The European Union

Saturday, 4 January 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Editorial, EU blog post series, European Union
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© naturalearthdata.com - Alexrk2/cc-by-sa-3.0

© naturalearthdata.com – Alexrk2/cc-by-sa-3.0

The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by the Inner Six countries in 1951 and 1958, respectively. In the intervening years the community and its successors have 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 latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.

The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.

The eurozone, a monetary union, was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. Permanent diplomatic missions have been established around the world. The EU is represented at the United Nations, the WTO, the G8, and the G-20. The EU was the recipient of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

Today, there are virtually no products, sorts of food or services that are not manufactured, produced, grown or performed somewhere in the European Union and within its rules, thus creating and keeping millions of jobs. Many challenges and efforts are still waiting for the current and future Member States to fulfill the great European vision, but the recent successes show that the efforts are worth it.

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