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August 18, 2014

Important Details you should know about European Union (EU)


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History :

The Union is founded on the existing European communities set up by the Treaties of Paris (1951) and Rome (1957), supplemented by revisions, the single Eurpoean Act in 1986, the Maastricht Treaty on European Union in 1992, the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 and the draft Treaty of Nice in 2000.

The European Economic Community was founded in 1957, under Treaty of Rome, by France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize


The EU was not always as big as it is today. When European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated. Over time, more and more countries decided to join. The European community was enlarged on 1st January 1973 with the inclusion of Ireland, Denmark and the United Kingdom. Greece became its member in 1981, followed by Portugal and Spain in 1984. the former German Democratic Republic entered into full membership on reunification with Federal Germany in October 1990.  The union reached its current size of 28 member countries with the accession of Croatia on 1st July 2013.

Objectives of European Union

The objectives of the EU are as follows

  • The establishment of a common customs tariff and of a common commercial policy towards third countries. 
  • To eliminate the custom duties and of quantitative restrictions in regard to the import of and export of goods, as well as all other measures among member countries. 
  • Free movement of persons, services and capital among member countries. 
  • To establish a common policy in the sphere of agriculture and transport.
  • To create a European Social Fund in order to improve the possibilities of employment of workers and to contribute to the raising of their standard of living. 

European Monetary Union

The single European currency with 11 member states came into operation in January 1999 although it was not until 2002 that the currency came into general circulation. The euro-zone is the world's second largest economy after the USA in terms of output and the largest in terms of trade. EMU currency consists of the euro of 100 cents, with coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros and notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 2000 and 5000 euros.

India and European Union 

India has entered into a commercial and economic cooperation agreement with the EU. There have been two main elements in the community's relation with India.

  1. Trade Co-operation : EU has entered into a commercial agreement with India for the import of textiles and clothing. India is the largest source to the EU. The EU's share in Indian foreign trade ha snot changed much over the years. India's exports to the community were 18.4 per cent of the total exports of India which increased to 26 per cent in 1998-99 but came down recently to 20% and the share of EU in India's total imports was 18.9 billion. India ranks EU's 10th trading partner, accounting for 1.8% of EU exports and imports. 
  2. Development Aid : Development aid includes cooperation in science and technology, energy and human resources. An important element of aid to India is food aid in the form of milk powder (SMP) and butter oil.

Fast Facts of European Union

  • Capital : Brussels (de facto)
  • Heads :
    • President of the European Council - Herman Van Rompuy 
    • President of the European Commission - Jos Manuel Barroso (Jean-Claude Juncker will be the new president from November 2014)
  • Formation (year wise)
    • 23rd July 1952 - Treaty of Paris
    • 1st January 1958 - Treaty of Rome
    • 1st July 1967 - Merger Treaty
    • 1st November 1993 - Treaty of Maastricht
    • 1st December 2009 - Treaty of Lisbon
  • Members : 28 memers 
  • Newest memberCroatia (joined on 1st July 2013)


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