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THE EUROPEAN UNION 50 Years of Peace, Prosperity and Partnership. Celebrating the European Union: A Half Century of Change and Progress. Since the creation of the EU half a century ago, Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history.

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50 Years of Peace, Prosperity and Partnership

Celebrating the european union a half century of change and progress
Celebrating the European Union:A Half Century of Change and Progress

  • Since the creation of the EU half a century ago, Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history.

  • European political integration is unprecedented in history.

  • EU enlargement has helped overcome the division of Europe – contributing to peace, prosperity, and stability across the continent.

  • A single market and a common currency conditions for companies and consumers.

  • EU has united the citizens of Europe – while preserving Europe’s diversity.

European Union

United in diversity

What is the european union
What is the European Union?


Member States

  • Shared values: liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.

  • Largest economic body in the world.

  • World’s most successful model for advancing peace and democracy.

  • A unique institution – Member States voluntarily cede national sovereignty in many areas to carry out common policies and governance.

  • Not a super-state to replace existing states, nor just an organization for international cooperation.

  • World’s most open market for goods and commodities from developing countries.

Combined population of

EU Member States




Percent of world’s


Percent of

global GDP


Percent of combined

worldwide Official

Development Assistance


Eu institutions
EU Institutions

European Commission

  • 27 Commissioners, representing the European perspective, each responsible for a specific policy area.

  • EU’s executive branch proposes legislation, manages Union’s day-to-day business and budget, and enforces rules.

  • Negotiates trade agreements and manages Europe’s multilateral development cooperation.

    Council of the European Union

  • EU’s main decision-making body, comprised of ministers of 27 Member States, representing Member State’s point of view.

  • Decides on foreign policy issues.

  • Council presidency rotates among Member States every six months.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso

Eu institutions1
EU Institutions

European Parliament

  • Voice of European citizens – members elected for five-year terms.

  • With the Council, passes EU laws and adopts EU budgets.

  • Approves EU Commissioners.

    European Court of Justice

  • Highest EU judicial authority.

  • Ensures all EU laws are interpreted and applied correctly and uniformly.

  • Can act as an independent policy maker but unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, the ECJ can only deal with matters covered by the Treaties.

European Parliament in session

European central bank
European Central Bank

  • The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for Europe's single currency, the euro.

  • The ECB’s main task is to maintain the euro's purchasing power and thus price stability in the euro area.

  • The euro area comprises the 15 European Union countries that have introduced the euro since 1999.

  • The ECB operates independently from Member State governments.

The euro was introduced in 1999

The uro
The €uro

  • In 1999, the euro area was established as a currency in eleven of the then fifteen EU Member States.

  • Of the 27 EU Member States today, fifteen have adopted the euro.

  • One of the striking benefits of a single European currency are low interest rates due to a high degree of price stability.

  • The euro is as stable and credible as the best-performing currencies previously used in the euro area countries.


European Coal and Steel Community

  • In the aftermath of World War II, the aim was to secure peace among Europe’s victorious and vanquished nations and bring them together as equals, cooperating within shared institutions.

  • Based on a plan by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman.

  • Six founding countries – Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – signed a treaty to run heavy industries (coal and steel) under common management.

Jean Monnet and other leaders with

the first “European” ingot of steel

Treaty of rome


Treaty of Rome

  • The six founding countries expanded cooperation to other economic sectors, creating the European Economic Community (EEC) – or “common market.”

  • As a result, people, goods, services, and capital today move freely across the Union.

Signing of the Treaty of Rome


Founding Members










United Kingdom






November 1989

Fall of the

Berlin Wall

sets the

stage for


Europe and

EU enlargement







Czech Republic












Candidate Countries


Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia



Candidate Countries


Bosnia & Herzegovina


Serbia including Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244

50 years of eu integration

1957 2007

Member States 6 27

Population 174 million 493 million

Languages 4 23

50 Years of EU Integration

Enlargement has:

  • Inspired reforms and consolidated common principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, and market economy.

  • Enhanced the EU’s weight in the world and made it a stronger and more attractive international partner.

“Enlargement has been a success story for the European Union and Europe as a whole. It has helped to overcome the division of Europe and contributed to peace and stability throughout the continent.”

European Council Declaration Dec. 15, 2006

The EU in the World

The EU is a global player.

Its soft power promotes stability, prosperity, democracy and human rights, delivers concrete results in the fight to eradicate poverty, and in achieving sustainable development.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner

Addressing global challenges
Addressing Global Challenges

  • Peace & Security

    • Works for global peace and security alongside the United States and multilateral organizations – including NATO and the United Nations.

    • Undertakes humanitarian and peacekeeping missions and has provided military forces for crisis management around the globe.

  • Counterterrorism & Homeland Security

    • Taken steps to improve intelligence sharing, enhance law enforcement and judicial cooperation, curtail terrorist financing.

    • Boosts trade and transport security to support the struggle against terrorism.

Addressing Global Challenges

  • Democracy & Human Rights

    • Works globally for free elections and open democratic processes.

    • Fights racism and intolerance at home and abroad.

    • Campaigns globally against capital punishment.

  • Development Assistance & Humanitarian Relief

    • The EU and its Member States are the world’s largest aid donor, providing 55% of total official development assistance.

    • Provides billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to more than 100 countries in response to crises and natural disasters.

Addressing Global Challenges

  • Trade

    • European Commission represents all 27 EU Member States before the World Trade Organization.

    • Supports free trade and open markets, within the rules-based structure of the WTO, to promote growth and jobs in both industrialized and developing countries.

    • The world's most open market for products and commodities from developing countries – 40% of all EU imports are from developing countries.

Addressing Global Challenges

  • Environmental Protection

    • A leader in global efforts to protect the environment, maintaining rigorous and comprehensive systems at home.

    • Plays a key role in developing and implementing international agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

    • Executing a “cap and trade” system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    • Takes the lead in the fight against global warming with the adoption of binding energy targets (cutting 20% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020).

Source: German Information Center USA

The european union and the united states
The European Union and the United States

“The relationship between the United States and Europe is the world’s strongest, most comprehensive, and strategically important partnership. The United States, and a united Europe – this is really the indispensable partnership.”

President of theEuropean Commission

José Manuel Barroso

“Our strong friendship is essential to peace and

prosperity around the globe.

No temporary debate, to

passing disagreement

among nations, no power

on earth, will ever divide us.”

President George W. Bush

Partners in global leadership
Partners in Global Leadership

  • EU and U.S. work together to develop international standards:

    • Fighting terrorism and transnational crime

    • Advancing global trade liberalization

    • Combating piracy and intellectual property violations

    • Spreading benefits of globalization

  • EU and its Member States are helping restore peace and stability in Afghanistan.

  • EU and U.S. work together in the Middle East Quartet to advance the peace process.

  • When the EU and U.S. agree, others tend to follow.

EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner & U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Shared values and responsibilities
Shared Values and Responsibilities

  • Freedom & Democracy

    Support free elections, good governance, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.

  • Security

    Cooperate to fight terrorism, limit the spread of nuclear weapons, and work for global peace.

  • Development

    Together, EU and U.S. provide 80% of global development assistance and an even larger share of global humanitarian aid in times of disaster and conflict.

A dynamic transatlantic economy
A Dynamic Transatlantic Economy

  • EU and U.S. together account for 40% of total global trade (more than $1.5 billion in transatlantic trade every day).

  • The $3 trillion EU-U.S. transatlantic economy employs 14 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • In 2005, Europe accounted for roughly two-thirds of total global investment flows into the U.S. – by far the most significant source of foreign investment in the U.S. economy.

  • European companies are the leading foreign investors in the U.S.

    • The UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands – top four sources of jobs created by foreign investment in the United States.

  • American companies invest far more in EU countries than in Asia.

    • U.S. businesses make 5 times the profit in the Netherlands - alone - as they make in China.

    • In 2005, EU investments in Texas alone surpassed all U.S. investments in China and Japan, combined.

BMW’s assembly plant is South Carolina’s

largest private sector employer.

Future of transatlantic relations
Future of Transatlantic Relations

  • EU and U.S. face common challenges that are global in origin and impact. With global challenges, come global responsibilities.

  • EU and U.S., with our shared values and common interests, are natural partners to give a lead in four key areas:

    • Promote peace, human rights and democracy worldwide.

    • Confront global challenges, including security and non-proliferation.

    • Foster prosperity and opportunity.

    • Advance strategic cooperation on energy security, climate change and sustainable development.

“Since no single nation can efficiently and effectively deal with global challenges such as climate change, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, pandemics and natural disasters on its own, we commit ourselves to strengthening our cooperation to address these challenges.”

EU-U.S. Summit DeclarationVienna, July 2006

Education research
Education & Research deal with global challenges such as climate change, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, pandemics and natural disasters on its own, we commit ourselves to strengthening our cooperation to address these challenges.”

  • EU and U.S. cooperate on science and technology education through:

    • Exchange programs

    • More than 700 institutional partnerships

    • Vocational training

    • Scholarship programs

    • R&D cooperatives

  • EU and U.S. provide joint or dual higher educational degree programs.

  • EU funds Centers of Excellence at leading U.S. universities.

EU supports R&D to increase Europe’s growth and global competitiveness.