Political Economy of the European Union

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TheEuropean Union(EU) is a political and economic union of 27member states, situated principally inEurope. It was founded as a result of the Treaty of Maastrichtin 1993 based on the fundamentals of the pre-existingEuropean Economic Community. With approximately a population of 500million citizens, the EU collectively generates an approximated 30% share of the global nominalgross domestic productwith US$16.8 trillion in 2007.


It has build up a role inforeign policy, and represents its members in theWorld Trade Organization, atG8summits and at theUnited Nations. Twenty-one EU nations are part ofNATO. It has also taken up a responsibility in justice and home affairs, which includes the elimination of passport control between many member nations under theSchengen Agreement. (Alan, 2007)
The EU functions through a hybrid mechanism ofintergovernmentalismandsupranationalism. In particular areas it relies on agreement among the member states. However, it also possesses supranational bodies, thus is competent to make judgments without agreement between each and every national governments. Among the prominent institutions and bodies of the EU are theEuropean Commission, theEuropean Parliament, theCouncil of the European Union, theEuropean Council, theEuropean Court of Justice,and theEuropean Central Bank. In every five years, the Parliament is elected by the EU citizens. Origins of the EU go back to the formation of theEuropean Coal and Steel Community,formed among six countries in 1951 and theTreaty of Romein 1957. ...
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