Theory and Practice, Problems and Paradoxes
5. Weighted Voting in the CMEC 5.1 Legislative Process of the EC The Council of Ministers (CM) is the principal law-making organ of the European Community (EC).1 At present it is perhaps the bestknown international body that uses a system of weighted voting for passing most of its decisions. This is how the legislative process of the EC operates. The European Parliament, the CM and the Commission — acting jointly — make regulations and issue directives, take decisions, make recommendations and deliver opinions. A regulation is binding and directly applicable in all member states. A directive is binding as far as the result to be achieved is concerned, but leaves to the national authorities the choice of forms and methods for achieving The other top organs of the EC are the Commission, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice, and the Court of Auditors. The EC is the most important of three technically separate but interconnected ‘pillars’ that constitute the European Union (EU). The EU was formed by the Maastricht Treaty which was signed on 7 February 1992 and took effect in November 1993. The task of the EC is to promote harmonious and balanced development of economic activities among the (currently 15) member states. The other two ‘pillars’ of the EU are common foreign and security policy (CFSP), and common justice and home aﬀairs policies (JHA). The EC comprises three formerly separate but interrelated European Communities: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC)...
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