Prepared By: Iva Ruseva
Examined By: Conf. Univ. Dr. Marginean Silvia
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC) formed by six countries in the 1950s. In the intervening years the EU has grown, in size, by the accession of new member states and, in power, by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993. The last amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmentally made decisions negotiated by the member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens. The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states including the abolition of passport controls within the Schengen area. It ensures the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital, enacts legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. A monetary union, the eurozone, was established in 1999 and is currently composed of seventeen member states. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy the EU has developed a limited role in external relations and defence. Permanent diplomatic missions have been established around the world and the EU is represented at the United Nations, the WTO, the G8 and the G-20. With a combined population of 500 million inhabitants, the EU generated an estimated 21% (US$ 14.8 trillion) share of the global economy (GDP PPP) in 2009. As a trading bloc the EU accounts for 20% of global imports and exports. History
Main article: History of the European Coal and Steel Community (1945–1957)
Robert Schuman proposing the Coal and Steel Community on 9 May 1950. After World War II, moves towards European integration were seen by many as an escape from the extreme forms of nationalism which had devastated the continent. One such attempt to unite Europeans was the European Coal and Steel Community which, while having the modest aim of centralised control of the previously national coal and steel industries of its member states, was declared to be "a first step in the federation of Europe". The founding members of the Community were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The originators and supporters of the Community include Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, Paul Henri Spaak, and Alcide De Gasperi. In 1957, the six countries signed the Treaties of Rome, which extended the earlier cooperation within the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and created the European Economic Community, (EEC) establishing a customs union and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for cooperation in developing nuclear energy. The treaty came into force in 1958. 1958–1972
Main article: History of the European Communities (1958–1972)
The Rome Treaty was signed in 1957 and came into force in 1958. It created two additional European Communities, most notably the European Economic Community. The two new communities were created separately from ECSC, although they shared the same courts and the Common Assembly. The executives of the new communities were called Commissions, as opposed to the "High Authority". The EEC was headed by Walter Hallstein (Hallstein Commission) and Euratom was headed by Louis Armand (Armand Commission) and then Etienne Hirsch. Euratom would...