Patron:
The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
Conference Committee:
Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, UQ
Thomas John, Chair, European Focus Group, LCA
Nicholas Aroney, Reader in Law, UQ
Hendryk Flaegel, International Law Section, LCA


European Union

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Following the end of World War II, several movements began advocating a European federation, such as the Union of European Federalists or the European Movement, founded in 1948. Those organizations were influential in the European unification process, but never in a decisive way.[citation needed] Although federalism was mentioned both in the drafts of the Maastricht treaty and the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, it was never adopted by the representatives of the member countries, all of whom would have to agree to the term. The strongest advocates of European federalism have been Germany, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg while those historically most strongly opposed have been the United Kingdom and France; while other countries that have never campaigned specifically for a particular means of governance in Europe are considered as federalist .[citation needed] Some would consider this to be the case with states such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Hungary. It is also remarkable that in recent times the French government has become increasingly pro-European Union, while countries like the Czech Republic have taken on the roles of primary opponents to a stronger EU.[citation needed] Those uncomfortable using the F word in the EU context should feel free to refer to it as a quasi-federal or federal-like system. Nevertheless, for the purposes of the analysis here, the EU has the necessary attributes of a federal system. It is striking that while many scholars of the EU continue to resist analyzing it as a federation, most contemporary students of federalism view the EU as a federal system (See for instance, Bednar, Filippov et al., McKay, Kelemen, Defigueido and Weingast). (R. Daniel Kelemen)

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