EU a federalist system? Watch

smallsvill123
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Do you think the EU is able to be accurately seen as a federalist system? I'm trying to understand federalism, and the EU..

What makes a state federalist? In the EU there are plenty of levels of governments such as the EU commission, parliament, etc....... I'm looking into what attributes the EU has with federalism, and trying to compare it to USA'S to get a better understanding.

Help appreciated!

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username1500433
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I wouldn't say EU is federal as each member has it's own sovereign parliament, etc. In the US, sovereignty is held by a central body and is passed down in a federal system. The EU I would say is rather different in how sovereignty is essentially passed up from each individual member to form a collective sovereignty which is held by the EU.
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smallsvill123
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(Original post by will_jg)
I wouldn't say EU is federal as each member has it's own sovereign parliament, etc. In the US, sovereignty is held by a central body and is passed down in a federal system. The EU I would say is rather different in how sovereignty is essentially passed up from each individual member to form a collective sovereignty which is held by the EU.
great response. Is saying that the EU has different levels of governments such as the commission, EP, etc. relevant in support of the Union being federalist?

#imayhavelostrackonmypoints
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username1500433
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(Original post by smallsvill123)
great response. Is saying that the EU has different levels of governments such as the commission, EP, etc. relevant in support of the Union being federalist?

#imayhavelostrackonmypoints
Debatable. I would say no. The EU still follows the basic executive, legislature, judiciary model. Being:
Executive - European Comission
Legislature - European Parliament & The Council of the European Union
Judiciary - European Court of Justice

Many countries i.e. the UK follow the same model yet are still unitary. So I would say that it isn't particularly relevant in determining whether or not the EU is federal in nature.
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smallsvill123
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(Original post by will_jg)
Debatable. I would say no. The EU still follows the basic executive, legislature, judiciary model. Being:
Executive - European Comission
Legislature - European Parliament & The Council of the European Union
Judiciary - European Court of Justice

Many countries i.e. the UK follow the same model yet are still unitary. So I would say that it isn't particularly relevant in determining whether or not the EU is federal in nature.
what evidence is there in the EU that it is turning federal? I am trying to find some but can't. #rnfoesn
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gladders
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A federal state consists of constituent parts that combine to form a sovereign government over themselves for the common good. A unitary state has a sovereign government created first, and that may itself devolve power on its behalf to a subordinate part.

The EU has some aspects of the federal system, but still is not, as the EU is not sovereign - member states are. The EU has no power to enforce its will within member states (taxation, regulation, etc) and relies on the co-operation of the governments and civil services of the member states. Some member states can secure opt-outs from policies they find objectionable (such as the UK and the eurozone), and if they are found in violation of EU law it still requires the violating member state to admit defeat and get back in to line - the EU has no means of penalisation beyond leveraging fines, but it can't make the member state pay.
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smallsvill123
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(Original post by gladders)
A federal state consists of constituent parts that combine to form a sovereign government over themselves for the common good. A unitary state has a sovereign government created first, and that may itself devolve power on its behalf to a subordinate part.

The EU has some aspects of the federal system, but still is not, as the EU is not sovereign - member states are. The EU has no power to enforce its will within member states (taxation, regulation, etc) and relies on the co-operation of the governments and civil services of the member states. Some member states can secure opt-outs from policies they find objectionable (such as the UK and the eurozone), and if they are found in violation of EU law it still requires the violating member state to admit defeat and get back in to line - the EU has no means of penalisation beyond leveraging fines, but it can't make the member state pay.
awesome. thank you. this helped a lot.
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smallsvill123
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(Original post by gladders)
A federal state consists of constituent parts that combine to form a sovereign government over themselves for the common good. A unitary state has a sovereign government created first, and that may itself devolve power on its behalf to a subordinate part.

The EU has some aspects of the federal system, but still is not, as the EU is not sovereign - member states are. The EU has no power to enforce its will within member states (taxation, regulation, etc) and relies on the co-operation of the governments and civil services of the member states. Some member states can secure opt-outs from policies they find objectionable (such as the UK and the eurozone), and if they are found in violation of EU law it still requires the violating member state to admit defeat and get back in to line - the EU has no means of penalisation beyond leveraging fines, but it can't make the member state pay.
this is quite a request, but i'm wondering if you'd be willing to help me with a project i'm working on in which i'm answering whether the eu can be accurately said to be a federalist system..
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smallsvill123
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(Original post by will_jg)
Debatable. I would say no. The EU still follows the basic executive, legislature, judiciary model. Being:
Executive - European Comission
Legislature - European Parliament & The Council of the European Union
Judiciary - European Court of Justice

Many countries i.e. the UK follow the same model yet are still unitary. So I would say that it isn't particularly relevant in determining whether or not the EU is federal in nature.
ive messaged you on here
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L i b
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(Original post by smallsvill123)
Do you think the EU is able to be accurately seen as a federalist system? I'm trying to understand federalism, and the EU..

What makes a state federalist? In the EU there are plenty of levels of governments such as the EU commission, parliament, etc....... I'm looking into what attributes the EU has with federalism, and trying to compare it to USA'S to get a better understanding.

Help appreciated!
The EU has virtually every attribute of a federal system. Where it falls down is in terms of the exercise of force: it does not have its own military (and EUFOR and the likes are not an equivalent) and in practical terms cannot enforce its laws against its member-states.

What attributes does it have of federalism? A clear constitutional structure (the EU treaties are primary law, effectively a written constitution), legal supremacy in certain defined areas of competence above and beyond that of member-states, a directly-elected legislature, a courts system etc. The key part though is pooled sovereignty: the sovereignty of the member-states is restricted by a need to adhere to EU law.

(Original post by smallsvill123)
what evidence is there in the EU that it is turning federal? I am trying to find some but can't. #rnfoesn
Federalism is a constitutional structure. People often confuse it with a level of powers centrally controlled, but it isn't: you can have as strong or as weak a federation as a constitution defines.

The idea of a clear Constitution in the form of the 2004 treaty could be seen as a step towards it, but it was more a symbolic one than a practical one. There was nothing particularly new in the draft Constitutional Treaty, other than its constitutional appearance.
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L i b
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(Original post by gladders)
The EU has some aspects of the federal system, but still is not, as the EU is not sovereign - member states are. The EU has no power to enforce its will within member states (taxation, regulation, etc) and relies on the co-operation of the governments and civil services of the member states.
Is sovereignty dependent on enforceability? It's often said that the traditional sovereignty of the UK Parliament is based on its ability to make and unmake any law it fancies: it cannot, for example, make the sun rise in the west - but there is no legal impediment to legislating for it.

The law exists independent of enforceability in general. That we cannot prevent or punish the vast majority of assaults does not undermine the existence of law against it. I will concede however that there is a difference insofar as the EU is not only incapable of exercising authority in this way: it entirely lacks the means to do so.

But is that conclusive? I would say not.
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william walker
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The EU is simply an Anti-national system created to destroy the nation states of Europe. Of course the nation states will exist which is why the EU as a creation can't get what it wants.
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scrotgrot
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(Original post by L i b)
Is sovereignty dependent on enforceability? It's often said that the traditional sovereignty of the UK Parliament is based on its ability to make and unmake any law it fancies: it cannot, for example, make the sun rise in the west - but there is no legal impediment to legislating for it.

The law exists independent of enforceability in general. That we cannot prevent or punish the vast majority of assaults does not undermine the existence of law against it. I will concede however that there is a difference insofar as the EU is not only incapable of exercising authority in this way: it entirely lacks the means to do so.

But is that conclusive? I would say not.
Sovereignty is about jurisdiction. The EU only has a sort of jurisdiction over member states insofar as member states have voted to be members and to apply European directives in their own sovereign legislative jurisdictions. We can refuse to implement it if we want and there's nothing in law the EU can do to stop us - I'm not even aware of any legal (as opposed to fiscal or diplomatic) mechanism by which an intransigent member state could be kicked out or otherwise punished.
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NYU℠
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(Original post by smallsvill123)
Do you think the EU is able to be accurately seen as a federalist system? I'm trying to understand federalism, and the EU.
I agree with L i b's assessment. The EU perfectly resembles a federal system. This is not to say that it is a federal state. I can have a federalist system (division of sovereignty) without being a single state. At its basic political theory meaning, as L i b has indicated, federalism is a covenant between members (i.e. a constitutional structure/agreement).

(Original post by will_jg)
I wouldn't say EU is federal as each member has it's own sovereign parliament, etc. In the US, sovereignty is held by a central body and is passed down in a federal system. The EU I would say is rather different in how sovereignty is essentially passed up from each individual member to form a collective sovereignty which is held by the EU.
This isn't really an accurate assessment. The US federal government and state governments have concurrent jurisdiction in some areas, federal sometimes has exclusive; state sometimes has exclusive. Who has sovereign authority depends on what area of law we're talking about. Furthermore, according to some constitutional theorists, the US states did 'pass up' authority to the federal government.

(Original post by gladders)
The EU has some aspects of the federal system, but still is not, as the EU is not sovereign - member states are. The EU has no power to enforce its will within member states (taxation, regulation, etc) and relies on the co-operation of the governments and civil services of the member states.
Sovereignty and enforceability are two different questions/concepts. You've conflated them here. If there's a rule of recognition in place such that any P is a law whenever it satisfies X, then P is a law even if it isn't enforceable.
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L i b
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(Original post by scrotgrot)
Sovereignty is about jurisdiction. The EU only has a sort of jurisdiction over member states insofar as member states have voted to be members and to apply European directives in their own sovereign legislative jurisdictions.
The method of entry isn't particularly relevant: there are plenty of sovereign states that have voted themselves into membership of a larger state. As for applying directives - directives have to be implemented in domestic legislation. However other EU legislative instruments have direct effect without the member-state's action: they become law not because of our parliament or government put them in place, but because the institutions of the European Union have declared them to be so within the law.

We can refuse to implement it if we want and there's nothing in law the EU can do to stop us - I'm not even aware of any legal (as opposed to fiscal or diplomatic) mechanism by which an intransigent member state could be kicked out or otherwise punished.
The EU does not have a police force, but neither does the British Government. Our police are operationally independent bodies, just as our courts are. The British courts, like the ECJ, are bound to implement British law. A court can apply an injunction to prevent a person or public authority acting outside of the law with criminal penalties: in doing so, they must recognise European law.

Where British law conflicts with EU law, it is clear that the courts are bound - where applicable - to strike down the relevant British law. This is not theoretical: we've already had the Factortame cases. It was an English court that struck down the relevant parts of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 when it was clear it conflicted with EU law.

I appreciate there's a big distinction between how the two operate, but ultimately what NYU2012 says about is correct: we have an established system for recognising what is law in this country, and EU law not only has effect here, in its defined areas of competence it is supreme over any legislation made by the UK Parliament.
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L i b
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(Original post by william walker)
The EU is simply an Anti-national system created to destroy the nation states of Europe. Of course the nation states will exist which is why the EU as a creation can't get what it wants.
Nation-states come and nation-states go - the only inevitability is that every single one of them will die off eventually. In any case, you're not really addressing the situation we are in now, which is that the EU does have a federalist legal and constitutional structure.
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