From Portugal - The European UnionPresentation Transcript
The European Union AVECP_European_Community Y.E.S.Project
European Community The EU originates from the European Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany were the founding members of this Community. In 1957, Rome Treaty created the European Economic Community, and these six countries signed it. In 1967 the Merger Treaty created a single set of institutions which were referred as the European Communities (EC) although commonly known just as the European Community. The EU was formed mainly out of need for stability in Europe after the Second World War, and it was a product of firstly economic agreements, which still form the main basis of today's EU.
A union of 27
The EU started increasing its area and:
in 1973, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined this union;
in 1985, people began to travel without passport controls between most member states;
in 1986, Spain and Portugal joined this union;
in 1990, East Germany became part of the Community as East and West Germany became a single united country;
on 1 st November 1993, the European Union was formally established;
in 1995, the EU gained new members: Austria, Sweden and Finland;
on 1 st January 2007, Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union and Slovenia adopted the euro, bringing the number of EU countries to twenty-seven.
Candidates for membership
in 1987, Turkey applied for membership;
in October 2005, the European Council entered in negotiations with Croatia ;
in November 2005, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) became a “candidate country”;
the western Balkans are other countries which want to join the EU;
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia are also other potential candidates.
The EU aims for peace, prosperity and freedom for its 498 million citizens in a fairer and safer world;
Sixteen member states have adopted a common currency, the euro, constituting the Euro Zone;
In the EU a single market was developed in which all member states have free movement of people, goods, services and capital.
The European countries set up bodies to run the EU and the main ones are:
The European Parliament
( representing the people of Europe);
The Council of the European Union
(representing national governments);
The European Commission
( representing the common EU interest).
The ‘Copenhagen criteria’
In 1993, the European Council established three rules for the candidate countries to become members. They must have:
stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, human rights, and so on;
a functioning market economy;
a public administration capable of applying and managing EU laws in practice.
The EU is open to any European country that fulfils the democratic, political and economic criteria for membership.
To accept a new member, it requires the unanimous approval of all member states.
All these enlargements have strengthened democracy, made Europe more secure and increased its potential for trade and economic growth.
All accession treaties are then ratified by the member states.
The function of the European Union
The EU has as its main objectives:
to enable closer relations between the member states;
to enable a lot of the bureaucracy which was used in the past among these countries.
The EU does not belong to anybody, each member state has a say in the running of the EU.
It became clear that many Europeans had a number of concerns about the borders of the European Union!
The Baltic countries and Poland advocate EU membership for Ukraine;
The status of some countries in the Caucasus such as Georgia and Armenia will be dealt with if Turkey enters the EU;
Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not members of the European Union just because their citizens are currently against joining.
Candidates and non-candidates
Stabilisation and association agreements open up the possibility for a country to become a candidate.
The candidates are:
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM);
Bosnia and Herzegovina;
The trade and cooperation agreements which the EU has with non-member countries in the southern Mediterranean, in the southern Caucasus and in Eastern Europe have an unclear future.