The Success of the European Union
The European Union has always thrown up split opinions by people who like the idea and those that do not. The anti-EU lobby cite an abundance of red tape and a great deal of wasted money on bureaucracy and such like, but there is a considerable amount of people who applaud what the European Union stands for and what is has achieved. In this blog we focus on some of the successes that the EU has achieved since it was founded by the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The original treaty was signed by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, France, West Germany and the Netherlands. And the aim was to create a single market for services, goods, labor and capitAl for the member states.
Today there are 28 states in the EU which is officially the EEC, who have expanded on the initial concept and includes cooperation on many matters including counter terrorism, law, trade, immigration, border control… and many more. During the sixty or so years of the EU, Europe has been at peace and prosperity has ruled. Recently Brexit has rocked the boat somewhat but this blog is to highlight the successes that the EU has definitely brought to Europe.
Freedom for Half a Billion People
One of the main principles of the formation of the EU was the free movement of people and labor among the states that joined. With twenty-eight countries now part of the European Economic Community, there are over 500 million people that are free to move around the countries involved. Of course, this is a highly contentious issue with the threat of immigration and terrorism being high on most countries domestic agendas. And it is estimated that today roughly fourteen million EU citizens live in a different country to their birth.
The EU also created an area called Schengen, that all states did not sign up to. The Schengen Area allowed people to pass through borders of member states without passports, this included almost four hundred million people. Even some non-EU countries signed up for this which included Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.
One of the World’s Biggest Markets was Created
The EU is now one of the biggest single markets in the world, and has the third largest community in terms of population. Two areas of massive expansion in 2004 and 2007 added twelve new countries and combined the GDP of the EU in 2016 was $16.5 trillion which is roughly one quarter of the world’s total. Between EU countries there is no import tax and no border restrictions for the import and export of goods. It is far easier to do business in the EU than formerly as individual European states especially with a common currency.
The EU makes and offers a huge selection of goods and services that is available to every EU country to take advantage of without restriction. In part two of our look into the successes of the European Union we look at even more examples of how it has benefited millions of people in this part of the world including, winning a Nobel Peace Prize and banishing the death penalty.