European Union

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The politico-legal entity formed by the Treaty of Maastricht 1992, which extended the existing European Communities into a new 'three pillar' structure. The first pillar encompasses the former European Communities, now renamed the 'European Community'. The EC includes, and is dominated by, the European Economic Community (EEC. The second pillar is a set of agreements on establishing a common foreign and defence policy. The third pillar is the set of agreements on establishing common police and judicial cooperation procedures. From a strictly legal perspective, the first pillar is the most important, as it is the treaties encompassed by this pillar that give the EU its power to legislate and enforce EU law over member states. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) only has jurisdiction over matters in the first pillar.

Timeline

Signed
In force
Document
1948
1948
Brussels Treaty
1951
1952
Paris Treaty
1954
1955
Modified Brussels Treaty
1957
1958
Rome Treaties
1965
1967
Merger Treaty
1975
N/A
European Council conclusion
1985
1985
Schengen Treaty
1986
1987
Single European Act
1992
1993
Maastricht Treaty
1997
1999
Amsterdam Treaty
2001
2003
Nice Treaty
2007
2009
Lisbon Treaty
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Three pillars of the European Union:  
European Communities:  
European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty expired in 2002 European Union (EU)
    European Economic Community (EEC)
        Schengen Rules   European Community (EC)
    TREVI Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)  
  Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)
          European Political Cooperation (EPC) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Unconsolidated bodies Western European Union (WEU)    
Treaty terminated in 2010  
                        v · d · e

Member States

Austria · Belgium · Bulgaria · Cyprus · Czech Republic · Denmark · Estonia · Finland · France · Germany · Greece · Hungary · Ireland · Italy · Latvia · Lithuania · Luxembourg · Malta · Netherlands · Poland · Portugal · Romania · Slovakia · Slovenia · Spain · Sweden · United Kingdom

UK LAW
EU Law