Introduction to European Union law
Introduction to European Union law

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Introduction to European Union law

1.1 Your knowledge of the EU

Before embarking on the themes of this course, a test of your current level of general knowledge on the EU might be useful.

Activity 2 Test your current knowledge of EU law

Timing: You should allow yourself 10 minutes to do this activity.

Answer these questions on EU law to test your current knowledge of EU law. They cover a range of basic aspects of the European Union. If you struggle to answer them, do not worry but have a close look at the feedback you are given for your responses.

1. How many member states are there in the EU in 2017?

a. 

a. 28


b. 

b. 23


c. 

c. 21


d. 

d. 25


The correct answer is a.

Comment

Croatia joined the EU and thus became the 28th Member State

2. In which year did the UK join the EU?

a. 

a. 1957


b. 

b. 1967


c. 

c. 1973


d. 

d. 1979


The correct answer is c.

Comment

The UK joined in the first enlargement of the then EEC from six to nine member states together with Denmark and Ireland.

3. Which institution proposes most new laws for the EU?

a. 

a. The European Council


b. 

b. Any EU member state


c. 

c. The European Commission


d. 

d. The European Parliament


The correct answer is c.

Comment

The European Commission consists of Commissioners from each of the member states. It is based in Brussels. It submits legislative proposal to the Council of the European Union. These proposal may stem from consultations or on the initiative of EU citizens (at least 1 million – see Articles 11 TEU). Under Article 17 (1) TEU the Commission promotes the general interest of the Union and takes appropriate initiatives to that end. It has executive and administrative functions.

4. Which of the following institutions does not form part of the EU?

a. 

a. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)


b. 

b. The European External Action Service (EEAS)


c. 

c. The European Central Bank (ECB)


d. 

d. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)


The correct answer is d.

5. Which of the following European cities give their name (when using English) to a major EU treaty?

a. 

a. Nice


b. 

b. Lisbon


c. 

c. Rome


d. 

d. Maastricht


e. 

e. Amsterdam


The correct answers are a, b, c, d and e.

Comment

The EU has forged closer ties between its member states and increased dramatically in size since its formation in 1957. This was principally achieved through a series of Treaties entered into between the various member states.

The Treaty of Lisbon led to a new Consolidated Treaty of the European Union, which includes both the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). When referred to generically in this course the expression Treaties is used. These are framework Treaties. They constitute part of the EU’s primary legislation and provide a constitutional foundation for the EU. The Treaties provide the vires for other primary legislation in the form of Regulations and Directives. This is not to be confused with the Commission’s power to make secondary legislation – these are also called regulations. They are akin to statutory instruments in the UK constitutional set-up .

6. Goods, persons, services and capital can move freely around the EU. How is this now known?

a. 

a. the customs union


b. 

b. the single market


c. 

c. the common market


d. 

d. the European market


The correct answer is b.

Comment

In the EU Treaties which provide the legal framework for the EU, it is referred to as the ‘internal market’ but colloquially it is often still referred to by lawyers and lay people alike as the EU’s single market.

7. True or false: Every EU citizen has as a minimum dual citizenship (e.g. Dutch and EU citizenship).

a. 

a. True


b. 

b. False


The correct answer is a.

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