Today's issues in europe

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  • 1.  As Europe moves toward economic and political unity, it’s facing lingering ethnic tensions, nationalism, and environmental crises.
  • 2.  Europe has a long history of conflict and crisis After World War II (1939–1945) European nations hope to: - rebuild their economies  - prevent new conflicts Unifying Europe is one way to achieve these goals
  • 3.  The European Economic Community is formed in 1957 (later called the European Community or EC) - removes trade barriers, sets common economic goals  - people can live and work in any member countries Nations depend on one another are more likely to work together than start conflict.
  • 4.  In 1993, the EC is replaced with the European Union. -Originally 15 member countries The European Union promotes the use of a common currency known as the euro.
  • 5.  Some people feel that the European Union is not such a good idea. - Believe that people will start moving to countries with higher wages  - too much economic control, much like communism  - use of a common currency means loss of national identity for many countries Others feel euro increases business efficiency, international trade
  • 6.  While starting with just 15 member countries, the European Union now consists of 27 member states  - over 500 million people fall under the EU alliance Currently, many countries have applied to be added and plans for expansion will Member States continue To join the European Union, a Candidates for Membership state needs to fulfill economic Possible Candidates and political conditions
  • 7.  Following WWII, differing political and economic philosophies led to tension between Eastern and Western European countries. Communist Russia and it’s Eastern European allies separate themselves from countries influenced by “Western Ideas” (U.S., France, Great Britain, etc.) The divide between the two is nicknamed “The Iron Curtain”
  • 8.  Not only is the continent divided, Germany is split into two different countries. East Germany is influenced by the USSR and the government is communist. West Germany is influenced by the US, France and the UK and their government is a democracy.
  • 9.  The capital of Berlin is split as well. East Germany builds a wall to maintain the separation between the two and keeps West Berlin citizens confined within. Crossing over is strictly forbidden.
  • 10.  After much protest in the 1980’s and urges from other political leaders such as President Reagan in 1987, East Germany agrees to bring down the wall. On November 9th, “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!” 1989 demolition of the wall commenced.
  • 11.  The Balkan conflict stems from many different groups wanting the same land. Many ethnic groups inhabit the Balkans. The Slavs immigrated from Russia and Poland in the 500’s In the 1300’s, the Ottoman Empire conquers the Balkans. Many Slavs are Christian and/or Jewish and the Ottomans are Muslim. Christians, Jews and Muslims now occupy the same land. This causes Traditional Slavs ethnic tension.
  • 12.  Serbia does not like being under foreign rule. The Serbians want a free Slavic Kingdom. They break away from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 and their actions lead to the breakout of WWI.
  • 13.  In 1929, the country of Yugoslavia is formed. Yugoslavia literally translates to “Land of the Slavs”. The country includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. Land is united, but still ethnically mixed.
  • 14.  Yugoslavia is invaded by the Nazis and Italians during WWII. The Croatians help the Nazis hunt down and massacre Jews and Serbians Following the war, Josip Broz Tito rules Yugoslavia He encourages all groups to see themselves as Yugoslavs
  • 15.  Tito dies in 1980 and Yugoslavia has no single, central ruler Slobodan Milosevic — Serbian who sought to control Yugoslavia in 1990s Milosevic proposes creation of Greater Serbia - wants to expand borders to include all areas with Serbian populations; Croatia has large Serbian minority
  • 16.  Serbia blocks Croatian from becoming Yugoslav president in 1991 In response, Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia Serbian-led Yugoslav army invades Slovenia and Croatia
  • 17.  Serbians want to get rid of Bosnian Muslims, Croatians Serbs use ethnic cleansing — violent elimination of an ethnic group Over 200,000 people die, over 2 million flee area A treaty was signed in 1995 but the region remained unstable.
  • 18.  In 1998, a region of Serbia known as Kosovo became under fire. Kosovo had many Albanians who speak a different language than the Serbians and were also predominately Muslim. The Serbians, led by Milosevic, tried to take control of Kosovo and wipe out it’s Albanian culture. The Serbians once again, used ethnic cleansing.
  • 19.  In 1999, NATO intervenes and causes Serbia to withdraw from Kosovo. When the Serbs leave, international officials discover horrifying evidence of Serbian atrocities.
  • 20.  The movie Behind Enemy Lines is a film centered on the story of an American naval flight officer who was shot down over Bosnia, who ends up uncovering a massacre during the Balkan conflicts.
  • 21.  In 2001, Slobodon Milosevic was arrested by Yugoslav authorities. He was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with Bosnia and Kosovo. He died of a heart attack in 2006 in the midst of his trial.
  • 22.  In 1801, Ireland became an official part of the United Kingdom. However, in 1921 they declared independence and fought the British in a small war. The British recognized Ireland’s independence; however, parts of Northern Ireland remained part of the UK. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a revolutionary, military organization formed to oppose British occupation in Ireland. Today, Northern Ireland is still a topic of controversy, especially with the IRA.
  • 23.  The IRA has since split into several smaller groups but still operates today. Since they are an unofficial army/militia, many people consider the IRA a terrorist group. Recent actions taken by the IRA include;  - setting off several bombs in 1972  - the assassination of Queen Elizabeth’s uncle in 1979  - a car bomb in 1998 that killed 29 people  - setting off car bombs outside the BBC
  • 24.  One incident that sparked controversy was “Bloody Sunday” in 1972. Many people gathered in protest for an independent Ireland in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. The British Army was called in for crowd control. They opened fire, killing 14 people and injuring 26.  - 7 of the deceased were teenagers