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Further information: "Maastricht Treaty

The pillar structure had its historical origins in the negotiations leading up to the "Maastricht treaty. It was desired to add powers to the Community in the areas of foreign policy, security and defence policy, asylum and immigration policy, criminal co-operation, and judicial co-operation.

However, some member-states opposed the addition of these powers to the Community on the grounds that they were too sensitive to national sovereignty for the community method to be used, and that these matters were better handled intergovernmentally. To the extent that at that time the Community dealt with these matters at all, they were being handled intergovernmentally, principally in "European Political Cooperation (EPC).

As a result, these additional matters were not included in the European Community; but were tacked on externally to the European Community in the form of two additional 'pillars'. The first additional pillar (Common Foreign and Security Policy, CFSP) dealt with foreign policy, security and defence issues, while the second additional pillar (JHA, Justice and Home Affairs), dealt with the remainder.

1999 and 2003: Amendments[edit]

Amsterdam Treaty and "Treaty of Nice

Amendments by the "treaty of Amsterdam and the "treaty of Nice made the additional pillars increasingly supranational. Most important among these were the transfer of policy on asylum, migration and judicial co-operation in civil matters to the Community pillar, effected by the Amsterdam treaty. Thus the third pillar was renamed Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters, or PJCCM. The term Justice and Home Affairs was still used to cover both the third pillar and the transferred areas.

Signed
In force
"Document
1948
1948
"Brussels
Treaty
1951
1952
"Paris
Treaty
1954
1955
"Modified
Brussels
Treaty
1957
1958
"Rome
Treaty
&
"EURATOM
1965
1967
"Merger
Treaty
1975
1976
"Council
Agreement
on TREVI
1986
1987
"Single
European
Act
1985+90
1995
"Schengen
Treaty
&
"Convention
1992
1993
"Maastricht Treaty (TEU)
1997
1999
"Amsterdam
Treaty
2001
2003
"Nice
Treaty
"2007
2009
"Lisbon
Treaty
 
Content (founded WUDO) (founded ECSC) (protocol amending WUDO to become WEU) (founded EEC and EURATOM) (merging the legislative & administrative bodies of the 3 European communities) (founded TREVI) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EEC)+
(founded EPC)
(founded Schengen)
(implemented Schengen)
(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, and EEC to transform it into EC)+
(founded: JHA+CFSP)
(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EC to also contain Schengen, and TEU where PJCC replaced JHA) (amended with focus on institutional changes: EURATOM, ECSC, EC and TEU) (abolished the 3 pillars and WEU by amending: EURATOM, EC=>TFEU, and TEU)
(founded EU as an overall legal unit with "bill of rights, and reformed governance structures & decision procedures)
 
                         
Three pillars of the European Union:  
"European Communities
(with a single Commission & Council)
 
"European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)   
"European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty expired in 2002 "European Union (EU)
    "European Economic Community (EEC)   "European Community (EC)
        "Schengen Rules  
    "Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and Violence Internationally (TREVI) "Justice and Home Affairs
(JHA)
  "Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)
  "European Political Cooperation (EPC) "Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
"Western Union Defence Organization (WUDO) "Western European Union (WEU)    
Treaty terminated in 2011    
                     

2009: Abolition[edit]

Treaty of Lisbon

In a speech before the Nice Conference, "Joschka Fischer, then Foreign Minister of Germany, called for a simplification of the European Union. One of these core ideas was to abolish the pillar structure, and replace it with a merged "legal personality for the Union. This idea was included in the "Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. With a legal personality, Union is, for instance, able to be part of international treaties. The Treaty of Lisbon also states that "the Union shall replace and succeed the European Community," with the effect that, once the Treaty entered into force, the EU obtained the membership of the "World Trade Organisation (WTO) which had belonged to the "European Communities pillar.

The abolition of the "3-pillar structure" was welcomed by practitioners and academics who had long considered the 'pillar metaphor" to be unrealistic, if not absurd. The idea that one pillar could be the Communities, while the other two were merely "policies" or "cooperation" was scarcely credible.

In the Lisbon Treaty the distribution of competences in various policy areas between Member States and the Union was reorganised into the following scheme:

As outlined in Title I of Part I of the consolidated Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
Exclusive competence
Shared competence
Supporting competence
"The Union has exclusive competence to make directives and conclude international agreements when provided for in a Union legislative act."
"Member States cannot exercise competence in areas where the Union has done so."
"Union exercise of competence shall not result in Member States being prevented from exercising theirs in" …
  • research, technological development and "(outer) space
  • development cooperation, humanitarian aid
"The Union coordinates Member States policies or implements supplemental to theirs common policies, not covered elsewhere"
"The Union can carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement Member States' actions in" …
  • the protection and improvement of human health
  • industry
  • "culture
  • tourism
  • "education, youth, "sport and vocational training
  • civil protection (disaster prevention)
  • administrative cooperation

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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