The process of European integration has been marked by constant progress and change ever since the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was founded in 1952. The ECSC was designed to be the basis for a lasting peace and prosperity for a continent marked, at that time, by deeply divided political and economic systems. Over the years, the number of Member States has more than doubled to embrace 15 nations. The European Union has recently invited new applicant countries to join. On 2 October 1997 the Heads of State or Government of the Member States signed a new treaty for Europe, the treaty of Amsterdam. It aims to ensure that European Union procedures and policies remain close to citizens` needs and that effective institutions for an enlarged Europe are maintained. In addition, in the field of the common foreign and security policy, provisions have been made to allow the European Union to fulfil its role in international politics. As the European Union’s responsibilities have broadened, the institutions have grown larger and more numerous. The Parliament is now elected directly and has acquired new powers; the European Court of Auditors has to play an important role of financial control; the European Investment Bank has emerged as a major source of finance for economic development; the Economic and Social Committee has testified to the value of debate and cooperation between the social partners; the Committee of the Regions represents the regional interests in the Union; the Ombudsman is in charge of ensuring good practice in the administration of the Community institutions; and the European Central Bank pursues the main goal of price stability. The European Parliament is the directly – elected democratic expression of the political will of the peoples of the European Union, the largest multinational Parliament in the world. Representing the 370 million citizens of the Union, its primary objectives are like those of any parliament – to pass good laws and control the executive power. Now more than ever before, it is in a much better position to do both because its responsibilities have been gradually widened and its powers strengthened first by the Single Act of 1987, then by the Treaty on European Union of 1993, and, in 1997, by the Treaty of Amsterdam. Naturally, the Parliament sees itself as the guardian of the European interest and the defender of the citizens` rights.
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|Referát vhodný pre:||Stredná odborná škola||Počet A4:||2.8|
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