European Councils Essay

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The Council of Europe (2008) is an international organization that aims to protect human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Europe. It is based in the Palais de lEurope building found in Strasbourg, France (Council of Europe, n. d. ). The council or COE was established in 1949 in the Treaty of London and was signed by its ten founding states: Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom (Council of Europe, n. d. ). From the founding members, the COE grew to its present number of 47 member nations.

Their goal then, which remains until now, was to create common, democratic human rights principles based from the European Convention. In November 1950, the council passed the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms act ” the first international legal safeguard for human rights (Council of Europe, n. d. ). The COE works to ensure the dignity of all Europeans and believes that cooperation among all nation members is the key to progress and solution of all social problems (Council of Europe, 2008).

The Council of European Union (EU) rose from the World Wars through the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). ECSC would manage all coal and steel products of Europe. It united the European nations under one roof and turned raw materials of war into instruments of peace (European Communities, 2008). First known as the Council of Ministers, the EU is a confederation with 27 member nations and an annual budget of 120 billion Euros. The EU works for the benefit of its members in the spheres of economics, finance, agriculture, research, environment, and social involvement (European Communities, 2008).

The EU depends on its decision-making triangle comprising the European Council, to represent member nations; the European Parliament, to represent the legislative and budgetary power; and the European Commission, which represents the EUs main executive body and its common interests (European Committees, 2008). The European Council is the political body of the EU composed of heads of government of the member states of EU and the European Commission president. The European Council (EC) meets twice a year in its headquarters in Brussels to plan and create political guidelines and policies for the EU (Council of the European Union, n.

d. ). The EC President represents the EU in interaction with EU institutions and international relations meetings with non-EU nations. The EC president also organizes and chairs meeting with EC and EU. The position is rotated among the 27 member nations every six months. However, the COE is not directly a part of the EU. It organizes meetings for heads of states of the EU and the European Commission, but legally remains separate the EU (Council of European Union, n. d. ).

It does, however, help shape the political direction of the EU and represent it at international conferences and meetings The COE and EU likewise share a common flag and member states. All 27 EU nations are part of and first belonged to COEs 47 members. Nations jointly provide the EU sovereignty and a large budget to decide and create matters that will potentially benefit them. On the other hand, COE is an intergovernmental organization which aims to protect human rights, democracy, and law. The COE does not aim to create any financial benefits for its members.

Further, it is a legislative body and exercises its power with the European Parliament (Council of Europe, n. d. ). The COE, EU, and EC are three different organizations that share in the goal of providing progress and protection to the European nations. Like different parts of a body, each organization provides a unique way of maintaining and improving life for European citizens. The COE focuses on democracy and rules of law and raises human rights awareness of and for both citizens and minorities. It promotes the cultural unity and diversity of the European nations (Council of Europe, 2008).

At the same time, COE also creates shared identity for all members. The EU also gives the European nations an identity through social support and competitive business edge. Due to its focus on research and development, economics, technology, and the environment, EU ensures that its members will benefit and meet challenges of globalization and the worlds rapid changes. The EU aims to provide prosperity, social and economic development, security, and stability for its people (European Communities, 2008). The EC paints the European political landscape by bringing together leaders of European nations.

Thus, executive power is present in the EC. It can influence nations foreign relations, justice, economic, and financial policies, and human rights outlooks. Each organization brings to the table its own set of strength and ideals. Individually, they may have weaknesses and shortcomings, but together, they build a formidable Europe, excelling at both at humanitarian and business efforts.

References

Council of Europe. (2008, March 1). About the Council of Europe. Retrieved December 5, 2008 from http://www. coe. int/T/e/Com/about_coe/.”. (n. d. ). The Council of Europe. Who we are, What we do [PDF File]. Retrieved December 8, 2008 from http://www. coe. int/T/E/Com/About_Coe/Brochures/Depliant-Wo-We-are-ENG. pdf ”. (n. d. ). Key Dates. Retrieved December 8, 2008 from http://www. coe. int/T/E/Com/About_Coe/dates. asp Council of the European Union. (n. d. ). European Council. Retrieved December 5, 2008 from http://consilium. europa. eu/showPage. asp? id=429&lang=en&mode=g. ”. (n. d. ). FAQ: Council of the European Union European Council Council of Europe.

Retrieved December 5, 2008 from http://www. consilium. europa. eu/cms3_applications/faqHomePage. Asp? command=details&node=2&lang=en&cmsId=1. European Communities (2008). 1. Why the European Union?. EUROPA. Retrieved December 8, 2008 from http://europa. eu/abc/12lessons/lesson_1/index_en. htm ”. (2008). 4. How does the EU work. EUROPA. Retrieved December 8, 2008 from http://europa. eu/abc/12lessons/lesson_4/index_en. htm ”. (2008). 5. What does the EU do?. EUROPA. Retrieved December 8, 2008 from http://europa. eu/abc/12lessons/lesson_5/index_en. htm

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