The European Union can actually be considered as an umbrella of various treaties. It is basically founded on the European Comminities, supplemented by policy areas and the forms of cooperation that were established by the EU treaty. The additional policy areas are a common foreign and security policy and a policy on police and judical cooperation in criminal matters. All this is usually clarified by means of a pişllar structure, the European Union is a structure supported by three pillars. In the first pillar are the European Communities, in the second, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and in the third, the police and judical cooperation in criminal matters. The European Union coordinates oll of these.
The aim underlying the cooperation between police and justice authorites is to afford citizens freedom, security and justice by jointly preventing and combating crime (for me especially terrorism, trafficking in human beings, illicit drug and arms trafficking, corruption and fraund), racism an xenophobia. The directive on Money laundering and the cereation of a European police authority, Europol, which has been oporative since 1998, are two very positive steps that have been taken.
The third pillars’ legislative machinery is essentially intergovernmental, just like that of the second pillar, as opposed to supranational. It means that;
– The Commission either does not have the right to propose legislation or it shares its right with the Council of Ministers,
– The Commission’s right to influence legislation at all stages is limited,
– Although the European Parliament is consulted on proposed legislation, its amendments do not have to beadopted and it has no right to veto legislation with which it does not agree,
– The Council is the only and ultimate decision making authority where almost all decisions have to be taken unanimously.
Although the third pillar’s legislative machinery is less complex, than the EC’s, it presents many disadvantages from legal point of view. Firsti the legislative machinery is secretive . Second, the timetable of inter-governmental negotiations is not known and Finally, decisions are normally taken by unanimous vote, which generally reduces the legisltion to the lowest common denominator.