International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue IX, September 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

The European Union: an Analysis of Its Organs, Successes and Failures

Eyo, Idorenyin Akabom Ph.D1, Akpan, Enobong Bassey LLM2
1Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Uyo, Nigeria
2Faculty of Law, University of Uyo, Nigeria

1. Introduction
The idea of a formalized system of European cooperation had been around for centuries. Since the fall of the Roman Empire in A.D. 476, leaders have dreamed of unifying Europe. Conquerors like Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Hitler tried and failed. The European integration process was initiated in the 1950’s largely as a consequence of negative experiences of the founding Member States during and in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Maintaining peace was a primary objective at the time. It was a long-term goal of States committed to European integration which was made clear by the 1950s when the six original members of the European Economic Community (EEC) expressed their determination in the first recital of the preamble to the Treaty of Rome, ‘to lay the foundations of an even closer union among the peoples.’ This was reaffirmed in 1972 when members expressed their intention to covert ‘their entire relationship into a European Union before the end of the decade.’
The European Union represents one of the greatest experiments in political history. For the first time, nations have chosen to surrender aspects of their national sovereignty to a central body that has a responsibility to ensure that they act for the good not only of themselves but of other nations as well. When joining the Union, members sign up not only to the Body of EU Treaties, legislation, and norms (the so-called acquis communautaire), but also to a set of shared common values, based on democracy, human rights and principles of social justice. Currently, the European Union is a group of twenty- seven European countries agreeing to work together to promote peace in Europe, promote respect for the languages and culture of all people, establish a strong European economy through the use of the same coin by all member States to do business together, etcetera. All member countries also share some important values and work together to make sure that all people are equal and their rights are respected.
This Paper gives a general overview of the European Union (EU) with particular emphasis on its evolution, treaties and objectives. It also examines the major organs of the European Union and the composition of the said organs. The Paper also discusses the notable achievements as well as the failures of the Union.

2. Evolution of the European Union

The history of the European Union (EU) began shortly after World War II, following a strong revulsion against national rivalries and parochial loyalties. The idea of a united Europe became necessary as the basis for European strength and security and the best way of preventing another European war. In 1950, Robert Schuman, France’s foreign minister, proposed that the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany be coordinated under a single supranational authority. Four other countries, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Italy soon joined France and West Germany in forming the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952.