EU VS NAFTA
A unique economic and political partnership between 27 democratic European countries. The European Union is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in Europe. The European economic community was initially established after world war 2 as governments agreed that to speed up the recovery process, cooperation in foreign policy and internal affairs were needed. Further integration and reforms among countries in Europe would eventually lead to the foundations of the European union which replaced the European economic community in 1993. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU combined generates an estimated 30% share of the world's nominal gross domestic product. Some of the original EU members include Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy. In 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement to date when Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary joined the Union. On 1 January 2007, Romania and Bulgaria became the EU's newest members and Slovenia adopted the euro thus making it 27 member states. To join the EU, a country must meet the Copenhagen criteria, defined at the 1993 Copenhagen European Council. These require a stable democracy which respects human rights and the rule of law; a functioning market economy capable of competition within the EU; and the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including EU law. The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, guaranteeing the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital. It maintains a common trade policy, agricultural and fisheries policies, and a regional development policy. Fifteen member states have adopted a common currency, the euro. A new currency, the euro, was launched in world money markets on 1 January 1999; it became the unit of exchange for all of the EU states except the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark. In 2002, citizens of the 12 euro-area countries began using the euro banknotes and coins. HOW:
EU encompasses many governing bodies and pillars. These bodies carry out the tasks and policies set out for them in the treaties. Important institutions and bodies of the EU include the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the European Court of Justice and the European Central Bank. EU citizens elect the Parliament every five years. The EU receives its political leadership from the European council – collection of 25 different councils representing the different ministers in each country. The council has the final say over legislation in conjunction with the Parliament. Each member states' representative is assisted its Foreign Minister. The Council uses its leadership role to sort out disputes which have arisen between member states and the institutions, and to resolve political crises and disagreements over controversial issues and policies. The Council is headed by a rotating presidency, with every member state taking the helm of the EU for a period of six months during which that country's representatives chair meetings of the European Council and the Council of Ministers. The member state holding the presidency typically uses it to drive a particular policy agenda such as economic reform, reform of the EU itself, enlargement or furthering European integration. Unlike the European council where members reflect national interest, the European commission – provides EU’s political leadership and direction. It basically acts as the executive arm and initiating legislations and the day to day running of the EU. European Parliament – Three major responsibilities of the European parliament are legislative power, control over the budget, and supervision of executive decisions. Finally, the judicial branch of the EU is The European court of justice – it applies the treaties and laws of the EU. Individuals and...
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