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European powers

European powers are those that are conferred on the European Union (EU) in specific areas by the Member States.

There are three types of powers, which depend on how they are conferred:

  • Explicit powers: these are clearly defined in the relevant articles of the Treaties.
  • Implicit powers: according to the implicit powers theory, competence in external matters derives from explicit internal competence. Where the Treaties assign explicit powers to the Union in a particular area (e.g. transport), it must also have similar powers to conclude agreements with non-Community countries in the same field (the principle of parallelism between internal and external powers).

3. Subsidiary powers: where the Community has no explicit or implicit powers to achieve a Treaty objective concerning the common market, Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU allows the Council, acting unanimously, to take the measures it considers necessary.

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