Effect of the Collapse of the Soviet Union on Freedom of Speech

into media freedom of speech in post-Soviet Russia and its effects on MH17
Ukraine plane crash reporting
The effect of the collapse of the Soviet Union on the post-Soviet journalism in Russia
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 has undoubtedly had major ramifications on the media landscape in Russia. During the Soviet era the target audience of the majority if not all of the media outlets were the members of the Communist Party, the so-called ‘party cadres’ (Tarschys, 1979, p.42). However, in the lead up to the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1985 perestroika movement was introduced in order to encourage the much needed democratic change in the political system and the mentality of the Russians. Thus, in turn, as von Seth argues (2013, p.215) this movement along with the glasnost policy of openness (especially among the journalists) provided the press with the opportunity to exercise much wider freedom of speech.

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In 1990 new media law set the legal
framework for media practices and established the abolition of censorship of
the press. The law was re-introduced again in 1991. Consequently, since the aim
of the media was gradually shifting towards addressing the issues of the public
rather than conveying ideas of the state, as von Seth continues, the freedom of
the press dramatically increased right after 1991. Brenton (2011, p.33) goes even further to add on the idea of possible liberation of the Russian
press after 1990 stating that journalists found themselves not only being able
to report on hard-pressing issues within the society but also criticise the status-quo of the Russian authorities.
Surprisingly, some openly expressed anti-Communist views in the media, which
was never allowed during the Soviet period of tight state-controlled media
the law was not always enforced. In the lead up to the referendum in 1993 a few
newspapers sharing different views rather than the state‘s propagated
standpoint faced the ban from the Russian Ministry for the Press and Information
1996, p.471), as opposed to the 1991 media law which stated that only courts
were legally allowed to close papers. Some of the newspapers were granted the
permission to continue journalistic work only if the title and editors were
changed. Hence, the imposed media freedom was more of an illusion than the
reality Russian journalists lived in.  
Whereas in the early days after the
collapse of the Soviet Bloc journalists enjoyed greater freedom of speech, this
period of transformation did not last long. Even though the mass media
officially became independent, the economic climate in Russia gradually
deteriorated and reached the state of crisis in 1992. As a result, editors
started looking for the source of income thus becoming increasingly dependent
on private businessmen; e.g. oligarchs and their financial contributions
(Roudakova, 2009, p.418). As a matter of fact, most of the latter were running
for a seat in the parliament, as Roudakova explains, since this meant access to
influential contacts and growth of their business. In this way, the issue of
media freedom of speech was extended further and the situation of potential
improvement in Russian media landscape was quickly reversed from there on.
Nevertheless, the comparison drawn in
this dissertation is not between the pre- and post-Soviet media language but
between the core journalism values defined by the BBC (2017) and how Russia in
its post-Soviet state has managed to meet these fundamental requirements. These
keys principals (truth, accuracy, impartiality, accountability, public interest,
and independence) are considered the industry standard all journalists must
follow. Indeed, these are prevalent in the West, thus raising the issue of the
pressures journalists face on a daily basis if choosing to follow these
Factors influencing post-Soviet journalism
A broad range of factors is of
significance when discussing the state of the post-Soviet media landscape. As
von Seth argues (2011, p.55), after the fall of the Soviet Union the media
became progressively deprived of its initial power to make an impact in terms
of the mentality of the masses. Nevertheless, the government promoted and even
enforced the role of a journalist not as a neutral messenger but rather a teacher, guiding the members of the public towards a
particular direction (De Smaele, 2004,
p.69). These two contradictory statements only demonstrate the continuous
propaganda the Russian state employs when communicating and most importantly
controlling the public with the help of the media. Moreover, it has only
aggravated already difficult working conditions under which the press has to
operate in Russia up to the current day.
fact, the general public mostly agrees with Russian policies and the state
leaders, thus leaving journalists with no other option than report on issues of
interest to the audience, otherwise, they risk losing their readership. This
was evident throughout the history and has not changed since the Soviet era. The
fact that the majority of Russians use words “World War II” and “Great War of
the Fatherland” interchangeably (Dougherty, 2014) speaks volumes about the
prevailing attitude of the public. Another example of this, as Dougherty
presents, is the 2002 poll in which Russians were asked to choose one event they
are particularly proud of in Russia’s history. 41% of the participants have
chosen Russia’s triumph in World
War II. In fact, a staggering 87%
of Russians support the country’s leader Vladimir Putin, whose ratings rocketed
sky-high right after the annexation of Crimea during Ukraine crisis (Nardelli,
Rankin, Arnett, 2015).
However, Roudakova (2009) argues that
it came to no surprise for the Russian public when the Soviet Bloc collapsed
since the public was aware of the deep separation between the private and
public life. Hence, the public might not be as clueless as one might be
inclined to believe. Nevertheless, the
society‘s mentality, in general, illustrates the significance of the opinions
predominant within the Russian public and its impact on the reporting of the
current affairs.
crucial factor which determines how freedom of speech is exercised within the
media industry is the extremely high rate of missing or dead journalists, thus intensifying the
fear among the members of the press. Evidently, Russia is deemed one of the
most dangerous places to be a journalist (Chazan, 2006). Indeed, 56 journalists
were killed between the period of 1992 and 2014 in Russia with a motive
confirmed, according to Committee to Protect Journalists figures (2014). This
is the official data, however, the numbers of murders without the confirmed
motive or missing journalists are not included on this list, suggesting that
the actual figures could be much worse.
one of the most prominent cases of journalist’s murder was Anna Politkovskaya’s
killing in 2006 in the elevator next to the flat complex where she lived. As
she was critical about Chechen War and president Putin in her publications, her
murder stands as a horrific example of dangers journalists face in post-Soviet Russia,
thus making it extremely hard to follow Western journalistic standards. “No
profession was worth dying for’’ said Dmitry Muratov (Chazan, 2006), the editor of the Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper where Anna
Politkovskaya worked at the time of her murder. Indeed, three journalists were
killed between 2000 and 2006 and, naturally, he feared for the lives of his
reporters since the newspaper was well-known for its criticism towards the
government political affairs and president’s policies.
nowadays journalists have to deal with online attacks and threats, adding to the
already long list of dangers of modern day media industry in Russia. This situation, in turn, prohibits the members of the
press from questioning the authorities and publishing anything which might not
be a popular opinion. In this way, the aforementioned fear factor hinders with
the implementation of the core element of any democracy which is free speech.
privatisation along with continuous state interference with journalistic work adds
to the mix of struggles of the press in Russia. These two factors are closely
intertwined, as De Smaele discusses (2015, p.19), underlining the close “symbiosis of private capital, politics, and media’’.
Even though officially just two key media institutions are under close
supervision of the government, the ownership of the majority of media
organisations is in the hands of oligarchs. For instance, Yury
Kovalchuk, a close friend of the president Putin and media tycoon, privately
owns the vast majority of the media institutions, namely National Media Group
with a quarter of stakes in Channel One as well as huge stakes in Gazprom
Media, the largest media business in the country, and the majority of
advertising revenue in Russian television (The Economist, 2014, p.45).
The state’s influence on media was very much
evident during parliament elections in 1999 and 2000 presidential campaign,
when the NTV had to undergo the change of management and TV6 was closed down
(von Seth, 2013, p.217) due to criticism towards the state. These examples only
further illustrate the limitations the press face when reporting on government
affairs. Thus, the conclusion can be drawn that the state rather than the
private owners is the most powerful factor regulating how much freedom the
media is allowed to possess in Russia. Whereas the oligarchs nowadays only play
the mechanic role, as it is evident from Mr.Kovalchuk’s case, the mastermind
behind them still remains the state. In this way, it is clear that journalists
were never actually provided with the opportunity to freely express themselves
and only operate as a tool of the government, “educating” the masses and expressing
the state-friendly views.
BBC (2017) Journalism Values. BBC [online]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/journalism/values [Accessed 7th March 10, 2017].Benn, D. (1996) The Russian media in post‐Soviet conditions. Europe-Asia Studies. 48(3), pp.471-479.Brenton, T. (2011) Russia’s media: freedom isn’t dead. British Journalism Review. 22(1), pp.33-39.Chazan, G. (2006) Written Off: As Journalists Die, A Russian Paper Faces Grim Future. Wall Street Journal. 8 December, p.1CPJ (2014) Journalists Killed since 1992. CPJ [online]. Available from: https://www.cpj.org/killed/ [Accessed 10th March, 2017].De Smaele, H. (2004) Limited Access to Information as a Means of Censorship in Post-Communist Russia. Javnost – The Public. 11(2), pp.65-81.Jill Dougherty (2014) Everyone Lies: The Ukraine Conflict and Russia’s Media Transformation. Medium [online]. Available from: https://medium.com/@ShorensteinCtr/everyone-lies-2e745526cba2#.tw00mhgs3 [Accessed 9th, 2017].Nardelli, A., Rankin, J.Arnett, G. (2015) Vladimir Putin’s approval rating at record levels. The Guardian [online]. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/datablog/2015/jul/23/vladimir-putins-approval-rating-at-record-levels [Accessed 9th, 2017].Natalia Roudakova (2009) Journalism as “Prostitution”: Understanding Russia’s Reactions to Anna Politkovskaya’s Murder. Political Communication. 26(4), pp.412-429.Tarschys, D. (1979) Soviet political agenda. London: Macmillan.The Economist (2014) Dreams about Russia; Putin and the media. The Economist [online]. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/1498440873?accountid=12834 [Accessed 10th March, 2017].von Seth, R. (2011) The language of the press in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia: Creation of the citizen role through newspaper discourse. Journalism. 13(1), pp.53-70.von Seth, R. (2013) The Russian daily press, 1978–2003: political argumentation and the problematic public sphere. Russian Journal of Communication. 5(3), pp.214-228.

A Cost Benefit Analysis of Monetary Union

In the world today, systems in which countries come together in agreement of sharing single money. The system is called currency or monetary union, its importance and number of participants is growing. In May 2005, 52 out of 184 IMF members participated in currency unions (Rose, 2006).
A currency union can be defined as a system where two or more groups usually countries share a common or single currency in order to keep the value of their currency at a certain level (Investopedia, 2015). It can also be defined as an agreement among member’s countries or other jurisdictions to share a common currency, and a single foreign and monetary exchange policy (Rosa, 2004).

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Currency unions occur when a poor country unilaterally adopts the money of a larger “anchor” country. For Example, a number of countries currently use the American dollar such as Panama, Ecuador, and a number of smaller countries and dependencies in the Caribbean and Pacific (Rose, 2006). In Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia all use the South African Rand thereby forming a currency union (Multilateral monetary area). In these cases, the exchange and interest rates of dependent countries are influenced and determined by the anchor country, generally in the interest of the anchor.
There are a number of multilateral currency unions between countries of similar size and wealth such as the East Caribbean dollar: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia. The Central Bank of the West African of the CFA franc: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo and also the Bank of the Central African States. Other currency unions in the world are the monetary authority Singapore, eastern Caribbean currency union, multilateral monetary area etc.
The largest currency union is the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union which began on the 1st January 1999, although the euro was only physically introduced three years later. Twelve countries instituted the euro as a legal tender, delegating and determining monetary policy for EMU to through the international European central bank. One of the reasons of forming a currency union is mainly to synchronize and manage each member country’s monetary policy which could be done through lowering of transaction costs of cross-border trade (Silva and Tenreyro, 2010)
The union is expected to grow more with Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia recently joining the area and other states such as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City unilaterally adopting the euro as their sole currency however, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and the United Kingdom have rejected membership but maintained debates on the advisability of adopting the euro particularly after the onset of the global financial crisis (Carney, 2014).
Currency unions have no definite size therefore there is no appropriate domain for a currency. The use of a single or common currency is advantageous to regions as well as can also cause problems in the dual presence of asymmetric shocks and nominal rigidities (in prices and wages) (Mundell, 1961).
The effect of the size on currency union tend to create more open and fewer nominal rigidities for smaller countries making them better candidates for currency unions (Mckinnon, 1963). The effects of the economy’s degree of diversification could result in fewer asymmetric shocks and accordingly fewer benefits from national monetary policy.
The insights of the theory of optimum currency areas provided by Mundell (1961) concluded that common currency areas are defined by internal mobility and external immobility of factors of production. According to this theory, the optimum size of currency area depends on the tradeoff between the macroeconomic efficiency gains and micro-economic costs. The forming currency unions have its costs as well as benefits.
Generally, the main cost of joining a currency union is the loss of an independent monetary policy with the inability to react to shocks through exchange rate adjustments. Monetary independence can be beneficial when shocks are regionally specific, alternative mechanisms are weak and when exchange rate changes function as means of lightening idiosyncratic shocks
Countries that could potentially let their exchange rates adjust to justify the impact of shocks often display fear of floating and thus do not exploit the automatic stabilization properties of exchange rates (Calvo and Reinhart, 2002). Countries reluctance to implement monetary policy to tackle shocks could be linked to its actual effectiveness; less effectiveness of monetary policies to facilitate the adjustment or possibly wider consideration such as fear that it may trigger beggar thy-neighbor responses by trading partners inducing structural volatility in the financial markets.
Besides the absence of price adjustment mechanisms, output stabilization and currency revaluation in the currency union faces another challenge. A system of income transfers is necessary for softening negative asymmetric shocks in countries that have joined a currency union however; the prospect of income transfers between countries generates the type of moral hazard commonly seen in insurance models (Grabner, 2003).
Another cost of currency unions relate to overcoming structural differences among the countries. The transition towards a monetary union is likely to expose structural weaknesses (Jacquet 1998 and Grabner 2003). By entering a monetary union, countries lose the ability to correct their monetary troubles in short term. The necessary structural reform preceding the acceptances of a single currency focus on issues like taxation, supervision of capital markets and also mutual recognition and harmonization of labor markets (Jacquet 1998).
There is also an issue of fiscal financing. Public budget can be financed from government bonds and tax revenues. A country in a currency union is likely to face constraints on financing options resulting in a suboptimal situation. At the same time, government bonds are linked to inflation and a currency union implicitly assumes convergent optimal inflation rates (Grabner 2003). In reality the optimal levels of inflation may differ among the countries in the currency union.
Furthermore, the cost or problem of currency union inability of participant countries to independently choose an inflation rate. It seems relatively less important now than in the past as improvements in available technology to central banks enable sustainable inflation that result in low actual inflation rates in most countries however if a country plagued by low productivity enters a currency union of higher productive countries, it could experience higher inflationary rates (Coleman 1999).
One of the main benefits of currency unions envisaged by Mundell (1961) is the elimination of currency conversion costs and greater predictability of prices which would increase trade. The savings are more significant for small, open and less developed countries whose currencies are not used for international payments (Grabner 2003). Coleman (1999) mentions the savings from the reduction of transaction costs and reduction of price uncertainty together account for 0.4 percent of GDP in the Eurozone.
Increased price transparency and reduced price uncertainty are often quoted as interrelated benefits of currency unions. The reduction of price uncertainty is linked to the use of unit of account which is simultaneouslu used by broader economic area (Zika, 2006). The even disappearance of exchange rates removes a vital barrier to trade integration; this furthermore leads to better information, increased competition and price transparency (Jacquet 1998 and Grabner, 2003).
Further benefit of monetary union is the removal of competitive devaluations by member countries which also known as “beggar-thy-neighbor” policy (Kronberger, 2004). Within currency unions, both importers and exporters have a strong interest in avoiding disproportionate swings in exchange rates. The transfer of resources between regions by the centralized monetary authority through its money issuing function. These transfers can be used to diversify the risk of expected economic shocks however; public finance plays a significant role (Voss, 1998).
Currency union has the potential to reduce the number of investment failures. Price uncertainty negatively impacts the welfare or risk adverse individuals in standard economic theory. The greater exchange rate volatility tends to impair the quality of decisions about investment projects abroad; therefore greater exchange rate volatility implies more frequent investment failures and larger costs (Grabner, 2003). Higher risk caused by the increase in price and exchange rate uncertainty increases the real interest rate. Higher real interest rates then highlight the problems of moral hazard and adverse selection. This therefore helps lower systematic risk (Grabner, 2003).
Finally, the vast economic area of currency unions increases the effect of networking. The adoption of a single currency in a bigger economic area creates greater benefits for all users.
Looking at the economic structure of the United Kingdom and Eurozone, both have projects which are suitable to the individual development and growth of both economies. The United Kingdom becoming a member of the eurozone will be more of disadvantage than benefit to the United Kingdom due to several reasons.
The core argument for entering the EMU is the elimination of exchange risk against the euro which would promote much more trade with and within Europe by merging the rather risky and limited sterling capital market into a bigger and less risky euro capital market. The joining of the Eurozone is not to world currency but a regional one. Outside of Europe, most of the world either uses the dollar or is tied to it in some way therefore trade and investment would be half with the euro area and half with the dollar area. But over the years, euro/dollar exchange rate has been highly variable which when compared to British pound/dollar exchange rate it doesn’t seem convincing. If the UK remains outside, the pound can go between the two currencies as the euro swings occur against dollar thereby sitting on the middle of a seesaw. Looking at this, there is no necessary gain in the exchange risk reduction in UK joining the Eurozone and that it is even possible that the overall risk would rise.

The benefit of price transparency and comparison between UK and Eurozone is also of little importance in the sense that United Kingdom has no land borders with the Eurozone unlike Belgium and Netherlands. Given this fact, the comparing of prices between both zones is irrelevant.

In terms of bailout and the emerging state pension crisis, growth and development is slower than expected while unemployment is turning out to be higher. The politics of pension cut benefits is speculative given that the aging population will increasingly be dominated by older voters. The effect of raising taxes further would lower growth and increase unemployment. It is a matter of concern to the UK that cost of meeting explosive financial liabilities might somehow impact British taxpayers.
In conclusion, the reduction of transactions cost of currency exchange would be roughly offset by the one-off cost of currency conversion. There would be some gain from eliminating exchange risk against euro but this would be offset largely by the volatility against the dollar with around half our trade broadly defined with countries either on or closely linked to the dollar. Generally, the exchange risk does not appear to have an important effect on trade or foreign investment, and in the UK case, on the cos of capital.
Honestly, I would like to advice that the UK waits and properly assess and plan out different projects. Due to the structure of the Eurozone, I am strongly against the UK joining the Eurozone which is the best interest of British citizens
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Available: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2004/5/cj24n1-2-10.pdf. Last accessed 04-01-2015.
G.M.Voss. (1998). Monetary integration, uncertainty and the role of money finance.Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 65 (2), 231-245.
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Guillermo A. Calvo And Carmen M. Reinhart. (2002).Fear Of Floating.
Available: http://web.cenet.org.cn/upfile/87741.pdf. Last accessed 02-01-2015.
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Guide to industrial relations for new union members

Employee Relations:
The guide to industrial relations for new union members
1.1 Aspects of industrial relations.
“The pressure on Human Resources Management to be strategic is almost as intense now as the campaign to persuade us to eat healthily. We all believe it is a good thing to be strategic- career progressive for ourselves, prestigious for our progression and it might even do our organizations good as well”. (Harriott and Pinder, 1992: pg 36)
Pluralistic and Unitary frames of reference are part of the new industrial relations resolution that is there to prevent actions that would result in industrial dispute. Both frames of reference look at the views of employees and how organization deals with them, if they do.
Below is a model of Guest (1989), which is also the work of many theorists, which looks at the frames of reference, and how they differ.
·Traditional unitarist
·Sophisticated unitarist
·New industrial relations pluralist
·Opportunistic pluralist
·Sophisticated pluralist
·Traditional pluralist
The Unitarist’s view: this form of reference looks at businesses’ that believe that the employees’ should share the same goals as the overall organization. A Pluralist looks at and accepts that employees’ will not all share the same goals and views as the overall organization. This also affects the presence of Union representative role within the organization, and how they view their roles. For example, Unitarists find it difficult to accept that the Union has such a major role in the organization, but Pluralist welcome the idea of their presence and regard them as an essential role for employees’ motivation in the workplace.
“Most managers took the line that since they could get what they wanted through negotiations or by acting out unilaterally, there was no need to attack the unions”.
(Kessder and Bayliss, 1992, pg. 35)
For example IBM and Hewitt Packard have followed the culture side of sophisticated approach of unitarists, where they emphasise the importance of every employee having the same objectives’ as the company. They also have strong emphasis on having a sophisticated selection process of new employees’, along with training and employment involvement. The majority of the employees’ in their company are non-union.
Guest (2001) also describes four possible industrial strategies (orientations) that may be followed:
The new realism: This is when a company considers human resource management and industrial relations highly regarded for the company and their employees’. An example of this put into practice is by a company called Thorn Lighting, whom state that the new realism is something they strongly believe in:
New styles of union given more power
Employment is top agenda
Emphasis on career and personal development
To also continue increasing skills and tools and techniques to support world class initiative’. (Thorn Lighting)
Traditional collectivism: This is the emphasis being place on industrial relations without HRM.
Stakeholders are directly affected by the companies’ culture and attitude of employee relations;
“the rationale for employee relations is to solve the problem that in a labour market the buyers (employers) and sellers (employees) have an endemic conflict of interests over the prices at which they wish to exchange their services”. (Gennard and Judge (2003))
Employee relations strategy is something that has to work successfully to make the company overall successful. Employees have a vast interest in how the company is performing; for the job security, if the business is not performing as well as it should, will this mean that they would lose their job? Involving employees’ in some business decision making will allow them to feel that they are important to the company and could increase job motivation and loyalty. This will decrease the need for any industrial actions or union interference. Union members will also have a interest in the business, seeing how
1.2 Union History
Kochan (1980) sees industrial relations as emphasizing the study of all aspects of people at work, including all individuals as well as group workers (who may or may not organise into a trade union), the behaviour of employers and union organizations, together with the public policy or legal framework governing employment conditions.
The union membership has been rising and then falling over the years, especially with the Margaret Thatcher era, which could be due to the large unions’ that tried and failed against the government, they included:
Steel workers
Civil servants
Hospital workers
And printers
The union membership fell from 13million to 12million in 1979, but there were still 300,000 shop stewards and reps, 47 out of 50 top UK companies’ still were unionized.
Striking in 1994 hit an all time low, when only 278,000 days were lost by strike action. The total for the first nine months of 1995 was 238,00; since then Job Centre staff, Merseyside Fire-Fighters, Ford and Vauxhall workers have taken strike action. An unofficial strike action was taken in Scotland by postal workers, which led to victory.
“There are no doubts that people are saying enough is enough and the membership is moving ahead of the trade union leadership” (Ken Cameron-Daily Mail).
With the new labour government in 1997, they began to see trade unions as an advantage, which could be used to encourage workplace learning. In May 1998, the union learning funding was created to encourage and provide government funding for ‘innovative trade union projects’. This involves the promotion of workplace learning, which 28,000 people have benefited from additional learning opportunities. (In the first four years)

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In April 2003, legal status was brought in for ‘union learning representatives’, which indicated that government believe that training is an important aspect of improvement in employee relations. This would also encourage the bargaining agenda and partnership promotion of between employers and unions. This will economically be important to the government as it will improve the skills of workers, but it will also create harmony in the workplace, therefore preventing industrial action.
1.3+1.4: Roles involved in employee relations
Trade unions
The aim of trade unions are to give employees job protection, the improvement of pay and conditions, and to also industrial democracy.
What do unions do for there members?
Negotiate pay and conditions
Give advice and information
Defend employee rights
Resolve conflict
Provide services for members I.e. legal help
1998 figures for other union memberships’:
UNISON: (public services) 1,300,451
T&G: (general) 881,357
NUT: (teachers) 172,852
FBU: (firefighters) 56,943
Source: Labour Research
Grouped union types:
Craft and occupational unions:
White collar unions: this union is for employed in a professional environment e.g. office based.
Blue collar unions: these workers are involved in manual employment
General unions: this union is specific to those that are not already in a union, but do not have a craft or skill
Industrial unions: industrial unions organise their own unions that are specific to their industry.
Trades unions can be organized on the basis of occupation, industry or make-up a general union with different groups of unions join. Representatives are elected at the workplace, with discussions with management, which are then linked with regional and national level union structure and services. Regional and national level unions focus mainly on negotiating with employers over pay and conditions. Nationally, some unions may join together to form one or more national unions e.g. Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The TUC is a national trade union centre, a collaboration of trade unions in the UK. They have union representatives of over six and a half million working people, whilst campaigning for a fair deal at work and for social justice home and abroad. The TUC is highly regarded and recognized as the voice of Britain. The TUC is the largest voluntary organization in Britain, whom have 76 members of unions that campaign for the workers;
Decent standards of working environment
Health and safety
Equal opportunities
However, the TUC is not seen as highly powered, as individual unions are not bound by the decisions that the TUC make. Their main activities of the TUC is to:
Pressure and influence government policy, that includes labour and union issues
They also make the decisions for members of the unions on rules and legislation, however they do not interfere with the day-to-day running of individual unions.
The confederation of British Industry (CBI) was formed in 1965, though similar to the TUC, it differs as the voices of the employees are heard, not the voices of the union members. Members of the CBI are from:
Private sector industries
Service and commercial enterprise
Public sector
Employers’ association
Trade association
And Chambers of Commerce.
They have regional offices that help to deal with local and area issues, which enables them to keep in touch with small businesses’ and local employers’, to resolve any issues that they may have.
Like the TUC, they also attempt to influence government decision making
Provides legal, financial and economical advice to all of their members
Has links in Europe, for the interest of the British industry in the European union
They also consult with bodies such as ACAS, in association with the TUC also.
Employee representatives act as the main voice for the employees’, which includes the process of collective bargaining/negotiation. Being a rep is on a voluntary basis and are elected by the employees that they will represent. Employee reps can make improvement to employee relations, as they are able to be the main voice towards the management for the employees’. This could help improve the harmony of the workplace, and could disrupt any dispute that could happen in the near future, due to good communication and sound negotiating. This will then begin to create a trusting relationship, especially between line managers and employees’, as any grievance will be dealt with through the help of their rep.
Employers’ are seeing the benefits of active employees’ in the union, which has a direct impact on employee relations. Employees’ will improve their people relations and competency skills, which would therefore improve their efficiency and improve overall job satisfaction, communication and motivation within the work place. As issues will be resolved through the increased communication, then it is likely that employees’ will have the motivation and satisfaction to work to the best of their abilities. The direct impact of de-motivated employees’ are low production, which means low profit and it will have a domino affect on the other stakeholders that have an interest in the business too.
Line managers also have a direct affect on the sufficient running of the work floor and can affect the attitudes of the workers’. Communication is key to the relationship between line managers and employees’, this brings the importance of how the rep can make the difference to the working environment.
Collective disputes:
Strike actions: this involves a complete stoppage of work by the union members employees’ due to their grievances being unresolved from unsuccessful bargaining.
Strikes are taken up on by labour unions during the collective bargaining process. When the collective bargaining negotiations breakdown, strike action is usually taken as the last resort. This is due to both parties unable to reach an agreement.
Government intervention has always been highly regarded to the governments’ overall party, as industrial disputes can have a damaging affect on the economy. Currently the government funds a number of bodies that can resolve any future industrial disputes that may occur. They fund the ACAS scheme, which was set up in 1974 and was given statutory rights under the Employment Protection Act 1975. ACAS attempt to resolve any disputes before further action is taken by the union.
“The current ACAS, originally called the Conciliation and Arbitration Service, was set up with an independent council to direct it in 1974. “Advisory” was added to the name in 1975 to reflect the full range of services on offer. Finally, in 1976, the new organisation was put on a statutory footing and receives its funding through the Department of Trade and Industry”. (Derek Torrington-2005)
Advantages of using ACAS in a dispute:
Results can be quick, it day take less than a day to resolve the dispute
Can be a cost-efficient method
Flexible for the organization
Opportunities for appeal are very limited
Legal representatives are not required, so this method is very cost affective
Services that ACAS provide:
Industrial disputes: ACAS will intervene in its conciliation duties if an industrial dispute takes place, with the request of union group members or management.
this is where both parties put their case forward, so ACAS can assess each case and then recommends any decisions that could be made
Advisory work:
ACAS carry out advisory work with employers, trade unions and employers’ association.
Code of practice:
ACAS issue a code of practice, which advises how to improve industrial relations between employers and employees.
ACAS are well informed and publish booklets on labour turnover and appraisal systems etc, to help improve industrial relations and personnel management practice.
Individual cases:
ACAS individually investigates an employee grievance from unfair dismissal to discrimination.
ACAS overall aim is to settle any matter of grievance without using the courts as a method.
The central arbitration committee:
If agreements cannot be reached, then employees have the option of the Central arbitration Committee (CAC), which is a government body which is designed to assist with union queries. The committee first encourage the union to try and resolve the issue first hand. If this fails then the committee will recognize this and union could then hold a ballot. The CAC have the power to instruct the employer to co-operate with the ballot or risk a fine.
Example of resolving a dispute:
ITV have set ways to help communicate with their employees approach to dispute and have procedures put in place to avoid conflict. ITV uses a wide range of direct communication methods to engage with individual employees’. ITV’s intranet, known as Watercooler, provides a daily online update on news affecting ITV directly and there’s a weekly Watercooler for employees’ who are not online. Other methods of communication includes the 60-second update-produced monthly by central communications and setting out what’s going on in the business. This includes individual development reviews, briefing meetings, workshops and using individual relationships with the line manager. This is then monitored to see if this affected through employee surveys.
The company also engages in collective bargaining through elected representatives because the union represents only 15 percent of their workforce. ITV need to consult employees’ regularly as the scale of changes within the organization, they have around 15 communication groups located in different businesses’. The aim of this is to reassure that the employees’ feel respected and that their interests are of an importance. However, management rarely deliver engagement towards the employees’, so they put the emphasis on line managers and HR policies and affective communication to allow the employees’ to be engaged in company activity. When disputes surface they use the collective bargaining and elected representatives to deal with the disputes- along with the union members. The process is:
This way of resolving conflict is positive as it allows the employees’ to have a
large amount of communication forwarded and towards the management. However, there seems to be a large amount of responsibility to be the employees’ main spokesman, which cold be negative for employees’ if line managers communication is poor.
Collective bargaining:
Collective bargaining is a process in which employers’ work with the employees trade union and work councils to negotiate issues that are unsettling the employees’. Usually most employees bargain on a day-to-day basis, which involves communication between the line manager on a regular basis.
Who’s involved in collective bargaining?
Collective bargaining is not as commonly used as it once was, according to Cully (1999), only 41 percent now use this method of negotiating the employees terms and conditions. Eastern Europe and the Scandinavian countries still commonly use the collective bargaining process as a way to negotiate employees’ conditions.
The union members and representatives bring into the negotiating argument of rising house prices and cost of living to negotiate their pay terms. Whilst management make negotiations from examples of the labour market rates. Both have to be consider in how it will affect the companies’ costs and the future affects.
Source: Tim Hannogan- management, concept and practices. (1998)
John Goodman (1984) describes collective bargaining as ‘a process through which representatives of employers and employee organization act as the joint creators of substantive and procedural rules regulating employment’.
The negotiation process will depend on the culture of the business I.e. pluralist-V-unitarist. Open and clear communication and preparation will allow the possibilities of conflict to be dissolved and relation’s with employees’ with employers’ will be improved.
Preparation for the negotiation process:
Drawing up the plan of what they hope to achieve, with objectives of the negotiation, which then is approved by the appropriate management
Investigating what the grievances the employees’ have, letting everyone have a view, so the negotiations and objectives are clear
Looking at the current collective bargaining agreements that already exists within the company
Looking at how the employees’ would benefit from the suggested improvements e.g. increased salary
Looking at the cost implications of proposed improvements
According to an American study carried out, skills of negotiation are carried out with specific requirements for the negotiators taken on the bargaining:
Being rated both highly in a negotiation
Having the appropriate track record of negotiation success
Having a low record of unsuccessful negotiations
Strategy of negotiation
It is important that the process is taken on board and planning is the main part, if there is going to be a successful negotiation. Planning the negotiation will look at the alternative outcomes, giving them a range of options if they cannot agree on specific issues. I believe that it is important that negotiators do not focus on one point, not forgetting other issues that need resolving. Also the planning of the future is very important when negotiation, looking at the short-term and long-term implications.
It is also important that both representatives agree with their objectives and allocate roles to suit their strengths. Looking at what the other party might suggest and looking at ways to not give-up on what the overall original objectives were.
Possible outcomes:
Employee relations -V- industrial relations, difference?
Industrial relations have become a term that is used based upon strike action and disputes in the work place. However, the new term employee relations, sets about to bring a more harmonized work force, whom have more communication

European Union Countries

European Union itself reflects globalization by changing laws of European countries, and also European Union is very important in world’s economy strategies. What does globalization mean, indeed? By definition, globalization is a process of change in some kind of area such as technology, trade market of war, which affects the whole world. Sometimes globalization can bring a great gift for the people of the world, sometimes not. The main idea of the European Union means to bring the peace to the whole world by respecting human rights and by uniting people together. As I said above the globalization has to affect at least few countries or whole world, other wise it is not globalization. The point is that European Union consists of twenty seven sovereign countries. And decision which comes from the European Union affects all this twenty seven countries. Also European Union has big influence in world trade market, because of the currency of the European Union is in the second place in trade market. Also, economy of the European Union stays on the second place by the world’s rates. In addition, the European Union has voice in United Nations organization, and it can change most of the decisions either in good way or bad.

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The history of the European community is incredible, and it had experienced almost everything. European community had experienced wars between neighbor countries, revolutions, colonialism and many other things. However, now European community is one of the strongest economical powers in the world. Most of the time the European Union was an international organization, but now it has big influence in military services, also it functions in monetary system of the European countries, and it has big importance in economy. The European Union is a part of the government for each European country. Also, the monetary system of the European Union is one of the significant systems in Eurasia, which provides economic stability in European Countries.
European Union
All the great and powerful unions were not made at once. Unions were made step by step, and improving their visible and weak factors. In our days one of the powerful and influenced unions is European. “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single, general plan. It will be built through concrete achievements, which first create a factor of solidarity”. (Robert Schuman). With this words Schuman declaration accurately predicted the way in which the Community has become the Union today.
When the European countries created the European Union, the first target of the union was to gain a peace between European countries. In 1950 the European organizations such as European Coal and Steel Community started to unite countries, because this organizations wanted to keep the peace between European countries, and also it was big benefit to European countries in economical and political spheres. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands were the countries which formed first European Union. The speech given by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman inspired European countries to unite. (The history of EU).
One of the successes which European Union gained was stopping of custom charges between European countries. Also, the member countries of the European Union made contract between each others to control production of food. This decision was made to improve agricultural structure, and the European Union wanted to produce enough food for the member countries. (The ‘Swinging Sixties’ – a period of economic growth). “1962 The Council of Europe adopts the first directive. It establishes the EEC global foodstuff regulation by defining which colorants can be added to food.” (BBC News, 5 December, 2000). In 1967 the European Union had united the main ruling institutions, such as European Parliament, Commission and Court. (History of the European Union). Which meant that European institutions work as one system, and each member country of the European Union had a person who presented the county’s interests. In 1992 the Treaty of Maastricht offered to have one single army, which in the situation of the threat they can protect each others interests as one power (History of the European Union).
The European Union consists of twenty seven sovereign countries. Member countries of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (Member State of the European Union). As the facts shows there are more countries which want to join European Union, and one of the main candidate is Turkey. The main achievement of these counties is democracy. Democracy means to protect human values, and it means freedom. These are the main values which European countries store.
For over half a century, the European Union has: delivered half a century of stability, peace and prosperity within its member countries. European Union raised its citizen’s standards of living to unprecedented levels, and even strengthened Europe’s voice in the world. The European Union has given its member countries citizens many different benefits in different aspects of life. It has made life easier and more convenient in many ways. It has even promoted peace and a spirit of brotherhood between old rival nations. Another benefit of the European Union is a single currency. Joining European Union has many benefits, such as political, economical, social, and environmental. Republic of Poland, for example, gained all these benefits joining the European Union. The political benefit of Republic of Poland is to participate in acceptance of the laws in European institutions. Also, joining to the European Union provides Polish people to travel without visa in Europe, and Polish people can find the jobs in any part of the European Union. In addition, Republic of Poland can count on European Army’s support in a situation of war conflict. The economical benefits are open market, changes in agriculture, and Poland can stabilize their inflation. Open market will provide Poland to sell their products in every European country, which will help to increase competition between companies, and it will decrease the prices of goods. (Joining European Union, List of Benefits)
The social benefit which Poland gained was European standards of life. Also the Polish students who study in other parts of European Union can get scholarship, and they can provide their knowledge about Poland to student abroad. Another important benefit is environmental benefit which Republic of Poland gained joining European Union. The Poland should follow the environmental aspects of European Union, which means they will improve their environmental problems. (Joining European Union, List of Benefits).
The European Union has given its citizens greater freedom of movement. Traveling within the European Union nations is now very convenient. In most of the European Union you can travel without carrying passport and without being stopped for the checks at the borders. A citizen of the European Union can travel, study and work wherever she or he chooses to in any of the European Union countries.
Departments and policies of European Union
The European Union has a very complex system. It has different bodies carrying different important jobs that make the system work properly. Each job has its significance. While all the member countries of the European Union work as one, and its system function well as one body, they become very successful as they take on many difficult tasks of accomplishing a united, integrated Europe.
The countries that make up European Union are all committed to the same fundamental values, such as peace and democracy. And in this bases all ruling institutions has been made. The main institutions of the European Union: the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice and the European Court of Auditors. (EU institutions and other bodies).
The European Parliament is one of the main institutions of the European Union. The main job of the European Parliament is to introduce the new legislations. Also European Parliament gives opinions on new legislations, and it makes decisions about new legislations together with the Council of Ministers. The final decision of the new legislation has to be taken by the European parliament and the Council of Ministers. In addition, the name of the European Parliament is “watch dog” of the European Union. They named European Parliament as “watch dog” because it monitors all operations in European Union. Also European Parliament monitors budget of the European Union, because the money of the EU budget has to be distributed lawfully. The locations of the European Parliament are Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxemburg. The Members of the European Parliament are elected by the people whose country they represent. Also, the European Parliament is elected every five years by the citizens of the European countries. (The European Parliament)
The Council of the European Union is a main institution which takes final decisions passing new legislation. The Council of the European Union consists of twenty seven ministers. Every minister represents the country in which he or she has been selected to represent country. When the Council of the European Union is going to accept new legislation which can affect sphere of transportation, then the Minister of Transport will attend, and so on. (The Council of the European Union)
The European Commission’s main job is to prepare new legislation and laws before the legislation will be accepted in the European Parliament. The European Commission also does a job as the peacemaker. When the member countries of the European Union argue between themselves the European Commission will solve their problems. Every member of the European Commission has to put the interests of the European Union first, rather than their own country. When some kind of problem or situation happens in European Union the members of the European Commission have to solve these problems as uniform system. (The European Commission)
The European Court of Justice’s location is in Luxemburg. The European Court of Justice consists of one judge from every member country of the European Union. Most of time thirteen judges take part in court to solve the problem. The main job of the European Court of Justice is to monitor the laws. Every citizen of the European Union has to obey the Court of Justice and laws of the European Union. (The Court of Justice)
The European Court of Auditors work is to monitor the budget of the European Union. This organization makes sure that documentations of the taxpayers are legal and right. In some cases if the documentations are wrong the European Court of Auditors have right to investigate any types of economical operations. In additions, the European Court of Auditors doesn’t depend on other institutions; however, it keeps touch with other institutions. (The European Court of Auditors)
European Union Monetary
When the European Union created monetary system for whole European countries, the first target of the monetary system was to prevent economic damage, and stabilize economic situation in a moment of need. When the European Union created European Monetary Institute the first target of it was to create uniform currency for European member countries. (European Monetary System). The main idea of the European monetary system is to create more jobs for citizens of the European community, and to make European economy function better.
On 1st January, 1999 the European Union has let out uniform currency, named Euro. The number of the first member countries of European Union which made Euro their national currency was eleven. On the other hand, member countries such as United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden did not adopted Euro as their national currency, they decided to keep their own national currencies. After the adaptation of the Euro, it did not show the success compared to other currencies. In addition, at the beginning the Euro felt down to 30% in world trade market. (BBC News, 5 December, 2000). “The Euro symbol – @ -, developed by the European Commission, was inspired by the Greek letter epsilon and also denotes the first letter of the word “Europe”. The two parallel lines refer to the stability inside the Euro area.” (The Euro)
Every system has its weaknesses and benefits. According to the economists of the United States and Europe the last analyses shows that European Monetary Union has advantages. The first benefit is that European countries do not need costs of current exchange. The second benefit is exclusion of the currency’s destabilization between member countries of the European Union. The third benefit is the fast growth of economy of European Union countries. The fourth benefit is the solvency of the more complicated monetary problems. (“Benefits and Costs of European Economic and Monetary Union”, Gerhard Fink; Dominic Salvatore)
With the advantages every monetary system also has problems, such as inflation. Inflation is a rise in the general level of prices overtime. It may also refer to rise in the prices of a specific set goods or services. In either case, it is measured as the percentage rate of change of a price index. According to the “EuroStat” statistics the inflation has made 2.3% in European Union in August. Compared to 2006 the inflation norm was 2.2% in 2005. In 2006 the norm of inflation rose 0.1 percent every month (Gian Luigi Mazzi and Rosa Ruggeri Cannata, August 2006). In a low inflationary spheres have got countries such as Finland, Sweden, and Poland. The inflation average in these countries was 1.5 percent. (2006). In a high inflationary sphere have got countries such as Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia and Spain. The inflation average in these countries was 4.9 percent. (2006)
The European Union always wanted to avoid the misunderstandings between member countries, and it always wanted to advance the unity of European community. Also, the main raisin of the European Union is the European Monetary System. On the other hand, today’s trade market showed to European community that it is difficult to maintain current single currency. In addition, the main problem of the single currency for the European community is instability of Euro. When the leading companies of the Europe invest money abroad it can change the income of the companies, because when the currency is unstable it will change the amount of the money when they expressed to Euro. (Richard W. Stevenson, July 31, 1993)
In conclusion, the European Union is one of the powerful organizations in the whole world. It has influence in military, world’s economy and so on. Before the unifying Europe had gone through the difficult times, such as war, economic disasters, and unemployment. European countries gain many benefits by unifying. European countries realized that they can not succeed along, the unity of these countries was the great step which they gained. The economy of the member countries of the European Union increased to many times after the unity. Still remains the question will the European Union stay the same or will it change the directions of unity. People of the Europe has big pessimism about European Union, people say unemployment is still stays unstable. However, Europe would never gain these kind of success if they were not united.
Can you imagine what European countries could gain if they had been united in ancient times. They could have avoided the wars between European countries. However, European countries are united now, and this is a huge success in a history of Europe. “A day will come when all the nations of this continent, without loosing their distinct qualities or their glorious individuality, will fuse together in a higher unity and form the European brotherhood. A day will come when there will be no other battlefields than those of the mind – open marketplaces for ideas. A day will come when bullets and bombs will be replaced by votes” (Victor Hugo, 1849)

Politics of the European Union: Literature Review

Nugent, N. (2003) The Government and Politics of the European Union, Palgrave.
Nugent offers an analysis of the European Union in a historical context. He argues that many of the problems that sceptics tend to rely upon as criticism for EU membership were, in themselves, already present before the integration of the EU actually occurred. Many critics assume that the EU has significantly eroded and displaced the sovereignty of states. Nugent, however, posits that this occurred much earlier, and that integration into the EU cannot solely constitute the basis for erosion of sovereignty in nation-states. He suggests, in a historical analysis, that “the member states of the EU were seeing their sovereignties being steadily eroded long before the EC / EU was established” (1), and the rest of the book is informed by this view. He argues that the EU plays only a minor role in eroding state sovereignty, as broader economic factors such as movements in financial markets, multinational corporations and the general side-effects of dominance by the U.S. tend toward this model. In fact, Nugent suggests that the EU may in fact help to preserve autonomy in some ways because it provides a voice, albeit one marred by bureaucracy and corruption, that can compete economically with America and the emergent China.

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Nugent looks at the question of the EU in a historical way. He provides a historical analysis of state relations prior to the instigation of the EU. In this analysis, he insinuates that, while prior to the war states were notably more different in economic, cultural and in political ways, the period after the war signalled a significant shift in the ways the European states tended to interact. The integration of the EU was therefore defined by these factors, and present criticisms about the overwhelming bureaucracies that operate in Brussels merely represent something that is necessary.
Bache, I & George S (2006) The Politics of the European Union, 2nd Ed., Oxford University Press
The Politics of the European Union provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of the operative and dynamic processes that determine how the EU functions from day to day. While some historical analysis is supplied, the focus is also focussed upon certain key issues in government. The book is split into five discrete sections. The first section looks at the theories of European integration, and essentially provides the background as to why European integration should (or shouldn’t) happen, dependent upon a number of different views. It also looks at how the European Union should be organised based upon these theories, and looks at ways in which the European Union should go in the future if it is to be adherent to these particular theories. Part two looks at the history of the European Union, and upon how certain developments in European politics led to the integration of the EU. Part three provides an atomised look at the various member states of the EU, with a particular focus upon Germany, France and Britain. Although other member states are mentioned in a brief chapter, the absence of analyses of other significant countries in the EU, and more detailed analysis of Eastern European, Spanish and Scandanavian member states gives the book a certain biases toward the previous three countries. Part four provides an interesting analysis of how the various institutions of the European Union operate, with a focus upon the nuts and bolts of the day to day functioning of policy change and implementation, rather than more detailed historical analysis. Finally, Part 5 looks at how the EU has implemented certain policies and why, ranging from its policies on agriculture, on the single market, on the monetary union and on external relations. Overall, the book provides a good textbook overview of the basic functioning, purpose, and theory behind the EU.
Bomberg, E & Stubb A. (2003), The European Union: How Does it Work?, Oxford University Press
Again, The European Union: How Does it Work? provides an interesting and detailed analysis of the various ways in which the European Union has come to be what it is, and also focuses upon the institutional, theoretical and historical factors that have determined how and why it operates. The book is organised in a similar way to the previous book, insofar as it focuses first upon the historical and theoretical basis for European Integration, and then looks in more detail at the various policies that have been implemented, and the member states that act as players in the EU. Of particular importance is the analysis of how member states operate within the complex framework of the EU. Bomberg and Stubb concentrate upon the complexities of the EU, and try to rationalise the often overwhelmingly complicated issues at stake, using simple logical statements. They argue that, far from being an institution racked with bureaucracy which serves neither the interests of the EU nor the interests of individual states, that the mechanisms and institutions in place create a series of checks and balances that allow the opinion of every participant state and political parties that operate within these states to function more appropriately. They argue that “What emerge as national interests from domestic systems of preference formation remain central to how the EU works”, and also suggest that what is implemented officially is also affected by considerable and sophisticated “horizontal networking” behind the scenes. This tendency to look at the actual, rather than the theoretical or institutional realities of the EU is a strength of this book, however, this intrinsically makes the project of the book more ambiguous and difficult to pinpoint. Rather than providing a coherent overview of the surfaces of the European Union, the book delves into the complexities and the awkward issues that inform and orient decisions surrounding policy, power and practice.
Describe how Politics comes into the Process of European integration
The process of European integration is a very complex one, and if a nation state chooses to integrate itself into the complex political arena of the European Union, one has to consider the effects that this will have upon the given state internally, and externally. In essence, the integration of European states means that a given state will take its interests from the domestic front and into the European Union. As Bomberg and Stubb (2003, p. 70) comment, “once a state joins the Union, politics may begin at home but no longer end there. National politics, polities, and policies become ‘Europeanized’.” As such, the externalisation of internal quandaries that, previously were a matter for the sovereign state, now have to be considered as an integral, institutional and political whole. While Nugent argues in The Government and Politics of the European Union that sovereignty was being eroded anyway before the processes of European integration took place, the political processes that operated within nation states to deal with problems concerned with globalisation were not. A political climate emerges in the process of European integration as a result of conflicting or combined interests that interweave. Such issues as the integration into the single market, the single European currency, and agricultural policy levelled to prevent the overt exploitation of free markets and the production of substandard goods.
The question of governance is also a complex political one regarding the EU, and the question of who governs shines light upon how politics tends to function and become a part of the process of European integration. The policy process of the EU is extraordinary in global political affairs, because it is not governed by a central body, moreover, it is governed by a series of nation states Stubb and Bomberg (2003, p. 148) comment that “No state or other international organization makes policies through such a complex, transnational process in which politicians, officials, and interested groups from across a continent interact to shape – sometimes to prevent – shared policy outcomes.” As such, politics becomes intertwined into European integration because of the melange of interests that operate under the umbrella of state, governmental, or political interest. Because no state, political or official group is in overall control of the policy making process, politics is essentially a part of European integration because it is via the institutions and the backroom political wrangling that the European Union makes its overall policy and political decisions.
The political process in Europe enters the system through a variety of means. While supranational organisations tend to confirm political issues, it is often left to the member states and elected representatives of these states to conduct policy based upon how they would like political developments to proceed. The EU is an example of “networked governance”, and the ways in which the member states, individuals, pressure groups and other officials interact in the EU act to determine overall political policy. While a coherent political policy based upon the interests of these states tends to be cumbersome and bureaucratic, this is how politics tends to become instigated into the process of European integration. By becoming a member of the European Union, states have to recognise that their own sovereignty has been reduced by a political process that operates within a more European context.
What are the challenges facing European integration today?
The EU faces a number of significant challenges as it changes to adapt to new economic, political and supranational factors that determine and legitimate its efficacy as a political institution. Firstly, the expansion of the EU poses significant challenges for both existent member states and those that are new to the European Union. For instance, the integration of Eastern European member states such as Poland and the Czech Republic have proven to be controversial issues, because both these countries have a significantly different economy than those that are currently established. The challenges that face the EU is to consider the political climate of these emergent countries while making sure that the interests of those states currently in the European Union are considered. The policy processes and changes that take place in the European context must juggle these interests, while remaining firm to previous trade policies. As such, in the words of Bomberg and Stubb (p. 71), expansion and continued expansion into Eastern Europe and possibly Turkey and Cyprus, facilitates the importance of tolerance within the European Unions institutional framework: “managing difference is thus a key challenge to the Union.”
Secondly, the economic challenges facing the European Union on a global basis will undoubtedly prove to be extremely important, especially following the successful implementation of the Euro into economic affairs. The EU is a significant global player on the economic field, and trade with the emergent countries of China and India as well as with established superpowers such as America and Japan have to be considered very carefully if successful relations are to be established. The presence of global aid programmes and other benevolent factors such as an easily mobilised team of peacekeepers is also an issue that is linked indirectly to processes of globalisation. The recent crisis in the Balkans was marred by the inability for the EU to make a coherent decision on troop assignment to the region. As such, issues of defence and aid may prove to be one of the central challenges facing the EU in the future.
The relationship between the EU and the states outside of the EU may prove essential to determining a process whereby aid or trade can be granted to developing countries in a system of integrated change. The EU’s response to global crises has been far from efficient in recent years, and changes in the dynamic of the EU, which includes its expansion into regions of Eastern and Central Europe have further exacerbated tensions on this issue. While the EU have always been relatively generous in the giving of aid to other countries, the general trend posited in the WTO report is that the giving of aid is simply not enough to resolve problems on a global scale. Instead, the EU have to implement foreign trade more effectively into its policy, and, because of varying interests from its different participants, this may prove to be a stumbling block for more successful European integration. Lax spending programmes and bureaucracy concerning the giving of foreign aid may also hamper developments in the global context: “the Commission had far to go before it escaped charges that it was the ‘worst development agency in the world’ (Bomberg & Stubb 2003, p. 204).
Does spill-over imply that there are no limits to the number of policies that can be dealt with at the European level?
The concept of “spill-over” is defined as a process whereby the integration in one sphere of policy begets a residual impact in other spheres of policy, and creates a more generalised integrated series of policies in all areas of the European Union. For instance, the integration of agricultural policy in Europe tends to affect the internal policies of that sovereign state in ways that harmonise it with other nation states. Naturally, this facilitates the integration process because it allows for discrepancies and disagreements between various regions, officials and member states to be ironed out more generally. As such, it can be argued that this concept of ‘spill-over’ allows for significantly greater integration to occur, and the gradual homogenization of European member states may provide a forum by which all member states operate on a very similar basis. Therefore, by this method, all policy decisions can be discussed in the European Union.
However, this system of spill-over is not without its flaws or its criticisms. For instance, political processes in some powerful member states that feel directly affected or marginalised by processes in the European government may not succumb to the integrative factors of spill-over, and regional, geographical and political factors still require consideration. While domestic policy is further eroded by the concept of spill-over, some tenets of policy that impede upon concepts of sovereignty, or perhaps indirectly attack or influence one particular region or nation-state operating within the framework of the European Union may disallow an invasive series of policy making decisions to be integrated into the European agenda. While a great many issues have been affected by the concept of spill-over, and the general process of unification that occurs as a result of spill-over into other policies on a European level tend toward a process of unification, some policies still remain too sensitive or regionalised to implement into European political processes.
Bache, I. & George, S. (2006), The Politics of the European Union, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press.
Bomberg E. & Stubb A., ed. (2005), The European Union: How does it work?, Oxford University Press.
Nugent, N. (2003), The Government and Politics of the European Union, Pelgrave.

Should Turkey be allowed to join the European Union?

The membership of Turkey is one of the most controversial external relations issues of the European Union (EU).  Turkey is an important trading partner for the EU and provides many economic advantages to the union.  Additionally, it has a strategic location, allowing it to play an important regional and foreign policy role.  However, there are issues related to Turkey’s accession, such as large migration flows to more economically developed EU-15 countries as well as a substandard human rights situation within the country (Gerhards and Hans, 2011: 751).  Overall, this policy note recommends that Turkey should be allowed to join the EU on the basis of EU economic development and foreign policy advantages.  Despite the issues related to accession of Turkey into the EU, this paper argues that EU-membership will work as a catalyst for Turkish institutional reforms.

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Turkish entry into the European Union is a
highly contentious issue.  Turkey has
progressed on the way to EU membership in spite of persistent and increasing
divergence of membership preferences (Schimmelfennig, 2009: 413-415).  Turkey, with its
large, dynamic economy, is an important trading partner for the EU, it also has
a strategic location, including on energy security, and plays an important
regional role. Equally, the EU remains an important anchor for Turkey’s
economic and political reform (Progress Report, 2013: 1). 
This paper will first
provide an analysis and outline of the different factors relating to the
accession of Turkey into the EU.  It will
explore economic factors, cultural factors and political factors.  Finally, this paper will recommend that
Turkey should be allowed to join the EU due to its positive affect on EU
economic development, as well as the fact that Turkey has made good progress in
meeting a lot of the Accession criteria set out in the Copenhagen agreement.  This paper will also make recommendations on what
Turkey must do in order to fully meet EU standards for accession.
Turkey first became affiliated with the EU in
1963 after signing an associate membership agreement with the then European Community.  The decisions to give
Turkey a membership perspective and to open accession negotiations have been
highly controversial among member state governments and have tended to produce
long and conflictive negotiations as well as uneasy compromises
(Schimmelfennig, 2009: 414).  A major breakthrough came at the
Helsinki meeting of the European Council in 1999, when Turkey attained status
as a candidate for membership. It now has a so-called Accession Partnership
with the EU, which means that the EU is working
together with Turkey to enable it to adopt the acquis communautaire, which
is the legal framework of the EU (Togan, 2004: 1013).
The Copenhagen Criteria cover a
state’s ability to take on the acquis communautaire, the economic
criteria for a functional market economy, and above all, ‘stability of
institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect
for and protection of minorities’ (Schimmelfennig, 2009: 420).  Overall, Turkey has made
significant efforts to fulfil requested accession criteria through
socio-economic and cultural convergence with EU Member States.
Economic Factors
Many studies have shown that economic factors
play a significant role in shaping attitudes towards different aspects of
European integration. Turkey’s
progress on meeting the requirements of the Copenhagen Criteria is confirmed by
socioeconomic indicators that describe the level of modernization of the
country (Alber, 2007).  Turkey is the 17th
largest economy globally, and the most current EU progress report states that
Turkey has sufficient macroeconomic stability and the medium-term capability
for integration into the single European market (Gerhards and Hans, 2011: 744).  Turkey is a large and fast expanding market,
it is the largest market in the Middle East, Balkans and Caucasus. According to
the World Bank, Turkish GDP is as large as 80 per cent of Russian GDP (Togan,
2004: 1043). 
Turkey, located at the crossroads between
Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, has the potential to act as a major link
between these markets.  With
harmonization of commercial legislation, EU companies will be able to use
Turkey as a joint investment and export base for the Middle East and Eurasia.  Moreover, Istanbul is emerging as
transnational corporations’ headquarters for operations in the Caucasus and
Central Asia. The EU will derive potential gains from increased trade in the
region (Togan, 2004: 1043-1044).
Overall, the Progress Report on Turkey’s EU
Accession (2013: 4) states that Turkey is a functioning market economy, and
should therefore be able to cope with competitive pressure and market forces
within the Union in the medium term. 
Additionally, with Turkish accession current members will derive welfare
gains from standard comparative advantage sources and also from growth effects
of integration.
This report argues that accession of Turkey
to the EU will bring economic benefits for Turkey as well as to the EU
itself.  The largest economic gains can
be obtained through reforms of national institutions in Turkey that improve the
functioning of the public sector and provide transparency to investors and
traders (Lejour and Mooij, 2005: 117).  Integration will remove the
distortions in the price system, boosting the allocative efficiency in the
economy, which in turn will make the country a better place to invest.  Furthermore, with accession Turkey will be
eligible for EU structural funds. The increase in infrastructural investments will
contribute to economic growth in Turkey. In addition, Turkey will reap benefits
from monetary integration, and finally, Turkey will benefit from migration of
Turkish labour to the EU (Togan, 2004: 1042).
The key theoretical constructs investigated
to explain opposition to Turkey’s EU membership are related to rational
economic self-interest and group-level interests and concerns (McClaren, 2007:
251).  Turkey is relatively poor and
agricultural, it can therefore be argued that Turkish membership is likely to
increase the divergence of living standards in the EU, create a high potential
for labour migration and instigate demand for high net payments from the structural
and agricultural funds.  Welfare gains
that will be derived by Turkey from integration will have a price. The price
will be the adjustment costs associated with the attainment of macroeconomic
stability, adoption of CAP, liberalization of services and network industries,
and complying with EU environmental directives (Togan, 2004: 1042).
Migration/Cultural Factors
In addition to direct fiscal implications,
EU member states are subject to another possible economic consequence of
Turkish accession, immigration. 
Hostility to Turkey’s candidacy can be explained by the threatening
context of Turkish migration (McClaren, 2007: 251).  It can be argued that migration flows could
have negative economic consequences, such as increased competition in
particular segments of the labour market. 
In particular, countries in the more economically developed EU-15 are
likely to be affected to the highest degree (Gerhards and Hans, 2011: 751),
moreover it will likely take decades before Turkey attains an income level
comparable to these countries.  This will
continue to be a strong incentive for migration from Turkey to other EU
countries, EU-15 countries fear that the immigrants will ‘depress wages, boost unemployment
and cause social friction and political upheavals’ (Togan, 2004: 1031-1032).
However, one assumption in the
analysis of Turkish migration is that all labour is homogenous.  In reality labour is highly differentiated
according to many factors, which results in the effects of migration for income
distribution and social welfare becoming less clear-cut.  The empirical research on the economic effects
of immigration indicates fairly small and on the whole positive effects.  ‘Employment opportunities are not affected
much, the wage of low skilled labour is depressed somewhat but that of skilled
labour is raised, and the net present value of public transfers is positive’ (Togan,
2004: 1043).  Therefore, this paper
argues that with appropriate measures, immigration is not necessarily a
negative consequence of Turkey’s accession into the EU.
It is not just the threat to resources
presented by Turks that affects feelings about the Turkish candidacy, threats
to culture and way of life are likely to be particularly strong in the Turkish
case (Ivarsflaten, 2005).  In addition to
the possible problem of being perceived as traditional or backward, Turkey
faces the potential difficulty of being predominantly Muslim (McClaren, 2007:
258).  The recent drawbacks in the
negotiations of the EU with Croatia, Serbia, and Turkey have been caused by
issues of national identity related to legacies of ethnic conflict that are
likely to create high political costs to the target governments. As a result,
whereas consistency has remained high, effectiveness is reduced (Schimmelfennig,
2004: 918). 
Nevertheless, sociostructural
differences between Turkey and the EU Member States have been shrinking.  The percentage of the Turkish population
working in agriculture has sunk, education levels have risen and the overall
standard of living has increased (Gerhards and Hans, 2011: 744).
The commission critiques Turkey
on its human rights situation, on its limited freedom of speech and on its lack
of gender equality.  However, according
to the Freedom House Index, Turkey has improved consistently in its level of
democratization, political freedom and civil liberties over recent years
(Gerhards and Hans, 2011: 744).  Overall,
these improvements represent measurable developments regarding Turkey’s convergence
with the EU and its fulfilment of EU accession criteria.  Additionally, Freedom in the Press has
improved, however, it still has a long way to go in order to reach the levels
of freedom held by EU-15 countries.  Key
provisions of the Turkish legal framework and their interpretation by members
of the judiciary continue to hamper freedom of expression, including freedom of
the media (Progress Report, 2013: 2).
Foreign Policy
commission emphasized Turkey’s
increasingly important foreign policy significance for Europe, for example its
intermediary role between Syria and Israel, its diplomatic approaches with
Armenia, and above all, its role in the military conflict between Russia and
Georgia (Schmid, 2008).  Turkey has
continued to play an important role in its wider neighbourhood, for example
expanding its activities as a non-traditional donor in the Horn of Africa,
supporting democratic transition in North Africa, and enhancing cooperation
with and between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has played a particularly
important role on Syria, supporting the development of a more unified
opposition and providing vital humanitarian assistance to large numbers of
Syrians fleeing their country (Progress Report, 2013: 3).  This suggests Turkey is meeting criteria of
the Copenhagen Agreement such as the rule of law and the respect for and
protection of minorities. 
According to the Commission (2008b), expansion in general
and Turkish membership specifically would strengthen the EU’s foreign policy
weight in the world.  Furthermore,
Turkey’s geographic location makes it well-suited as a transit country for oil
and natural gas and it could therefore play a strategic role in securing the
EU’s energy supply (Gerhards
and Hans, 2011: 744).  Turkish membership could help to secure
stability and security in the Balkans and Caucasus. The EU could then increase
its energy security and also decrease its defence expenditures (Togan, 2004:
1043-1044).  This paper argues that this
is indication that Turkey should be allowed to join the EU.
In order to maintain its impact on political reform under
the conditions of political unrest, the EU will need to reassure applicant
governments of the credibility of its commitment to enlargement and move
negotiations with Turkey closer to the endgame. 
Creating uncertainty about admission even after full compliance destroys
this credibility and will reduce the effectiveness of conditionality even further
(schimmelfennig, 2008: 933).  Overall,
this policy note recommends that Turkey should be allowed to join the EU on the
basis of EU economic development and foreign policy advantages provided it
agrees to make continued efforts in the realm of human rights. 
The issues with regards to human rights in Turkey underline
the importance for the EU to enhance its engagement with Turkey.  This paper recommends that the overall legal
framework and practice on the intervention of law enforcement officers should
be brought in line with European standards to guarantee under all circumstances
the right to freedom of assembly. 
Additionally, an ECHR-compatible legal framework has yet to be
established on matters of faith and conscientious objection.  Substantial efforts are needed to effectively
guarantee the rights of women, children and LGBT individuals (Progress Report,
2013: 2).  These shortcomings need to be
addressed in order for Turkey to be a successful member of the EU.
In regards to immigration associated with the accession of
Turkey to the EU, this paper recommends that government leaders will need to
adopt measures to allay fears among EU citizens, perhaps including provision
for a waiting period on the free movement of labour provision (McClaren, 2007:
274, Gerhards and Hans, 2011: 763).
In conclusion, this report argues that
EU-membership will work as a catalyst for Turkish institutional reforms.  Turkey has made progress towards meeting a
good amount of the accession criteria, and by becoming a member of the EU,
Turkey has to conform to all EU legislation and enforcement by the European
Court of Justice.  Furthemore, via the
method of open coordination, Turkey will regularly be assessed by the European
Commission and other member countries on its economic policies.  EU membership can thus trigger institutional
reform in Turkey and reduce widespread corruption (Lejour and de Mooij, 2005:
Alber, J. (2007)
‘Where Turkey Stands in Europa and why it Should Be Admitted to the EU’.
Discussion Paper SP I 2007-205, Social Science Research Center.
https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6628025.pdf Accessed 11 Nov 2016.
Commission of the
European Communities (2008b) ‘Enlargement strategy and main challenges
2008–2009. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European
Parliament’. COM. Pp.
http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/press_corner/keydocuments/reports_nov_2008/strategy_paper_incl_country_conclu_en.pdf Accessed 7 Nov 2016.
European Commission working document (2013) – ‘Turkey 2013 Progress
http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/724824/mod_resource/content/1/European%20Commission%20working%20document%20-%20progress%20on%20Turkeys%20EU%20accession%202013.pdf Accessed 2 Nov 2016.
Gerhards, J. and Hans, S. (2011) ‘Why not Turkey? Attitudes towards
Turkish Membership in the EU among Citizens in 27 European Countries.’ Journal of Common Market Studies. Vol.
49 (4), pp. 741–766.
http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/724823/mod_resource/content/1/j.14685965.2010.02155.x.pdf  Accessed 5 Nov 2016.
Ivarsflaten, E.
(2005) ‘Threatened by Diversity: Why Restrictive Asylum
and Immigration
Policies Appeal to Western Europeans’. Journal of Elections,
Public Opinion
and Parties. Vol.15(1), pp. 21–45.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13689880500064577 Accessed 8 Nov 2016.
Lejour, A. M. and
de Mooij, R. A. (2005) ‘Turkish Delight: Does Turkey’s Accession to the EU
Bring Economic Benefits?’ Kyklos. Vol.
58 (1), pp. 87-120.
http://0-onlinelibrary.wiley.com.lib.exeter.ac.uk/doi/10.1111/j.0023-5962.2005.00279.x/epdf Accessed 6 Nov 2016.
McClaren, L.M.
(2007) ‘Explaining opposition to Turkish membership of the EU.’ European Union Politics. Vol. 8 (2), pp.
http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/724821/mod_resource/content/1/European%20Union%20Politics-2007-McLaren-251-78.pdf Accessed 1 Nov 2016.
Schimmelfennig, F. (2008) ‘EU political accession conditionality after
the 2004 enlargement: consistency and effectiveness’. Journal of European Public Policy. Vol. 15 (6), pp. 918-937.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13501760802196861 Accessed 8 Nov 2016.
Schimmelfennig, F. (2009)’Entrapped again: The way to EU membership
negotiations with Turkey’, International
Politics. Vol. 46 (4), pp. 413-431.
http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/724822/mod_resource/content/1/ip20095a.pdf Accessed 3 Nov 2016.
Schmid, F. (2008)
‘Strategiepapier zur EU-Erweiterung. Brüssel lobpreist die Türkei’. Financial
Times Deutschland, 28 October.
Togan, S. (2004)
‘Turkey: Toward EU Accession’, The World
Economy. Vol. 27 (7),  pp. 1013–1045.
http://0onlinelibrary.wiley.com.lib.exeter.ac.uk/doi/10.1111/j.03785920.2004.00641.x/abstract;jsessionid=915358403C934900F4FE9BD17D95BEE2.f02t04 Accessed 12 Nov

Microsoft vs. European Union

Microsoft was accused of by the European Commission of the European Union for abuse of its dominant position in the market. Inquire into this event which started at about 1993 and still continues to the present day. As a guide, think of the underlying reasons and laws leading to this event, the consequences of breaking these laws and other points that could have influenced it.

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When Novell complained over the Microsoft for anti-licensing practice in 1993 and continued with European Union ordering Microsoft to divulge certain information about its several product and launch a new version of Microsoft windows without media player, form that situation Microsoft was accused by the European Commission of EU for abuse of domain of its dominant position in market and this situation was such a tempering situation for Microsoft.
If we look on cases against Microsoft starting from 1998 to 2009 then we can many argues and points to consider against Microsoft and its strategies. In 1998 Sun Microsystems had complained against Microsoft for the ‘Server Interoperability’. Then in next 2 year, Commission started investigation on Microsoft for integration of media playback capability in Windows. In 2004 Microsoft was commented by Commission that Microsoft had abused a dominant market position. The Commission issued a statement of objection starting that, those documents were not in submission with 2004 decision by 2005 end. Microsoft announced in 2006 that it would be provided all the technical documentation required but Commission fined Microsoft for inadequate technical certification. In 2007 Commission issued a statement for objection starting that pricing of Microsoft for patents reading on its protocol specification is not reasonable and discriminatory. In 2008 Commission announced that two new investigations one was complained from industry association of Microsoft competitor related to interoperability and other was from European browser maker opera relating to inclusion of IE in windows and it was fined by Commission. In 2009 Commission another statements for objection of IE in windows since 1996 was an abuse of Microsoft’s dominant position. Therefore Microsoft was been announced for the proposal of market research and testing then in last it was formal adoption. Then Commission formally accepted the proposal of the Microsoft the market testing then it was fully resolved to Commission’s competition law concern relating to the Internet Explorer in windows and interoperability.
As per the few last decades the relations between the Microsoft and the European Union were not good because of few complain and action on Microsoft my EU, and in this situation Microsoft come to know few new thing from that situation, and as a result Microsoft and European Union has got the compromised under the tight competition rules of the European Union, this was only because Microsoft was just wanted to reduced the fines and competitive behaviour, and finally it was agreed for barter exchange. To spread the spirit of the European Union, Microsoft has decided to shell the product with the collaborative flag of EU and Microsoft in the next Windows 7 logo, it was just great solution decided by the Microsoft as cost-effectiveness, and European Union was also agreed with this deal and to create new and strong relation.
Then for breaking the law of anti-trust or competitive Microsoft was accused by the European commission in two cases. The first case was for the interoperability in relation to a complained by the European committee for interoperable system while in other case was in the field of the tying of separate software products following inter ALIA a complaints from OPERA.
Law of competition was broken by the Microsoft and proper information was not passed in market by the Microsoft and competitor were also reduced and almost all the companies were using Microsoft products in their one, and they are aware about information which is provided to customers. In 2004 Microsoft launched new, it decided to publish paper on Microsoft website and for it EU created new rule that it will had adverse impact on intellectual property rights and the ability of dominants firms to innovate because it effects direct on Europe. And so it Microsoft was fined of near $600 million by European commission and was ordered to share technology with competitors.
Microsoft business model is based on the customer paying money to licensed software that were developed and distributed. Annual report of the Microsoft business shows that customers paying the charges to license the software and distribution. Taking the idea of license based the software model; software developers bear the costs of converting original ideas into software product original ideas into software products through investment in research and development offsetting these costs with the revenue received from the distribution of their products.
Microsoft failed for maintaining the RELIANCE on mimicking the features and functionality of other same product as Microsoft like Apple, word perfect, Sony play station etc. that was the working of the worlds, Microsoft. Its based on the its progressed of it as an industry rather then being the forced for reinvent the wheel next and next. Microsoft has getting benefits as much as other competitor and even more.
As we all know that Microsoft is the strong and developed company world wide, if has been leading in the good software product over other company, so it has large competitive market, as per the notes the breadth of its product line s biggest differentiator currently but it’s also a potential Achilles’ heel. So Microsoft just wants to bee in its old markets.
As we can see from above discussion that Microsoft break many law of European union and for developing its own business Microsoft has worked tried and launched new ideas in the market but it was not good for other and same business but it was also controlled by the European union, all its competitor works under the law and regulation of the European union than Microsoft should also work as same as competitor. For market development Microsoft and European Union are collaborated for the new product of Microsoft but Microsoft broke the law of anti-competitor, fore that it was fined from European commission it was compatible for any one and also other. So laws of European Union have given many socked to the Microsoft but it is not good as much as because in competitor market anyone can be affected by small or large competitor and keeping in mind excuses of them European union should not react to wards the Microsoft.

European Union Decision Making

The European Union (EU) decision making process is quite a complex perform which involves more than one institution most of the times. The European council, the European parliament, and the European commission’s are the key players within this key complex and multi-party process.
More than the past five decades the European Parliament (EP) has motivated from being a mainly consultative assembly to being a genuine co-legislature. The growth in the European Parliament’s powers was accompanied by a revaluation of its Standing Committees.
The European Parliament (EP) is now generally seen as a co-legislator with the Council is a comparatively new development. It did not enjoy any effective rights of participation in the legislative process for more than three decades. As an assembly it started out with only two key powers: the supremacy to pass a motion of censure against the High Authority and the power to be consulted by the Council on selected legislative proposals. The opinions given in this traditional consultation procedure were non-binding.

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The Single European Act (SEA) 1987 represented a key step promote for the EP. It manifest the inauguration of a new triangular relationship between the Council, the Commission and the EP by introducing the co-operation procedure, which significantly enhanced inter-institutional dialogue, giving the EP the first opportunity to loosen its legislative power and to make use of its agenda-setting powers.
The positive experiences structure of the co-operation procedure, the EP’s legislative competencies were extended by the Treaty on European Union (TEU) commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty, 1993. Through the co-decision procedures beginning the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were, granted the power of veto in several policy areas, for the first time.
The EP’s role considerably strengthened by the Treaty of Amsterdam (1999), especially as regards its involvement in the legislative process. The procedure of co-decision has been extended from 15 to 38 Treaty areas or types of Community action and now applies to new areas within the fields of transport, environment, energy, development co-operation and certain aspects of social affairs. A new element in the Amsterdam Treaty is the reform of the co-decision procedure. Most significantly, a legislative act can now be adopted at the first reading if either the EP fails to suggest amendments to the Commission proposal or the Council agrees to the changes suggested by the EP.
The EP’s powers were accompanied by a revaluation of the EP Standing Committees. In the EU policy-making process they have become a key element and can be seen as a very important contribution to the determining of legislation.
Operating Mode
The EP Standing Committees have been described as the “legislative backbone” of the EP (Westlake 1994, p. 191). Under the proficiency of these committees everything that could possibly be dealt with by the EP, which officially examine only questions referred by the Bureau. The proposals in the practical political process, incoming legislative directly go to the responsible committee or committees.
EP committees Development
By 1953, committees have played a vital role within the EP from its setting up: seven committees had already installed by the Common Assembly. In 1979, after the direct elections, 16 standing committees were established. By the year of 1999 their number gradually increased to 20. At that point there was a growing feeling, however, that the number of committees should be reviewed with the main objective of distributing the new legislative obligations resulting from the Amsterdam Treaty more evenly (Corbett; Jacobs; Shackleton 2000, p. 105)
The number of EP Standing Committees was subsequently reduced from 20 to 17 after the June 1999 elections. They each cover a particular area or policy field of the EU’s activities and now have been reshuffled for the purpose of: (Christine Neuhold, 2001)

The EP’s committee structure does not correspond to any particular model. The Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, CFSP committee is, according to Westlake, clearly modeled on its equivalent in the United States Senate, but has far fewer powers (Westlake 1994, p. 135).
Key players in committees
We usually found that committee proceedings are to a large size formed by key players in the committee: committee chairmen, vice-chairs and rapporteurs, generally whose role is well known, and also draftsmen of opinion, shadow rapporteurs and committee co-ordinators.
The chairmen and three vice-chairmen are its formal officeholders within each committee. When sensitive votes are held in plenary, the chairman presides over the meetings of the committee and can contribute considerably to shaping legislation. The function of the vice-chairmen is generally to stand in for the chairman when he/she is not available. Once a committee has decided to draw up a report or an opinion it nominates a rapporteur (when the committee bears primary responsibility) or a draftsman (when it has to give an opinion for another committee) (Corbett, Jacobs, Shackleton 2000, p. 108, 117).
The group co-ordinators play an important role separately from the official officeholders. A co-ordinator selects by each political group who is responsible for allocating tasks to the group members as its main spokesperson. By opposition political group(s), mainly to monitor the work of the rapporteur are appointed the so-called shadow rapporteurs.
By political groups the EP committees are composed on a cross-party basis and the composition process is organized in various ways through procedural rules, and by way of bargaining. Assigning leadership positions within committees is formally based on the d’Hondt procedure, whereby political groups have the choice of which committee they want to chair in an order determined by the size of the group (Christine Neuhold, 2001).  The individual (both full and substitute) members are chosen by the political groups with the aim of ensuring that each committee reflects the overall political balance among the groups in the EP(Christine Neuhold, 2001).
The pivotal role of the committee chairmen, a position that has been described as a “prized office for MEPs” (Hix 1999), can be illustrated by the contrasting examples of two different directives. Even though the committee chairs were heavily lobbied in both cases, especially by industry, the outcome was highly different
Normally the selection of rapporteurs and draftsmen is decided within the individual committees by a system, which is more or less the same in all committees. Each political group has, according to its size, a quota of points. The group co-ordinators then discuss reports and opinions to be distributed, decide how many points each subject is worth and make bids on behalf of their group, the bids based in theory (but not always in the practical political process) on the relationship between the number of points already used by the group and the original quota (Corbett, Jacobs, Shackleton 2000, p. 117).
Political groups Significance within committees
If committees are the legislative backbone of the EP, the political parties are its “lifeblood” or the “institutional cement pasting together the different units of the Parliament” (Williams 1995, p. 395). Each party group in the EP represents a very “heterogeneous collection of established groups and temporary alliances” (Raunio 2000, p. 242). For the legislative period of 1999-2004 eight political groups are represented in the EP (and a number of non-aligned members). In the elections of June 1999 the PES lost more than 30 seats while the EPP-ED gained 52 and now holds (with 233 seats) a 53-seat majority over the PES. It must be pointed out, however, that these two large political groups together hold more than 66 % of all EP seats. In comparison the European Liberal Democratic and Reformist Group (ELDR), which is the third strongest party within the EP, has only 50 members, i.e. 8 % of the seats (EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium 1999, p. 13).
Political groups have their own staff, in which the total number of employees to which a group is entitled, is linked to the group’s size and based on the number of languages used in the group. (Christine Neuhold, 2001). Within the larger groups between two to three staff members observe and follow the work done by each committee, whereas one official might be responsible for observing the work of three or four committees in smaller groups (Raunio 2000). A variety of functions perform within the groups by the staff. One very main aspect is to follow and to prepare the committee proceedings and to support the rapporteur i.e. the shadow rapporteur in their political work. The existing task this involves varies from committee to committee. For example in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development the respective administrator is responsible for drawing up voting lists, whereas in the environment committee the Political Group Staff would only bring the voting lists into a readable form. When trying to co-ordinate their positions or exchanging views the rapporteur might in selected cases not negotiate with the shadow rapporteur but with the responsible administrator (Christine Neuhold, 2001).
Expertise and openness significance of committee debates
EP committees can exploit a growing pool of expertise. When it comes to supporting the rapporteur or draftsman of opinion in the performance of their task the EP Committee Secretariat is attributed great importance. The officials help increase the functional capacity of the EP by assisting the individual MEPs and the committees. The committee staff not only provides scientific and technical information, but also gives advice on “political” issues (Christine Neuhold, 2001). Separately from the Committee Secretariat interest groups are another important source of information. For the representation of interests Lobbyists gradually notice the importance of the EP. MEPs act in so far as possible as representatives of the “European people”, however if they are elected by local constituencies. They have to integrate interests with relevance to Europe as a whole and are therefore contacted by actors working within the myriad of networks to be found in the EU system of multi-level governance (Benz 2001, p. 7). Wessels reports that average MEPs have roughly 109 contacts with interest groups from the national and supranational level each year. In total this amounts to some 67,000 contacts and interest groups annually (Wessels 1999, p. 109).
A remarkable improvement in the EP’s activities is a great increase in the organization of public hearings by the committees. These hearings can serve up numerous purposes: they can facilitate the identification of or familiarization with a particular issue, assist a committee in the scrutiny of draft legislation, and facilitate identification of preferences. A remarkable example is the drinking water directive: a public hearing, involving a wide range of experts and interested parties, was conducted on the revision of this directive. The key conclusion reached was that there is a critical need to evaluate the existing series of directives and decisions on water quality. Consequently of this hearing particular deficits and problems within this context were recognized and methods of reform were proposed.
Relations of EP committees with other EU institutions
The connection between the EP and other institutions on the European level has evolved extensively with the introduction of first the co-operation and later the co-decision procedures. Co-operation marked an end to the old bipolar relationship between Council and Commission and the beginning of a triangular relationship in which the EP’s legislative input was limited at the outset, though it gradually increased later (Westlake 1994, p. 137).
Relations with other institutions throughout the legislative process during co-decision
The introduction of the co-decision procedure by the Treaty of Maastricht has been regarded as a major step forward for the EP and “the cause for parliamentary democracy” at the EU level (Shackleton 2000, p.325). Negotiation between the Council of Ministers and the EP committees has established by the new Treaty provision.
As soon as the Amsterdam Treaty took effect these contacts were intensified, mainly as a result of the possibility of concluding the procedure at first reading. Both institutions have paid close attention to the “Joint declaration on the practical arrangements for the new co-decision procedure” of May 1999, which encourages appropriate contacts with the aim of “bringing the legislative procedure to a conclusion as quickly as possible” (Christine Neuhold, 2001).
Each Council Presidency is in contact with the responsible EP committee, and the respective Minister approaches the committee to present the priorities of the Presidency’s programme and also illustrates the particular achievements at the end of the six-month period.
Even after Amsterdam there are no clear procedural guidelines for the first reading. The most contentious question is how to mandate the representatives of the EP for negotiating with the Council. An additional open question is which members of the Council and EP hierarchy should meet with whom. At the first reading as a means of speeding up the procedure the EP sees the possibility of reaching an agreement, but not something that should be accepted at any cost.
Within the conciliation procedure a process of exchange has developed where both sides are open to make concessions, but at a price that differs according to each set of negotiations (Shackleton 1999, p. 331). The procedure has evolved significantly since its introduction by the Maastricht Treaty, “where a lot was not written down” and even the basic procedural issues were not always clear.
Considering the problems of conciliation, the so-called trialogue meetings are of great significance during its preparation. These sessions, neither the Treaty nor the EP Rules of Procedure, have been formed to an extent under the motto “necessity is the mother of invention”. They were answer back to the gap left in the Treaty between the Council’s second reading and convention of the conciliation committee.
The Treaty provisions do not require what, should happen after the Council has given its view on the EP’s second-reading amendments and before the delegations meet in the conciliation committee. There were occasional bilateral contacts between Council and EP during the first year and a half after the Maastricht Treaty came into effect, but no structured dialogue. As a result both institutions attempted to find compromises in a room, which could hold over 100 persons. Only in the second half year after the Treaty came into effect was the conclusion finally drawn that this was not an efficient forum for institutional dialogue and that conciliation needed to be prepared by a smaller group (Shackleton 1999, p. 333).
In light of the smaller number of persons taking part in trialogues, namely

the vice-president concerned;
the chairman of the responsible EP committee;
and the rapporteur

At the level of the trialogue and only have to be “rubber-stamped” in conciliation a large percentage controversial issue is already solved. The optimistic function of the trialogue is illustrated by the directive on end of vehicle life. At second reading the EP adopted a total of 32 amendments. In a series of trialogue meetings, compromises were reached regarding a considerable number of amendments
Study conducted on the effect the co-decision procedure has on the EP committees has shown that co-decision has led to a structural concentration of the bulk of the workload on only three out of 20 Permanent Committees. The three committees dealt with the majority of the draft legal acts submitted under co-decision were: (Christine Neuhold, 2001)

Committee on the Environment (36.7 %);
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy (25.9 %);
Committee on Legal Affairs (16.9 %).

As regards the amount of time needed to conclude a co-decision procedure, the analysis reflects that the Committee on the Environment – with the heaviest co-decision burden of all committees – stabilized the amount of time required for adoption. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy and the Committee on Legal Affairs have even reduced the time needed for the adoption of legislative acts considerably since co-decision was introduced in 1993 (Maurer 1999, p. 29).
Role of EP committees within the implementation process
One more significant issue is the process of implementing legislation. In the system of comitology, EP committees play only a marginal role. Comitology is a short-hand term for the process by which certain powers of implementation are delegated to the Commission. The comitology committees are composed of representatives of Member State governments and as such are not democratically elected (Bradley 1997). Since installation of the first comitology committees, the EP has put forward far-reaching demands as regards its involvement in the comitology system. Translating them into political science terms, they could be summarised in the following manner (Hix 2000):

clear definition of legislative and executive matters so that the executive authority would be strictly responsible for implementing measures;
when implementing acts have been adopted by way of co-decision in the legislative process, the EP should be put on an equal footing with the governments of the Member States;
limitation of the executive powers of the Member State governments (at least to a certain extent);
the right of the EP to examine all draft implementing acts before they are adopted with the implementation timetable;
the right of the EP to veto legislation before it is implemented.

Connection to EU citizens: the problem of accountability and responsibility
The concept of accountability for this study is defined in two ways: primary, to be accountable is seen to be in a position of stewardship and thus to be called to answer questions about one’s activities and administration. This is very much connected to ensuring a certain degree of openness and transparency within the decision making process. Choices and debates have to be broken down in such a way that citizens are able to understand them and have a certain degree of insight into decision-making processes. Second, to be accountable is perceived as being “censurable” or “dismissible” (Bealey 1999, p. 2; Lord 1998).
Because of the fact that they are directly elected, the members of the EP are directly accountable to their electorate. Though, the electoral procedures of the EP are questionable as regards the principle of political equality. Concerning accountability, it is also doubtful whether electors are adequately informed about the EP’s activities, and they seem to have insufficient motivation to monitor the EP by participating in elections: the average turnout of 49 % in the 1999 EP elections speaks for itself(Christine Neuhold, 2001).
The complex EU decision-making procedures are not transparent and sometimes rather difficult to describe and understand, when the process reached by a majority. European parties be unsuccessful to organize dependable factions and the relationships between the EP and other EU institutions, specially the Council, are difficult to comprehend. One of the problems the EP is presently facing is that the EP does not have the authority of a legislature. As a co-legislator together with the Council, it cannot be held accountable for decisions it makes on its own (Benz 2000, p. 16).
Additionally, there is no European government that can be held accountable to the EP. The EP has to give the rights of its vote of approval to the Commission and to the Commission President. By vote of censure, it can also force the entire Commission to resign. The EP hence has the power to vote the Commission out of office.
Though, it is not the EP but the European Council that selects the President and the members of the Commission. In consequence the composition of the executive is not based on the results of European elections. Changes to the Treaties do not have to be ratified by the EP, nor are members of the EP present at Intergovernmental Conferences held with the aim of Treaty reform (Raunio 2000, p. 231).
By this study it has been reflected, complex forms of inter-institutional bargaining make it difficult to pinpoint what decisions were taken by whom. Main decisions are taken in smaller groups such as the trialogue that permit for the achievement of consensus with other institutional actors such as the Council. However, the conclusion of complex deals obscures who has won or lost on particular issues.
The circumstances is problematical by the fact that MEPs are like members of any national parliament confronted with a fundamental conflict of roles, specifically that of the competent co-legislator versus the representative of the interests of the people who elected him/her. The previous requires expertise and knowledge and complicated negotiations within the committee and with representatives of the EU institutions. The concluding requires stable contact with the EU citizens. The burden of committee work will require more time and effort of MEPs, making it more difficult to tend to the interests of the “potential voter” With the growth in the EP’s legislative tasks.
Concluding notes
The actual authority of the EP is at least partly based on the work of its committees. In shaping EU legislation they play a vital role. This becomes noticeable when taking a final look at what EP committees achieve:

Operation of economization: From an improved familiarity with the subject, EP committees make processing of a growing workload possible and benefit. To cope with its increasing legislative workload, committees play a vital role in the EP’s quest. This improved burden for committees has not led to a slowing down of the decision-making process.
Information acquisition: This improved familiarity of committee members with particular issues leads to improved specialization, thereby increase the confidence of non-committee members in the work of the committee. It has found that the EP committees constitute an important arena for the communication of interests. MEPs can use a rising pool of expertise from members of the Committee Secretariat on the one hand and on the other hand representatives of interests groups or NGOs.
Co-ordination: Committee members are selected on a cross-party basis and through different means: throughout the political groups, procedural rules, and bargaining. The political groups within the EP have found different means to maximize their influence within committees, for instance by appointing shadow rapporteurs and group co-ordinators. Committees however provide an arena for the political groups to deliberate in order to find the necessary majorities, something not possible in plenary sessions.
Input of smaller political groups: committee membership provides a real chance for representatives of smaller political groups in certain instances for example the Greens/EFA to take part in the shaping of legislation, by appointing the rapporteur for example.
Consensus-building: The EP committee construction can give to consensus-building by providing an arena for detailed deliberation, which is not possible in plenary. It has found that divisions in committees are very issue-specific, and it must be noted that the committee lead very often plays an integrative role.
Publicity: Committee meetings are usually open to the public and also the media. Committees permit members and committee chairs in particular to make publicity, at least when controversial topics such as the BSE crisis are on the agenda.

Beyond this categorization, this provides an overview of how EP committees operate rather more normative, conclusions. The Standing Committees and the EP operate in a very different environment than the committees in national parliaments, a key difference being the lack of a European government directly accountable to the EP and the unique forms of decision-making in the multi-level system of European governance. In this process of relations with other EU institutions, remarkably the Council and the Commission, the EP committees play a vital role. The EP’s work environment brings order and structure by the committee-based division of labor.
Committee’s present personnel and structural resources which build up the negotiating position of the EP vis-à-vis the Council, for instance in the co-decision process. Vital players in committees for example group co-ordinators, chairmen and rapporteurs not only contribute to cohesion and coherence within committees, but play a very important role in finding useful solutions to problems, so raising the committee’s output significantly. It has found that key players are often appointed due to their expertise in the particular policy area, which is sometimes gained throughout work within the industry previous to their parliamentary career. This and the fact that they can use a growing pool of expertise enhances their standing vis-à-vis other institutions. It is also found that political actors who have acquired experience with these very specific forms of inter-institutional negotiations are selected to deal with co-decision, thus contributing to the level of trust and coherence, particularly during conciliation. By the negotiations this is illustrated which dealt with the SOCRATES programme, the revision of the directive on open network provisions regarding voice telephony where the rapporteur was re-appointed, and the Fifth Framework Programme.
Committees enlarge accountability of the EP as much as their meetings are usually open to the public and committee documents for instance draft reports are rather freely available. By meeting visiting groups and spending a large part of the working week in their constituencies, i.e. Member States Committee members also try to build up the link to EU citizens. Moreover committees enable effective communication of relevant (citizen) interests to those involved in the process of governance. Contact with lobbyists has normally become part of the daily business of committee members.
In spite of these positive aspects, EP committees can do little to alleviate general structural deficits regarding accountability and legitimacy within the multi-level system, such as the lack of a European government, which is directly accountable to the EP.

The European Union: International Relations

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe. Committed to regional integration, the EU was established by the Treaty of Maastricht on 1 November 1993 upon the foundations of the European Economic Community. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU combined generates an estimated 30% share (US$18.4 trillion in 2008) of the nominal gross world product and about 22% of the PPP gross world product.

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The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, ensuring the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital. It maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Sixteen member states have adopted a common currency, the euro, constituting the Eurozone. The EU has developed a limited role in foreign policy, having representation at the WTO, G8, G20 and at the UN. It enacts legislation in justice and home affairs, including the abolition of passport controls by the Schengen agreement between 22 EU and 3 non-EU states.
As an international organisation, the EU operates through a hybrid system of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism. In certain areas, decisions are made through negotiation between member states, while in others, independent supranational institutions are responsible without a requirement for unanimity between member states. Important institutions and bodies of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the European Court of Justice, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by member states’ citizens, to whom the citizenship of the European Union is guaranteed.
The EU originates from the European Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Since then, the EU has evolved through a process of enlargement, while new policy areas have been added to the remit of its institutions.
After the end of the Second World War, moves towards European integration were seen by many as an escape from the extreme forms of nationalism which had devastated the continent. One such attempt to unite Europeans was the European Coal and Steel Community which, while having the modest aim of centralised control of the previously national coal and steel industries of its member states, was declared to be “a first step in the federation of Europe”. The originators and supporters of the Community include Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, Paul Henri Spaak and Alcide de Gasperi. The founding members of the Community were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.
In 1957, these six countries signed the Treaties of Rome which extended the earlier cooperation within the European Coal and Steel Community and created the European Economic Community, (EEC) establishing a customs union and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for cooperation in developing nuclear energy. In 1967 the Merger Treaty created a single set of institutions for the three communities, which were collectively referred to as the European Communities (EC), although commonly just as the European Community.
In 1973 the Communities enlarged to include Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Norway had negotiated to join at the same time but Norwegian voters rejected membership in a referendum and so Norway remained outside. In 1979 the first direct, democratic elections to the European Parliament were held.
Greece joined in 1981, and Spain and Portugal in 1986. In 1985 the Schengen Agreement led the way toward the creation of open borders without passport controls between most member states and some non-member states. In 1986 the European flag began to be used by the Community and the Single European Act was signed.
In 1990, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the former East Germany became part of the Community as part of a newly united Germany. With enlargement toward Eastern and Central Europe on the agenda, the Copenhagen criteria for candidate members to join the European Union were agreed.
The European Union was formally established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force on 1 November 1993, and in 1995 Austria, Sweden and Finland joined the newly established EU. In 2002, euro notes and coins replaced national currencies in 12 of the member states. Since then, the eurozone has increased to encompass sixteen countries, with Slovakia joining the eurozone on 1 January 2009. In 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement to date when Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary joined the Union.
On 1 January 2007, Romania and Bulgaria became the EU’s newest members and Slovenia adopted the euro. In June 2009 the 2009 elections which later led to a renewal of Barroso’s Commission Presidency and in July of that year Iceland formally applied for EU membership. On 1 December 2009 the Lisbon Treaty came into force after a protracted and controversial birth. This reformed many aspects of the EU but in particular created a permanent President of the European Council, the first of which is Herman van Rompuy, and a strengthened High Representative; Catherine Ashton.
The European Union is composed of 27 sovereign Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Only six of these – France, (then-West) Germany, Italy, and the three already integrated Benelux countries; Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg – were members at the start, with membership having grown as countries willingly accede to the treaties and by doing so, pool sovereignty in exchange for representation in the institutions. To join the EU a country must meet the Copenhagen criteria, defined at the 1993 Copenhagen European Council. These require a stable democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law; a functioning market economy capable of competition within the EU; and the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including EU law. Evaluation of a country’s fulfilment of the criteria is the responsibility of the European Council.
No member state has ever left the Union, although Greenland (an autonomous province of Denmark) withdrew in 1985. The Lisbon Treaty now provides a clause dealing with how a member leaves the EU.
There are three official candidate countries, Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Iceland are officially recognised as potential candidates. Kosovo is also listed as a potential candidate but the European Commission does not list it as an independent country because not all member states recognise it as an independent country separate from Serbia.
Four Western European countries that have chosen not to join the EU have partly committed to the EU’s economy and regulations: Iceland, which has now applied for membership, Liechtenstein and Norway, which are a part of the single market through the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, which has similar ties through bilateral treaties. The relationships of the European microstates, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican include the use of the euro and other areas of co-operation.
The territory of the EU consists of the combined territories of its 27 member states with some exceptions, outlined below. The territory of the EU is not the same as that of Europe, as parts of the continent are outside the EU, such as Switzerland, Norway, European Russia, and Iceland. Some parts of member states are not part of the EU, despite forming part of the European continent (for example the Isle of Man and Channel Islands (two Crown Dependencies), and the Faroe Islands, a territory of Denmark). The island country of Cyprus, a member of the EU, is closer to Turkey than to mainland Europe and is often considered part of Asia.
Several territories associated with member states that are outside geographic Europe are also not part of the EU (such as Greenland, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, and all the non-European British overseas territories). Some overseas territories are part of the EU even though geographically not part of Europe, such as the Azores, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Lampedusa, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion, Ceuta and Melilla. As well, although being technically part of the EU, EU law is suspended in Northern Cyprus as it is under the de facto control of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, a self-proclaimed state that is recognised only by Turkey.
The EU’s member states cover an area of 4,422,773 square kilometres (1,707,642 sq mi). The EU is larger in area than all but six countries, and its highest peak is Mont Blanc in the Graian Alps, 4,807 metres (15,771 ft) above sea level. The landscape, climate, and economy of the EU are influenced by its coastline, which is 65,993 kilometres (41,006 mi) long. The EU has the world’s second-longest coastline, after Canada. The combined member states share land borders with 19 non-member states for a total of 12,441 kilometres (7,730 mi), the fifth-longest border in the world.
Including the overseas territories of member states, the EU experiences most types of climate from Arctic to tropical, rendering meteorological averages for the EU as a whole meaningless. The majority of the population lives in areas with a Mediterranean climate (Southern Europe), a temperate maritime climate (Western Europe), or a warm summer continental or hemiboreal climate (Eastern Europe).
The EU’s work is divided into three areas of responsibility, called pillars. The original European Community policies form the first pillar, while the second consists of Common Foreign and Security Policy. The third pillar originally consisted of Justice and Home Affairs, however owing to changes introduced by the Amsterdam and Nice treaties, it has been reduced to Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (other matters were transferred to the Community). Broadly speaking, the second and third pillars can be described as the intergovernmental pillars because the supranational institutions of the Commission, Parliament and the Court of Justice play less of a role or none at all, while the lead is taken by the intergovernmental Council of Ministers and the European Council (which operate more by consensus than majority in these pillars). Most activities of the EU come under the first, Community pillar. This is mostly an economically oriented pillar and is where the supranational institutions have the most influence.
The activities of the EU are regulated by a number of institutions and bodies that carry out the tasks and policies set out in the Treaties. These procedures are all subject to the principle of subsidiarity which requires that action only be taken at EU level where an objective cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states alone.
The EU receives its political leadership from the European Council, which usually meet four times a year. It comprises one representative per member state-either its head of state or head of government-plus its President as well as the President of the Commission. The member states’ representatives are assisted by their Foreign Ministers. The European Council uses its leadership role to sort out disputes between member states and the institutions, and to resolve political crises and disagreements over controversial issues and policies. On 19 November 2009, Herman Van Rompuy was chosen to become the first permanent President of the European Council. He took office on 1 December 2009. The European Council should not be mistaken for the Council of Europe, an international organisation independent from the EU.
By virtue of a rotating presidency, every member state takes the helm of the EU for a period of six months during which that country’s representatives chair the meetings of the Council of Ministers. The member state holding the presidency typically uses it to drive a particular policy agenda such as economic reform, reform of the EU itself, enlargement, or furthering European integration.
The European Commission acts as the EU’s executive arm and is responsible for initiating legislation and the day-to-day running of the EU. It is intended to act solely in the interest of the EU as a whole, as opposed to the Council which consists of leaders of member states who reflect national interests. The commission is also seen as the motor of European integration. It is currently composed of 27 commissioners for different areas of policy, one from each member state. The President of the Commission and all the other commissioners are nominated by the Council. Appointment of the Commission President, and also the Commission in its entirety, have to be confirmed by Parliament.
The European Parliament forms one half of the EU’s legislature. The 736 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by EU citizens every five years. Although MEPs are elected on a national basis, they sit according to political groups rather than their nationality. Each country has a set number of seats. The Parliament and the Council of Ministers form and pass legislation jointly, using co-decision, in certain areas of policy. This procedure has extend to many new areas under the Treaty of Lisbon, and hence increase the power and relevance of the Parliament. The Parliament also has the power to reject or censure the Commission and the EU budget. The President of the European Parliament carries out the role of speaker in parliament and represents it externally. The president and vice presidents are elected by MEPs every two and a half years.
The Council of the European Union (sometimes referred to as the Council of Ministers) forms the other half of the EU’s legislature. It consists of a government minister from each member states and meets in different compositions depending on the policy area being addressed. Notwithstanding its different compositions, it is considered to be one single body. In addition to its legislative functions, the Council also exercises executive functions in relations to the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The judicial branch of the EU consists of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of First Instance. Together they interpret and apply the treaties and the law of the EU. The Court of First Instance mainly deals with cases taken by individuals and companies directly before the EU’s courts, and the ECJ primarily deals with cases taken by member states, the institutions and cases referred to it by the courts of member states. Decisions from the Court of First Instance can be appealed to the Court of Justice but only on a point of law.

Union and Nonunion Forms of Employee Representation

The history of workers shows us how important unions have been; it played a key role in the past and is playing a significant role in today’s world scenarios. Unions just do not work for employees in a way they also help the employer by minimized turnover ratio, help reducing hiring and training cost associated with new employees. Because of all these reasons many times organisation prefers to have unionised set-up for employee voice preconisation. In these way the organisation save its resource and have smooth functioning in the company rather than using individualistic approach.(Freeman and Medoff 2004) tell about the positive sides of unions and say if the organisation takes proper care of it employees it can improve their performance at work place and also will motivate them. It won’t be wrong to say union offers benefits to both employees and employers. Unions helps the employees to motivate by showing them promotion ladder and implementation of the collective interest and also by showing their rights they possess in the organisation but also their relation in state and in civil society. Unions encourage its members to be part of social welfare societies and take the given advantages. (Mike Donaldson 2008) talks about the history of labour union in Australian and how and when it came to its existence in Australia in early 1911. There it joined the linkage between the families and the organisation. It also tells about the very first stepping stone of labour trade union and their activities like the lockout at mining station and creating awareness of workers union. It is very important for union to make alliances with various forms of organisation and get interconnected within the states and the local working class and maintain strong relationship with other organisations. So the union keep term with the entire non government community organisation, small business and other organisation at state level and international level to form a productive relationship. (Gregor Gall 1998) With the help of these trade union organisations the workers can create a better working environment. It also helps to build trust within the organisation. Unions give a platform to employers to make good relationship with it employees and make critical but also constructive agreements for the welfare of the employees.

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(Rae Cooper, Bradon Ellem, Patricia Todd 2012) These articles talks about the new changes have been made in the Australian labour government fair work act 2009 and the restoration of collective bargaining as its main aim. The changes between 1996 and 2005 which are most important for assessing how the Fair Work Act was designed and has come to operate were those that altered bargaining arrangements and other changes which reduced union effectiveness. It briefly addressed each before dealing with the Fair Work Act itself. (Donna M. Buttigieg, Stephen J. Deery and Roderick D.lverson June 2008) article talks about the importance of union and shows us what all can go wrong without proper union in organisation. It’s based on mobilization theory were in a large data is utilized for a survey done with financial service during renegotiation of collective bargaining contract. Through this survey it was clear that the masses would follow the union as they can experience sense of injustice done to employees when they held the collectivist orientation to work organisation. Perceptions of injustice are critical for collective action as they act as a means of separating workers from the employer in terms of shared interests, particularly where blame is attributed to management.
It’s the rights of the workers to join a union or be part of the union and accompanied by union official at disciplinary and grievance hearings. A fellow worker is chosen among the workers and is made a representative in non unionised setting who is more familiar with the association and can be the spoken person on behalf of the employees. These representatives perform various role in organisation they are many a times appointed by the management who carry the information from them and pass it widely within the employees.(Patmore 2006) non union representatives are normally functions in organisations which does not requires collective bargaining. All the employees are not part of unions and many times some employees disagree with the unions as well. Employees who are non union’s members come to the representatives to take advice on legal duties or business transfers and also in situations of large scale redundancies. So she representatives help those employees who are not part of union and give them consultation on legal matters when it occurs. Many of the times these representatives are appointed by the management themselves so they can consult those employees who need them in performing legal duties and they don’t have to search for such representatives when suddenly such legal duties are arise, these also helps the employees to improve their performance and be loyal and achieve their commitment done to employer.(Coyle-Shapiro, Jacqueline A-M. and Shore, Lynn M 2007) The different forms of non union representatives such as Representative of health bad safety, Representative of information and consultation representative, Pension representatives, work force agreement representative etc. These forms of non union representative also work for the welfare of the employees and they are well organised and have good terms with the management as well.
Health and safety representatives of employee’s are appointed in the organisation, they are not part of any union but they are representatives who work for the health and safety issues of the employees. Under the regulation 1996 as amended in 1998, 1999 and 2005) these representatives are covered under health and safety of employees. These representatives are given proper training so that they can perform their duties well in the situation of safety and health measures, they are paid for these training programs which encourage the employees to get involved in such activites.Their main agenda is to provide better health facilities to employees at work place and maintain the safety rules. The form of non union representative is information and consultant representative who is been selected from the members of subsequent information and consultation body. These representatives have the rights to provide protection against dismissal. They have the rights to negotiate an agreement or the standard agreement under the regulations. They see to that the employees practise the following regulations and provisions established. Under the occupational and personal pension schemes (consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendment) regulation 2006 the representatives of pension carry out their functions in the organisation. These pension representatives are parts of union and non union forms and are elected to give consultation on issues related to pension schemes to the employees in the organisation. Under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, known as TUPE gives consultation over the transfer of undertaking. When there are no union to carry collective bargaining purposes the non union representative’s consultation under TUPE. Then we have workplace representatives in the organisations that function under the workforce agreements. These agreements are between the employer and employees were they have mutual understanding on issues like working time, maternity and paternity and fixed term employment. The union have more rights as compare to the non union representatives but both try their best to protect the rights of the employees and their should not be any injustice done to them in terms of work aagrements.These various form of non union work representatives have come up together and performing the same role of union without being part of any particular labour union organisation. With the modern times the views of people are changing and they are excepting the concept of non union representatives. There has been tremendous decline in the trade union organisations. Many countries develop as well as developing countries are encouraging the non union forms of representative. These non union representative make employees’ views known to management , help strengthen both management’s and employees’ understanding of workplace issues and other matters affecting the business, help create an atmosphere of mutual trust between employees and management and therefore improve workplace relations.( Martin Upchurch, Mike Richardson, Stephanie Tailby, Andy Danford,& Paul Stewart 2006) Non-union forms of employee representation have become increasingly encouraged at uk work place and soon the trend is started all across the globe. Many organisations are promoting and supporting the non union representatives for betterment of the employees. To improve the individual and organisational performance partnership working style has been encouraged by the new labour, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Confederation of British Industry and the TUC. The article is based on the survey done in UK financial sector were interview were taken and full organisation was involved including the manager and staff. It showed the linkage between the working pattern of non union employee’s representative and the employer. The survey was based on the employee’s attitude. The result of the survey cleared showed that the non union partnership framework that was functioning in the organisation was constrained to a limited structure and because of these reason the demands of the employees was bounded.
(Paul J. Gollan 2005) the article seeks the weaker side of non union form and tried to show that these representatives have less power than unionism organisations and it more controlled by management of the organisation. With the help of analysis it showed the importance of unions in terms support and sustainability. It showed the European directive on information and consultation and how it implemented in in the UK law and its increasing focus on workplace representation arrangements. It was clearly shown that many issues were raised like effectiveness, impact and legitimacy of union because of non union representatives. There was lack of effective voice of non union form of representatives and these were the major problem at Eurotunnel. In the forthcoming implementations into UK law this perceptions of the lack of effective voices is given importance in the recent introduction of the European directive. The main implication of this case study was that he non union representative and management and the employees were not well coordinated and the representatives could not do much the of employees interest. It is essential to have effective employee voice over workplace to achieve and maintain employee’s satisfaction.
The main difference between union and non-union forms of employee representation is joint consultation between the management and employees. These help the management to understand the problems of employees and choose the appropriate solution to problems. It helps in variety of decision making and exercise of power; in contrast to unionism. It gives equal opportunity to employees to join the agreement of the employers as it’s done in unionism(Salamon, 2000) so it is more of management preference instead of employee or union’s representatives as they are the one encouraging employees , invest money on the activities in the organisation so their decisions it should be considered. The only motive is better performance and cost effective production. To remove the operational problems it very important that joint consultation method expands in organisations and these will help to make wise decision making which will even seek for the employee’s opinions. Union and non union representatives both work for the welfare of the employees in the organisation, their major motive is to give security to employees and to enhance their work performance in the organisation. These organisations also help the employers to know the need and area for betterment for the employees. But we can even denies the fact that many of the times these unions become a threat to the employers and take the undue advantage of the power were as the non union representation lack the independence and because of these there position is weaker compare to union. Both union and non union works for the betterment of employee and boost to employee’s performance.