Before starting discussion of the role of the Council, one should point out the paradox on which the Council is built. The Council aims to be both a key decision-maker and a guardian of national interests. In that view, being a guardian of national interest might affect the credibility of the Council as a key decision-maker, as it lacks neutrality when taking decisions? We will try to show in this essay as to what extent the Council can be seen as both a key decision-maker and a guardian of national interests, and whether the weight of national interests diminishes the Council's role in decision-taking. In the first part of the essay, we will focus on the role the Council of the European Union plays as a decision-maker and as a guardian of national interests, whereas in the second part, we will counterbalance those two statements, showing that because of new evolutions, the Council is becoming more supranational than intergovernmental and that it has to share power with other institutions.
[...] COREPER COREPER's members tend to serve in Brussels for long periods of time and develop a strong sense of complicity. When they are wearing their hat' (as opposed to the ‘national hat'-see in first part), permanent representatives help to coordinate the work of the sectoral councils and of more specialised working groups by preparing the agendas of council and of European council meetings . Conclusion What we have seen in this essay is that the Council of the European Union is a complicated structure which operates on a number of different levels. [...]
[...] The paradoxical role of the Council of the EU: both a key decision-maker and a guardian of national interests The Council of the European Union is generally seen as the guardian of national interests as well as a key decision-maker. We will analyse in the next part to what extent these statements are right. The Council of the European Union as a key decision-maker: The Council of the European Union can be seen as a key decision-maker because of its legislative and executive functions. [...]
[...] The Council of Ministers is often described as the representative of national interests and the most advanced form of cooperation between sovereign states in the modern world. Lewis (Lewis, 2003) states that has certainly moved from being purely a site of decision taking and the forum for bargaining among representatives of national governments for which it was originally conceived'. This is what we will analyse in the next paragraphs. But before starting discussion of the role of the Council, one should point out the paradox on which the Council is built. The Council aims to be both a key decision-maker and a guardian of national interests. [...]
[...] The Council of Ministers is not the important key decision-maker it could be; it is not always the guardian of national interests either A decision-maker among others executive functions The European Council cannot be seen as a formally set institution. Indeed, in 1974, it was set as an institution, but informally set. In 1986, with the adoption of the Single European Act, the European Council is recognized as part of the Community's institutional system but still separate from the original European community institutions. [...]
[...] On the other hand, the council also serves the collectivity of governments to advance a common interest in the intergovernmental aspects of European integration. We will focus more in detail on that aspect in the second part of the essay. The voting procedures There are different rules to vote within the European Council, which are either unanimity, Qualified Majority Voting, or simple majority vote. Unanimity implies that any member state can block a proposal with a ‘no' vote and there can also be abstentions. [...]
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