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The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics, Second Edition

Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus

This thoroughly updated and revised edition of a popular and authoritative reference work introduces the reader to the major concepts and leading contributors in the field of law and economics. The Companion features accessible, informative and provocative entries on all the significant issues, and breaks new ground by bringing together widely dispersed yet theoretically congruent ideas.
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Chapter 16: The European Union’s Institutional Design

Elisabetta Croci Angelini


Elisabetta Croci Angelini Introduction The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (TEC) was signed in Rome by the six founding countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) on 25 March 1957. After the first enlargement to Denmark, Ireland and the UK in 1973, the second to Greece in 1981, and the third to Spain and Portugal in 1986, the cooperation among the 12 member states was fostered by a stronger agreement accomplished by the first revision to the Treaty of Rome, the Single European Act (SEA) in force since 1987, and later by the European Union Treaty (TEU) signed in Maastricht in 1991. The European Union (EU) came into existence in 1993 and consists of three pillars: the European Community (EC), the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU in 1995. Two more revision treaties were agreed: in Amsterdam in 1997 and in Nice in 2000. The most recent enlargement involved the entry of eight Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland) plus Cyprus and Malta, in May 2004. The process of European integration may be described as a sequence of successful widening and deepening operations, yet this representation overlooks the considerable modifications undertaken over the years. The integration process was initiated with the application of the incremental tactic envisaged by Jean Monnet, pointing to the development of a European interest above the national interests. The strategy was...

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