The European Union, its development, the steps taken in the development, the economic details regarding the Union and Future prospects of the union

Essay by gotohadesHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2003

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"At the end of the Renaissance, the Italian states were the leaders of the world in science, arts, weaponry, economics. Leaders of the World! But they did not merge. And they lost their voice in the world. That is the lesson for us today...Europe shall lead." This was said by Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission, about the European Union. The creation of the European Union has been on the biggest undertakings of all time. Now Europe is oriented at becoming the new 'world leader' focusing on peace and justice from the very beginning of the integration process to present time.

The main cause of European Integration (or Union), originated after the 2nd World War, when the goal was to rebuild a Europe which was destroyed by war and to avoid new confrontations between nations that share similar histories and geography, while keeping their identity, language and culture.

This vision of a new, united Europe started from resistance movements against dictatorships after the Second World War, despite this fact, it was also a vision shared by dictators such as Hitler and by Napoleon, who wanted to take over Europe and form a united Europe under their control.

Altiero Spinelli and Jean Monnet were the ones with the ideas that pushed for European integration (European Union). Altiero Spinelli, an Italian federalist, had the idea that local, regional, national and European authorities should cooperate with each other. The functionalist approach of Jean Monnet, favours a gradual transfer of power from national level to a European Community level.

Today, the two approaches have come together in such a way that national and regional authorities need to be matched by independent European institutions with responsibility for those areas in which joint action is more effective than individual action. This is more effective...