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Essay on History of the European Union

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Europe is a continent with arguably ambiguous geographic boundaries. Europe has a long history of population, language and culture exchange and as a result the boundaries between countries are largely socially constructed and porous. Europe itself represents a large, continuous market in which the unrestricted flow of goods, services, capital and population further deteriorates national boundaries in the interest of free trade and open markets. The European Union has its origins in nascent European integration of the 19th century and first World War and protectionist policy following the second World War, however over time developed into a bureaucratic entity operating a large world economic market. Protectionism gave way to the belief that economic prosperity was the best prevention against renewed conflict. The European Union developed into a co-operative based bureaucratic entity in order to achieve the goals of economic prosperity and ultimately peace on the European continent. While the European Union as a political and economic body is far from perfect, the high level of institutional oversight ensures equal say in institutional and regulatory matters for all members large and small. Moreover, the institutions of the European Union changed over time to reflect growing membership and regulatory oversight for that very purpose and as a result the E.U. Is able to respond to crisis and political unrest as a single representative body instead of a fragmented network of nation states.
In the period from the 19th century up until the end of the World War II, the European experience was dominated by the rise of nationalism and increasing insularity amongst individual states. However, during this broad period of time there were att...


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...izenry within the EU rather spurious, as in this aspect it is no different from the national system of selection withing their own federal government.45
The European Council, however, is composed with the respective heads of the state of each country within the EU, and as such has a minimum mandated meeting schedule of four times per annually.46 Since the inception of the European Council, it has risen in the hierarchy of the decision making process and is therefore currently a major agenda setter within the EU.47 The broad scope of the European Council is problem resolution, direct elections of other institutional seats, planning initiative strategy on items such as climate change, and major treaty reforms have been discussed at the European Council level.48 Moreover, they nominate the head of the Commission, and governor and board members of the European Bank.49



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