- Diplomatic relations — Since World War II — Sovereignty — Governments
This chapter examines the origins and development of the European Union, its legal framework, and its institutional and decision-making framework. Of all the international and regional arrangements to emerge in the aftermath of the Second World War, the European Union is perhaps the most difficult to classify. More than a classic intergovernmental organization, and less than an embryonic State, the EU’s wide-ranging responsibilities and byzantine structures can make it a challenging prospect for diplomats from within the Union as well as for those engaging with its work from other countries. While the European Union may be classified as an international organization the nature of its powers and procedures mean that it is usually regarded as a sui generis entity. There are a number of elements which taken together distinguish it from other organizations which extend back to the Treaties establishing the original European Communities in the 1950s.