The European Union and Its Citizens: The Social Agenda

The European Union and Its Citizens: The Social Agenda

The European Union and Its Citizens: The Social Agenda

The European Union and Its Citizens: The Social Agenda

Excerpt

In December 1991, the leaders of the European Community met in Maastricht, Netherlands, to sign a treaty for post-1992 Europe. They called the new document the Treaty on European Union. The document gives citizenship in the new European Union to the citizens of the member states. It gives authority to the institutions of the European Community to make policies of immediate concern to the new Eurocitizens. Regionalism, the environment, the rights of individuals in a borderless Europe, and the status of employees in an integrated economy are all covered in the new treaty. They are issues which take on new importance in an integrating Europe and which were previously handled primarily by national governments. How the European Community handles those issues, and the processes and politics which will develop around them, will determine the Europolity of the future.

The subject of this book is the European Union mandated by the Maastricht Treaty. (See Chapter 3 for an explanation of European Union and European Community.) The subject encompasses both practical and theoretical topics. Issues, such as the environment and the new regionalism, are covered through research which includes interviews with relevant actors and an analysis of primary sources. The politics of policy making in the European Community are examined and attention is given to the importance of traditional European values in forming current policies. Relevant concepts are utilized in order to provide a framework for analyzing the European Union now under construction.

The study of the European Community (EC) is difficult because it is a unique entity. Efforts to compare it to federalist structures or international organizations . . .

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