Chapter

Competence, Categories, and Control

Paul Craig

in The Lisbon Treaty

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199595013
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729508 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595013.003.0005
Competence, Categories, and Control

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It has never been easy to specify with exactitude the division of competence between the EU and Member States. Concerns about the scope of EU power had been voiced for some time, and it was therefore unsurprising that it was an issue identified for further inquiry after the Nice Treaty 2000. The Constitutional Treaty addressed this issue and many of the provisions have been taken over into the Lisbon Treaty. This chapter begins by considering the nature of the competence problem, and the objectives that the framers of the Laeken Declaration sought to attain via Treaty reform. This is followed by an analysis of the principal heads of EU competence set out in the Lisbon Treaty. These are considered against the criteria of clarity and containment. It is argued that while ‘definitional categorization’ of the kind undertaken in the Lisbon Treaty has value, there are nonetheless limits as to what can be achieved by this method of delimiting competence. The discussion of the Lisbon Treaty is therefore set against other existing techniques, legal and political, that are designed to ensure that the EU remains within the remit of its powers.

Keywords: Lisbon Treaty; Constitutional Treaty; EU competence; treaty reform; Laeken Declaration

Chapter.  17915 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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