Week of Notes 8
Week of Notes 8 403-2B
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Dora Notetaker on Thursday October 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 403-2B at University of Alabama at Birmingham taught by Nikolaos Zahariadis in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 54 views. For similar materials see International Relations Seminar in Public Relations at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
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Date Created: 10/15/15
PSC 403 Seminar in International Studies Dr Zahariadis Notes Set 8 Week of Oct 12 Tue Oct 13 European Parliament 0 It is the only democratically elected institution in the EU 0 So it addresses the EU s democratic deficit 0 And it has more power than before when it didn t have any deciding power Elections of the EP 0 They are held on a national basis 0 But the MEP s sit with their parties in the EP not with members of their national representatives All of the issues discussedcampaigned on in the EP elections are national in nature EP elections tend to forecast people s confidence in their national government 0 So if people vote for different party in EP elections than the one in power it means they are probably going to lose in the upcoming national elections 0 The higher the turnover in the EP the less powerful the EP is because the more disillusioned people are c If people are less disillusioned more satisfied they ll keep electing the same people so there will be less turnover 0 This applies to MEP s too If MEP s are disillusioned with the institution they won t run again Problem Most people don t know who their MEP s are 0 So they don t pay attention to what s going on in the EU 0 But MEP s will often get money for their districts bringing home the bacon which makes the EU a milkable source of money Powers of the EP 1 CoDecision a They make decisions together with the Council of the EU b It is a process called Ordinary Legislation Process 2 Approval of the Budget 3 Approval of the Commission a It s a form of checks and balances b They have hearings like the Senate 0 But they have to vote on the Commissioners as a whole d They ve only voted them down once i In 1990 s because of charges of corruption Thurs Oct 15 In the US institutions have checks and balances so they affect each other very much 0 But this system creates deadlock In Europe they tried to do the same thing they try to create checks amp balances but also give each institution power 0 But they don t have treaties that outline these 0 No constitution but treaties 0 New treaties update past treaties 0 So the functions of the institutions get updated from time to time 0 So that s why the EP has been gaining more power at the loss of the power for the Council of the EU Current treaties that deal with the functioning of the EU These treaties are called intergovernmental treaties 0 So they are bargains between governments 0 So one of the new powers of EP is approval of Comm 0 But it s not exactly checks amp balances 0 Because there is a single chamber not bicameral like US 0 And they can only approve the entire Commission 0 So there is a check but not balance 0 EP s power over the budget 0 They can only approve the budget 0 EP does not propose budget 0 Budget is actually decided by national governments with the Commission drafting it so the budget is a result of government bargains 0 So there are power struggles between institutions which will always happen with autonomous institutions 0 We have it in Washington have it in Brussels Budget 0 It comes out of 2 sources 1 VAT taxes valueadded tax a Most things that are being bought and sold in Europe have a VAT tax and a portion of this goes to the EU b There is a ceiling and not everything can have a VAT tax 2 Plus they get a portion of each member39s budget i Richer countries pay more poorer pay less ii So there is argument of I m paying more but I m not getting more out of the institution 0 They create a budget for 7 years in advance 0 This creates stability but it also has inflexibility 0 And because govts negotiate budget they always underfund the EU 0 They set a ceiling which is 12 of the EU output 0 So they add up all EU economies take 12 of it and that becomes the budget 0 So you have to balances 2 things 1 What kind of services can the EU provide that member states can t 2 What are the costs vs the benefits 0 So governments constantly must justify to their voters that the EU is important and the benefits the costs or better that the costs 0 OthenNise why are you spending money 0 So governments keep having to convince them that it s worth their money 2 Another issue governments can want their money back 0 They might say they re overspending 0 So the EU is an extension of each country s foreign policy 0 Countries that give the most may get the least back 0 And if they do Germany gets money from the EU to help their farmers people can t see it 0 And in the EU there are relatively few taxes on trade so each industry benefits significantly but voters can t see this 0 They can see roads bridges but not cofinanced things cofinanced with the country and the EU 0 Everything in Greece is cofinanced now 0 So politicians in governments can blame the EU for everything they can shift blame to get votes 0 The EU does not have a voice to defend itself Where does the EP fit in here 0 It pressures governments for money 0 Because MEP s want to get reelected so they want to bring home the bacon and they need money to do this So they keep trying to increase the budget But the EP can t partially approve the budget 0 Only the entire thing Structure of the EP 0 Confederal parties 0 These are umbrella organizations of parties that are similar 0 Ex the EPP is a organization of Christian Democratic parties in Europe 0 Christian Dem parties were formed in the early 20th century to protect Christians and they were centerright moderate 0 So this led to the creation of the antiChristian parties the Social Democrats centerleft they have social tendencies but essentially Democrats So this means There is no robust center always a slant to the right or left So majority of MEP s will be part of the major 2 confederalities So this can result in a right slanting national government and a left slanting EP I And this means the EP will be pushing the Council a different way than the national govt wants it to Parliaments how do they work in general 0 Power rests in committees where most of the work is done 0 But voters only see the big picture not committee work 0 Big speeches are delivered to voters not to parliament they are often not even there 2 types of committees 1 Ad hoc Standing committees a Temporary b They revolve around a specific issue c Ex Committee on Yugoslavia in the 1990 s d One of the ways reps gain a name for themselves is by being assigned to the right committee 2 Permanent committees c There are subcommittees 0 Committee chairs have significant power because they can kill bills 0 And the committee does not decide who the committee chair is the Speaker of the House does 0 So power is concentrated in the hands of a few In Europe Differs from US in 2 ways 0 1 Committee chairs are appointed by the governing party according to the aportion of seats a party has in parliament 0 So some parties will have more party chairs some less 0 2 If a committee votes down a bill they don t die 0 They can be revived in planery session amp be put to a vote Important vs not important committees o A committee like agriculture is important because the EU finances agriculture 0 They have a common agricultural policy in Europe that supersedes national level policy 0 Subsidies funding is decided on at the EU level 0 Media amp Sports committee not so important 0 This kind of thing decided on national level Policv Areas in the EU The CFSP 0 Common Foreign Security Policy 0 Countries used to guard their foreign policy 0 Over time they came up with EPC European Political Cooperation o It was a precursor to CFSP 0 Over time members wanted to coordinate foreign policy to help trade Community Method o It is a process in a policy area that involves relative consensus within the process 0 Example trade policy 0 With the CFSP they wanted coordination but not with other institutions 0 So they wanted to coordinate and make bargains with other national governments but not involve the EU institutions in the process 0 So they came up with Intergovernmental Pillars Intergovernmental Pillars 0 These were used to hammer out deal among national governments o The first was this common method within the European Community precursor to the EU 0 Second was the CSFP 0 Third was the JHA Justice and Home Affairs Initially they wanted a united front 0 So a consensus on issues and a single policy 0 Their 1st issue was Yugoslavia 0 But it wasn t a success 0 They thought they could solve it after the fall of the USSR and the Berlin wall but they were naive Countries were still seeing things on a national level not as Europeans The civil wars in Yugoslavia actually started when the EU recognized the new independent states I Germans decided that the EU will take them others didn t have a say I 80 national interests were not really taken into account in the CFSP but certain German national interests became European interests
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