- Critically analyse the role of the European Commission in ...
Critically analyse the role of the European Commission in the First (EC) Pillar of the EU. Illustrate your essay with specific examples.
This question requires an examination of the European Commission
in relation to the First Pillar. To begin, a brief description of
the institutions of the European Commission and the First Pillar
will be necessary. This will be followed by an analysis of the
democratic nature of the European Commission. Following this, the
failure of the Commission to successfully implement a 'social
Europe' in First Pillar areas will be examined and explained. Next
an analysis of Common Agriculture, the most contentious First
Pillar policy will be identified. Another area that shows the
failings of the Commission in this area is Asylum and Immigration
and this will be tackled finally.
The European Commission is the structure within the EU that
proposes and enforces legislation in the group of policy areas on
which it overrides national governments; known as the First Pillar.
Examining the Commission the arguments that it has a democratic
deficit are most compelling. Jacques Delors claimed that the
Commission would ensure a 'social model' for Europe and that whilst
ensuring certain basic liberal economic reforms, would guarantee
basic traditional social democratic rights. However, the increase
of liberal reforms was directly proportional to the decrease in a
social model in the First Pillar policy areas. Policies such as the
Common Agricultural Policy highlight the failure, as policies
intended to decrease poverty, actually serve to increase it. The
contentious area of Asylum and Immigration also highlights this, as
it shows the extent to which in attempting to apply policies of the
right, whilst incorporating left support, the Commission and the EU
has been a target of attack from both ends of the political
spectrum. In the final analysis, a democratic deficit in the
European Commission means that in the First Pillar policy arena the
'social model' is failing.