European Union

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Autor: diana
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 18.10.2017
Jazyk: Angličtina
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Symbols of European Union

  1. Motto: “ United in diversity”

- European countries are united within the EU but keep their own uniqueness, their own language, traditions

- The countries should share their values so that they could enrich one another

  1. The European Flag

- circle of 12 yellow (golden) stars on a blue background

- blue is the colour of the European continent

- stars represent the member countries – there are 12 stars in a flag, but in reality there are 28 member countries

- the circle represents unity

- it is a flag of two separate organisations – the EU and the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe - it is the main decision making body of the EU

- meeting between the heads of the EU states - at least twice a year

- its presidency changes between countries every 6 months

- current president of European Council is Donald Tusk.

  1. The European anthem

- Ludwig Van Beethoven´s “Ode to Joy” (Ninth Symphony)

- In 1985 adopted by the EU leaders as the official anthem of the EU

- Music only, no words – represents the most universal language

  1. The Europe Day: 9th May

(in 1950 Schuman - French minister of foreign affairs made the Schuman Declaration in which he proposed creating a new organisation of European states)

The headquarters: Brussels (Belgium)


- Euro – can be used everywhere within the euro area; however, there are still countries within the EU which haven´t accepted euro as their official currency (UK, Denmark, Sweden, The Czech republic, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria)

- 19 countries are in the Euro zone - the area where Euro is used

- coins and notes were introduced in January 2002, it is governed by the European Central Bank, which was established in 1998 (seat - in Frankfurt)

- Coins – one side with national symbols, the other side is common

- Bank notes – no national side

- Slovakia adopted common European currency on the 1st of January 2009

How it works?

- It is a partnership of 28 European countries on the same continent

- 24 official languages

- More than 500 million people

The meaning of the European Union is that people of different countries and nations are able to form one “country“ with different languages, cultures, traditions and values

- it is based on democratic principles

The beginnings:

The initial idea was to prevent war in the future because the countries that trade together would not fight against each other. After the World War II some European politicians thought it would be a great idea to create economical link with Germany for lasting peace and prosperity by managing the main materials used in war (coal and steel) TOGETHER.

The European Economic Community (EEC) formed in 1958 established economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

- cooperation in the areas of trade, economy and nuclear energy

- common market with free movement of goods, workers, services and capital

- there are open borders

The founders:

Konrad Adenauer

Robert Schuman

Winston Churchill

Alcide de Gasperi

Jean Monnet

The enlargement

- from 6 to 28 countries

1989 – the Fall of Berlin Wall - the end of the Communism

- EU economic help begins in form of Phare programmes

1992 – specific criteria were set for joining the EU (political and economic):

A, Democracy and rule of law

B, Functioning market economy

C, Ability to implement the EU laws

1993 - foundation of EU

1998 – the beginnings of formal negotiations on enlargement

2004 (1st of May) – the biggest enlargement – 10 new countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary etc.)

Formal Goals of EU

Through signing number of treaties the effort is to make all the processes within the system:

- more efficient

- more democratic

- more transparent

- more secure (to stop global warming, terrorism)

- freedom of movement, education development (investing in research and innovation), peace keeping, relaxed border check, environmental care (support greener economy), more job opportunities, forming of more dynamic business environment

- it deals with a variety of topics - citizens rights and freedom, security, justice, job creation, regional development and environmental protection

Positives of the EU membership

- single market

- you can get lower prices because of existing concurrence

- the prices of phone calls have been reduced

- single currency – no need to change the money we want to take with us what is more comfortable

- freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital - easier to travel and to shop because there are no official inner boundaries between the countries; there is “the Schengen” Area

- there are no border controls, barriers, passport or customs controls

- common visa politics

- it promises better future for young people - they learn languages, explore new cultures, have more job opportunities, protection of workers

- we can travel to different countries to study or work (countries opened their labour markets)

- there are many study programmes - students can live and study in a culturally different countries in host families

- financial support and solidarity of member countries through funds

a, regional funds b, cohesion funds c, social funds

- The money from the EU funds is invested in infrastructure, business, environment and training of workers for less well-off regions or citizens

- many Slovak companies participate in different EU funded projects concerning environment, regional development, education, trade - rising job opportunities

- faster social and economic development

- guarantee of peace in Europe

Negatives of the EU membership

- a lot of bureaucracy - waste of time and money

- a risk of losing cultural identity, sovereignty

- instability of the system

- lots of restrictions, orders

- some countries closed their labour markets for foreigners - you cannot work there

- EU recognizes only some diplomas required for some professions

- overcrowding of some of the cities (in the UK)

- we have to pay quite a lot

- risk of economic crises (Portugal, Greece)

- some inefficient policies (agriculture)

Other institutions of EU

European Commission

European Parliament -its members are directly elected by the citizens of each country in EU for 5 years

- Slovakia has 13 members (R. Sulík, M. Flašíková Beňová, E. Kukan, Pál Csáky, A. Záborská, J. Žitňanská, B. Zala...)

European Union Ombudsman - his job is to deal with complaints from any individual or legal entity against the member states

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