Research Handbooks in Financial Law series
Edited by Julian Burling and Kevin Lazarus
Chapter 24: Europe: The Architecture and Content of EU Insurance Regulation
Robert Purves 1. THE EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK 1.1 The Legal Basis of the EU The European Union (‘the EU’ or ‘the Union’) is a trans-national entity with independent legal personality.1 It exists as a result of a series of international treaties, between the 27 sovereign European Member States. The founding treaties of the EU have been re-cast several times, most recently by the Treaty of Lisbon, which came into force on 1 December 2009. The Treaty of Lisbon amended and re-named the existing treaties so that the following documents (each of which has equal legal status) now form the legally binding basis of the EU:2 + the Treaty on European Union (‘the TEU’), formerly the Maastricht Treaty; + the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘the TFEU’), formerly the Treaty of Rome; and + the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. 1.2 The Competence of the EU Under the ‘principle of conferral’ the EU ‘shall act only within the limits of the competences conferred upon it by the Member States in the Treaties to attain the objectives set out therein. Competences not conferred upon the Union in the Treaties remain with the Member States’.3 The EU’s use of the powers conferred on it is governed4 by the ‘principle of subsidiarity’ and the ‘principle of proportionality’. The principle of proportionality is familiar to every public lawyer. It requires that ‘the content and form of Union action shall not exceed what is necessary to achieve the objectives of...
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