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Discuss The Expansion Of The European Union Into Eastern Europe And Its Implications For British Companies

2136 words - 9 pages

IntroductionWith the trend of economic globalisation, it is necessary for the European Union to secure and enlarge permanently new markets which mean stronger growth and more jobs. Enlargement of the EU is also the single most important foreign policy task in Europe today. Enlargement of the Union will strengthen European stability and security, economic welfare and development, and environmental protection. It will create great opportunities for companies, employees and consumers throughout the continent. According to the report of RFE (2003): "For the past five years, the EU has had accession talks with 13 Eastern European nations, and on 9 October in Brussels, the European Commission ...view middle of the document...

It began as a post-war initiative between six countries pooling control over coal and steel to guarantee a more peaceful future for Europe. But it now manages co-operation on issues as wide-ranging as the environment, transport and employment, and wields increasing influence in defence and foreign policy.News agency BBC (2001) described five declared objectives of the EU:To promote economic and social progressTo assert the identity of the European Union on the international sceneTo introduce European citizenshipTo develop an area of freedom, security and justiceTo maintain and build on established EU lawOfficially, the European Union only exists since the early 1990s, although the term has been used for much longer than that. The Maastricht Treaty renamed the European Community the European Union by forming what are known as the three pillars of the EU. They are: European Community, Common Foreign and Security Policy Justice and Home Affairs. (Steven P. M, 2001, The European Union A Critical Guide. 1st published, London: Pluto Press, p.3-5). Joseph (1995) indicates that the first pillar is managed by the institutions of the EU, while the second and third work through inter-governmental co-operation. The first pillar is responsible for the single market and freedom of movement across borders. It also looks after economic and monetary union and issues such as agriculture, environment and competition. In this pillar, unlike the other two, member states have given up some of their sovereignty and EU institutions can act independently of the national governments. In the second pillar, member states aim to hold common positions and take joint action on foreign and security affairs. The objective of the Justice and Home Affairs pillar is to integrate member states' policies on asylum and immigration, customs, drugs and crime. (Grieco, Joseph. "The Maastricht Treaty, Economic and Monetary Union and the Neo-Realist Research Programme," Review of International Studies, 21, 1, January 1995).Why the European union want to enlarge into Eastern Europe?In fact, the fundamental reasons of the EU continuing enlargement can be divided into two main parts: economics, security.Economic ReasonsOne of the main reasons for enlargement, from the EU's viewpoint, is to expand the European market and increase the prosperity of the member states. There are two elements to that. First, in the short term, expansion of the EU will stimulate economic growth in the EU and also in the new member states. Second, with economies of scale, there will be longer term gains from increasing the size of the European market, that is, the argument parallels the one made in the famous Cecchini Report (1988) that justified the EC's 1992 initiative. Enlargement is also viewed as a way that the EU can increase its impact internationally. The external reality of the EU as an economic unit is that it is already a huge player in world trade. Enlargement will increase the profile of the EU as an...

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