European commision

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POLICY PROCESSES (for CFSP)

Features: 1. Weak role of the Commission and no role of European Courts. 2. QMV is allowed in the Council but for “lower” decisions, the rest unanimity. 3. EP role= consultative role. 

THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL: responsible with the HR and the FA Council for the overall direction of the CFSP. Also commonly pronounces on foreign policy issues of current concern. 

THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COUNCIL: chaired by the HR. Is the main decision making body (following the European Council’s general policies guideline). Unanimity in the biggest and new issues. QMV for operational positions, actions and decisions. No decision can be adopted by QMV if a MS objects “for vital and stated reasons of national policy”. If it happens the HR will try to find a solution acceptable by the MS and if not, it will be referred to the E. Council (unanimity). Another option for MS is abstain with a formal declaration so this MS won’t have to apply the decision but has to accept that the decision commits the Union and cannot act against it.

COREPER: COREPER II is involved with the CFSP matters. Acts as a transmission and filtering agency between the FA Council and the Political and Security Committee. 

POLITICAL AND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Keep track of the international situation, assist with the definition of policies, provide political direction on the development of military capabilities and deal with crisis situations and monitor the implementation of agreed policies. Some rivalry with COREPER but the Com has accepted that COREPER is its channel of communication and COREPER that Com makes the decision and they don’t have much to say. The Com. Is chaired by a representative of the HR and its membership consist of officials at “senior/ambassadorial” from the MS’ Permanent Representations to the Eu in Brussels. 

THE HR OF THE UNION FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND SECURITY POLICE: First, it was stablished a HR for the CFSP, Javier Solana, but he was the first and only. The charge was changed by the Union Minister for FA. And it was exchanged again for the HR of the Union for FA and Security Police. The HR has a base in both the Commission and the Council. The HR is also the Commissioner for External Relations. The HR chairs the FA Council. The HR puts into effect the CFSP with the MS (art. 24 TEU). He is proposer, promoter, facilitator and implementer (roles of the HR given by the TEU). He is not an independent decision-making.

THE COMMISSION: weak position. After Maastricht, the Comm. Won the right to make proposals to the Council (in FA and D topics). Now due to the HR has more importance but still being little. Nevertheless, the Comm. Has a lot of power when the CFSP actions involve the use of trade policy (ex: economic sanctions) because in this case the Council can just act under the Comm. Proposals. 

EP: advisory, monitoring and holding-to-account roles on Foreign Policy. It just has some decision-making power when making the budget (CFSP allowed expenditure is decided here).

EMBASSIES, DELEGATIONS AND MISSIONS: 140 delegations in non-MS and 5 in international organizations. 170 countries have diplomatic missions accredited to the EU.

THE EUROPEAN UNION MILITARY COMMITTEE: composed of the Chiefs of Defence. Military advice and recommendations (especially in the fields of conflict prevention and crisis management).

THE MILITARY STAFF OF THE EU: military personnel.

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