The European Union was established originally as an economic community in 1950. This European Coal and Steel Community was established in the Treaty of Paris in 1951, and was transformed by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 that established the European Economic Community. More countries joined over the years. Over time the community transformed into an political and legal institution with 25 member states. As a result, the EU is a significant source of anti-terror, crime and policing policies.
The European Union's processes for the establishment of policy and legislation is at a critical phase and is continually dogged by claims of a lack of democratic accountability. There are currently three separate powers in the EU:
The Council. Under the current system, the Council of the European Union consists of the ministers and government representatives of the Member States.
The Presidency. The EU has a rotating Presidency, held for six-month periods, currently resting with the UK and to be followed by Austria.
The Commission. The European Commission proposes and implements legislation, and is independent of Member States by design.
The Parliament. Finally, the European Parliament sometimes approves and is consulted on legislation, though it can not initiate legislation.
The EU has created a great deal of legislation on issues of terrorism, migration, asylum, border and visa management, privacy and security, which Member States are required to then transpose into national law.
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EU policy laundering has involved issues such as the surveillance of travel and movement, the registration of foreigners, the registration of citizens through identity card systems, and the retention of communications data.
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