The European Union as an intergovernmental organization

The European Union forms an important trading block that thanks to the Euro is shaping business dynamic across the world. The integration of the states forming the European Union offers a typical platform for the benefits of integration in the world. The apparent strong position of the Euro has persuaded critics of the union like the United Kingdom to soften their stances and view the benefits of the European Union with less skepticism.

A good number of the policies that define the union interfere with national sovereignty of many member countries but with good reasons. The member countries entrust some of their national sovereignty elements to the union. These are the areas that are specified by the treaty and that the countries would like to work on together.

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As a result, a pool of European sovereignty is created. The benefits cut across the social economic spectrum of the member countries; Flourishing democracy, expanded markets, cooperation on immigration and ease in doing business thanks to the Euro are some of the benefits EU member states have been able to enjoy.

Besides the European Parliament, the European court and other democratic institutions, democracy is anchored in the foundation of the union. Many nations in the union are thriving democracies unlike the period after the Second World War when Europe was disjointed. This is in part because of the requirement for all members to strengthen their democratic institutions before joining. Growth of democracy is especially marked in countries like Spain, Greece and the former communist states, now part of the union.

Countries joining the EU are required to abolish the death penalty in order to be compatible with EU membership. The abolition is a major victory for human rights campaigners in the region who have long seen the practice as barbaric and backward. The countries therefore have been forced to amend their legal statutes, as the treaty requires a typical though small effect on their sovereignty.

With a population of over half a billion, the EU forms the world’s largest internal market and the world’s largest trading block. The treaty provides for the formation of an internal market without frontiers to enable free movement of goods, services and capital for all member countries.

Countries within the EU who previously faced major obstacles in exporting their products can now do so with ease, thanks to the opened borders between member states. Free movement of labor too has made it easier for experts who could not secure jobs in their countries to get them elsewhere within the union.

The US has been grappling with a thorny issue of immigration. The same picture is replicated in Europe though on a smaller scale. Initially before the union was in place, illegal immigration to and from European countries dogged many states.

However, the cooperation on immigration policy as defined by the EU treaty has ensured less immigration problems within the member countries. On another front, the European countries can confront illegal immigration especially from Africa and Asia as a bloc as opposed to the single approaches that were employed before the union came to place.

The formation of the Euro too contributes to ease in doing business. Some European countries initially pegged their currencies to the dollar but the Euro has actually provided an alternative to the dollar not only in Europe but internationally. Countries were able to overcome business problems associated with currency fluctuation.

EU citizens can now travel through out the continent except the UK to conduct business without first going through currency exchange procedures.

The above economic benefits have helped the block’s economy to grow faster as projected. Though the EU may not achieve its goal of equaling the US economy by 2010, it is on course to achieve the target, all due to the ceding of sovereignty of the member states to pursue integrated economic policies.


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