Essay on The European Union
The origin of the European Union can be traced to 1951 when the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSE) was formed by Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and Luxemburg under the treaty of Paris.
Two new bodies were created by these countries in 1957, via European Economic Community (EEC) and European Atomic Energy Community with these countries and achieve political unity. All the above three bodies collectively came to be known as European Community. The European Community was renamed as European Union on 1st Nov, 1993.
The membership of the union which stood at 6 at the time of formation increased to 9 in 1973 with the admissions of UK, Denmark and Ireland. In 1981, Greece joined the council followed by admission of Portugal and Spain in 1986 and Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995.
In May 2004, ten new states were admitted as members. These include Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Malta, Latvia, and Lithonia. With the admission of the above members, the total strength of the EU at present stand at 25.
In addition, three states, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey are candidates for membership of the EU.
The Organization of the EU:
The organization of the EU consists of:
- The European Council or the council of ministers.
- The European Parliament.
- The European Commission.
- The Court of Justice.
- The economic and social committee.
(1) The European Council:
The EC comprise of the head of states or governments of all the member states. The council of ministers meets at least twice a year. It elects a president who holds office for a term of 6 months. The council of the EU is the decision-making institution. It was formerly known as the council of ministers.
Its general secretariat is based in Brussels, handles the Council’s administrative work.
(2) The European Parliament:
The European Parliament or Assembly is a large body consisting of representatives of all the member states. Representation has been accorded to the various members states in the Parliament on the basis of their population and economic potential. The Parliament exercises general supervision overt the working of the commission and the council through debates and annual reports.
With the coming into force of the treaty of Amsterdam, the powers of the European parliament considerable enlarged. It was given the power to monitor the European Union’s budget and to accept or reject the recommendation of the European Commission.
It meets at Strausburg at least 6 or 8 times annually for a session of approx a week in duration.
(3) European Union Commission:
Headquarter of EU commission is in Brussels. It consists of 20 commissioners elected by the members for a mandate of 5 years. They are assisted by 17000 civil servants. The commission is subject to control by the EU.
The EU commission initiates policies, defend community interests, implement EU policies including foreign and security matters.
The Commission also negotiates the international trade agreements within the limits of the council. If the community law is violated by the state, the commission can file a suit in the European court.
(4) The Economic and Social Committee:
The ESC consists of representatives drawn from the economic and social life of various countries. The members are appointed by the council for a term of 4 Years by unanimous vote. Usually, one-third of these members represent the trade union, one-third represent the employers and the rest represent the general interests.
(5) The Court of Justice:
The Court of justice sits at Luxemburg and hears cases and appeals concerning obligations and disputes under the basic treaties and agreements within the Community framework. Cases may involve govts, community agencies, private organizations or firms or individuals. Parties may be fixed by the court and there is no appeal from its decisions Hundreds of cases have been brought before the court.
Aims & Objectives of the EU:
- To eliminate between member states of custom duties restrictions in regard to the import and export of goods, as well as all other measures having equivalent effect.
- To establish common custom tariff and tariff and a common commercial policy towards countries.
- To abolish between members states and the obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services, and capital.
- To formulate common policy in the sphere of agriculture and transport.
- To establish such a system to ensure that the competition in the common market is not distorted.
- To apply such procedures by which the economic policies of member states can be coordinated and disequilibrium in their balance of payment can be remedied.
- To approximate the laws of the member states to the extent required for the proper functioning of the common market.
- To create a European social fund in order to improve the possibilities of employment for workers and to contribute to the rising of their standard of living.
- To establish a Europe investment bank to facilitate economic expansion by opening up fresh resources.
- To associate overseas countries and territories with a view to increase trade and to promote jointly economic.
European Union Constitution:
The EU operates on the basis of four treaties, which were quite big and complex, the European Union leader decided to replace them with a single and smaller document, which would spell out the purpose and aims of the Union.
A convention on the future of Europe drew up a constitution for European Union in 2003. The final text of the constitution was agreed upon by the European Union leaders on 18 June 2007. The new constitution describes the values objectives and competence of
Europe. The constitution has increased the powers of the European Parliament and created the post of a European Union minister for foreign affairs to increase the influence of the internal stage. The constitution also contains a charter of fundamental Rights.
The success of the European Union:
The European community is unique among regional organizations it has not only been able to solve the problem of tariff adjustments among the members and ensure greater cooperation among them but also exercise influence over other regions of the world in the sphere of economic development.
(1) Single EC Market:
Efforts to achieve greater unification among members of the Europe Edinburgh Summit evolved a formula for the creation of a single market.
The creation of a new border-free single market has resulted in tearing down the barriers to trader Europe the travelers can move freely, and the bankers are free to open new branches anywhere.
(2) Economic and Monetary Union:
In March 1998. 12 of the 15 members of the European Union, announced to merger of their currencies. On 01 Jan 1999, Europe was launched, and exchange rates of participating currencies were irrevocably fixed. It was decided to use Europe as book money. Europe shall be the 2nd biggest economy in the world after the United States.
After the 3 other members of Europe, join the Europe zone, the Europe zone is expected to emerge as the largest economy in the world.
(3) Borderless European Union:
A further step in the direction of European Unity was taken in Mar 1955. As a result, now European citizens can travel without a passport from Iceland to Greece. It may be noted that England and Ireland have not accepted this policy.
(4) Unifying Germany OR Democratic European Nations:
Europe worked hard to help unify Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when the Soviet Empire fell apart in 1991. The countries of central and eastern Europe, having lived for decades under the authoritarian yoke of the Warsaw Pact, quite naturally decided to live within the family of democratic European nations.
(5) European Economic & Social Solidarity:
Europe has been built to achieve not only political but social goals. When European citizens become the victims of floods and other natural disasters, they receive assistance from Europe budges. Both the Europe budget and money raised by the European Investment Bank are used to improve Europe’s transport infrastructure (for example, to extend the network of motorways and high-speed railways).
Causes of Success of the European Union:
- All European states have the will to cooperate for the improvement of the economy.
- All of them have the same level of economic development.
- All of them have an identity and similarity of purpose.
- All European countries are developed; their per capita income and literacy rate are higher. Economic indicators like imports and exports, investments, industrial growth, GNP, and GDP all are Stable.
- Their foreign policy objectives are identical.
- Their cultural identity is pro-west. All have Western civilization Christianity as a religion, secular outlook, capitalism, liberal democracy, and individual freedom.
- Active dynamic support of the US. They enjoy external safety, which the US provide them through NATO. They concentrate fully on economic development.
Role of the European Union in World Politics OR Human Well Being:
Half a century of European integration has Shawn that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Europe as a unit has much more economic, social, technological, commercial and political ‘clout’ than the individual efforts of its member states.
Europe is the world’s leading trading power and thus plays a key role in international negations. It brings all its trading and agricultural strength to bear within the world trade organization, and in implementing the Kyoto Protocol on action to reduce air pollution and prevent climate change.
It launched an important initiative at the Johannesburg Summit on sustainable development. It takes a clear position on sensitive issues that concern ordinary people issues such as the environment, reviewable energy resources, the precautionary principle in safety, the ethical aspects of biotechnology, and the need to protect endangered species.
Europe wants to promote human values and social progress. Europe stands for a view of humanity and a model of sociality.
The Europe Union has covered a wide range of sectors such as rural electrification, population welfare rural road building, irrigation, and support to isolated rural populations.
The broader aim of this type of cooperation has always been the alleviation of poverty. Europe wants to promote human values and social progress. Europe sees globalization and technological change revolutionizing the world, and they want people everywhere to be masters not victims of this process of change.