The competences of the EU and the EC

XV Basque Studies Congress: Donostia-Baiona 2001. SBasque Science and culture and computer networks

Weatherill, Stephen

Publication year:
Publication place:
Donostia-San Sebastián

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This presentation will explain how the principle that the EC operates only on the basis of the powers attributed to it under its Treaty came to mean something rather different in practice. Especially, but not only, as a result of the practice of unanimous voting in Council, the limits of EC competence came to be defined in a "political" rather than a "constitutional" context. The rise of "qualified majority voting" in the Council has generated an anxiety to fix more clearly the limits of the EC´s competence, in short, as a basis for achieving effective protection of minorities. The presentation will argue that much has already been done to re-balance the EC system in the light of the tensions introduced by the rise of "qualified majority voting", and that the pressure to produce a "hard (and strictly limited) list" of EC competences is an undesirable solution to a problem that is already being addressed.
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