The European Union. What is the European Union? economic and political partnership between 28 democratic European countries primarily located in Europe.

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  • Slide 1
  • The European Union
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  • What is the European Union? economic and political partnership between 28 democratic European countries primarily located in Europe established by the Treaty of Mastricht on November 1, 1993 upon the fundations of the European Communities set up to bring peace, stability and prosperity for its citizens in a fairer, safer world being strengthened and confirmed all across Europe: half a billion people have chosen to live under the rule of law and in accordance with age- old values centred on humanity and human dignity
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  • How is EU organised? To realize all goals, EU countries set up bodies to run the EU and adopt its legislation: The European Parliament The Council of the European Union The European Commission The Court of Justice The Court of Auditors The European Economic and Social Commitee The Commitee of the Regions The European Central Bank The Europe Investment Bank
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  • EU bodies
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  • The decision making triangle The European Parliament (representing the people of Europe) The Council of the Europen Union (representing national goverments) The European Commission (representing the common EU interests)
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  • The decision making triangle
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  • The European Parliament Elected every five years by the people of Europe Has the power to dismiss the European Commission Members of the European Parliament are members of Europe-wide political groups The main meetings of the Parliament are held in Strasbourg (France) Parliament works in all 24 official EU languages Martin Shulz is the current President
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  • Roles The European Parliament has three main roles: debating and passing European laws, with the Council scrutinising other EU institutions, particularly the Commission, to make sure they are working democratically debating and adopting the EU's budget, with the Council.
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  • The Council of the European Union EUs principal decision-making body Defines the general political direction and priorities of the European Union In charge of the EUs foreign, security and defence policies, and responsible for key decisions on justice and freedom issues Consists of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States, together with its President and the President of the Commission meets twice every six months, convened by its President
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  • The Council of the European Union Most decisions are taken by majority vote, although sensitive issues in areas like taxation, asylum and immigration, or foreign policy, require unanimity Several times a year the presidents and/or prime ministers of the member states meet as the European Council. These summit meetings set overall EU policy Currently President is Herman Van Rompuy
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  • The European Commission EU's executive organ represents and upholds the interests of Europe as a whole drafts proposals for new European laws, which it presents to the European Parliament and the Council manages the day-to-day business of implementing EU policies and spending EU funds also seen as the motor of European integration currently composed of 28 commissioners for different areas of policy, one from each member state
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  • The European Commission The President of the Commission and all the other commissioners are nominated by the Council Appointments of the Commission President, and also the Commission in its entirety, have to be confirmed by Parliament Current Commission President is Jos Manuel Barroso
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  • Member states Six original founding states Belgium, France, (then West) Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands Today European Union is composed of 28 sovereign Member States
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  • Copenhagen criteria To join the EU a country must meet the Copenhagen criteria, defined at the 1993 Copenhagen European Council. These require: a stable democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law a functioning market economy capable of competition within the EU the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including EU law
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  • Member states Evaluation of a country's fulfilment of the criteria is the responsibility of the European Council and they must have a public administration capable of applying and managing EU laws in practice. No member state has ever left the Union Official candidate countries: Iceland, FYR Macedonia, Montenegreo, Serbia and Turkey. Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina are officially recognised as potential candidates.
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  • How citizents can exercise their rights Europeans have specific political rights. Every citizen of the Union, regardless of nationality, has the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in local elections in his or her country of residence and in elections to the European Parliament. This brings the EU closer to its people. Citizenship of the Union shall complement and not replace national citizenship.
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  • Economy Since its origin, the EU has established a single economic market across the territory of all its members. Currently, a single currency is in use between the 16 members of the eurozone. EU has the largest economy in the world and the second largest trade bloc economy in the world. It is the largest exporter, and the largest importer of goods and services, and the biggest trading partner to several large countries.
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  • Military and defence The predecessors of the European Union were not devised as a strong military alliance because NATO was largely seen as appropriate and sufficient for defence purposes. Twenty-two EU members are members of NATO while the remaining member states follow policies of neutrality.
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  • Humanitarian aid The European Commissions Humanitarian Aid Office, or ECHO, provides humanitarian aid from the EU to developing countries. In 2006 its budget amounted to 671 million, 48% of which went to the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Counting the EU's own contributions and those of its member states together, the EU is the largest aid donor in the world.
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  • The EU symbols The European flag Symbol for the whole of Europe The 12 stars in a circle symbolise the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony amog the people of Europe. The European anthem The melody comes from the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven, it is called Ode to Joy When this music is used as the European anthem, it has no words.
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  • Listen to the EU anthem!
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  • The EU symbols Europe Day, 9 May The ideas behind what is now the European Union were first put forward on 9 May 1950 in a speach by the then French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman. Each year, 9 May is celebrated as the EUs birthday. Motto of the EU. United in diversity.
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  • EUs mission in the 21st century Provide peace, prosperity and stability for its people Overcome the divisions on the continent Ensure that its people can live in safety Promote balanced economic and social development Meet the challenges of globalisation and preserve the diversity of the people of Europe Uphold the values that Europeans share, such as sustainable development and a sound environment, respect for human rights and the social market economy.
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  • Some positive results so far Frontier free travel and trade The Euro (the single European Currency) Safer food and greener environment Better living standards in poorer regions Joint action on crime and terror Cheaper phone calls Millions of opportunities to study abroad Freedom, security and justice for all Equal chances for everyone
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  • Taxation in the European Union Governments retain sole responsibility for levels of direct taxation Tax rules must be consistent with the goals of job creation, the EUs competitiveness, the single market and free movement of capital Member states set the rate of tax on company profits, personal incomes, savings and capital gains themselves
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  • VAT VAT rates are an exception, as they are fundamental for single market Minimum rate of 15% of VAT on most goods and services; exceptions are possible
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  • Excise taxes Subject to common rules as excise tax on petrol, alcoholic drinks or cigarettes, as they can distort competition Cultural and economic differences are recognised
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  • Revision Which EU institution represents national governments? Which institution is the executive organ of the EU? Which states are original founding states? Which countries are official candidates? What are symbols of the EU? What is the EU motto? Which are positive results of the EU so far? Who retains responsibility for levels of direct taxation? What is the minimum rate of VAT?
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  • A brief history of the EU
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  • Translate the following: Europska unija jedinstveno je gospodarsko i politiko partnerstvo 28 europskih drava koje zajedno pokrivaju velik dio kontinenta. Europska unija osnovana je nakon Drugog svjetskog rata. Sve je poelo poticanjem gospodarske suradnje s namjerom da zemlje koje meusobno trguju postanu gospodarski ovisne jedna o drugoj i time izbjegavaju sukobe. Tako je 1958. nastala Europska ekonomska zajednica (EEZ) kojom je u poetku pojaana gospodarska suradnja est zemalja: Belgije, Njemake, Francuske, Italije, Luksemburga i Nizozemske. Otada se stvaralo ogromno jedinstveno trite koje se i dalje razvija u smjeru dostizanja svog punog potencijala.
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  • Suggested translation The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent.The EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries who trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict. The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Since then, a huge single market has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.
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  • Thank you for your attention!


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