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19. Maturitni otazka_The European Union

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The European Union The European Union is an economic and political union of 28 member states. It was set up after the Second World War. It all started on 9 of May 1950 when France proposed to create the foundation of a European federation. This day is now called the Europe Day. There were 6 establishing countries France, Belgium, German, Italy, Luxemburg and the Neatherland. There are still some countrieswaiting to become themembersof the EU, for example Turkey. The major part of the country is located in Asia. When Turkey becomes the member state, the EU would border with Iraq and Iran which might result in more terrorists coming to the EU. And finally, Turkey is a muslim country. There may also be a problem, because states of Europe are mainly Christian. Thelast state, which joined the EU is Croatia. The two main legislativeinstitutionsof the EU are the European Parliament and the Counsil of the European Union. The European Council consists of the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and one representative from each member state. The European Parliament consists of 736 Members of the European Parliament are elected by EU citizens every 5 years. Themonetary policy is governed by the European Central Bank. The application of EU laws and the treaties are ensured by the Court of Justice of the European Union. There is no president of the EU, even though there have been some talks recently about whether to have a president or not. There is no capital city of the EU, but there are 3 politicalcentres: Brussel (the centre of European Court and The EU commission), Luxemburg (the seat of The EU court of justice), and Strasbourg. The Central Bank of Europe is located in Frankfurt. The officiallanguagesare those of individual member states (23), there are 3 official working languages spoken in the Council and other European institutions – English, Germany and French. The flag of the EU is blue with 12 golden stars arranged in a circle. Number 12 represents completeness and the circle represents unity. The motto is: United in diversity , and the anthem is Beethoven's Ode to Joy. With the population of about 500 million, the EU is the biggest economy power in the world. The EU currency is theEuro which became the main currency in most member states in 1999 and on the 1 of January 2002 the euro notes and coins were issued in 12 of the 15 countries. Even if the currency is the same, the coins have two sides: the common, and the national with the symbols of some member states. Now, there are 17 countries using the Euro. After the US dollar, it is the second most traded currency in the world. The introduction of the Euro has had a positive impact on the movement of goods, financial assets, and people within the eurozone. Firms now have easier access to capital. There are some disadvantage. For example, the initial transition, the economic shock which may cause devaluation and rising prices. The Czech Republic joined the EU on the 1 of May 2004, but we haven't adopted the Euro yet. Like for other member states, the advantages are free travel across Europe, when we do not need to have a passport to go to other member states. We are also a part of Schengen area, which ensures the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. We can also freely work in other member states. Czech institutions can also try to get money from European grants for cultural, educational and regional projects.

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