United Europe: The Effects of Ratifying the European Constitution
For over 2000 years, Europe stood as the center of the world in the areas of art, science, wealth, and religion. After the brutal conflicts of World War I and II, as well as the end of Communism, many realized that because of the lack of organization and communication between the various nations, corruption, deceit, and war, conflict was able to run rampant and unchecked. On that note, European nations proposed an economic and intergovernmental union that would ensure the future prosperity of Europe. This European Union changed many things on the continent, from economic policies, to political structure. How exactly was Europe, despite its violent history, able to reach a relatively universal agreement that has allowed it to become one of the largest economic and political unions in the world? This article describes just that.
Background: European History in a Nutshell
From the late 1800's onward, many began to see the direction of where Europe was headed. German and Italian unification, the formation of smaller nations, growing wealth imbalances and distrust caused an array of secret pacts and alliances, and the formation of a communist Russia all created a tense era. Eventually, this web became so entangled that when World War I began in 1914 due to the death of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, almost all of Europe was dragged into conflict, even if some nations did not act in any way. For four years, war dragged on, destroying the face of Europe and leaving deep emotional scars within the population. An entire generation of men were almost obliterated, with survivors carrying both physical and emotional scars. In the end, all of the blame was placed solely on the relatively young Germany, who was expected to repay absurd amounts of money to repair Europe. This, coupled with the global depression of the late 1920's, are theorized to be the reason for the emergence of Hitler and the cause of the second World War.
After World War Two, the Cold War was the dominant factor in world politics and economic policies. Western Europe watched horridly at the Soviet Union's growing influence in Eastern Europe. When the USSR collapsed in 1991, the world rejoiced. It was at this time that Europe felt would be the most ample opportunity to ensure that the tumultuous history that shaped the continent until that time would not continue. It was this idea that was the foundation of the Treaty of Maastricht which was enacted in 1993 thus heralding in the EU.
What is the Definition of the EU:
The European Union is an economic and political organization on the European continent which includes twenty seven members, all of which are European countries except for Luxembourg which is a Grand Duchy. Although a Union, it exists more or less as a confederation of states. Each nation retains its own individual governments and laws while at the same time, each nation has representatives that convene regularly, as well as follow a common economic and justice policy. There is a president and several parliaments that oversees the EU including deciding trade policies, and enacting foreign policy. Currently, the president of the EU is Herman Van Rompuy. EU presidents can come from any member state and are the spokesperson on behalf of the entire union. The mission statement of the EU is dual purpose: to ensure economic prosperity and free trade within member states and to establish policies to insure political stability and peace.
Who is Currently in the European Union?
To date, the following nations makeup the EU:
European states are frequently added when they
can show that they have stable government, maintain human right laws
mandated by the EU, and have an economy that can rival the EU on its
own. Currently, the EU consists of over 500 million citizens and
boasts the second largest economy based on GDP. In order to evaluate
the effects of the EU ratification, we must separate it into
economic and political changes.
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