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The European Union has evolved over the years since its foundation in 1951 as the European Coal and Steel Community ECSC into a unique set of institutions The EU system now includes both supranational intergovernmental and infranational forms of governance As there are three forms of governance in the system of the European Union it needs to be determined whether individual institutions of the EU are subject to a blend of the supranational intergovernmental and infranational forms of governance or whether each institution is predominantly intergovernmental supranational or infranational For this study I will be focussing on the institutions considered to be intergovernmental the key intergovernmental institutions being The Council of Ministers The Committee of Permanent Representatives COREPER The European Council But what is intergovernmentalism The International Law Dictionary states that an intergovernmental organisation is a permanent organisation set up by two or more states to carry on activities of common interest Meanwhile Nugent states that intergovernmentalism implies that The institution actor or process is dominated by the national governments of the member states and that the main focus is on the protection of national interests However as Ulrich Haltern writes it is unclear whether intergovernmentalism relates to particular institutions institutional intergovernmentalism certain policy areas functional intergovernmentalism or the three pillars Treaty structure formal intergovernmentalism Nevertheless intergovernmentalism is normally referred to as an instance when the voice of the Member States can be clearly heard at Community level Still by recognising that there are several forms of intergovernmentalism we can evaluate whether the intergovernmental institutions are wholly intergovernmental and therefore institutionally intergovernmental whether only policy areas in the institutions are intergovernmental functionally intergovernmental and indeed if other pillars of the European Union are intergovernmental formally intergovernmental When the Council of Ministers was first established by the Treaty of Paris 1951 it was formed largely in response to the Benelux countries fears that the proposed High
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