|•||Autonomous decision-making: member states have granted the European Commission power to issue decisions in certain areas such as competition law, state aid control and liberalisation.|
|•||Harmonisation: member-state laws are harmonised through the EU legislative process, which involves the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the European Union. As a result of this, European Union law is increasingly present in the systems of the member states.|
|•||Co-operation: member states, meeting as the Council of the European Union, agree to cooperate and coordinate their domestic policies.|
All prospective members must enact legislation in order to bring them into line with the common European Union legal framework, the acquis communautaire.
The Treaty of Rome alludes to three areas of policy as ‘common’ ones: those involving agriculture (Article 43), commerce (Article 113) and transport (Article 74). In addition, there are other references to ‘common policies’, but it was in the later treaties that the term ‘Community policy’ began to appear. Initially, the emphasis on the Community was upon the development of a common market free of trading barriers and this aspect is still of fundamental importance. The common Commercial Policy, Competition Policy and the Single European Act are all related to the promotion of what used to be called the Common Market, a label some people still employ when they refer to the Union.
Today, the EU is much more than a common market, for it was always the intention that close cooperation would extend into other sectors. Some of these are economic policies related to tackling wider issues than those of tariffs and their elimination. Others go well beyond the economic and financial spheres, and deal with matters ranging from foreign policy to immigration, from broadcasting to combating crime. The Union has an impact on policies covering so many areas of governmental activity, from agriculture to the movement of goods and services, from justice and home affairs to issues of national security, that it is