Explain the reasons for the development of the European Union.
The European Union is a collection of 28 member nations who share an economic and political bond. They all exist on the continent of Europe and share the currency of the Euro. It is a bit like a club, to join in you have to agree to follow the rules and in return you get certain benefits. Each country has to pay money to be a member and they mostly do this through taxes.
The EU began as an Economic agreement between 6 European nations shortly after the conclusion of World War II. Many European countries wanted to ensure that there would never be war and killing on the scale experienced in WWII again. In 1949 the council of ...view middle of the document...
This was the biggest enlargement in the history of the EU. By the end of 2007, the EU encompassed most of Europe with 27 member nations. At the time the EU was a collection of dozens of treaties, there had been several efforts by France and The Netherlands to make a constitution for the EU, but this has never truly been accepted.
However, on 13 December 2007, the Lisbon Treaty was signed. It is an international agreement which amends the Maastricht Treaty and the Treaty of Rome. This treaty brought major reforms to the union and has acted like an institution in the absence of one. It streamlined trade between all member nations and officially changed the European Community to the European Union.
The EU’s political system is unique due to it having supranational laws and legislation. This means that laws passed by the EU supersede laws created by the member nations (in most cases).
Similar to many constitutional democratic nations, the EU is made up of 3 branches: The executive, The Legislative and the judicial branch. The executive branch itself is also sub-divided into 3 parts: The European Council, The Council and The European Commission.
1. The European Council:
This consists of all leaders and heads of state from each member nation. They must meet at least 4 times a year and they also vote on a president to chair the European Council. That responsibility currently falls to Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy. The European Council has no legislative authority but its goal is to...