The jurisdiction of supranational institution is the main subject of debates on regional integration. In recent years, the European Union (EU) has endeavored to create the frame work for the adoption of a common Constitution. Similarly, the establishment of integration systems remains the main area of discussion in South and Central America. Following all these developments, it is appropriate to take time and reflect on what one really implies when deliberating on ‘supranational institutions. One of the definitions has it that these systems are deemed to be identical, with regional organs working at a higher level than that supranational by virtue of the good feature of their official power and bases (Macias, 2003).
Supranationalism is said to be neither monolithic nor exclusive. This is best brought out as being a set of rules that take in some form of sharing of autonomy that could be combined in diverse ways with more practices among the governments involved. Putting it in a basic legal form, Supranationalism implies that self-governing states consent to abide by norms that are adopted at the top most level of the organization.
In the European Union this is, however, it is misleadingly termed in public forums as a choice to ‘transfer sovereignty’ (Gruber, 2000). Such is the case that European Union Member countries have consented, though not unconditionally, to the superiority of community law. Following this, whenever an event occurs that leads to a conflict between community law and national law, the latter takes precedence. In addition, they consent to the code of direct effect, through which community law establishes obligations and rights directly for citizens. From the above, it is clear that the establishment of supranational institution clearly carries the blame for the gradual loss of the states of sovereignty.
This is true basing on the premise that this new system has taken over most of the duties that were once the sole responsibility of the member states. In fact, its structure dictates that its policies should be given the top priority when they seem to conflict with the member states policies (Kaunert, 2003). To better understand this, it is important to first look into the very foundational treaties that led to its formation, and further check the underlying operational principle that are said to have led to the loss of states sovereignty. 1.
Treaty of Paris In 1951 the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) or commonly referred the treaty of Paris was signed. This served to bring together Germany, France, Benelux and Italy in a community whose main aim was to establish a mechanism that will ensure free movement of steel and coal and liberated access to elements of production. Moreover, this treaty was geared towards establishing a common High Authority that was mandated to supervise the markets, reverence for price transparency and competition rules.
Looking at this one clearly identifies the loss of sole state control over such aspects such as the price of products and setting up of domesticated rules deemed beneficial for its well being (Kaunert, 2010). In such cases, only the states thought as being superior benefited as they could make up rules and policies that favor their positions.