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Advanced Introduction to European Union Law

European Union Law

Jacques Ziller

This book explains how member states of the EU confer powers to the Union through the founding treaties and the legal frame applicable to the Union’s institutions, and the rules that apply to their functioning and the legal review of their action. It reviews the main fields of action of the EU – the internal market, area of freedom, security and justice, external action – and how law is shaping them. The interaction between the EU and its member states is also explained.
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A constitution based upon international treaties

Jacques Ziller


Since the early days of European integration, there have been discussions about the nature of the European Communities (ECs), now European Union (EU). With the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, the French government proposed to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany that “Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe”. The ultimate aim was to establish “an organized and living Europe … indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations”, because a previously “united Europe was not achieved, and we had war”. The Schuman Declaration is mirrored in the preambles of the treaties: the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) which refers to “the need to create firm bases for the construction of the future Europe” and to “further steps to be taken in order to advance European integration”; and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) refers to “the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”, a wording that had already been included in the Preamble of the treaty of Rome of 27 March 1957, establishing the European Economic Community (EEC). The goal has always been the establishment of a politically united Europe, “a kind of United States of Europe” according to the words used by Winston Churchill on 19 September 1946 at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

From a formal legal point of view,...

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