The European Union of today is the result of a process that began half a century ago with the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community. After the two world wars the overall situation of Europe was so pathetic especially in economic terms and peace and prosperity was far away. In order to bring peace and to lead Europe to the path of progress it was necessary to unite it under one roof.
For this purpose the European leaders started thinking about it in late 1940s and finally Robert Schuman the French Foreign Minister proposed the union of Europe which ended up in the merging of coal and steel industries and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was set up . The ECSC was so successful that within a few years the decision was made to put together other parts of the countries economies.
In 1957, the Treaties of Rome created the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), and the six member states undertook to eliminate trade barriers among themselves by forming a common market. In 1967, the institutions of all three communities were formally merged into the European Community (EC), creating a single Commission, a single Council of Ministers, and the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament were initially selected by national parliaments, but in 1979 the first direct elections were undertaken and they have been held every five years since.
In 1973, the first enlargement of the EC took place with the addition of Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The 1980s saw further membership expansion with Greece joining in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986. The 1992 Treaty of Maastricht laid the basis for further forms of cooperation in foreign and defense policy, in judicial and internal affairs, and in the creation of an economic and monetary union including a common currency. This further integration created the European Union (EU).
The evolution of the European Union (EU) from a regional economic agreement among six neighboring states in 1951 to todays supranational organization of 27 countries across the European continent stands as an unmatched occurrence in the records of history. Although the EU is not a federation in the strict sense, it is far more than a free-trade association such as ASEAN, NAFTA, or Mercosur, and it has many of the attributes associated with independent nations: its own flag, anthem, founding date, and currency, as well as an incipient common foreign and security policy in its dealings with other nations. In the future, many of these nation-like characteristics are likely to be expanded. (European Union Facts and Map Yahoo! Education) Motive Lets unite. And the world will listen to us Pro-European ad campaign, September 1992
Government: European Union
Union Name and Member States
Conventional long form: European Union abbreviation: EU . Political structure: a mixture of supranational organizations . Capital: name: Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Luxembourg.
27 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK; note Canary Islands (Spain), Azores and Madeira (Portugal), French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion (France) are sometimes listed separately even though they are legally a part of Spain, Portugal, and France; candidate countries: Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey. CIA The World Factbook ” European Union)
Independence 7 February 1992 (Maastricht Treaty signed establishing the EU); 1 November 1993 (Maastricht Treaty entered into force).
National holiday Europe Day 9 May (1950); note a Union-wide holiday, the day that Robert SCHUMAN proposed the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community to achieve an organized Europe
Impact of EU on International Trade
The worlds largest trader and a strong block in the international political economy, is not an easy bargainer to deal with. The fact that the EU speaks with an influence in trade has enabled it to affect the distributional outcomes of international trade negotiations and shape the global political economy. Trade being the only forum in which the EU speaks to the United States with an equal voice, The EU is currently the worlds largest trader and one of the main players. Trade Relations between EU and US
The steady increase in the breadth and depth of transatlantic foreign policy cooperation has been one of the most striking developments in recent years. Enhanced EUUS communication has been essential in developing a closer understanding of our respective policy positions and the better coordination of our activities. The EU and the USA are each others main trading partners (taking goods and services together) and account for the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world: together, they account for almost 40 % of world trade.
Every day, about EUR 1. 7 billion of transatlantic trade (in goods and services) takes place. The transatlantic relationship defines the shape of the global economy as a whole as either the EU or the USA is also the largest trade and investment partner for almost all other countries. Contribution towards Human Rights and Democracy I want to emphasize our shared commitment to promoting democracy, freedom all over the world.
The very enlargement of European Union has been one of the greatest achievements in terms of promotion of democracy from Southern Europe, West Europe, to Eastern Europe, North Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Baltic countries, now most recently; European Union is a great success story in terms of promoting democracy. And we want to do it also globally, and we are doing it globally. And thats one of the fields where I see that the United States and European Union can do, and should do, even more together. President Barroso, EU-US Summit Press conference, 21 June 2006, Vienna.
Most Important Economic Relation in the World This is the most important economic relation in the world, the relation between the United States of America and the European Union. And we believe we can achieve more if we look at it in a comprehensive manner. And I hope that now there will be some concrete work so that in our regular institutional summit between the European Union and the United States we can achieve some more complete results. President Barroso, Visit to the White House 8 January 2007, Washington DC Quick Facts The EU and the USA jointly represent 10 % of the worlds population and account for roughly 40 % of world trade and over 60 % of world GDP.
Worlds Strongest Relationship The relationship between the United States and Europe constitutes the worlds strongest, most comprehensive and strategically most important partnership. European Commission President Barroso Brussels, 9 February 2005. Trade Conflict between EU-US: Since its beginning in 1995, more than 330 disputes have been raised under the WTO Dispute Settlement System. The major disputes between the EU and the USA (mini trade wars) are analyzed with GTAP5: the Hormones, the Bananas, the FSC and the Steel cases. 1.
The use of biotechnology in food production has emerged as the central issue in a trade conflict that has been between the U. S. and the European Union for years 2. The use of hormones in beef cattle is another issue . They promotes growth and produces a leaner shell that is more appealing to health-conscious consumers. However, the European Union refuses to import such meat, suggesting that there are insufficient studies to prove its safety for human consumption. Some think that economic motives, not genuine concern for the health of consumers, lie behind this decision.
In addition to above mention major conflicts in trade between EU and US is the EUs conversion of their currency of each member countries to a single form of money that is the EURO (Except UK and Denmark). Since these two countries have very strong trade relations and the exchange of money in the money market shows a higher value of EURO against Dollar this is something which is disliked by some of the corporations in the US. While doing transactions by importing goods from Europe, US have to pay more in terms of Dollars to the EU. Conclusion
Still there are some problems which Americans and Europeans agree in seeing as critical. While there are obvious drawbacks in having a bad relationship to the US . Along with major disputes taken place between US and EU as a result I draw conclusion that some US corporations are pleased with its work while others are upset, this is in my point of view due to two reasons first the EU being independent, united and a big challenge for US which is a super power and second is of the currency value of EU which is higher in the money market than the dollar which displeases some corporations while doing transactions. Today, security and justice and prosperity for our world depend on America and Europe working in common purpose. That makes our transatlantic ties as vital as they have ever been. US President Bush, 19 February 2005.