Objectives Learn about the history of the European Union. Understand the purpose of the European Union. Examine the structure of the European Union. Find out what the future holds for the European Union.
Vocabulary Euro Official currency (money) of the European Union Single market A system in which goods, services, and capital move freely with no barriers Foreign minister A govt. official who is in charge of a nation’s foreign affairs
History of the European Union Robert Schuman, a French govt. official, proposed the European Coal and Steel Community because he wanted nations to work together to control their coal and steel industries. Began with a small group of 6 nations: Belgium France Italy Luxembourg The Netherlands West Germany *1970s – 1980s: more nations joined the EU. The United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Denmark were some of the many. Today, 25 countries are members of the EU, with more on the waiting list to join. Today it is known as the European Union.
History (cont.) 1992: Maastricht Treaty established the European Union and laid out the plan for the European Union nations to adopt a single currency. This currency is called the euro. 12 other countries adopted the euro. Denmark, Sweden, and Great Britain did not adopt the euro. Unlike the US, the European Union is not a federation of states; it is a group of individual countries that have agreed to give certain powers to the EU.
European Union Nations that belong to the EU can trade freely with one another without having to pay taxes on international trade. The majority of the EU laws are passed by the European Parliament. The goal of the EU was to make future wars impossible by binding together the people and the governments of Europe.
European Union Throughout the EU, people can move around freely without needing special visas or permits. There are three main policy-making institutions: European Parliament Council of the European Union European Commission The EU handles policies on a wide range of topics, from the environment to fighting crimes to education. It does not handle national defense policies.