The European Union Essay

Submitted By Unihopeful
Words: 1654
Pages: 7

The European Union

The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The European Union is a society in which people come together in order to keep peace and security within their nations. The Union was officially founded in 1935 by 5 countries. “Germany, France, Italy, Romania, and Sweden.” The sole purpose of the European Union is to create a united Europe and to allow freedom of movement and enterprise mainly amongst the unions members.
Brief historic events of the European Union:
The idea of EU citizenship was first presented in the Maastricht Treaty (1992). This resolved to establish a citizenship common to nationals of all EU countries'. To this end, it laid out a clear set of rights open to all nationals of EU member states and looked forward to a time when these rights might be expanded further. European Community residents had already been carrying a symbol of shared European identity since 1988 when the first burgundy-colored passports were issued by all member states in an attempt to standardize travel documents across the area. In 1999, the idea of citizenship gained another boost, when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that EU citizenship should be a 'fundamental status of nationals of member states'. The Lisbon Treaty (2007) reinforced the idea set out in Maastricht.
Advantages of being a European Union Citizen:
EU membership guarantees certain rights and benefits for citizens and businesses alike. A citizen of any EU country is automatically also an EU citizen. European Union citizenship allows an individual to capitalize on any and all of the union’s benefits, including unhindered travel, universal employability, and preferential student status.
The European Union Today:
There are currently 27 members in the EU, with more countries set to join in 2013; the newest members are Bulgaria and Romania who joined in 2007. Brussels, Belgium is the unofficial capital of the EU; it is unofficial because the EU has not announced an official capital because they do not want to show favoritism towards a certain member country. But many gathers of EU leaders take place in Brussels and the European Commission and the European Council are hosted in Brussels. The EU is more than just a free trade organization, it has many aspects of being its own country, and it has its own currency in the euro, its own flag and the ability to make its own laws.
Parts of the EU:
The Eurozone is an economic union within the larger European Union; it is made up of 17 countries that have adopted the Euro as their official legal tender. These 17 countries include France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain. Each country in the Eurozone is represented by its finance ministers and their job is to meet and discuss different monetary policies for the member countries. Another benefit of being part of the Eurozone is peer review of national budgets, meaning that members can review and critique the national budget of another member country before they present it to their national parliament, this allows for the budgets to be improved with the advice of others.
The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens and it is the main law making institution of the EU. It has three main roles; to debate and pass laws, to make sure all aspects of the EU are working efficiently and democratically, and to debate and adopt the EU budget. It could be argued that this is the most important aspect of the EU as a whole.
The Council of the European Union is also another important organ of the EU; its jobs include approving the annual EU budget, signing agreements between the EU and other countries and developing defense and foreign policy for the EU. The Council would negotiate treaty’s and free trade agreements on behalf of the EU with other countries. Voting on this council is not equal, the power and size of a country determines how many votes it will get. Germany,