Tuesday, 7 September 2010
CASE 001 - The European Union
Member states: 27
Population: 497 million (2008 estimate)
Area: 4,324,782 km²
Political centres: Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg
Commission: José Manuel Barroso (EPP)
Parliament: Hans-Gert Pöttering (EPP)
European Council: Janez Janša (EPP)
European Commissioner for Science and Research: Janez Potočnik
Geography: The territory of the EU is not the same as that of Europe, as parts of the continent are outside the EU, such as Switzerland, Norway and European Russia. Some parts of member countries are not part of the EU, despite forming part of the European continent (for example the Channel Islands and Faroe Islands). Several territories associated with member states that are outside geographic Europe are also not part of the EU (such as Greenland, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles and all the non-European territories associated with the United Kingdom). Some overseas territories are part of the EU even if they are not geographically part of Europe, such as the Azores, the Canary Islands, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Madeira, Martinique, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin.
Turkey became a founding member of the Council of Europe in 1949, applied for associate membership of the European Economic Community (EEC; predecessor of the European Union) in 1959 and became an associate member in 1963. After decades of political negotiations, Turkey applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987. In 1995 Turkey reached a Customs Union agreement with the EU. Official formal accession negotiations with the EU began on October 3rd, 2005. The accession process will presumably take several years due to Turkey's size and the depth of open questions to be clarified over certain issues.
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. Committed to regional integration, the EU was established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 upon the foundations of the European Communities.With over 500 million citizens, the EU combined generated an estimated 28% share (US$ 16.5 trillion) of the nominal and about 21% (US$14.8 trillion) of the PPP gross world product in 2009.
The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, and ensures the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital, including the abolition of passport controls by the Schengen Agreement between 22 EU states. It enacts legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Sixteen member states have adopted a common currency, the euro, constituting the eurozone.
Having a legal personality, the EU is able to conclude treaties with countries. It has devised the Common Foreign and Security Policy, thus developing a limited role in European defence and foreign policy. Permanent diplomatic missions of the EU are established around the world and representation at the United Nations, WTO, G8 and G-20 is maintained.
The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism. In certain areas, decisions are taken by independent supranational institutions, while in others, they are made through negotiation between member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.
The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome formed in 1957 by the same states. Since then, it has grown in size through enlargement, and in power through the addition of policy areas to its remit. The last amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU came into force in 2009 and was the Lisbon Treaty, by virtue of which the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union was elevated to legally binding status.
Why aren't we shocked by a corrupt EU? - Telegraph
EU corruption website
corruption.doc - Corruption in The European Union
Also read CASE 450 - Brexit