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The European Union

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The European Union

        The European Union (EU), is an economic and political union where 28 countries are in collusion with each other. The EU was established on November 1 1993 in Maastricht, Netherlands. As mentioned by Subham Soni, the purpose of forming this union is to “promote greater social, political and economic harmony among the nations of Western Europe.” (Soni, 2017).  

Firstly, as previously mentioned, the EU was established in Maastricht, Netherlands on November 1 1993. This union was established as a result of the Maastricht treaty which integrated Europe and laid the foundations for the euro. The EU was previously known as the European Economic Community (EEC) as a post WW2 union but later changed to the EU in 1993 in Maastricht. After this change, the EEC moved from a strict economic collusion, expanding to environmental protection, health, fiscal policies and justice and migration. The EU member states consists of 28 countries which are Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

        Secondly, the main purpose of the EU is to protect the peace between European countries, trying to prevent a third world war from happening which would be the worst case scenario. The benefits an EU member state varies along the lines of political, social, economic, and even environmental benefits. The overall economic benefits include operating under a single market. The single market allows for the free movement of goods and services including human capital among EU countries, whereas tariffs are non-existent and border regulations do not hinder trade (Investopedia, 2017). Also, as mentioned in the video shared in class, countries that join the European Union see an approximate 12% increase in overall GDP, which is something positive for any country since their wealth increases. The EU also has strict policies on pollution, which is one of the environmental benefits of the EU as well as legal and human rights which prevent social issues such as racism and discrimination.

         Lastly, only 19 of the 28 EU member states use the euro which is their single standard currency, and these countries are collectively known as the Euro area. One Belize dollar equates to 0.42 euros, this means that a euro is worth a lot more than our own currency. The benefits of using the euro as a common currency are lies in travelling abroad or making transactions with other EU countries that use the euro as well as eliminating floating exchange rates. Furthermore, a major issue concerning the European Union is that of Brexit, whereas the UK wants to withdraw from the EU. One of the reasons they want to leave is due to an immigration controversy where the UK complains that immigrants migrate to their country, taking up jobs.



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