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The Road Europe Travelled Along

The Evolution of the EEC/EU Institutions and Policies

Series:

Daniela Preda and Daniele Pasquinucci

This volume contains the proceedings of the international conference «The Road Europe Travelled Along. The Evolution of the EEC/EU Institutions and Policies», organized by the Associazione Universitaria di Studi Europei (AUSE) (European Community Studies Association – ECSA Italy) at the University of Siena in May 2008. The editors of this book hope it will contribute to the debate on an interpretative thesis which is widespread among scholars dealing with European integration.
This thesis holds that the political and institutional circuit of the European Community/Union should be entirely dependent on the nation-states. The immediate implication of this view is that the moments of crisis in the EEC/EU, as well as its periods of «relaunch», are due only to the will of and decisions made by the national states, more specifically their governments.
On the contrary, many of the essays in this book show that community institutions have also played an important role in the developments in the EEC/EU. From this point of view the evolution of the Community, and subsequently of the European Union, can be examined also by analyzing the gradual extension of its area of intervention, and thus through a study of its common policies and actions. Moreover, an interdisciplinary reflection on the rules, procedures and practices behind the community decision-making process would also be very important.
It would be extremely useful to examine the «weakness» or «effectiveness» of the decision-making mechanism, and to reconstruct the historical, political and legal reasons that have led to the evolution of this mechanism in order to have a better understanding of the historical-political path taken over the years by the European Community/Union.

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PART I - RULES AND PROCEDURES

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PART I RULES AND PROCEDURES 17 Ultra Vires Making of Competition Law by the European Commission Karl M. MEESSEN Under the EC Treaty, the Commission is vested with the exclusive power of presenting proposals in the process of making EC law. Neither the European Parliament, nor any group of its members, nor the member states are authorized to propose acts of secondary EC law, such as EC regulations or EC directives. Without the Commission’s endorsement, no piece of EC legislation can ever enter into force. The Commission made ample use of that monopoly of the initiative to law-making and helped produce an acquis communautaire of daunting dimensions in every field of law related to the mandate of the European Union including, of course, competition law. As regards competition law, it is not only the quantity of regulations on enforcement procedure, group exemptions and merger control that demands respect but also their overall coherence and general effectiveness. For all its clout, the role of a proposal maker can come quite frustrating. In competition law, the Commission made that experience when it proposed a merger control regulation in 1973 that became binding law only in 1989. Other fields of law offer more examples of that kind. To establish a statute for the Societas Europaea, for instance, the Commission submitted its first proposal 1970. It was adopted in 2001.1 The members of the Commission, all of them eager to leave their footprint during their term of office, cannot be blamed for considering quicker...

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