Is the European Union a State or What Else Distinguishes it From Other International Organizations  Research Paper

  • Length: 22 pages
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  • Subject: Government
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #99365197

Excerpt from Research Paper :

European Union a state, or what else distinguishes it from other International Organizations

The primary question concerning global organizations as a medium of global governance relates towards the quantity and excellence of this governance within an era where we now have an overdeveloped global economy as well as an under-developed global polity (Ougaard and Higgott, 2002). There's a powerful disconnect amid governance, being an efficient and effective collective solution-seeking process within a given problem-area, and governance being the democratic legitimacy of policy formation. It has made possible the debate regarding 'legitimacy shortfalls' in main global organizations. Furthermore, governance has turned into a hosting analogy determining non-traditional performers (non-condition performers for example NGOs and their local and international associations) that participate as portable agents extending and expanding policy understanding, which is far more advanced and sophisticated than the traditional, elitist, government activities. The interest in global (as well as the regional) governance is complicated and also the role of multilevel governance formations in major policy spheres, increased through the role and processes of both problem-specific and regional focused agencies, is continuing to grow among scholars (Higgott and Erman, 2008).

Nonetheless, in certain key regions of the global cooperative agenda, both in the economical and also the security domain, one seems to be seeing the degeneration of collective governance capacity and potential to deal with its progression even. In certain problem areas, the use of institutions as mediums for discussing information, developing trust and improving compliance are coming as unschooled while international policymaking issues oppose the technocratic handling and put forward key political as well as ethical concerns on the methods of policymaking, choices taken and assets distributed. For a lot of professionals, development in global governance is restricted by presumptions that it must take on the layer of the ethically neutral activity, getting rid of politics or ethics from problem fixing (Higgott and Erman, 2008).

Global economic, legal and political governance has turned out to be plans (across a spectrum from the weaker to the stronger to influence and persuade ) that local state and non-state actors attempt to set up to promote, administer, delay, legalize or alleviate political and economic globalization. For any global policy cooperation, propelled usually by economic philosophy, the delivery of community well-being by means of collective solution-oriented results in global governance is very important. This is where the dominant knowledge of governance in the global level is prominent. Similarly, performers (both governmental and non-governmental alike) aren't ethically neutral; in fact they most often have hidden political agendas. By comparison, intellectual interest, driven by normative (frequently cosmopolitan) philosophy and concentrating on issues of citizen participation, social justice as well as democratic authenticity results in what we should call global governance (Higgott and Erman, 2008).

In this paper we compare and evaluate European Union (EU) and World Trade Organization (WTO) as international administrative actors with a view to their democratic legitimacy. The paper sheds light on global governance as a fiscal theory of governance focusing on the development of efficiency and competence within the delivery of global public well-being via collective solution-oriented methods. Furthermore, the paper also posits global governance as a political theory of governance emphasizing the struggle for public representation and accountability which will promote legitimacy as well as democratization of policy-making in the international context (Higgott and Erman, 2008).

European Union (EU)

A transfer of powers

The European integration in the last fifty years has actually become a political project, whereas, it originally started with the economic perspective regarding coal and steel in the fifties. Treaty of Amsterdam, the Single European Act and the Treaty of Maastricht all came into being because of the modifications of the radical treaty; the parameter of actions has also been extended by them which resulted in the formation of the European Union (EU).

The European institution's regulatory performance enhanced a lot when the internal market's completion became a top priority from the mid eighties onwards. Three hundred proposals were launched by the European Commission for the purpose of the realization of this internal market during the years 1985-1992. This trend has not stopped; at least it is still being followed in the daily EU policy even in the European "feeling of depression" since Maastricht. It can be asserted that the democratic legitimacy is found to some extent in the actions of the EU as, although the European regulation are applicable directly in all the member states and the directives are very particular about the results that they want to be achieved but the national authorities in the member states are given some authority to accentuate the things that they want. (art. 249 EG). New margins have also been set by Europe through new methods like "open co-ordination" and these margins have to be followed by the member states (Aziz, 2006).

But the democratic legitimization is not very common in some of the member states such as De facto and de jure member states have lost the power and control that they had in the policy making in the past. Policies such as trade, industry, environment, and transport along with many other policies have been given to Europe in past decades. Euroland, which consists of twelve member states, no longer has any control over their currency policy; in fact, they have been separated from it once and for all. Although the National Ministers still play a significant role in decision making but since they don't have the veto power anymore they are often faced with decisions that they are totally against but still have to implement. Although it is really difficult to calculate the percentage of the legislation actually gave vote within the member states, but it is estimated that the number of the members of the parliament is around 70% (Miller 2000: 210). What is actually surprising regarding this method is that there is little or no amount of research that is done by the parliament, maybe it is because they fear that their own actions would be exposed if they do the research.

The question of democratic legitimacy

EU is definitely not a nation state; as everyone likes to remind and debate on it. It is "the first truly postmodern political form" (Ruggie 1993: 139-40; also see Aziz, 2006), "less than a federation, more than a regime" (Wallace 1983; also see Aziz, 2006) "sui generis," or an "unidentified political object" (Delors, cited in Schmitter 1996: 1 also see Aziz, 2006). And still whenever the topic of the shortage of democracy comes up, it is found that EU is always compared to the nation-state governments and the significant point to note here is that it is found wanting as well. But the question is that if we do want to avoid this problem than what or whom should we compare it with i.e. If we have to do the comparison in the first place. In my opinion it would be a lot better if we think of it as a "regional state." By "regional state" I mean thinking of it as a "regional union of nation-states" because of which the always continuing national differentiation and the increasing integration between the Union and its member states will be ensured. There are two reasons because of which I have used the term "regional state" here. The first reason is; to expand the concept of a state with the help of an ideational strategy so that it could encompass EU and the second reason is the breaking of the nation-state concept regarding the understanding of the democracy that is found in the EU and its member states by the use of a discursive strategy. Therefore, even if the first notion regarding the expansion of the concept of the state won't win many converts, the second reason will be very useful as it will show the extent to which EU is and probably will remain different form its nearby counterparts which are also economically advanced nations with implemented governance of democracy such as; Switzerland, United States and Japan and also, some of EU's own member states (Schmidt and Monnet, 2004).

All the nation-states mentioned above have has some certain finalized characteristics such as; clear identity, indivisible sovereignty, cohesive democracy, fixed boundaries and established government. Whereas, EU is based on the concept of its development as the first among the regional states and in EU the sovereignty is shared among the member states, external reorganization and internal acceptance, the boundaries are also not fixed geographically as well as with regards to the policies. In the EU the government is very complex because of the multi-form institutions, multi-level and multi-centered approaches and policies (Schmidt and Monnet, 2004).

Also, I don't think that there is a lot democratic legitimization shown by EU and the definition of democracy given by the nation-states do not fit the one given by EU. Nation-states definitions of democracy are; "government for the people" which is done by effective government, "government by the people" that is carried out through political…

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