TABLE OF CONTENTS
EU LAW – Primary Legislation
2.1 Treaty of Rome
2.2 The Single European Act
2.3 The Maastricht Treaty
2.4 The Amsterdam Treaty
2.5 The Nice Treaty
2.6 The Lisbon Treaty
EU LAW – Secondary Legislation
3.4 Recommendations, Opinions and Resolutions
Crotty v. An Taoiseach - A Landmark Case.
The purpose of this report is to highlight how European Law has affected the Irish Legal System and the extent to which these laws are binding in Ireland. Ireland began negotiations to join the European Union (EU) in 1972. For this to happen a referendum was taken and an amendment to the constitution had to be made. Ireland signed the Treaty of Accession and became an official member state in 1973. By joining the EU, Ireland accepted the supremacy of European Laws. This means that those laws are bound and must be applied in the country over National Legislation and even over the Constitution. This had a significant impact in the Irish Legal System as sometimes EU Laws and National Laws conflict and, if this happen, the EU Law takes precedence. (Accounting Technicians Ireland Course Manual)
There are two types of European Law:
EUROPEAN UNION LAW – PRIMARY LEGISLATION
The European Treaties are considered to be the Primary Legislation and they establish the European Union’s principles and laws. Its major objective is to make the EU more efficient. After being developed, the Treaties must be signed by all the member states and then each member must ratify the Treaty in its own National Law. As to ratify the Treaties, Ireland must amend its Constitution which is done through referendum and only then the Treaty becomes Law and is brought into force.
Various Treaties were signed and amended over the time and to date we have six, which are: *
The Treaty of Rome (1957)
The Single European Act (1987)
The Maastricht Treaty (1993)
The Amsterdam Treaty (1997)
The Nice Treaty (2001)
The Lisbon Treaty (2009)
2.1 Treaty of Rome: This Treaty established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the Institutions of Europe. Its major purpose was to facilitate trading between the community’s members by reducing the customs duties and establishing a Common Market for the EU
2.2 The Single European Act: This Treaty is a revision to the Treaty of Rome. It reformed the Common Market and gave rise to a Single Market within the European Community removing the remaining barriers and facilitating the movement of goods, services, capital and people between the countries which are known as the four freedoms. This gave great opportunities to the Irish businesses and economy. (http://ec.europa.eu/ireland/ireland_in_the_eu/ireland_and_the_single_market/index_en.htm)
2.3 The Maastricht Treaty: This Treaty introduced the European Citizenship. This title was given to each individual national of a member state together with European Rights. The process of implementation of a single currency (€ Euro) among the EU countries was also established by the Maastricht Treaty. It also expanded the role of the European Parliament as for example in adopting acts together with the Council.
2.4 The Amsterdam Treaty: This Treaty focused on the citizenship and individual rights. It included issues involving equality, employment, public health, etc. The Treaty also enhanced the role of the various Institutions in Europe.
2.5 The Nice Treaty: This is an amendment to the Treaties of Maastricht and Rome. Its purpose was “to complete the process started by the treaty of Amsterdam of preparing the European Union to function in an enlarged Union”...
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