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European Union: Pros and Cons

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    The European Union was formed in February 1992 with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. It consist of originally twelve members Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, and Germany. Those twelve members originally formed the European Union until 1995 when three other countries joined the Union ? Austria, Finland, and Sweden. The European Union currently is formed of twenty-five members with the ten new members ?

    Cyprus, Malta, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia being added in 2004. In 2007 two other countries (Romania and Bulgaria) could join the European Union. European Union covers a mass majority of the Europe and the current Union membership covers a population base of nearly half a billion people. In 1992 the European Union decided to go for economic and monetary union, involving the introduction of a single European currency managed by a European Central Bank.

    The single currency, the euro, became a reality in January of 2002, when euro notes and coins replaced national currencies in twelve of the 15 countries of the European Union (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland). The European Union is a group of countries whose governments work together. It’s a bit like a club. To join you have to agree to follow the rules and in return you get certain benefits. Each country has to pay money to be a member.

    They mostly do this through taxes. The EU uses the money to change the way people live and do business in Europe. Countries join because they think that they will benefit from the changes the EU makes. Do you think it is useful to join into a union especially the European Union to strengthen their economic positions? The question could be simple to answer but an individual must look much deeper into the situation. For instance, what are the pros and cons of joining a union? The European Union has many pros but also many cons. Pros

    With the development of the European Union the countries are able to have the benefit of the principles of European integration, such as free competition or free movement of goods and capital, which will encourage the movement to a free market economy in East-central Europe. The principle of free movement is saying that you can work and study anywhere in the Union if you are a citizen of the Union. By spending part of their education or training in another European Union country, the citizens can get an insight into other work environments and gain skills that are very useful in later life.

    By having a closer joint effort and sharing the experiences with other European countries will bring democratic traditions and modern way of living to the society of new member states. Also, with it being a single market, there are no barriers between the other countries. With the removal of custom barriers it will enable producers to cut production costs, which will result in export increases. In addition to this the integration into … Cons

    The costs of EU membership could be holding back faster developing countries, particularly the UK, which has a more global economy than many member states. For seven out of the last ten years, EU GDP growth has been lower than that of the USA, being almost half of that of the US in 2010. This is largely the effect of EU regulation making it less easy to do business. Many of the things that the EU does are based on the principle of supranationalism . In order for this to work, member states have to agree (normally through signing a treaty) to hand over sovereignty to the EU.

    Certain areas, such as defence, taxation or currency should not be handed over to a supranational body because to do so would undermine the nation state. Nevertheless, many have been. Sadly, the EU is not as effective at managing many policy areas as nation states have been. The conflicts within the eurozone provide an example of the difficulties caused by handing over sovereignty. The EU often ends up reaching a compromise that no-one finds satisfactory because it always has to try to please all of its members.

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