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Benefits and disadvantages of European expansion

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  • Essay length: 874 words
  • Submitted: 09/02/2010
International Baccalaureate Geography

An extract from this essay...

Audrey Plessas 1S5

Geography Essay

The benefits brought about by the European Union outweigh the disadvantages. Discuss.

In 1957, the European Union was created in order to construct a more united Europe, strengthening its war-affected members. The Union brought to its countries not only economic boosting, but also social and political benefits. However, disadvantages to this unification have also been discovered since. Nowadays, being in the EU is both a boon and a drawback in all three departments. Therefore, is it still advantageous for a country to be a member of the European Union?

Primarily, the European union has caused the economy of its members to considerably increase. This effect was mostly due to the creation of a single market, engendering more competition amongst companies and lower prices. Free trade in the Schengen area for example allowed companies making business in other member countries to reduce the cost of exporting across Europe as custom taxes were suppressed. The single currency also favored trade by suppressing currency exchange taxes and reducing monetary instability. Thus, by standardizing national regulations, the single market makes it easier to do business in the EU and contributes to faster economic growth. Moreover, the Common Agriculture Policy, with its subsidies, helped increase productivity and provide consumers with food at reasonable prices, once again boosting the economies. To add on to these facts, tourism in the European Union has also been promoted, generating jobs hence economic activity. Not only did countries like Ireland, Portugal and Spain for instance see themselves economically develop radically after joining the EU, but also throughout the unity of market, the union saw itself strong against the biggest worldwide economies.

Never the less, the free movement within the Schegen area created a mass movement of qualified eastern labor towards the western countries in which the wages are higher. Hence, inequalities are found within the EU, this being reinforced by the economies not being close enough, jeopardizing the Euro.

Secondly, the EU also brought political advantages to European countries. The idea of a union brings the member states to a term of peace, reducing political tensions and war probability. Another important factor to the stability within the union is the obligatory maintain of democracy in all countries in the EU. Furthermore, considering the 27 countries it represents, it's voice is

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