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European Union Essay

834 words - 4 pages

1. What is the European Union?
The modern-day European Union is a direct result of a determination among European politicians to prevent future violent conflicts in Europe after World War II. The original aim was to tie countries together by forging closer industrial and economic cooperation. Since then, the EU’s responsibilities have grown in response to new challenges and many more countries have joined.
In 1950 French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposes integrating the coal and steel industries of Western Europe. This leads to the Treaty of Paris, creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). in 1951, with six members: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands ...view middle of the document...

EU leaders also agree to create an Economic and Monetary Union, with a single currency managed by a European Central Bank, within a decade. The Single Market is formally completed, but much work remains to be done to make the promise of free movement of people, goods, capital and services a reality. In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden join the European Union (EU). Europe’s single currency the euro is officially launched in 1999 and 11 EU Member States adopt it as their official currency, forming what is known as the euro zone. Greece joins the euro zone in 2001. The Treaty of Nice is signed, introducing reforms to the EU’s institutions to prepare for the expansion of the Union with the admission of ten new Member States in 2004. In 2002, the euro becomes a reality on 1 January, when euro notes and coins replace national currencies in 12 of the 15 countries which are members of the EU: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. A ‘convention on the future of Europe’ is launched, with 105 members representing national governments and parliaments in the Member States and countries waiting to join the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament. The convention ends in 2003 and submits its draft ‘Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union’ to EU leaders. Member State governments begin negotiations on the proposals. In 2004, ten new countries join the EU, including eight from eastern and central Europe. They are:...

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