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The European Union

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Title: The European Union


1
The European Union
2
OVERVIEW
  • Europe is a continent with many different
    traditions and languages, but also with shared
    values such as democracy, freedom and social
    justice.
  • The EU defends these values

3
DEFINITION
  • The European Union (EU) is a family of democratic
    European countries, committed to working together
    for peace and prosperity.
  •  

4
What is the European Union
  • The European Union is more than just a group of
    countries, but it is not a State.
  • It is, in fact, something entirely new and
    historically unique.
  • Its political system has been constantly evolving
    over the past 50 years and it is founded on a
    series of treaties
  • Member States have set up common institutions to
    which they give some of their power to so that
    decisions on specific matters of joint interest
    can be made democratically

5
HISTORY OF EU
  • The historical roots of the European Union lie in
    the Second World War
  • The idea of European Unity was created to prevent
    such killing and destruction from ever happening
    again.
  • 9 May 1950. This date, the "birthday" of what is
    now the EU, is celebrated annually as Europe
    Day. 
  • It began as the European Coal and Steel
    Commission (ECSC) to make trade easier. 

6
TRADE AND TRAVEL
  • You can travel across most of the EU without
    carrying a passport and without being stopped for
    checks at the borders.
  • You can shop in another country where goods are
    cheaper without paying any additional taxes so
    long as what you buy is for your own use.
  • The single currency, the Euro, allows shoppers to
    compare prices directly in the 15 countries that
    use it. As a result, manufacturers and retailers
    have taken steps to cut unjustifiably high
    prices.
  • Travel for shopping, leisure or business from one
    Euro country to another is cheaper because no
    money needs to be changed

7
A Border Crossing
8
Euros in your pocket
  • The Euro is probably the EU's most
  • tangible achievement.
  • It is the single currency,
  • shared by 15 countries,
  • representing two thirds of the EU population.
  • All Euro notes and coins
  • can be used in all countries
  • where the Euro is accepted.

9
There are five EU institutions, each playing a
specific role
  • European Parliament (elected by the peoples of
    the Member States)
  • Council of the European Union (representing the
    governments of the Member States)
  • European Commission (driving force and executive
    body)
  • Court of Justice (ensuring compliance with the
    law)
  • Court of Auditors (controlling sound and lawful
    management of the EU budget).

10
Major Institutions of the EU
Council of Ministers, BrusselsMinisters of the
member states
11
Major Institutions of the EU
European Commission, Brusselsin between a
Secretariat and an Executive20 commissioners and
16,000 officials
12
Major Institutions of the EU
European Parliament, Strasbourg732 elected
members
13
Major Institutions of the EU
European Parliament, Strasbourgdirect elections
since 1979
14
Major Institutions of the EU
European Court of Justice, Luxembourg
15
The rule of law is important to the European
Union.
  • All EU decisions and procedures are based on the
    Treaties, which are agreed to by all the EU
    countries

16
In the beginning
  • The group consisted of just six countries
  • Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and
    the Netherlands.
  • The name has changed a few times over the years
  • 1993 The Treaty of Maastricht formed what is now
    the European Union

17
Growth and Change
  • Denmark, Ireland
  • United Kingdom joined in 1973
  • Greece in 1981
  • Spain and Portugal in 1986
  • Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995

18
Ten new countries joined the EU on May 1, 2004,
and two more in 2007, raising the total to 27
countries
19
  • PURPOSE OF EU
  • In the early years, much of the co-operation
    between EU countries was about trade and the
    economy,
  • The EU also deals with many other subjects of
    direct importance for our everyday life, such as
    citizens' rights
  • ensuring freedom, security and justice job
    creation regional development and environmental
    protection

20
The EU has made war unthinkable among countries
which warred against each other for
centuries. Sure, the E.U. matters, said Thomas
Leicht, a doctor from MunichYou can see the
terrible history of Europe in this city (Berlin).
The E.U. is the reason it will never happen
again. New York Times article on the EUs 50th
anniversary (Mar. 25, 2007)
21
Current EU members
Belgium Malta France
Poland Germany Slovakia Italy
Slovenia Luxembourg
Lithuania Netherlands Latvia Denmark
Hungary Ireland Estonia United
Kingdom Cyprus Greece Sweden Portugal
Finland Spain Austria Czech Republic
Bulgaria Romania
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