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Book Sections Year : 2011

The European Parliament and the community method

Olivier Costa


Over 50 years after it was introduced, the Community method is still proving its efficiency — at least from an operational viewpoint. Despite all the crises and transformations which have affected the European Union for the last 15 years (multiple treaty reforms, problems with ratification, failure of the Constitutional Treaty, etc.), the Community method remains Europe’s driving force — the algorithm which allows policies to be formulated and managed, even in a deteriorating political environment. The basic elements comprising this method are well-known: the transfer of legislative powers to a supranational organisation; the existence of a supranational executive body independent of the member states and responsible for safeguarding Community interests; the option of adopting certain standards without having to resort to unanimity; and the creation of a supranational law and a judicial body in charge of its enforcement. In some ways, legal authority has taken the place of political authority, the affirmation of which, on a supranational scale, was not initially conceivable and is still highly problematic.
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Dates and versions

halshs-00594049 , version 1 (18-05-2011)



Olivier Costa. The European Parliament and the community method. Renaud Dehousse (ed.). The "Community method" : obstinate or obsolete ?, Palgrave MacMillan, pp.60-75, 2011, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, 978-1-349-36867-9. ⟨10.1057/9780230305670_4⟩. ⟨halshs-00594049⟩
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