Its political role has being a big issue between the main theoricians of the European Union. The place of the European Parliament and the Commission in the process toward political unity is more obvious. The Commission, as the institution who has the power of initiative, can play a large role in every step toward the political unity, while, The European Parliament, even if it can be seen as powerless, is the institution where real political debates can take place. That is why, it is more important to concentrate on the original place of the Court in the process of political unity. We have to understand why some people think that it is more relevant for advance of the EU political unity than the others suprational institutions.
The powers of the Courts are unique. It is clearly more powerful than other international courts, as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Court of Justice, or even than most of national courts. It has had a very important position in the European integration due to the fact that the Union is built under the rule of law. Nevertheless, the EU political unity cannot be realized only by an extensive application of the treaties as the court did.
[...] The major progresses of the Union in terms of political unity have been made during the intergovernmental summits which the Court is completly excluded. For example, the creation of the Euro, as a single currency but also as coins and bills (It's the second point which is politically the most important because the members could only have created a “unphysical” currency as it was between 1999 and 2002 without creating coins and bills) was done during the negociation of the Treaty of the European Union in Maastricht. [...]
[...] To conclude, the role of the European Court of justice for the advance of the EU political unity can't be ignored. As Weiler says: constituionalization of the community might be read [ . ] as suggesting that the cardinal material locus of change has been the realm of law and that the principal actor has been the European Court . this would be deceptive”. Legal and constitutionql structural change have been crucial, but only in their interaction with community political process” (Weiler in Peterson and Shackleton, 2002). [...]
[...] have to understand why some people think that it is more relevant for advance of the EU political unity than the others suprational institutions. The powers of the Courts are unique. It is clearly more powerful than other international courts, as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Court of Justice, or even than most of national courts. It has had a very important position in the European integration due to the fact that the Union is built under the rule of law. [...]
[...] The Court agreed with that point of view and declared that the choice of voting rule and procedure are matters to be determined by the application of legal criteria, rather than political (Peterson, 2002). The choice of the legal basis is really important politicially because the Council has often the temptation to act on its own, like an intergovernmental institution, that means to act alone and using unanimity system. The Court tries to preserve the supranational nature of the Union. [...]
[...] By virtue of their composition, the Commission and the Parliament are both institutions which are in favour of an EU political unity and are able to be in key positions in the political process. The Parliament is composed by members elected in every country. But they are not here to stand for their own country. They sit in the benches follwing their political ideas. Thus, the political groups are kind of European political parties which act in the Union as a group. [...]
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