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COMPETENCES OF THE EU
Exercise of the Union’s competences by a limited number of Member States: the enhanced co-operation procedure
The possibility for some Member States to establish closer co-operation between themselves, through the Community institutions and procedures, had been introduced by the ToA, and is known as “enhanced co-operation”. The IGC, revising the ToA, decided that the conditions triggering enhanced co-operation needed substantial amendment. The ToA limited the use of enhanced co-operation to matters dealt with in Pillar 1 and in Pillar 3 (matters concerning police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters), imposed strict conditions for its use, and gave the right of veto to every Member State, even if that Member State did not wish to participate. Under the ToA the procedure was never used. The ToN profoundly revised the enhanced co-operation procedure in order to make it more attractive to Member States. The ToL has further reformed the procedure. Provisions relevant to enhanced co-operation are contained in Title IV of the TEU and Title III of Part Six of the TFEU.
Europe in the Twenty-first Century
In the two centuries following the French Revolution, Europe was transformed from a factionalized collection of feudal, hierarchical, Christian monarchies into an affluent community of peaceful, democratic, secular, and capitalist states. Along the way, these changes were shaped by upheavals of revolution and war. The Enlightenment and the French Revolution of 1789 first raised ideas of individualism, human rights, and popular sovereignty. The Napoleonic wars and the Peoples’ Spring of 1848 spread these notions across Europe, planting the seeds of liberalism and nationalism. The Industrial Revolution, based on the emergent principles of capitalism, brought expanded prosperity but also new forms of exploitation and inequality. Marxism was a reaction to the excesses of capitalism and led in two directions: toward socialism and social democracy in much of Western Europe, and toward communist revolution in Russia. The Darwinian revolution transformed both science and religion and changed the way we think about human beings and their place on the planet.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Post-Stalin
After the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the General Assembly of the United Nations called on its member states to promote dissemination and explanation of the Declaration ‘chiefl y in schools and other educational institutions.’ I do not know how carefully this Declaration is studied in Soviet schools, or if its studied at all - I know that the contents of the Declaration are generally familiar to people acquainted with samizdat publications.
European Union Brief Terminology
Accession: The process of joining the European Union. After accession treaties have been negotiated, all member states must ratify them and the European Parliament must give its assent.