The European Union created regions of Europe as the layer of EU government administration directly below the nation-state level
Regions of Europe are represented by the Committee of the Regions headquarters in Brussels.
Reasons for this include;
- Reflecting the historic and cultural claims for autonomy in many regions all over the EU
- Strengthening the political and economic situation in those regions.
On 25March 1957 the governments of France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg signed the Rome Treaty and implemented on 1 January 1958. In so doing they agreed to create what came to be known as the Common Market or, more accurately, the European Economic Community. That institution has remained the movement towards closer union and economic integration in Europe. It was course accompanied by the creation of Euratom and had indeed been preceded by the European Coal and Steel Community of 1951. European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) established with the pooling of production and consumption of coal and steel. And the on the same day the same six countries signed Treaty of Rome, establishing European Economic Community (EEC )in 1957). EEC better known as The Common Market, and the EURATOM Treaty (European Atomic Energy Community), designed to promote and supervise the development for peaceful uses of nuclear and atomic energy, which was recognised as an essential resource. In 1973 the UK, Denmark and Ireland joined the origial six countries, followed by Greeced in 1981and then in 1986, by Spain and Portugal. In 1990 the reunion of East and West Germany was achieved, which effectively added another state to community. On 1st January 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden joined to make a European Community of 15. *
After that EU was going on the way of enlarging in zone, population, economy and rest of all aspects, by giving access to other countries to apply for access to become a member of EU. On 1st January 2001 European Union become more in number after ten new states joined to EU entity, and in present time EU includes 25 states with new ten members; (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia). However, by 1st January 2007 two new states will be joining to EU like Bulgaria and Romania.
Supporters of the European Union argue that the growth of the EU is a force for peace and democracy. They argue that the wars which were a periodic feature of the history of Western Europe have ceased since the formation of the European Economic Community (which later became the EU) in the 1950s. They also claim that in the early 1970s, Greece, Portugal and Spain were all dictatorships, but the desire of the business communities in these three countries to be in the EU created a strong impetus for democracy there. Others argue that peace in Europe since World War II is more due to other causes, such as the need for a unified response to the threat from the Soviet Union, a need for reconstruction after World War II, and a collective temporary tiring of waging war, and that the dictatorships cited came to an end for totally different reasons. In more recent times, the European Union has been extending its influence to the east. It has accepted several new members that were previously behind the Iron Curtain, and has plans to accept several more in the medium-term. It is hoped that in a similar fashion to the entry of Spain, Portugal and Greece in the 1980s, membership for these states will help cement economic and political stability. As the EU continues to enlarge eastward, the candidate countries' accessions tend to grow more controversial. As previously explained, the EU has finished accession talks with Bulgaria and Romania, and set an entry date for the two countries in 2007. However, the rejection of the EU Constitution by France and the Netherlands, and the EU's slow economic growth, have cast some doubt on whether the EU will be ready to accept new members after 2007, when Romania and Bulgaria are set to join EU (in early 2005 they signed the Accession Treaty). A further point of contention for EU members is the accession of Turkey.
Accession preliminary talks between Turkey and the EU began in early October 2005. Turkey's Government, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has enacted many legal reforms to meet the EU's entry requirements. However, some member states, especially Austria, repudiate Turkey joining the EU, and the possible economic, immigration and cultural implications that may bring. It is also noted that the vast majority of Turkey's territory lies outside of what is commonly considered the continent of Europe.
The ten new member states of Eastern Europe have enjoyed a much higher average percentage growth rate than their West European counterparts. With the exception of Malta not one state has had a GDP growth of less than 4%, putting these nations up with economies such as the US. Notably the Baltic states have achieved massive GDP growth, with Latvia topping 8.5%, close to China, the world leader at 9% on average for the past 25 years. Reasons for this massive growth include government commitments to stable monetary policy, export-oriented trade policies, low flat-tax rates and the utilization of relatively cheap labor. The current map of EU growth is one of huge regional variation, with the larger economies suffering from stagnant growth and the new nations enjoying sustained, robust economic growth. Although EU25 GDP is on the increase, the percentage of Gross world product is decreasing due to the emergence of economic powers such as China, India and Brazil. In the medium to long term, the EU will be looking to increase GDP growth in the central European economies such as France, Germany and Italy and stabilize growth in the new Eastern European states to ensure sustained economic prosperity. *
Dating back the initial steps of union or inegration is clear in above statements how EU entity is being built up. It started by three countries and has no last point that can cover enlargement of Euro Zone. European Union tries to get new character of Federation. However, by analyzing each and single country of EU then we can see that are not so significant by own, but by unitting into one single entity they have cooperation, strong solidarity in front of rest of the world. GDP per capita of new accessed members are not so great but under one entity total possession of each member makes a great number that let EU to compete almost in all aspects as a bloc and in such way it is easier to compete and to combat in world market arena. European Union has a large economy, probably slightly larger than that of the United States of America with a 2005 GDP of 12,865,602 million vs. 11,734,300 million (USD figures) (using nominal US Dollar GDP) according to the International Monetary Fund. Using the purchasing power parity method of computing GDP, the preferred comparative measure of economic output, the EU and the US economies are virtually the same size. As the EU has 50% more people than the US, but produces about the same economically, the average EU citizen enjoys a per capita share of domestic product of about USD $28,100, while in the US the per person GDP is over USD $40,000. It is estimated that in the period 2006-2020 the European Union's economy will grow at an average rate of 2.1% per annum, against the United States growing at an annual rate of almost 3.0%, however if growth is taken per head the figures are 2.5% per annum for the US and 2.0% for the EU. The EU set itself an objective under the Lisbon Strategy to make the European Union "the world's most dynamic and competitive economy" by the year 2010, but it is now generally accepted that this target will not be met. The significant challenges facing the EU economy include demographic issues like a low birth rate and aging population; while important strengths include the expected gains earned through enhanced free trade and high growth in newer EU members in particular. The European Union's economic growth has been below that of the United States most years since 1990, while its unemployment rate has generally been higher. Many point out that there are benefits accruing to EU citizens (the "social wage") that are not visible in traditional economic data - like enhanced time off from work, social protection and other benefits. In recent years, the economic performance of several of its key members, including Germany and Italy, has been a matter of serious concern to policy makers. Population and GDP per capita of EU member states and candidates. *
If considered a single unit, the European Union has the largest economy in the world with a 2004 GDP of 11,723,816 million USD using PPP equivalence. The EU economy is expected to grow further over the next decade as more countries join the union — especially considering that the new states are usually poorer than the EU average, and have the capacity to grow at a high rate. The European Council published estimations on 17 November 2005 that the economy of the European Union will have grown approximately 1.5% in 2005 (1.3% in the eurozone),and 2.3% 2006 (2.1% in the eurozone) comparing favorably to earlier low growth predictions. In the year of 2006 the eurozone made 4-5 milion new jobs. The European Council is hopeful that the European Union will grow further in 2006 and in 2007 (2.1% 2006 2.4% 2007). Germany, the largest economy in the EU, will grow about: 0.8% 2005, 1.2% 2006 and 1.6% 2007. After extremely slow growth, it seems that the EU will grow again in the next couple of years.
EU member states have agreed a program called Agenda 2010 which aims at making "the EU the world's most dynamic and competitive economy" by 2010.
I think that European integration has a great impact to its members almost in all aspects. Some information above explains the beginning of EU and its economic integration condition, which is one of the leading and most successful economies on the planet. Today 25 countries of EU became together to be stronger and to have competitive advantage in market place and in the world arena. Member states joined to be in union and to be in unison almost in each and every act. As we analyze past time we can see that they had conflict and war between each other. However, situation that we see today is phenomenon and it fascinated whole world as those countries created Single Market and new currency of EURO appeared in half of international transactions in the world. Mostly all states have adopted EURO currency as an official currency of European Union. Such achievement took a long time and much efforts put with particular stages that used by states to improve relationship and membership. European Union has achieved four stages and last and further stage is Political Union which is not achieved yet. This is last and most advanced stage in process. Stages of Economic Integration are explained below after explanation of Single Market.
Single market (Treaty of Rome 1957)
Many of the policies of the EU relate in one way or another to the development
anmaintenanceof an effective single market. Significant efforts have been made to create harmonized standards – which are designed to bring economic benefits through creating larger, more efficient markets.
The power of the single market reaches beyond the EU borders, because to sell within the EU, it is beneficial to conform to its standards. Once a non-member country's factories, farmers and merchants conform to EU standards, much of the cost of joining the union has already been sunk. At that point, harmonizing domestic laws in order to become a full member is relatively painless, and may create more wealth through eliminating the customs costs. The single market has both internal and external aspects: