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In 1951, a group of nations gathered together in the hopes of preventing war among neighbors, thus forming the European Union, or “EU” for short. The six countries were: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The coal and steel industry in Europe began to unite countries with the hopes of lasting peace (Europa.eu, 2018).

EU then shifted focus slightly to protecting its citizens in other ways. They passed laws to protect the environment from polluters in the 1970s. The EU also began to invest in its people by sending money to the poorer areas to create jobs and infrastructure (Europa.eu, 2018).

Nowadays, the EU is focused on helping those countries affected by the global economic crisis. They formed a banking union “to ensure safer and more reliable banks” (Europa.eu, 2018).

One of the more notable achievements of the EU is the Schengen Area. It is an area where people can pass freely between states without being subjected to border checks. There are twenty-two countries who currently are a part of the Schengen Area (cia.gov, 2018).

It appears that most nations who want to join EU, do so with the clear objective of helping its citizens. Any country who implements the Copenhagen criteria can apply for membership to the EU. There are many different countries who are in the process of adopting the EU international laws and are therefore called “candidate countries”. The process of becoming a member of the EU is long because the country must implement all aspects of the national laws. The country is given financial support during this change-over process (Europa.eu, 2018).

With all of the changes being made, who will enforce the rules of the European Union? That answer lies with the Eurocorps. Two nations, France and Germany, started the Eurocorps and it has now grown to ten nations. They are deployed for peace keeping missions.


Retrieved from URL: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/history_en (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Retrieved from URL: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ee.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.