European Union Essay Research Paper The European

European Union Essay, Research Paper

The European Union is a union of fifteen independent states bases on the European Communities that was founded in 1993 in order to enhance political, economic and social co-operation.

The 15 participating countries are the following:

- Austria – Germany – Holland

- Belgium – Greece – Portugal

- Denmark – Ireland – Spain

- Finland – Italy – Sweden

- France – Luxembourg – United Kingdom

All these countries, although different in opinion, traditions, are united by a common ideal: to make Europe a better place to live by keeping peace and freedom.

The aim of the European Union is to promote economic and social progress, which is balanced and sustainable, bring the European identity on the international scene and introduce the European citizenship for the nationals of the member states.

The ultimate goal is ‘an ever close union among the people of Europe, in which decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen.’

The European Union has its own flag, anthem and it celebrates the Europe Day on the 9th of May.

Each Community had, and still has, its own legal base, a Treaty. The Treaties provide a set of policy objectives or goals, institutions to execute them, a decision-making process, and definition of the legal forms to bring those decisions to reality. Over the years, the Treaties have been substantially amended, affecting the Union’s competence, institutional structure, and decision-making processes.

Some future objectives of the Union are:

- to implement the Treaty of Amsterdam, which revises the basic treaties on which the EU is founded. It contains new rights for citizen, freedom of movement, employment, strengthening of institution.

- to enlarge the EU, to include countries from central and eastern Europe as well. This was specified in ‘Agenda 2000′, a detailed strategy for ’strengthening growth, competitiveness and employment, for modernizing key policies and for extending the Union’s borders through enlargement as far eastwards as the Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova’ (President Santer Jacques in the Agenda 2000). This Agenda is the Commission’s much anticipated communication on the future development of the European Union. Introducing the Agenda 2000, the president Jacques Santer also said that ‘Enlargement represents a historic turning point for Europe’.

- to launch the Euro – the single currency of the European Monetary Union which is adopted by 11 countries as from 1st Jan. 1999.

Five institutions can participate in the legislative process under the EC Treaty. Each has its constitutional role. The main three are the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.

The European Commission has the main role to steer the Union in new directions. It operates as a source of policy initiatives and works closely with the Parliament and the Council. Basically it represents the common interests of the Union and it has the sole right to initiate legislation. The Commission is also the Union’s administrative body, overseeing member state implementation of directives and enforcing regulations. Another responsibility of the Commission is to manage the ECU budget and to take decisions in fields such as competition, agriculture and trade policy. It has also important responsibilities for aid and development in the 3rd countries.

One of its limits is that it has not power to take legislative decisions.

After the Commission transmits its proposals, the Council of the European Union, representing the member states, acts on Commission proposals and has the final or joint legislative authority with the Parliament. It has also role in establishing an internal market (no borders between states, that guarantees freedom of movement inside the Union) and that the objectives put by the Treaty are reached by coordinating the general economic policies of the member states of the EU by adopting proposals from the Commission.

The European Parliament represents the people of the European Union, by acting as the EU’s public forum in debating issues and questioning the Commission and Council. It has three fundamental powers:

- legislation power

- the power of the purse

- the power to democratic supervision.

The Parliament is also able to guide and promote the EU’s development and co-operation programs with all the world’s developing countries.

By adopting resolutions on its own initiative, the Parliament is a political driving force generating several initiatives for the development of the Community policies. It regularly works together with the Commission and the Council to develop or modify existing policies, or introduce new ones.

European integration is an important and ambitious project. Europe is currently experiencing high unemployment and Europeans are uncertain about how to find a way out. Part of the solution to it is the European Monetary Union. It is a great benefit for the Cyprus and the whole European economy.

Apart from the advantages at the general economic level, EMU offers individual benefits. Companies and citizens will profit from the stability of the single currency, from lowered costs, and from the new transparency in the Common Market due to the direct comparability of prices. EMU will result in price stability for the whole euro zone.

Relating to the Cyprus problem, joining the European Union is definitely a positive step towards solving the situation. the EU has taken a clear and firm position in support of a solution that respects the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the country. The EU position that the status quo imposed by the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the continued occupation by Turkish troops of 37% of the island’s territory, is unacceptable, was stated in the Dublin European Council Declaration, the Lisbon European Council Conclusions, and was repeated on numerous other occasions.

Cyprus Government believes strongly, that the accession to the European Union will help in solving the political problem, and as Foreign Minister Kasoulides, during the opening ceremony for the enlargement process on 30 March 1998, said “this process and the prospect of EU membership which will benefit the population of Cyprus in its entirety, will act as a catalyst, inducing all sides to work for an early solution”.

Another advantage offered by the European Union to Cyprus by joining it is the establishing uniform rules and regulations on the environment, regarding its pollution. Aiming at a high level of protection, the Union’s current policies go far beyond air and water quality to include the protection of soils, habitats and fauna and flora, and the conservation of wild birds.

Some of the policies that regulate the protection of the environment are regarding the discharge of toxic substances in the water, emission of gases from the vehicles, fixing the maximum noise allowed for cars, airplanes, motorcycles, etc.

All these policies are needed in Cyprus, they imply not only preserving, protecting of the environment, but also protecting human health. It also facilitates ensuring a rational use of the natural resources.

As quoted from the official website of the Cyprus government, “Cyprus has a lot to benefit from EU membership. It also has a lot to offer as a member state. The geographic position of the country, the healthy state of its economy, the devotion of the people to the ideals of the EU are all elements which enable Cyprus to contribute to the stability and welfare of the European family, regardless of its small size. Situated at the intersection of important transport and communications routes linking Europe to the Middle East and the Orient, Cyprus aspires to become the region’s economic and financial operations centre, a communications and transport hub, and a meeting place for peoples and cultures. With its advanced technical infrastructure and skilled human resources it can become a bridge from where European enterprises launch their activities. Moreover, it can act as a shield, protecting Europe from the inflow of narcotics, trafficking in human beings and the threat of terrorism.”

Reference library:

The Republic of Cyprus homepage

The United Nations and European Union homepage

Europa – The European Union official homepage

Bulletin of the European Union – European Commiision (11.1998)


The Republic of Cyprus homepage

The United Nations and European Union homepage

Europa – The European Union official homepage

Bulletin of the European Union – European Commiision (11.1998)


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