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European Parilment Along With European Union

4142 words - 17 pages

A regional organization created in 1958 providing for the gradual elimination of customs duties and other intraregional trade barriers, a common external tariff against other countries and gradual adoption of other integrating measures, including a Common Agricultural Policy and guarantees of free movement of labor and capital. Formerly called the European Community (EC), the organization became the European Union in January, 1994. Since 1967, common institutions, the EU Commission, the EU Council, the European Parliament and the Court of Justice, have served members of the EU. On January 1, 1999 the EU launched a single European currency called the euro, which most member countries have adopted. With 15 members (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK), the Union plans to expand membership in coming years, including Southern and Eastern European Countries.An economic association of European countries founded by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 as a common market for six nations. It was known as the European Community before 1993 and is currently comprised of 15 European countries. Its goals are a single market for goods and services without any economic barriers and a common currency with one monetary authority. The EU was known as the European Community until Jan. 1, 1994.StatusThe European Union is the most powerful regional organisation in existence. In certain areas, where Member States have transferred national sovereignty rights to the Union (e.g. currency, monetary policy, the internal market, foreign trade), the EU begins to resemble a federal state. However, the Union is not organised federally but according to the subsidiarity principle (a term expressly created to describe the peculiar organisation of the Union's competencies). The Member States also remain the Masters of the Treaties, and the Union does not have the power to transfer additional competencies from the Member States onto itself. On account of its unique structure, the European Union can be regarded not merely as an international organisation, but rather as a sui generis entity (i.e. an entity unlike any other).Current issuesMajor issues concerning the European Union at the moment include its enlargement south and east, the European constitution proposed by the Convention, the Union's relationship with the United States of America and participation in the Euro by those member states currently outside the Eurozone.Since October 4, 2003, the Intergovernmental Conference is deliberating on the Draft Constitutional Treaty which had been submitted by the Convention on the Future of Europe on June 20, 2003. A first attempt to reach an overall compromise failed in December 2003 when European Heads of State could not agree on a new formula defining the so-called qualified majority rule for voting in the Council.OriginsThe original founding of (what was later to become) the European Union was the...

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