The European Union's political role has been a big issue among the main theoriticians of the European Union. The place of the European Parliament and the Commission in the process toward political unity is obvious. The Commission, as the institution which has the power for an initiative, can play a large role in every step towards political unity, while, The European Parliament, even if it is seen as powerless, is the institution where real political debates take place. That is why, it is more important to concentrate on the original place of the Court in the process of political unity. We have to understand why some people think that it is more relevant for advance of the EU's political unity than the other supernational institutions. The powers of the Courts are unique. It is clear that it is more powerful than other international courts, such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Court of Justice, and even more powerful than most of the national courts. It has had a very important position in the European integration due to the fact that the Union is built under the rule of law. Nevertheless, the EU political unity cannot be realized only by an extensive application of treaties.
[...] We can say that the ECJ has been more relevant for the advance of the political union than the Commission or the Parliament. The court has helped the Union by building an European law which is almost acheived (that can be showed by the decrease of important decisions from the court since the last decade.). The Commission and the Parliament have a role more difficult because they are in competition with the Councils concerning the political initiatives. But, now, they are much more powerful (above all the Parliament) and they are able to put into political fields what the Court did into the law. [...]
[...] The creation of an independent european law between national and international laws shows the will of the Court to help the advance of the EU political unity, because a unique law system is an essential basis of a democratic political system. The ECJ uses also the power given by the Treaty of Rome, which allots it the task of ensuring “that in the interpretation and application of the Treaty the law is observed” (Article 164), to interpret the Treaties, or any other source of European law, in the most “federalist” way possible.The ECJ case law has created a lot of rights that individuals can use before a court. [...]
[...] But the building of a political union needs a real discussion between the different actors: the member states and the institutions. The major progresses of the Union in terms of political unity have been made during the intergovernmental summits which the Court is completly excluded. For example, the creation of the Euro, as a single currency but also as coins and bills (It's the second point which is politically the most important because the members could only have created a “unphysical” currency as it was between 1999 and 2002 without creating coins and bills) was done during the negociation of the Treaty of the European Union in Maastricht. [...]
[...] They sit in the benches follwing their political ideas. Thus, the political groups are kind of European political parties which act in the Union as a group. For example, the European Peoples Party puts pressure on the Council to choose an president of the Commission from its political family. As for the Commission, its members are completly independent from their home state and they are here to represent the interest of the Union as a whole. And they do so. [...]
[...] So, there was the question of the juridical nature of the Union: is it only an international organization or is it a kind of federal state where the law is the same for everybody? The Court has answered the question by putting the basis of an independent european law with two important decisions. The first took place in 1963. It's the Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen case. The court declared that where a legal obligation is imposed by the Treaty, in sufficiently clear and unconditional terms, on either a member state or another individual, a person may rely upon that obligation before the competent national court. [...]
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