Friday, 2 December 2011

How Policies are Made in EU II

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Policy Making: Differences between Policy and Decision


Decision is choice or solution that ends some uncertainty or reduce contention (Peterson & Bonberg, 1999). Choice made is a decision. Decisions are building blocks of policies. Decision answers questions on what to do regarding something, when to do something, who are involved, and where it is applicable. 


Policy refers to action or inaction by public authorities who are facing choices between alternative courses of public action (Peterson & Bonberg, 1999; Colebatch, 1998). In some circumstance, official policy could also has overt and covert policies. Overt policies means policies which could be founded in papers while covert refers to policies of major implementation.

Pillars of European Union (EU)

1. First Pillar is of supranational in nature, European Commission (EC).
2. Second Pillar is intergovernmental in nature, Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
3. Third Pillar also intergovernmental, for example Justice and Home Affairs for policy such as immigration.

Each of them has specific decision making procedures and methods of cooperation between states and the EU. If we compare this to ASEAN, ASEAN is more haphazard but now it also has few pillars. We are ASEAN member countries' citizens but we know nothing about the organization right? The same goes to European citizens. 

First Pillar

It comprises of common policy areas governed by the EU as a supranational system of governance. Decisions and policies are made by acting through EU institutions which are the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament (EP). Policy areas affected are such as Europe Monetary Union, citizenship, movement of people, and single market. They tend to be legalistic and binding under EU law. Co-decision procedure is usually used for policies in first pillar.

Second Pillar

It deals with CFSP. EU wide defense policy and capability at dealing with conflicts within the EU and surrounding areas. It deals with disasters, peace keeping duties, humanitarian aids and relief operations. The cooperation between member states in the EU in this regard is intergovernmental in nature. Decisions are political than legalistic. The decisions are non-binding under the EU law. Decisions are made using consultation procedure.

Third Pillar

It is under the Justice and Home Affairs where it includes the asylum and immigration policies. There are cooperation between police forces and courts to prevent cross crimes. It apply common rules on common external problems. Although purely intergovernmental, but under the Treaty of Amsterdam (TEA) some areas have been transferred into the first pillar. Consultation procedure is commonly used for decision making while the member states drive the process.

Refer to part I

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin! 

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