Table I

Scope Actors Competence
Inside the European Union's1 institutional framework European Community2
(European Institutions
and EU Member States)3
Exclusive EC Competence4
Non-exclusive (shared)
Member States6
(Government, national
Parliament and interest
police and judicial
cooperation in criminal
4th Pillar9
Outside the European Union's institutional framework Member States act
independently from the EU10
Exclusive Member States'

1 This new entity embraces both the Treaty of Rome and the two pillars of intergovernmental activity – Common Foreign and Security Policy and Justice/Home Affairs.

2 As mentioned above, the EC is a supranational organisation, i.e., one to which the Member States have transferred specific legislative and executive powers and whose decisions are binding on them and their citizens. For further details, see Drost, H. What's what and Who's who in Europe, Cassell, 1995, p. 207.

3 By European Institutions, we understand those institutions which deal with European issues and which are not national institutions. In the Community terminology, the first pillar deals with the European Communities (I should like to remind that throughout this paper the term European Community shall be used to refer to the 2 remaining European Communities), whereas the second and third pillars have an intergovernmental character and, therefore, Member States deal with them.

4 See, in this respect, Leal-Arcas, R. (c) 2003, as well as Leal-Arcas, R. (e) 2001.

5 Id.

6 Member States, as actors in EC legislation, deal with CFSP and police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, which are forms of intergovernmental co-operation. They retain full sovereign rights, and hence, decision making is by unanimity. See, for further details, Drost, H. What's what and Who's who in Europe, Cassell, 1995, p. 207.

7 CFSP stands for Common Foreign and Security Policy, which appears on Title V of the Treaty on European Union.

8 It appears on Title VI of the Treaty on European Union.

9 The idea of the "fourth pillar" is a creation of Professor Torrent.

10 However, formally speaking, Member States have to follow the EC legal order. Even if Member States act bilaterally, they will be affected by the EC legal order.

11 This covers areas in which the EC Treaty forbids the EC to legislate.


Figure 1


©2004 by Rafael Leal-Arcas
formated and tagged by K.H., 8.9.2004