Twenty years after Maastricht, the twin treaties on the European Stability Mechanism and on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, negotiated under pressure of the debt crisis, represent important steps towards the necessary consolidation of the European Union.
Fundamental rights and freedoms are at the core of the actions of the European Union. After five years of at times controversial operations, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) is soon to have a new framework for its initiatives.
We seem to have here a very clear example of the ‘slippery slope’ argument in action. After much controversy permission is given for a fundamental principle to be breached (the sanctity of human life) because it is felt to be justified by some imminent greater good.
On 12 October 2011, the European Commission presented its proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union for the years 2014–2020. This represents a further step towards reform of what is so far the only fully common policy area of the EU.
Within the scope of the fundamental renewal of the value-added tax system, the European Commission is planning measures to make the system simpler, more efficient and better protected against fraud. Tax exemptions for non-profit organisations and reduced tax rates are also being examined closely.