Development of the European Union

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In recent years, with these issues like the Brexit and the crisis of Eurozone existing, the European Union and its development in the future have become a popular topic to the relevant politicians, economists, company managers and even the public. Many people analyze the development tendency of the EU’s economy and politics. Some people think that the development of the European Union now is not as good as it several decades ago, since more and more issues and problems have appeared.

It is clear that the EU has made great achievements in forming a peaceful and harmonious society for Europeans, and making large improvement on some areas, such as economy, politics, human health and environmental protection and so on. Nevertheless, with the changeable global economic and political situation, nothing is changeless. Also, the original policies and strategies are not suitable for the EU’s development and even can bring lots of problems. Therefore, the policies of the EU single market should be improved appropriately to make them adapt to the globalization situation.

The Background of the Treaty of Rome

After World War Two, Europe suffered from two major threats—both internal and external threats. Because of the important role that Germany played in the wars at that time, nowadays many people think that only if German changed its destructive side into the constructive side, the peace would be possible to come. Therefore, Germany should rebuild its economic base and its political system to not threaten European security. Some countries planned to build a common European identify to eliminate conflict and develop their economy. In 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community was established, which is regarded as the first but small step to a common European identify; however, this organization had a disadvantage with its limited range.

According to Robert Schuman, his original view was the further economic integration decided the movement to political integration and a common identity to some extent. Later, in 1957, members of the European Coal and Steel Community—France, West Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries—created the EEC (European Economic Community), which aimed at creating a single European market. Besides, the institutions created by the Treaty of Rome can be regarded as the pioneer of the institutions of the today’s European Union.

The Achievements the EU

The determination of the treaty was to build “an even closer union between the people of Europe” (only limited to the people of signatories), which means that a European federation would formed and developed slowly but steadily, with economic integration promoting political institutions, and that would create a pan-European consciousness and identity (Potter, 2007).

Besides, the treaty of Rome generally described the natural principles of the European common market including the four free movements, such as goods, people, services and capital; a customs union and common tariffs for external area and different kinds of community policies like agriculture and transports (Treaty of Rome, 2000).

While talking about the European Union, it is undoubted that the treaty of Rome played a very significant role in the development and the formation of the European Union. From the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 with only six-member countries to the form of the European Union with 28-member countries in1993, such a complex process of the nearly 40-year enlargement attributed to the treaty of Rome. The EU is an organization that all Europeans should be proud because it successfully made European countries get out of the situation of slaughtering or preparing to slaughter one another (Potter, 2007). Also, at that time, some countries were under Communist tyranny like some parts of the eastern continent and authoritarian regimes in power in Iberia (Potter, 2007). The EEC, the pioneer of the EU, was a good choice to get out of such kinds of troubles and sought ways of economic and political development together with other members to some extent. A strong vision of peace and unity between European people and the nations stimulated and promoted the work for the Treaty of Rome (Bildt, 2017).

Besides providing a good environment for different countries improving their economy, another achievement is that the EU has been the vehicles for stability, peace and prosperity, not multinational institution, has done more to promote freedom in the past 20 years (Potter, 2007). Nowadays, 27-member countries share a single market and a common currency—Euro, with free movement of people and money, which meet the essential principles of the Treaty of Rome (Treaty of Rome, 2000). It is clear that today’s biggest achievement of the European Union—a single market—is the goal of the treaty of Rome 60 years ago. The single market now allows the labors across borders where soldiers guarded and protected by using nuclear weapons several decades ago (Potter, 2007).

After the form of single market, lots of labors can move to other EU member countries freely to find job opportunities to make money, which decrease the unemployment rate, and in return, it also improves the member countries’ economic development. Moreover, the free movements of people and capital give the tourists benefits when they travel to another country in the European single market because they do not need to exchange currency now, while in the past several decades, people driving from Mexico to Montreal had to know about the custom and changed the currency twice in total (Potter, 2007). Such kinds of changes have made the members of the EU improve a lot. Therefore, the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 due to the over 60-year contribution to the improvements of peace, harmony, democracy society and human rights in Europe (Parker, 2017).

Besides, the EU also did achievement in protecting environment. the biggest program of legislation over the world is in the EU, which has carried out many measures to face and deal with the global environmental problems. For example, this program set standards for swimming water, which push many beaches in beauty spots to control the water which was not up to the level. Also, it approved the Paris Agreement to limit the emission of the greenhouse gases in the world to deal with the climate change (Parker, 2017). From these kinds of examples, it is clear that the European Union was powerful promotion in firming international agreement of environmental problem like climate change. Compared with 28 single voices from each country, giving out through a united voice is more difficult to be overlooked and more powerful (Parker, 2017).

In brief, after signing the Treaty of Rome, the pioneer of the European Union became forming and being enlarged to the real EU, and the EU even has become stronger and more powerful not only in the development of economy and politics but also in the improvements of other areas like harmonious societies and environmental protection.

The Problems the EU

It is certain that the European Union members have got lots of profits and benefits during the trade in the single market, and the EU is very successful and even more successful than expected. However, recently, because of the changeable development of economic trade around the worldwide market, it is unavoidable that the European market has begun to face some problems. Firstly, the enlargement of the EU members has become one of the main problems. The EU’s biggest problem is that it does not know what it wants to be, whether the union should get wider but looser or put enlargement on working for becoming a deeper integration (Potter, 2007).

On the other hand, compared with the goal several decades ago, the goal of the European Union has changed now because of the different situation of international landscape and environment. For example, European countries were under the impact of the World War Two and authoritarian regimes, and they urgently needed the environment of peace and unity to develop their economy, while now this vision faded out and the EU is driven forward more by the need of nations to find common solutions in more complicated times (Bildt, 2017). At present, because the EU is not a federal state, these member countries have not reached into an agreement widely on the problem where to go from here (Potter, 2007).

For example, the Germans and French continue dreaming of becoming something like a United States of Europe, which is the idea of “an even closer union between the people of Europe” from the Treaty of Rome and repeated in the Maastricht Treaty; however, the British people just want to keep the former not a United States of Europe with some new member countries from eastern Europe (Potter, 2007).There are also some other problems that the European Union has faced. For instance, the Brexit is a difficult issue or even a problem that the EU should deal with. The negotiation between the British and the European Union is very difficult for both sides to come into an agreement and it seems endless and no-deal due to lots of problems both sides need to consider seriously, such as the tariffs for the trade between the UK and the EU member states after the Brexit.

Others even concern about that the severe disruption of supply chains and enormous economic dislocation will happen due to the exit of the UK, because the EU has an 80-billion-euro trade surplus with the UK, which would make the bloc suffer (Beard, 2019). Even worse, some are worried about that German would have greater possibility to dominate the EU’s response and decisions, because of weakness of France the semi-detached situation of the UK in the European Union and even some issues recently like the Eurozone crisis (Grant, 2016).

The Opportunities the EU

For the European Union, the continuously enlargement of globalization situation is one of the great benefits to develop and improve the member states’ economy. Nowadays, with rapid development of global economy and the progress on science and technology with lower and economic expenditure of transportation and liberalization policy in the EU and other states make the trade increasing between each other, which is regarded as a main opportunity of the future development of the EU. Due to the essence of the common market—moving more freely on goods, services, capital and people, the single market offers good opportunities for developing businesses, creating better choices and more economic prices for customers during the marketing competition (A deeper and fairer Single Market: Commission boosts opportunities for citizens and business, 2015).

However, with the uncertain, not performed or easily becoming risky due to uncertain barriers single market rules, it is very necessary to come up with creative ideas and business models. According to the Commission Vice President—Jyrki Katainen, the most critical portion of the Investment Plan for Europe is to strengthen and deepen the European single market by removing investment restrictions and providing new opportunities for professionals and even customers (A deeper and fairer Single Market: Commission boosts opportunities for citizens and business, 2015). Recently, lots of new products and innovation have existed, marketing competitions have become more and more fierce, numerous companies seek to creative ideas to make their products, companies and even their brands famous to larger range of customers.

Besides, competition is very important to the market, because it can eliminate the domination of one company and allow more competitors in a same market, which can provide more choices and higher quality of products, and lower, more suitable price to customers. What’s more, it can also bring innovation—new ideas to the market to maintain it updating status, and all of these are significant to the EU single market. Therefore, time value is also important to the market. According to Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, “ a lot of work should be done on unleashing full potential of the Single Market, which is very necessary and urgent” (A deeper and fairer Single Market: Commission boosts opportunities for citizens and business, 2015). In other words, the European Union should focus more on the European Competition Policy to renew the strategies to make the common market fix the need of global market and stand out over the world.

In conclusion, the achievements the European Union did during the past several decades are more successful than people expected at that time those six countries were signing the Treaty of Rome. It not only made Europeans get out of the conflicts and develop the politics and economy, but also establish the largest single market over the world and plays one of the most important roles in the global trade market. However, with the complicated and changeable situation and lots of difficulties it faces, it is necessary and very important for the EU to seize the opportunity of the advantages of the European common market and work even harder to improve the relevant policies and regulations to make the single market continuously stand critical position around the world.

Cite this paper

Development of the European Union. (2021, Jul 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/development-of-the-european-union/

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