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Monday, May 16, 2011

The E.U.'s Membership in the U.N.'s General Assembly: An Oxymoron or Reality Catching Up?

On May 3, 2011, the United Nations’ General Assembly passed Resolution 65/276 by a vote of 120 to 0 (with two abstentions—countries subject to E.U. sanction). The resolution makes the European Union a non-voting member of the General Assembly. As such, the E.U. can “be inscribed on the list of speakers among representatives of major groups and be invited to participate in the Assembly’s general debate, in accordance with the order of precedence and the level of representation.” The E.U. is also “able to present oral proposals and amendments, which, however, would be put to a vote only at the request of [a voting member].” Hence, the E.U. membership is without the right to vote, co-sponsor resolutions or decisions, and put forward candidates. In other words, the E.U. has been granted a sort of “quasi” status commensurate with the world’s notion of the E.U. as a “regional organization”—whatever that means.  I contend that this misunderstanding of what the E.U. is has led to the resolution giving the union a quasi-status in the General Assembly even as another such union, the U.S., enjoys not only voting membership in the General Assembly, but also a veto on the Security Council. In short, the world is confused on the E.U. and the resolution bespeaks this condition.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.