2Supranational Cooperation The EU is a supranational organization.Supra is a Latin prefix that means “above”.The EU government stands above the government of its individual member countries.Because it’s supranational, the EU has been able to remove barriers that once made traveling between European nations complicated.The EU was thus able to open borders and adopt a new form of common currency: the EURO.Supranational Cooperation means that the European nations are united in certain ways but divided in others.
3Supranational Cooperation Essential question: What forces work for or against supranational cooperation among nations?
4The Geographic Setting Europe is a continent made up of different countries and peoples. Throughout Europe’s history, certain forces have brought its peoples together, while other forces have pulled them apart.Centripetal Forces bring people together.Centrifugal Forces pull people apart.The European Union was formed to unite countries that had been torn apart by years of war.
5The History of the EUDuring the 1st half of the 20th century, Europe was at war with each other and other nations.In 1914, World War I broke out in Europe and lasted for 4 years, killing some 21 million people.Twenty years later (1939), World War II broke out when Germany invaded Poland. World War II lasted for 6 years and it left a death toll of 50 million people.At the end of the war, Europeans wanted to make sure that another war would never happen again.
6The History of the EUIn 1950 a French leader named Robert Schuman suggested that a Union of European nations should be formed.In 1952, six countries signed a trade agreement that formed the European Coal and Steel Community— the 1st prototype of the EU.Later, this group of countries created a common market for steel and coal products. In a common market the trade barriers, such as tariffs are eliminated.The countries that formed this alliance were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.In 1958, the same six countries created the European Economic Community (EEC), which then removed trade barriers for all kinds of products, not just steel and coal.The EEC came to be known as the “Common Market”. Over the years, more European countries joined the Common Market.
7The History of the EUIn 1993, 12 Common Market countries formed the European Union (EU).The main goal of the EU is to promote peace and prosperity (that is, economic well-being).The EU works towards this goal by creating jobs, protecting citizens’ rights, and preserve the environment. It also promotes freedom, security, and justice for its members.By 2012, the EU has 27 member countries with several other countries hoping to join.
8Geo TermsCentrifugal force: a force that divides people and countries.Centripetal force: a force that divides people and countries.Common Market: a group of countries that acts as a single market, without trade barriers between member countries.Supranational cooperation: a form of international cooperation in which countries give up some control of their affairs as they work together to achieve shared goals or goals in common.
10Economic Cooperation in the EU Before the EU, each European country had its own rules about who could live or work within its borders. Each country had its own currency (money).Individual countries also charged tariffs or taxes on goods imported from their neighbors, making theses goods more expensive for people to buy.Today, members of the EU work together toward shared economic goals.Many centripetal forces promote such economic cooperation, but centrifugal forces work against unit at the same time.
11Economic Forces that UNITE the EU Elimination of tariffs amongst member countries.Elimination of barriers for people to travel to other member countries to find work.Adoption of a common currency: the EURO (2002).Creation of a powerful trade bloc, that is, a group of countries with greater purchasing world power.Improvement of working conditions and infrastructure within EU countries.
12Economic Forces that DIVIDE the EU There are economic differences between Western European and Eastern European countries.Western Europeans are wealthier than Eastern ones. To compensate for that Western European countries spend a lot of money on Eastern ones.Many Western Europeans object to such spending. Wages are also lower in Eastern European countries so factories and businesses from the West have moved there to pay the workers lower salaries.Eastern European workers also move to Western countries to find better jobs therefore displacing Western European workers or lowering the minimum wages.
13Economic Forces that DIVIDE the EU In addition, some EU countries have decided to keep their own currencies, while others have been denied the use of the EURO until they can prove their economies are stable enough.
14Economic Forces that DIVIDE the EU Greece is the latest example of a member country that’s dividing the EU theses days.
15Political Cooperation in the EU The EU does not replace the individual governments of each member country. Instead, the EU government is supranational, that is, it operates above the governments of its members, but all members participate in the EU government.The EU government is made up of different entities:The European Commission: the executive branch.The European Parliament: the legislative branch.EU citizens are allowed and encouraged to vote on elections for government officials and on important issues that concern all member countries of the EU.On the other hand, centrifugal forces also divide the EU politically by having their members give up some political power in lieu of a supranational one.
16Cultural Cooperation in the EU EU motto: “United in Diversity”EU flag:EU anthem: Beethoven's 9th Symphony (“Ode to Joy”).The EU works to create a common cultural identity at the same time it recognizes the diversity of the different peoples from the member nations.
17Think Globally…The EU is the best example of supranational cooperation in the world today.Centripetal forces work toward such cooperation.Centrifugal forces work against unity.The EU works because its member countries have been willing to give up some power—just how much power, remains an issue.Some Europeans welcome unity while others don’t.Cooperation amongst countries is not limited to Europe, however. A good example of it is NAFTA.