European Union Essay

702 words - 3 pages

The European Union (EU) is the umbrella organization encompassing the European countries that have eliminated economic, trade, and immigration barriers between the member countries of the union. The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 27 European countries. It has delivered half a century of peace, stability, and prosperity, helped raise living standards, launched a single European currency, and is progressively building a single Europe-wide market in which people, goods, services, and capital move among Member States as freely as within one country. The EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic ...view middle of the document...

In 2005 the move to ratify the constitution suffers setbacks when France and the Netherlands reject the document. In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania join the EU, expanding the union to 27 member states. In 2008 the value of the euro reached an all-time high on July 18 at 1.5843 to the dollar. But the worldwide recession begins to take its toll on the currency and European economies later in the year. In December 2009, the world's three main credit ratings agencies downgrade Greece's debt, sending financial markets tumbling and raising concerns about other weak European economies like Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy. In 2010 the EU struggles to contain the debt crisis, Standard & Poor's in April downgrades Greece's sovereign debt to junk status, and cuts Portugal and Spain's credit ratings. Euro zone finance ministers meet in May to approve a 110-billion-euro loan package to Greece. In June, the euro reaches a four-year low, falling below $1.19. The European Central Bank came into formal existence on June 1, 1998, and took over responsibility for the monetary policy of the EMU member...

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