Introduction to the European Union
The European Union (EU) is a union of 27 member countries (states) located in Europe. The total population of the EU is 447 million. Its main purpose was to establish a single standardised system in Europe. The European Union made a single common currency called the Euro, and most of the member countries use this as their main currency. The EU contains 5.8 per cent of the population of the world as of 2020. The nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of the European Union is USD 17 trillion. These countries come on top of the human development index list, and have a high GDP per capita too. The Noble Peace Prize was awarded to the EU in 2012. The European Union is a member of the world organisations like G7, G20, UN and NATO. The EU is considered an emerging global superpower alongside Russia, China, India, and Brazil.
History of the European Union
Since 1900’s, Europe has been considered a global superpower. It had a major role in shaping the world we live in right now. Some empires ruled the world for a significant amount of time. This includes The French Empire, The British Empire, The Dutch Empire, and The German Empire. Some notable empires of Europe include The Roman Empire, Charlemagne’s France, The Byzantine Empire, and The Holy Roman Empire, among others. Europe, in the 20th century, was in a power struggle. The British and the French Empires ruled at least 50 per cent of the earth’s landmass. The German Empire was getting stronger after the unification. The Russian Empire was eyeing the Eastern European borders.
Technology has come a long way. World War I started in 1917 and lasted up to 4 years. After two decades, World War II took place. This war was the costliest in terms of both life and money. Western Europe was in a recovery stage after the war. Eastern Europe was under the occupation of Soviet Russia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, war broke out on the eastern front. Yugoslavia disintegrated and was split into parts. Many treaties like the Treaty of Rome, the Maastricht Treaty, and the Lisbon Treaty were signed. These treaties ensured peace and oneness amongst the European countries. Hence, this oneness led to the foundation of the European Union.
Member States of the European Union
Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, West Germany, France, and Luxembourg were the founding nations of the European Union. The member countries must follow the Copenhagen criteria. It should accept most of the laws and systems decided in the treaties. The United Kingdom were the first country to leave the European Union in 2020. Greenland is an autonomous province of Denmark that left the EU in 1985. The candidates for becoming member countries are Albania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. Bosnia and Herzegovina are considered potential candidates. Monaco, Vatican City and San Marino are non-EU states that use the Euro.
Impact of the European Union
The European Union had a crucial impact on the member countries. The EU was responsible for the post-war economic recovery of many countries. The overall GDP of the European countries has increased since they joined the EU, and they avoided many major financial crises. The financial situation in Greece is excluded here. Democratic governments were formed in eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The European Union has strengthened their muscles as a geopolitical superpower. It has the third-largest GDP in the world, behind the United States of America and China. The EU has provided hostility to people in ongoing war countries. Most of the migrants are from the middle east. Some member countries like Germany, France and Italy are in the top ten economies globally.
The European Union is a political and economic coalition of European countries. There is a total of 27 members in the EU. Its main aim is to promote peace, security, and justice in the EU borders. The total population of the EU is 447 million. Its main purpose was to establish a single standardised system in Europe. The nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the European Union is USD 17 trillion. The Noble Peace Prize was awarded to the EU in 2012. The European Union is a member of the world organisations like G7, G20, UN and NATO. Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, West Germany, France, and Luxembourg were the founding nations of the European Union.