ТОП 10:

The European Union and the European Community: The Basic Facts.



What we now call the European Union started out as a Community of six in the 1950s: France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In 1973 Denmark, Ireland and the UK acceded; Norway signed a Treaty of Accession, but did not join when membership was rejected by popular vote in a referendum. Further expansion occurred in 1980 with the accession of Greece, and in 1986 with the accession of Spain and Portugal, creating a Community of twelve. De facto expansion occurred onсe again in 1990, with the unification of Germany bringing the former German Democratic Republic into the Community, although not as a separate member. The most recent accession process was completed at the beginning of 1995, with Austria, Finland and Sweden becoming members. Once again the people of Norway declined through a referendum vote to take up the opportunity of membership negotiated for them by their government. In 2000, with fifteen Member States and eleven official languages, the EU had a population of just over 375 million, a GDP of over 8 billion euro and the highest share of world trade in terms of imports and exports of goods and services; all of this makes it a leading global economic and – potentially – political actor (Eurostat, 1999).

Enlargement, especially towards the east but also in the area of the Mediterranean, is a central preoccupation within the EU at present. The defining date was 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the later break up of the Soviet Union. There are numerous candidates for membership at present. In a first group of countries, with accession negotiations in progress since 1998 are Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. In late 1999, there was a fundamental reappraisal of priorities in the wake of the Kosovo crisis. The violent consequences of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia generally, and the impact of the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo, in particular, including the need for physical and political reconstruction in the wake of the NATO action, have all brought home the costs in economic and human terms of not enlarging the EU. The costs relate to the persistence of political instability and insecurity within the continent of Europe, close on the borders of the EU. The EU – in the form of the Heads of State and Government acting on the advice of the Commission – therefore took the decision in December 1999 to start accession negotiations in early 2000 with a further group of six countries (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia). Only with Turkey, among the group of countries which have formally applied for membership, has the EU yet to start accession negotiations, although it is now recognized as a candidate country for which a pre-accession strategy has been formulated.

The term “European Community” was the designation commonly used up to the end of 1993 for a political entity, composed of a number of distinct legal entities with separate international legal personality, which came to be generally identified as a single unit.

 

Words to be memorized:

To accede - присоединяться

Treaty of Accession – договор о присоединении

To reject – отвергать

Vote – голос

To occur – происходить

Former – бывший

To complete – осуществлять

To decline – приходить в упадок, потерпеть фиаско

To negotiate – договариваться

Share – доля

Enlargement – расширение

Preoccupation – преобладание

Fall – падение

Break up – раскол

Reappraisal – переоценка

Wake – осознание

Consequences – последствия

Impact – влияние

Costs – затраты

Persistence – сохранение

Close – рядом

Border – граница

To recognize – признавать

Designation – определение

Entity – сущность, объединение

 

Tasks:

I. Answer the questions:

 

1) What did the European Union start out in the 1950s?

2) What kind of further expansion occurred in 1980?

3) What events happened in Germany and in the Soviet Union in 1989?

4) What decision did the EU take in December 1999?

5) What is the status of Turkey as related to the EU at present?

 

II. Translate the sentences from Russian into English:

 

1) Фактическое расширение Европейского Союза произошло снова в 1990 году с входом в Сообщество бывшей ГДР.

2) И вновь норвежское правительство потерпело фиаско на референдуме в попытке добиться членства Норвегии в ЕС.

3) В настоящее время огромное количество кандидатов стремится попасть в ЕС. Среди них Кипр, Чешская Республика, Эстония и другие.

4) ЕС в лице глав государств и правительств, действующих по указанию Комиссии, начали переговоры в начале 2000 года о принятии еще 6 стран Европы в свой состав.

5) «Европейское Сообщество» означает политическое объединение, состоящее из ряда отдельных правовых единиц со своими международными правовыми особенностями.

 

Text 5.

As a body based on international agreements between sovereign states, the EU is in many senses a creature of international law; however, the Member States have endowed its institutions with uniquely far-reaching powers for the achievement of the objectives contained in the Treaties. It is now often described as a “polity”, an unspecific term for a political entity, or a “polity-in-the making”. The EU has a distinctive institutional structure, which operates across the three pillars on the basis of the principle laid down in Article 3 TEU and builds on the original institutional framework of the three Communities. In the first fifty years of its existence, the main legislative role has been fulfilled by the Council of the European Union which is composed of representatives of the Member States at ministerial level. The Member States are also represented in the European Council, a summit conference of Heads of State and Government who meet at least twice yearly to give overall policy direction to the EU. The European Parliament, while it is now directly elected by universal franchise and is therefore representative of the people, has fewer powers in the legislative field than the Council, and its role ranges between that of a consultative assembly in some policy areas and a full co-legislator in some fields. It is also the co-budgetary authority with the Council. The role of the European Commission within the EU is sometimes exaggerated by Member States hostile to extensions of the EU’s competences; in fact, the Commission’s role is limited to initiating policy, implementing measures adopted by the Council and ensuring that Member States fulfill their obligations under the Treaties. It is in a sense the civil service of the EU, but in many respects it is dependent upon national administrations for the actual day-to-day implementation of the policies of the Union. It is not a fully fledged executive or government. Moreover, like the European Parliament, the Commission continues to have a more restricted role in the two intergovernmental pillars of the EU, concerned with foreign policy and some areas of cooperation in home affairs.

The fourth institution is the Court of Justice which has the task under Article 220 TEU of ensuring that the law is observed. It has been assisted since 1989 by a Court of First Instance, creation of which was provided for in the Single European Act. The Court has been responsible for developing the EU legal system in ways that were doubtless not imagined by the founders of the Treaties. Much of Part V will be concerned with explaining in detail these features which distinguish the European Union from an “ordinary” international organization, and which make the legal system operating in particular in relation to the “Community” or “first” pillar more akin to that of federal state. This point will be sketched out initially in the overview of the EU legal order in 1.5. The Court has also been active in ensuring that within the “Community” pillar itself the rule of law is applied, but it has been hitherto almost entirely excluded from exercising a judicial function within the second and the third pillars. However, while it continues to play no role in relation to CFSP, since the transformation of the third pillar by the Treaty of Amsterdam from Cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs to Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters, the Court now enjoys a restricted role in that field under Article 35 TEU.

 

Words to memorize:

Body – орган

Sense – смысл

Creature – создание

To endow – облекать властью

Far-reaching – далеко распространяющийся

Treaty – договор

Entity – сущность, объединение

Framework – рамки

Existence – существование

To fulfill – выполнять

To compose – составлять

At least – по меньшей мере

Franchise – право

Co-budgetary – с общим бюджетом

To exaggerate – преувеличивать

Hostile – враждебный

To ensure – гарантировать

Respects – отношения

Implementation – выполнение

Full-fledged – полноправный

Restricted – ограниченный

To concern - касаться

Single – единый

Doubtless – несомненно

To distinguish – отличать

Akin – схожий

Hitherto –до сих пор

TEU – Treaty of the European Union – Договор Европейского Союза

 

Tasks:

I. Answer the questions:

 

1) What kind of body is the EU?

2) How can you explain the term “polity”?

3) What is the Commission’s role limited to?

4) What is the task of the fourth institution?
5) What information will Part V contain?

 

II. Translate the sentences from Russian into English:

 

1) Европейский Союз имеет отчетливую казенную структуру, которая опирается на три столпа на базе принципа заложенного в части 3 Договора Европейского Союза

2) Страны – участницы также представлены в Европейском Совете. При этом конференция глав государств и правительств, которые встречаются не менее 2 раз в году, происходит для того, чтобы сообщить указания Европейскому Союзу.

3) Роль Европейской Комиссии внутри Европейского Союза иногда преувеличена странами-участницами, враждебно относящимися к расширению компетенций Европейского Союза.

4) Суд отвечает за развитие правовой системы Евросоюза, что, несомненно, не предполагалось учредителями соглашения.

5) Суд также твердо гарантирует соблюдение законных прав внутри Сообщества.

 

MODULE IV.

LAW ISSUES

Text 1.

 

 

CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CASES

Crime is a violation of a law that forbids or commands an activity. Such crimes as murder, rape, arson are on the books of every country. Because crime is a violation of public order, the government prosecutes criminal cases.

Courts decide both criminal and civil cases. Civil cases stem from dis­puted claims to something of value. Disputes arise from accidents; contrac­tual obligations, and divorce, for example.

Most countries make a rather clear distinction between civil and criminal procedures. For example, an English criminal court may force a defen­dant to pay a fine as punishment for his crime, and he may sometimes have to pay the legal costs of the prosecution. But the victim of the crime pur­sues his claim for compensation in a civil, not a criminal, action.

Criminal and civil procedures are different. Although some systems, in­cluding the English, allow a private citizen to bring a criminal prosecution against another citizen, criminal actions are nearly always started by the state. Civil actions, on the other hand, are usually started by individuals.

Some courts, such as the English Magistrates Courts and the Japanese Family Court, deal with both civil and criminal matters. Others, such as the English Crown Court, deal exclusively with one or the other.

In Anglo-American law, the party bringing a criminal action (that is, in most cases the state) is called the prosecution, but the party bringing a civil action is the plaintiff. In both kinds of action the other party is known as the defendant. A criminal case against a person called Ms. Brown would be described as "The People vs. (versus, or against) Brown" in the United States and "R. (Regina, that is, the Queen) vs. Brown'* in England. But a civil action between Ms. Brown and Mr. Smith would be "Brown vs. Smith" if it was started by Brown, and "Smith vs. Brown" if it was started by Mr. Smith.

Evidence from a criminal trial is not necessarily admissible as evidence in a civil action about the same matter. For example, the victim of a road accident does not directly benefit if the driver who injured him is found guilty of the crime of careless driving. He still has to prove his case in a civil action. In fact he may be able to prove his civil case even when the driver is found not guilty in the criminal trial.

Once the plaintiff has shown that the defendant is liable, the main ar­gument in a civil court is about the amount of money, or damages, which the defendant should pay to the plaintiff.

 

Words to be memorized:

 

Violation – нарушение закона

Forbid – запрещать

Rape – изнасилование

Arson – поджог

Claim – иск

Defendant – ответчик, подсудимый, обвиняемый

Fine – штраф

Victim – жертва

Pursue – предъявлять иск, преследовать

Plaintiff – истец

Damage – ущерб

Tasks:

 

I.Questions:

1) What is crime?

2) What kind of cases do courts decide?

3) Are criminal and civil procedures similar?

4) How is the party bringing a criminal action called in Anglo-American law?

5) Are civil actions usually started by individuals or the state?

 

II. Translate from Russian into English:

 

1) Преступление – это нарушение закона и государственного порядка.

2) Суды рассматривают уголовные и гражданские дела.

3) Во многих странах существует четкое различие между гражданской и уголовной процедурой.

4) Иск по уголовному делу почти всегда начинает государство.

5) В Англо-Американском праве сторона, предъявляющая уголовный иск, т.е. государство, во многих случаях, называется обвинением, а сторона, предъявляющая гражданский иск – истцом.

 

 

Text 2.

 







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