September 25, 2005), Denmark (September 27, 2005), Portugal (October, 2005), Ireland (by end of the year 2005), the United Kingdom (Spring 2006), and the Czech Republic (June 2006) (Gurfinkel, 2005). "Each would surely vote yes," Gurfinkel notes, "perhaps not overwhelmingly but by a workable majority. As for the fifteen countries that had opted for ratification by parliament, the outcome seemed no less predictable: almost everywhere, Europhiles outnumbered Euroskeptics" (p. 40).

In 2003, though, the heads of state of the European Union failed to reach an agreement on the proposed constitution. Following the collapse of the negotiations, British Prime Minister Tony Blair recommended a "time for reflection," and suggested that representatives of the Member States should now demand another version (Kallmer, 2004). According to this author, "Europe certainly deserves better. The EU is at a pivotal moment in its history, and the way in which Europe's leaders craft its constitution could affect its second fifty years as profoundly as World War II affected its first" (p. 2). Likewise, a policy statement from the Ecumenical Review (2003) emphasizes that, "Europe is a diverse and evolving region, with multiple geographic, economic and religious parameters. The enlargement of the European Union to the east and south in 2004, and the expansion of NATO, along with the proposals for a new European Constitution by the convention on the future of Europe, will be decisive factors in shaping the destiny of the continent" (Statements on Public Issues, 2003, p. 401). In fact, a European constitution could provide a viable framework to promote democratic values and potentially improve the economic performance of its Member States; however, even this initiative would only represent part of a first step into a new sense of a European union with diversity (Werz, 2001).

Clearly, then, there is much to be considered when studying the current situation in Europe, but it is difficult to keep track of what is taking place at various levels throughout the region. In their book, European Constitutionalism beyond the State, Weiler and Wind (2003) report that, "The pace of change in European public discourse has been dizzying. At the beginning of the last decade, in the heady days before Maastricht, the Socialists and the Christian Democrats in the European Parliament were poised to divide the reporting spoils - such as they were then - between themselves. The two big prizes were the report to be presented as Parliament' input into the Maastricht process and the grand project, dating back to Spinelli' Draft Treaty, of writing a constitution for Europe" (p. 1). At that time, the Socialist party enjoyed the majority and the right of first choice; Weiler and Wind note that they chose Maastricht and rightly so. Today, though, the debate has moved from "Does Europe need a constitution?" (Grimm, 1994, p. 37 cited by Weiler & Wind at p. 2) to, "What should be in the new European Constitution? A list of competences? A Constitutional Court? A reconfigured Council with a president? An elected president? et cetera." (Weiler & Wind, 2003, p. 2). Not surprisingly, the heated debates and national referendums have also been fuelled, in a very typical European fashion, by a political agenda (enlargement) and timetable (the Intergovernmental Conference (Weiler & Wind, 2003, p. 2).

The ratification process for the Constitution of Europe, though, ground to a virtual halt in 2005 (Helm, 2006). Originally, the constitution was established through a European Union treaty signed in Rome in 2004 and was intended to make a community originally designed for six founding members in the 1950s more workable with a membership of 25 disparate countries. Governments that were faced with selling the document to a heavily skeptical electorate, such as that in the U.K., claimed that the treaty did not amount to a large extension of the EU's powers and was little more than a "tidying-up exercise." Meanwhile, many pro-integration political leaders in France and Germany billed it as a significant move toward the full "political union" to which they had always aspired. The document, which would supersede all previous community treaties (except the so-called Euratom Treaty, which established the European Atomic Energy Community), contained several significant -- "and highly controversial -- "changes to the structure and functioning of the 25-member European Union (Helm, 2006).

The constitution was established through a European Union treaty signed in Rome in 2004 and was intended to make a community originally designed for six founding members in the 1950s more workable with a membership of 25 countries with wide-ranging and sometimes disparate interests. Governments that were faced with selling the document to a heavily skeptical electorate, such as that in the U.K., claimed that the treaty did not amount to a large extension of the EU's powers and was little more than a "tidying-up exercise." At the same time, a number of advocates of further European integration, including various political leaders in France and Germany, characterized the initiative as being a substantive move toward the full "political union" that has been promoted in recent years (Helm, 2006). The proposed European Constitution would in fact supersede all previous community treaties (except the so-called Euratom Treaty, which established the European Atomic Energy Community), but it contained several significant -- "and highly controversial -- "changes to the structure and functioning of the 25-member European Union (Helm, 2006).

The constitution would introduce fundamental changes in the way that EU members voted on European issues so that majority voting -- "where no one country could block a decision -- "would become the norm. A qualified majority would consist of "at least 55% of the members of the Council, comprising at least fifteen of them and representing Member States comprising at least 65% of the population of the Union." The national veto would disappear in 39 policy areas, including sensitive matters such as justice and home affairs. In an effort to achieve better management of EU business and improve continuity in policy making, the document called for the creation of the post of EU president, who would be voted in by the heads of governments for a period of up to five years (Helm, 2006).

The president replaced the system of rotating presidencies, under which member states took turns chairing EU meetings and coordinating business for six-month terms. An EU foreign minister would be chosen by national governments for up to five years. The foreign minister would have his or her own supporting diplomatic service, the European External Action Service, and would represent the EU's interests in foreign affairs -- "for example, in official dealings with the UN. A formal Charter of Fundamental Rights was incorporated into the constitution and given legal force. It stated: "Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Greece And The Pending European" (2006, October 03) Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/greece-and-the-pending-european-72093

"Greece And The Pending European" 03 October 2006. Web.2 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/greece-and-the-pending-european-72093>

"Greece And The Pending European", 03 October 2006, Accessed.2 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/greece-and-the-pending-european-72093

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • European Union Marks the Most

    In 1957, the Treaty of Rome led to the creation of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC), which would become better known as the European Community. These early federations were direct predecessors of the European Union, which was formally established through the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992. The Maastricht treaty strengthened the powers of the intra-national federation and created cooperative realms of defense,

  • International Protection of Human Rights

    UK Immigration Act of 1971 and Its Enforcement with Respect to Administrative Removal/Deportation when Articles 3 and 8 of European Convention of Human Rights are Engaged Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many observers stated that "nothing would ever be the same again" and in some ways they have been absolutely correct. While the United Kingdom continues its inexorable march to become fully integrated into the burgeoning European

  • U S Versus EU Trademarks in

    E., the ability to read music) or color marks (access to and familiarity with the Pantone chart)." (Matheson, 2003) There is a question regarding 'scent depletion' as noted in the work of Matheson who states: "The overall number of scents of a favorable character which are intelligible to the majority of the public through a straightforward written description and suitable for product identification are, presumably, rather limited. According to this theory,

  • Islamic Criminal Justice System to the Criminal

    Islamic criminal justice system to the criminal justice Systems of the common Law and the Civil law Law is implied to hold a fundamental position in the societal system of the western and near eastern regions. Two customary beliefs are present in these "law-centered" societies. The custom of divine revelation is the first one. This has given rise to the Talmudic and Islamic systems of law, among which the importance

  • Reverse Mortgage Comparison of Spain

    This would be only natural for central bankers, as wealth effects may be a very relevant factor in determining fluctuations in aggregate demand. Studies on wealth effects have been conducted in recent years, also in the Bank of Italy, making use of household surveys. For a given level of net worth, the wealth effect may be defined as the extent to which household consumption changes in response to a

  • Christian Values and Business Management

    Christian Biotechnology: Not a Contradiction in Terms Presented with the idea of "Bioethics" most people in the scientific community today immediately get the impression of repressive, Luddite forces wishing to stifle research and advancement in the name of morality and God. Unfortunately, this stereotype too often holds true. If one looks over the many independent sites on the Internet regarding bioethics, reads popular magazines and publications, or browses library shelves for

  • Activity Based Costing Approach to Measure

    Many organizations have sufficient control over their cost drivers, specifically those that work with activity-based costing; these companies can locate a sufficient amount of cost information within the company to accomplish these analyses in a timely fashion (Chatzkel, 2003). In reality, though, ABC systems are typically structurally complex and, in spite of the need for complete integration of such ABC systems, many such systems remain as stand-alone analysis tools


Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved