The European Union (EU)

Report
The European Union (EU)
The World’s Strongest
Supranational Organization
What is it?
• The European Union (EU) is a family of democratic
European countries, committed to working together
for peace and prosperity.
• It is not a State intended to replace existing states, but it
does represent a greater compromise of sovereignty
(independence) than any other international
organization.
• The EU is unique; its Member States have set up
common institutions to which they delegate some of their
sovereignty so that decisions on specific matters of joint
interest can be made democratically at European level.
History of the EU
• The historical roots of the European Union lie in the Second
World War.
– Idea of European integration conceived to
prevent such killing and destruction from ever
happening again
– First proposed by the French Foreign Minister
Robert Schuman in a speech on May 9, 1950.
This date, the "birthday" of what is now the
EU, is celebrated annually as Europe Day
GROWTH OF THE EU
GROWTH OF THE EU
Admission
of Romania
and
Bulgaria
2007
Croatia and
Macedonia
are new
candidates
Major
debates
about
Turkey
CONFIRMATION OF CORE-DOMAIN MODEL
How does it work?
•
There are five EU institutions,
each playing a specific role:
– European Parliament (one of two
legislative bodies in the EU;
elected by the peoples of the
Member States)
– Council of the European Union
(EU’s highest Legislative Body;
has legislative initiative; is made
up of representatives appointed
by member states according to a
population-based allotment)
– European Commission (EU’s
executive body; one
commissioner per country
appointed by each government)
– Court of Justice (ensures
compliance with the EU laws)
– Court of Auditors (manages the
EU budget)
•
These are flanked by five other
important bodies:
– European Economic and Social
Committee (expresses the
opinions of organized civil society
on economic and social issues)
– Committee of the Regions
(expresses the opinions of
regional and local authorities)
– European Central Bank
(responsible for monetary policy
and managing the euro)
– European Ombudsman (deals
with citizens' complaints about
maladministration by any EU
institution or body)
– European Investment Bank
(helps achieve EU objectives by
financing investment projects)
The Euro
• The Single European Act (1986) and the Treaty on
European Union (1992) built on this
–
–
–
–
introduced Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
laid the foundations for a single currency
name “Euro” was selected in 1995
in January 1999, the exchange rates of the participating
currencies were irrevocably set and Euro area Member States
began implementing a common monetary policy
– in January 2002, 12 States in the EU introduced the new euro
banknotes and coins
The Eurozone
•
•
•
•
•
•
Coins and banknotes 1st used
Jan 1, 2002
Cyprus scheduled to join in
2008
Slovakia scheduled to join in
2009
Estonia scheduled to join in
2010
Sweden is technically obliged
to join but the EU has made
public that they will not enforce
this with regard to Sweden
Britain and Denmark have a
“derogation” releasing them
from having to join
Impact of the Eurozone
• What impact do you think the Eurozone
has on cultural diffusion?
• What impact do you think the Eurozone
has on economic development?
• Why are some countries avoiding joining?
A strong currency!
Why have bills different
sizes & colors?
What values are
reflected in these
“artifacts” that are not
found in American
money?
Costs of staying out
•
Export problems
– Access to EU markets is not guaranteed
•
Inflation problems
– Europeans nervous about the Euro due to expansion of the EU invest in Swiss
Francs, inflating the value of the currency and inhibiting Swiss exports
•
Capital flight
– High construction costs, expensive labor, and skill shortages already make
investment in Switzerland unattractive
– Several multinational corporations, such as Roche, Sulzer and Alusuisse, have
frozen planned investment projects in Switzerland
– Large Swiss companies, including Nestle, are shifting activities out of Switzerland
in fear of discrimination by other nations
– Already four out of five employees of the top 15 Swiss companies work in other
countries
•
Scientific information lag
– EU scientific exchange programs accept Swiss citizens only if they fail to fill such
exchanges with persons from EU countries
•
Accumulated bilateral agreements and cooperation may create de-facto
incorporation in the EU for Switzerland
The EU in comparative
perspective
US dominates entertainment
industry in Europe
Cultural hegemony?
SUMMARY
• The European Union is the strongest supranational organization in
the world
– shared currency & financial management
• The EU is growing geographically, and its growth suggests a coredomain model
– core and domain are borne out by distribution of income
• The EU does not appeal to all Europeans (at least not yet)
– small states in particular seem skeptical
• Roughly comparable to the US in some ways
–
–
–
–
population slightly larger than that of the US
somewhat more densely settled than the US
economy is at least as strong as the American economy
other social statistics (e.g. literacy, infant mortality & homicide) are as
good or better than the US

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