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UNIT 5

THE EUROPEAN UNION

BEFORE YOU READ

Answer these questions

1. Do you know what events convinced a number of European leaders to unite their countries economically and politically?

2. What countries were members of the European Coal and Steel Community? When was the ECSC set up?

READING TASKS

A. Understanding main points

Read the text below about the European Union enlargement and answer these questions, beginning your answers with the fol­lowing phrases: as a rule …; to tell the truth …; as far as I know …; the matter is that …; as far as I remember …; as far as I am concerned …; frankly/strictly speak­ing …; to make a long story short … .

1. What was the focus on in the early days of the ECSC existence?

2. Do you think that the ECSC was a success? What facts prove it?

3. What document was signed in 1957? How many countries signed it?

4. What countries joined the EEC and when?

5. Did it take much time for the Member States to remove all the barriers to trade between them and to turn their "common market" into a genuine single market?

6. What system is the European Union built on?

7. What are the cornerstones of the European Union structure?

8. What does economic and political integration between the European Union member states mean?

9. In what fields have the member states of the European Union developed common policies? What other policies were added as time went by?

10. Do you agree that the European Union's relations with the rest of the world have become important? Why?

B. Understanding details

Mark these statements T (true) or F (false) according to the information in the text. Give your reason using the fol­lowing phrases: as a matter of fact ...; I don't think so …; I'm of the same opinion …; in my opinion …; on the contrary …; strictly speaking ...; to my mind ... .

1. The EEC has grown in size with successive waves of accessions.

2. Member States failed to remove all the barriers to trade between them and to turn their "common market" into a genuine single market.

3. The Treaty of Rome laid down new rules governing the size of the EU institutions and the way they work.

4. The European Union is built on an institutional system which is very popular in the world.

5. The Member States delegate sovereignty for certain matters to dependent institutions which represent the interests of the Union.

6. In 1971 the institutions of the five European communities were merged.

7. The Commission traditionally upholds the interests of European countries both members and not members of the Union.

8. In the light of changing circumstances some key policy aims have never changed.

9. The need for disarmament is now taken into account across the whole range of EU policies.

10. The European Union's relations with the rest of the world have also become important.

THE EUROPEAN UNION ENLARGEMENT

For centuries, Europe was the scene of frequent and bloody wars. A number of European leaders became convinced that the only way to secure a lasting peace between their countries was to unite them economically and politically. So, in 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed integrating the coal and steel industries of Western Europe. As a result, in 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was set up, with six members: Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

In the early days the focus was on a common commercial policy for coal and steel and a common agricultural policy. The ECSC was such a success that, within a few years, these same six countries decided to go further and integrate other sectors of their economies. In 1957 they signed the Treaties of Rome, creating the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The member states set about removing trade barriers between them and forming a "common market".

The EEC has grown in size with successive waves of accessions. Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined in 1973 followed by Greece in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986. It took some time for the Member States to remove all the barriers to trade between them and to turn their "common market" into a genuine single market in which goods, services, people and capital could move around freely. The Single Market was formally completed at the end of 1992. The Treaty of Maastricht (1992) introduced new forms of cooperation between the member state governments – for example on defence, and in the area of "justice and home affairs". By adding this inter-governmental cooperation to the existing "Community" system, the Maastricht Treaty created the European Union (EU).

The European Union welcomed Austria, Finland and Sweden which joined in 1995 and further ten countries in eastern and southern Europe: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. These countries joined the EU in 2004. Bulgaria and Romania expect to follow a few years later and Turkey is also a candidate country. To ensure that the EU can continue functioning efficiently with 25 or more members, its decision-making system must be streamlined. That is why the Treaty of Nice lays down new rules governing the size of the EU institutions and the way they work. It came into force on 1 February 2003.

The European Union is built on an institutional system which is the only one of its kind in the world. The Member States delegate sovereignty for certain matters to independent institutions which represent the interests of the Union as a whole, its member countries and its citizens. Democracy and the rule of law are the cornerstones of the structure. In 1967 the institutions of the three European communities were merged. From this point on, there was a single Commission and a single Council of Ministers as well as the European Parliament. The Commission traditionally upholds the interests of the Union as a whole, while each national government is represented within the Council. Originally, the members of the European Parliament were chosen by the national parliaments but in 1979 the first direct elections were held, allowing the citizens of the member states to vote for the candidate of their choice. Since then, direct elections have been held every five years.

This "institutional triangle" of Commission, Council and Parliament is flanked by two more institutions – the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors – and five other European bodies. In addition thirteen specialized agencies have been set up to handle certain essentially technical, scientific, or management tasks.

Economic and political integration between the member states of the European Union means that these countries have to take joint decisions on many matters. So they have developed common policies in a very wide range of fields - from agriculture to culture, from consumer affairs to competition, from the environment and energy to transport and trade. Other policies were added as time went by, and as the need arose. In 1992 the EU decided to go for economic and monetary union (EMU), involving the introduction of a single European currency managed by a European Central Bank. The single currency – the euro – became a reality on 1 January 2002, when euro notes and coins replaced national currencies in twelve of the 15 countries of the European Union (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland).

Some key policy aims have changed in the light of changing circumstances. For example, the aim of the agricultural policy is no longer to produce as much food as cheaply as possible but to support farming methods that produce healthy, high-quality food and protect the environment. The need for environmental protection is now taken into account across the whole range of EU policies. The European Union's relations with the rest of the world have also become important. The EU negotiates major trade and aid agreements with other countries and is developing a Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Vocabulary notes

community, n. – співтовариство; об'єднання; business community – ділові кола; economic community – економічне співтовариство; European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) – Європейська комісія з атомної енергії; European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) – Європейське об'єднання вугілля і сталі; local community – місцеві жителі; rural community – сільські жителі.

commission, n. – комісія; введення в лад; to appoint a commission – створювати комісію; to be on the commission – бути членом комісії; to come into commission – вступати до комісії; to discharge a commission – виконувати доручення; to establish/to set up a commission – створювати комісію; to go beyond commission – перевищувати повноваження; to put into commission – вводити в експлуатацію; to sit on a commission – брати участь у роботі комісії.

council, n. – рада; borough/common/town council – міська рада; city council – муніципалітет; Council of Ministers – Рада Міністрів; research council – наукова рада; works council – економічний комітет.

treaty, n. – договір; bilateral treaty – двосторонній договір; commercial/trade treaty – торговельний договір; equal/equitable treaty – справедливий договір; inequitable/unequal treaty – несправедливий договір; reciprocal treaty – взаємний договір; to accede to/to join a treaty – приєднуватися до договору; to annual/to cancel/to repudiate/to rescind/to revoke/to terminate a treaty – анулювати договір; to break/to infringe/to violate a treaty – порушувати договір; to conclude/to make a treaty – укладати договір; to enter into a treaty – вступати в договір; to keep to/to observe a treaty – дотримуватися договору; to withdraw from a treaty – виходити з договору.

cooperation, n. – співробітництво; кооперація; broad/large-scale cooperation – широке співробітництво; busіness cooperation – ділове співробітництво; close cooperation – тісне співробітництво; consumer cooperation – споживча кооперація; effective/fruitful cooperation – плідне співробітництво; equal/equitable cooperation – рівноправне співробітництво; to broaden/to expand/to extend/to intensify cooperation – розширювати співробітництво; to carry on cooperation – співпрацювати; to develop cooperation – розвивати співробітництво; to effect cooperation –здійснювати співробітництво; to maintain cooperation – підтримувати співробітництво; to undermine cooperation – підривати співробітництво.

union, n. – об'єднання; союз; профспілка; amalgamated union – об'єднаний союз; closed unіon – закрита спілка; craft unіon – галузева спілка; credit unіon – кредитна спілка; customs/tarіff unіon – митна спілка; independent unіon – незалежна спілка; industrial unіon – виробнича спілка; international unіon – міжнародна спілка; labour/trade unіon – профспілка; monetary unіon – грошова/валютна спілка; open unіon – відкрита спілка; payments unіon – платіжна спілка.

accession, n. – вступ у права; приріст; збільшення; accessіon to the throne – вступ на престол; accessіon to a treaty – приєднання до договору; accessіon of territory – приєднання території.

institution, n. – установа; організація; навчальний заклад; affiliated institution – філія; charіtable institution – благодійна організація; credit institution – кредитна організація; nonprofit institution – некомерційна організація; educational institution – навчальний заклад; endowed institution – благодійний фонд; government/state institution – державна установа; legal institution – правова установа; research institution – науково-дослідна установа; scientific institution – наукова установа; thrift institution – ощадна установа; public educational institution – державний навчальний заклад.

structure, n. – структура; management structure – управлінська структура; market structure – структура ринку; marketing structure – структура маркетингу; price structure – структура цін; tax structure – структура оподатковування; population structure – склад населення; reward/wage structure – структура заробітної плати; socіal structure – соціальний лад.

integration, n. – об'єднання; інтеграція; укрупнення; agro-industrial integration – агропромислова інтеграція; circular integration – кругова інтеграція; diagonal integration – діагональна інтеграція; economic integration – економічна інтеграція; progressive integration – поступова інтеграція; regional integration – регіональна інтеграція; forward/backward/vertical integration – вертикальна інтеграція; horizontal/lateral integration – горизонтальна інтеграція; to effect integration – здійснювати інтеграцію.

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