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The European Union
So, first of all I would like to say what the EU is and add some basic facts about it.
The EU is a political as well as an economic organization of the European countries. There are 27 member states since 2007 when the last two, Bulgaria and Romania, joined the Union.
The number of official languages is 23 and the total number of its inhabitants counts over 500 million.
The motto of the EU is Unity in Variety and the well-known flag is in royal blue with twelve yellow stars in the circle. The flag is meant to represent the union of all the people of Europe.
A common currency of the EU is the euro which is now used in the 17 out of 27 countries and also in six countries outside the EU.
The European Union headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.
And now I will give a brief history of the EU. In 1951, The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established, consisted of six states and was a predecessor of the EU.
ECSC became the European Community (EC) in 1967.
In 1991 the European Council met at Maastricht in the Netherlands and agreed to the Treaty on European Union, commonly called the Maastricht Treaty, which went into effect two years later after ratification by member states.
In 1998, member states agreed to adopt the euro as a common currency. And in 2002, the euro became the official currency of the 12 participating countries.
In May 2004, 10 new members formally joined the EU, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
And in 2007 for now the last two states took up membership in the Union, like I’ve already said it was Bulgaria and Romania.
Now I would like to say what the actual purpose of the EU is. The principal goal of the EU is to promote and expand cooperation among member states in economics and trade, social issues, foreign policy, security and defence, and judicial matters. Other major goals are for example creating of the single market, subvention of the economy or improvement of the level of the living and the quality of the environment.
The major bodies of the EU are the Council of the EU, which is legislatively the most powerful one, the European Commission, which is responsible for the administration, the European Court of Justice, which interpret laws, the Court of Auditors, which control the finances, and the European Parliament.
So now I would like to say something about the pros of the EU. One of them is that as a citizen of the EU, you could travel to other member states only with your ID card and you don’t have to carry your passport anymore.
We also can travel more easily within the euro area because we don’t have to exchange our money to another currency each time we cross a border and we are able to compare prices more conveniently Travelling outside the euro area is also easier, since the euro is an international currency and therefore widely accepted in many places in the world not just in the EU countries. So we could use it for example in many popular tourist destinations and that’s what we couldn’t do with the Czech crowns.