A Common Man’s Guide to the Common Market by Hugh Arbuthnott, Geoffrey Edwards

By Hugh Arbuthnott, Geoffrey Edwards

The objective of this revised and prolonged booklet is to aim to provide an explanation for how the rules of the neighborhood are supposed to in achieving its basic goals. a quick background of the root and significant occasions are integrated and the formal associations and the particular decision-making tactics are explained.

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It also has to be remembered that, compared to any national government, the Community is incomplete in its decision-making scope. The three Treaties set limits to Community competence. Any extension of Community authority into new areas can only take place on a case-by-case basis, and with the unanimous consent of all member states. Yet, at the same time, the Treaties lay down detailed procedures in some areas which the Community institutions are expected to follow. In this sense the Community's 'constitution' is quite different from that of its member states.

None the less, if the Parliament has rejected a Council position, the Council can only overturn the Parliament's vote on a unanimous vote. It must also make its reasons for rejecting the Parliament's decision known, a development on the Treaty although in the conciliation process that has evolved between Council and Parliament, the Council's reasoning usually becomes apparent. The European Parliament appears still to be better equipped in its supervisory functions. Its procedures and effectiveness have improved markedly over the last two decades; it can now, for The Institutions of the European Community 31 example, call on both the Commission and the Council to account for their actions by means of questions to both institutions and by requiring them to defend their activities before plenary sessions.

Perhaps equally strong, however, may be the determination of the Commission and the Parliament to explore the possibilities opened up by the SEA. At the same time as internal Community negotiations threaten to become more complex, there remain the problems or pressures that are beyond the control of the member states. The fault may not always or even exclusively lie with the member governments. On some issues such as the international monetary or trade systems, the decision-making process inside the Community may be only a preliminary to international negotiations or may be dependent on decisions taken on a wider international scale.

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