Commentary - european law - Lisbon treaty - EU treaty - cooperation duty - loyal cooperation principle - article 4 - european union law - member states - sovereignty
The document we are going to comment is the article 4 of the EU Treaty, as modified by the Lisbon Treaty. It highlights the fact that the EU membership implies a great number of consequences for the member States. According to this article, although some rights belonging to the States are protected, new duties are created between the Member States and the Union.
The European Union can be defined as a political and economic union established in 1993 after the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty by members of the European Community. The EU gathered six European States in 1951 with the creation of ECSC whereas today there are twenty seven member States and some countries which are applying to the EU membership...The originality of the EU deals with its model of construction. Indeed, it is not a federation but a union gathering States which remain sovereign. Sovereignty is an original, unlimited, supreme and unconditional power granted to any States at both intern and international levels. It results in many rights which the States cannot be deprived of. Besides, we could mention the Lisbon Treaty of 2007 which modified the pillar structure of the Union and gave the legal entity to the EU. This Treaty is very important here since it has modified the articles of the former EU Treaty, including article 4. For example, duties linked to the EU membership are detailed in this article and it could be interesting to define one of them. There is a cooperation duty which does exist between the Member States and the Union, and compels the States to facilitate the achievement of the objectives detailed in the Treaty by the measures they take.
The Lisbon Treaty of 2007 has recently entered into force on December 1st 2009. This Treaty has deeply modified the Union and it would be interesting to understand the importance of the article 4 in this new Treaty.
Consequently, we could wonder what this article guarantees for the Member States. Also, it would be appropriate to question the obligations of the Union and the Member States towards each other. Moreover, we could study the kind of relationships that article 4 does create between the member States and the Union.
[...] We can give the example of the case Commission v. Italy of July 13th 2004. In this case, it was held that Italy had failed to fulfill its obligations of cooperation with the Commission by failing to provide the information sought about the health and safety of workers in a waste water treatment plant of Mandello del Lario in Lombardy. We have seen that all Member States have to cooperate with the Union in order to help it to reach its objectives, which have been written in the Treaties. [...]
[...] However, sovereignty does not only refer to the competences of the States. Indeed, we should take into consideration other rights deriving from the sovereignty of the Member States which are also protected in this article of the EU Treaty. The application of all the rights resulting from the sovereignty of the Member States. The paragraph two of article 4 guarantees the respect of the Member States sovereignty at both intern and international levels. On the one hand, it states that the Union shall respect the equality of Member States before the Treaties Here, it corresponds to the principle of equality of States at the international level deriving from their sovereignty. [...]
[...] The European Court of Justice had to decide on the loyal cooperation principle on January 15th 1986 in the case Hurd v. Kenneth Jones (Her Majesty's Inspector of taxes). In fact, the British government had decided to subject the teachers' salaries paid by the European school to domestic taxation. In this case, the Union would have to reimburse the amount of the taxes. So, the Court held that, if such a practice were adopted in other Member States, it would have a detrimental effect on the Community's budget. [...]
[...] European Union Law Commentary: Article 4 of the EU Treaty (Member States' sovereignty / cooperation duties) The document we are going to comment is the article 4 of the EU Treaty, as modified by the Lisbon Treaty. It highlights the fact that the EU membership implies a great number of consequences for the member States. According to this article, although some rights belonging to the States are protected, new duties are created between the Member States and the Union. The European Union can be defined as a political and economic union established in 1993 after the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty by members of the European Community. [...]
[...] Consequently, even though this practice was not unlawful regarding European law, it has been prohibited by the European Court of Justice according to the loyal cooperation principle. [...]
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