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International Politics on the World Stage, Brief 4/e
World Politics: International Politics on the World Stage, Brief, 4/e
John T. Rourke, University of Connecticut - Storrs
Mark A. Boyer, University of Connecticut - Storrs

International Organization: The Alternative Structure

The European Union

Visit the following Web site to learn more about the issues facing the European Union:

The following information was taken from the Web site listed above and spells out the main purpose of the European Union.

"The European Union's mission is to organize relations between the Member States and between their peoples in a coherent manner and on the basis of solidarity.
The main objectives are:

-to promote economic and social progress (the single market was established in 1993; the single currency was launched in 1999);

- to assert the identity of the European Union on the international scene (through European humanitarian aid to non-EU countries, common foreign and security policy, action in international crises; common positions within international organizations);

- to introduce European citizenship (which does not replace national citizenship but complements it and confers a number of civil and politic rights on European citizens);

- to develop an area of freedom, security and justice (linked to the operation of the internal market and more particularly the freedom of movement of persons);

- to maintain and build on established EU law (all the legislation adopted by the European institutions, together with the founding treaties)."

The European Union is the result of a process of cooperation and integration which began in 1951 between six countries (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). After fifty years and several groups of integration, now there are fifteen members of the European Union with a view to enlarging the membership yet again. There are many issues that face the attempt at uniting the countries of Europe in a kind of United States of Europe. These may change daily, weekly, or monthly, but the major issues, such as a response to terrorism and the attack on the United States will remain central for some time.

Examine the key issues found under the News in the navigation bar of the Web site listed above and respond to the following questions in the space provided.


Which countries are currently (2002) seeking admission to the European Union?


What are the five most important current issues within the EU in addition to the issue of responding to terrorism? (Make sure to post the date you conducted this research).


Which issue facing the European Union do you think will be the most difficult to resolve and implement? Can the European Union operate in the same fashion as the United States? What is your prediction for the success or failure of the EU? Explain your position.