What is the European Union

What is the European Union and some of the interesting features of the European Union

The European Union is at the same time an economic union and a political union. She is currently formed by 28 independent countries with territory on the european continent (will be 27, when and if completed the process of Brexit, the output of the United Kingdom of the European Union, approved in a referendum in 2016). The European Union has 4,475,757 km2 (slightly more than half of Brazil’s landmass) and a population of over 510 million inhabitants, Brazil has a little over 200 million inhabitants).The countries of the Eu have economies at different stages of development, have different languages and cultures (although there is the legacy left by civilizations such as the Greek and the roman, and the influence of factors such as the Christianity that, in its aspects the roman catholic, protestant, and orthodox is the main religion in the space covered by the European Union). So, well if you can imagine that it is difficult to create a set of rules and institutions that allow for the harmonious cooperation of all these countries.

Although many think of the Euro as the currency of the European Union, it is good to note that, of the 28 countries, only 19 countries form the so-called Zone of the Euro and adopted the euro as their currency (for example, the Uk kept its pound sterling, while Italy, Germany, Portugal and France, respectively, exchanged the lira, the German mark, the shield and the franc by the euro).The euro was also adopted through a bilateral agreement with such countries as San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican city, that are not part of the European Union, and unilaterally, for example, by Montenegro, a former yugoslav Republic that had passed to make use of the German mark. Today is the second most important currency behind the dollar.

What is the European Union

One of the most interesting points of the experience of the European Union is the existence of the Schengen area: between the members of it, there is no border control, except checks to prevent crimes, allowing free transit of people and goods. They are part of the Schengen area of 26 countries, including 22 of the 28 countries that comprise the European Union (the Uk decided not to take part; Ireland remained outside to preserve your agreement and Common Travel Area with the Uk;Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Croatia should be part of the Space in the future and Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland are not part of the European Union, but joined the Schengen area). Vatican, Monaco and san Marino can be considered to be participating in fact, since it does not exercise control of its borders with the countries of the Schengen area.

In your integration effort, the European Union has agricultural policies, regional development and trade, among others, common. Public contracts are open to offers from any member country of the European Union. Professionals who provide services in the area of health care, law, tourism, among others are generally free to offer their services in any member country.

Although the defence generally still be on the account of the national governments and the Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), which has 22 member countries of the European Union in addition to nations that are not part of the union, is the main military alliance of the continent, there have been efforts to deepen the European integration also in the military field. Provides for the full integration of the military forces of the countries of the European Union in the future and there is a commitment to mutual defense of the member countries of the European Union.

Flag of European Union

The countries-members of the European Union are all democracies with developed economies or relatively developed. The poorest country of the European Union, Bulgaria, has a per capita income (calculated based on purchasing power) one-third higher than that of Brazil.

How the European Union works

As seen above, there are mechanisms that allow the free flow of individuals and goods between most of the countries of the European Union and there is a currency common to the majority of the members of the European Union: the euro. Also there are bodies responsible for the administration of this union. They are the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The Council of the European Union represents the governments of the member countries. Participate in ministers of those governments, who would coordinate the policies of its member countries, determine priorities and propose laws.

The European Commission is a team charged with applying the laws and enforcing the terms of the treaties. Is organised in a way that is similar to a ministerial cabinet, with one representative from each member country in addition to president.

The European Parliament is formed by members elected in their countries for five-year terms. It discusses and votes on the laws.

The Founders of the European Union

There are 11 men who, for his contribution to the cause of European unity, are called the founders of the European Union. They include Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of West Germany and responsible for re-establish relations with France, and to reintegrate the defeated Germany to the concert international; Joseph Bech, Luxembourg prime minister that has contributed to the formation of the Benelux and the European Community of Coal and Steel; Winston Churchill, the British prime minister who advocated the formation of the United States of Europe to prevent new wars in europe;Alcide de Gasperi, the Italian prime minister that has contributed to the rapprochement of the European countries in the post-war period, and was involved in the creation of the Council of Europe (the organisation that brings together almost all European countries, including many that are not members of the European Union, and is dedicated to the defense of democracy and human rights);Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman, Minister of Foreign affairs of the French who participated in the drafting of the declaration, according to which France and Germany would place its production of steel and coal under a common authority , which led to the creation of the European Community of Steel and Coal, a precursor to the European Union.

Konrad Adenauer