• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why belong to the EU

Free essay example:

Gaggandeep Singh 11U Business/Economics Assignment    Task 2

What is the EU?

The EU (European Union) is the world’s largest economic body; its shared values are liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. The EU is the biggest benefactor as several countries work together to benefit themselves. In my opinion the EU means independent, rich, multicultural, importers and exporters. The EU has 27 member states this is combined with 490 million of the population in the whole of the EU. This means that this 7% of the worlds population, which links with 30% of the global GDP. The EU also helps the poorer countries in Africa and Asia this is 55% of combined worldwide Official Development Assistance.

Looking inside the EU there are many institutions the main ones are the European council which has 25 head of state or government, European Parliament which has 25 members and European commission which has 25 commissions. Each of the European Union institutions has a responsibility and each have a right to speak out words from their own country.

This is the European Union’s most powerful decision-making body. It is made up of the foreign ministers of member states. Other ministers from member states may have an input in topics relevant to their expertise. The European Parliament, based in Strasburg, is an elected body. Members of it are known as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and they are elected by voters within a member state. However, turnout for MEP elections within Britain is low – much lower than for a national election. In 1999, the average MEP constituency vote was a mere 23% in the UK, comparing less than favourably with the average 60% in mainland European Union states. The European Commission, arguably the most controversial of the EU’s institutions, is based in Brussels and draws up treaties, laws and policies. In this sense, the European Commission is an extremely important and powerful body that has the right to impose its decisions on member states of the European Union (EU) and it is this fact that concerns many people involved in British Politics.

The European Commission was created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome. It is made up of bureaucrats from each country that belongs to the EU - in this sense; it is the civil service of the EU, but a civil service that has legislative and executive powers. These bureaucrats are expected to work for the EU and not their parent country i.e. their loyalty is to the EU and they do not undermine the authority of the EU in favour of their home country.

The History of the EU

The EU began in the 1950s as the ‘European Communities’. There were six member states: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. They were joined by Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom in 1973, Greece in 1981, and Spain and Portugal in 1986. The EU was enlarged in 1995 to include Austria, Finland and Sweden. In 2004 enlargement brought in the Czech Republic, Etonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungry, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. Bulgaria and Romania were the latest to join bringing the total to 27.

To join the EU, a country must have a stable democracy respecting human rights and the rule of law; a functioning and competitive market economy; and the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including EU laws and policies. Any democratic European country can apply to join and all member states have a right to vote in the EU.

In 1993 the European Union was formed, the UK joined the EU on 1st January 1973 as the UK had to apply twice to finally join the EU. Since joining the Union, the UK continually plays a crucial role in the bloc. Most British government departments are involved in EU-wide activities, which cover areas such as justice and home affairs, agriculture, trade policy and competition policy.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

(?)
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related AS and A Level Politics Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. A clear explanation of key underpinning economic theories relevant to the EU.

    also known as the common market, as an economic association of western European countries. The treaty of Rome has been amended several times to take account for the new member states joining the EEC. Once a treaty has been signed , it must be ratified by all member states before it comes into force.

  2. The Importance of the Cyprus Issue in terms of the Accomplishment of the ESDP

    Positions of the Related Countries with regard to the Security Perspective of Turkey's Candidacy and the EU's Enlargement * Turkey's Position V. VI. After the September 11 attacks, Turkey's determination to join the EU has increased due to the problems it has faced in its relations with the US within the context of Iraq crisis.

  1. Which EU institution is the most powerful

    The Council of Ministers is the main legislative and decision-making institution in the EU. The Council is composed of ministers who represent the national governments of the 25 Member States. It provides a forum for the Member States to legislate for the Union, set its political objectives and co-ordinate national policies.

  2. Back ground information about the EU

    Because trade barrier are removed other businesses in the EU have access to the UK markets, this can be considered as a disadvantage to businesses in the UK, as competition will increase and were customer have a choice businesses have to spend more money on product differentiation and marketing, unless they have customer loyalty.

  1. The role of the EU on the Cyprus issue

    Turkey had hoped that accession negotiations with Cyprus would not be launched before the resolution of the Cyprus conflict. Ankara has stated repeatedly that it neither wants the Union to become involved in the Cyprus question, nor does it approve of the EU having an active role in the negotiations for settlement in Cyprus.

  2. Sustainable development or fish eat fish world? 'EU external trade policy'.

    During the 90's, the EC concluded important economic agreements like the EEA11 and the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, enlargement agreements were negotiated with some of the former EFTA countries and association agreements with Eastern European countries and investment agreements.

  1. "The World We're In," by British author Will Hutton - A discussion of America ...

    benefit from it too-- they've been beating each other up for long enough). And the concept of "supernations" is very intriguing. Can Europe pull it off? It will be fun to see, and we might learn a few things from them.

  2. Critically evaluate the notion that the EU is controlled by a host of unelected ...

    The European Parliament is the only EU body, which is directly elected. It consists of 626 elected MEP's represent the 15 member states of which the UK has 87 (Mercado 2001.) The powers of the European Parliament fall into three categories, the first is legislative power which includes Co-decision procedure which I will cover later.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work