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Українські рефератиРусские рефератыКниги
НазваWhat’s the EU (реферат)
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Реферат на тему:

 

What’s the EU

 

1. What’s the EU

 

1.1 Beginnings: war and peace

 

For centuries, Europe was the scene of frequent and bloody wars. In

the period 1870 to 1945, France and Germany fought each other three

times, with terrible loss of life. A number of European leaders became

convinced that the only way to secure a lasting peace between their

countries was to unite them economically and politically.

 

So, in 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed

integrating the coal and steel industries of Western Europe. A a result,

in 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was set up, with

six members: Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy and the

Netherlands. The power to take decisions about the coal and steel

industry in these countries was placed in the hands of an independent,

supranational body called the "High Authority". Jean Monnet was its

first President.

 

1.2 From three communities to the European Union

 

The ECSC was such a success that, within a few years, these same six

countries decided to go further and integrate other sectors of their

economies. In 1957 they signed the Treaties of Rome, creating the

European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic

Community (EEC). The member states set about removing trade barriers

between them and forming a "common market".

 

In 1967 the institutions of the three European communities were

merged. From this point on, there was a single Commission and a single

Council of Ministers as well as the European Parliament.

 

Originally, the members of the European Parliament were chosen by the

national parliaments but in 1979 the first direct elections were held,

allowing the citizens of the member states to vote for the candidate of

their choice. Since then, direct elections have been held every five

years.

 

The Treaty of Maastricht (1992) introduced new forms of co-operation

between the member state governments - for example on defence, and in

the area of "justice and home affairs". By adding this

inter-governmental co-operation to the existing "Community" system, the

Maastricht Treaty created the European Union (EU).

 

1.3 Integration means common policies

 

Economic and political integration between the member states of the

European Union means that these countries have to take joint decisions

on many matters. So they have developed common policies in a very wide

range of fields - from agriculture to culture, from consumer affairs to

competition, from the environment and energy to transport and trade.

 

In the early days the focus was on a common commercial policy for

coal and steel and a common agricultural policy. Other policies were

added as time went by, and as the need arose. Some key policy aims have

changed in the light of changing circumstances. For example, the aim of

the agricultural policy is no longer to produce as much food as cheaply

as possible but to support farming methods that produce healthy,

high-quality food and protect the environment. The need for

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