The european union comparison - Europe Essay Example
The european union
This is an analytical paper prepared to discuss the similarities and differences between three European nations, the United Kingdom, France and Germany as member of the European Union.
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During 1870 and 1945, the European nations were often characterized by wars and revolutions. The two states, France and Germany were at constant war with each other. As a result, a proposal to secure peace among the European nations became a concern with plans to unite the nations economically and politically. In 1950, a proposal to integrate the coal and steel industries from the Western European countries were made by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman. In 1951 with six initial members, Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy and the Netherlands, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established.(Europa & glance, 2006) Jean Monnet was the first president of an independent and unbiased body named the “High Authority”. (Europa & glance, 2006)
The membership on European Union means that all economic and political matters must be decided by the members. The process of integration between these nations resulted to common policies in a wide variety of aspects in the society and sectors in the nation’s government. The first common policies were set on the coal and steel industries and agricultural policies. Several other policies concerning different sectors were added over time and as need calls for it. For example, policies regarding the agricultural sector include environmental protection and production of healthy and high-quality foods. The EU nations aim to create a Common Foreign and Security Policy in which they actively suggest to other countries as well. The EU nations had also established a common market in which goods, products and services are able to move freely in the market between these EU nations. It was established in 1992. The year 1990’s had also broken one barrier between the nations as passports and custom checks were abolished as a requirement in traveling between EU’s internal borders.
An Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) was also established in 1992. The European Central Bank made it possible to introduce a single European currency, the euro. The euro was only formally used in January 1, 2002 with 15 countries using the same currency; Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.(Europa & glance, 2006) The EU has continued to increase in member countries over the years. The Treaty of Nice has continued to lay new rules and regulations governing the unified system within these nations. The Treaty of Nice which took effect on February 1, 2003 will be replaced with a revised Constitution in accordance with the approval of the member nations in 2006. (Europa & glance, 2006)
In explaining the differences between the European Union counties, it is advantageous to select only specific counties to discern their country’s individuality with one another. The similarities between these nations were already presented in the previous paragraphs. We will focus on the member countries UK, France and Germany and differences between them in terms of their political system or structure.
In the United Kingdom, a constitutional monarch is regarded as the Head of the State. The political system of the UK is parliamentary democracy in which the country is characterized with free election, freedom of speech and expression and equality of all men in the law. The people elect Members of the Parliament to the House of Commons in London every five years. The parliament member represents one “seat” in the government or one of the 659 constituents. The parliament members also are affiliated with major political parties. There is also the existence of opposition parties that constitutes a political system that has diversity in opinions and views. There are two parliamentary chambers in the UK government, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the supreme legislative authority in the government. The House of Lords is a parliamentary chamber that is characterized with different principles and objectives in running the government. The monarchy institution in the UK government is known for over thousands of years already and the House of Parliament is considered as the oldest representative assemblies in the world.(“system of government”, 2006)
In France, the government is characterized by a semi-presidential representative democratic republic. There is a President of France as the head of the state and the Prime Minister who is the head of government. The French political system is criticized for its liberalisme ideal. Economic liberalism is proposed rather than government intervention of the economy due to the unified free market of the EU nations. The advocates of this idealism want the market to move freely with little intervention from the unified states.
The political framework of Germany is a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic. The head of the government is the Federal Chancellor and is the head of a unified multi-party system. Both the government and the two parliamentary chambers have legislative powers and exercise executive powers. Since 1949, the conservative Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany dominates the government of Germany. Germany’s constitution stress on the protection of individual liberty and human rights, there is also a division of powers from both federal and state levels in the areas of legislature, executive and judiciary branches.
In the description of the three political systems of the three member countries of the EU, it is characterized with great differences in the political structures. The affectivity of each government is seen in the countries but policies are made in conjunction to the other member nation’s agreement with one another. This poses a challenge as with each differences in each nation, in any aspects, can lead to conflicts of interest and several other problems. The unification of most counties in the Europe area has resulted to different responses. It is inevitable that certain states will contest to unified solutions for the EU nation’s problems. This situation may yield favorable response and effects, or can aggravate conflict within each of the unified nations.
Europa, & glance, E. a. a. (2006). The History of the European Union. Retrieved october 22, 2006, from http://europa.eu/abc/history/index_en.htm
system of government. (2006). Retrieved october 22, 2006, from http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page824.asp
wikipedia.org. (2006a). politics of france. Retrieved october 22, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_France
wikipedia.org. (2006b). politics of germany. Retrieved october 22, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Germany