Major EU Policies: Common Commercial Policy and Customs Union. Competition Policy
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The building of Europe is creating a group of States that are forging close economic links and regulating issues of common interest together. However, the concept of the European Union integration can only be considered credible if these States maintain a sufficient level of economic and social cohesion. Economic and social cohesion is the result of the regional policy. In this essay, the author will try to answer the fallowing questions: Why it is necessary for European Union to put the money into the regional policy? What are the instruments of the regional policy? What are the objectives of the regional policy?
Before taking a look into the current situation, it is important to clarify, how the regional policy has developed. The region policy was important even shortly after the creating the Coal and Steel Community. The Treaty of Rome, which was signed in 1957, provided some provisions about the region policy. One of the main aims of this treaty was strengthening the unity of member countries economics and to ensure their harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions. One year later there were established two sector- based Funds: The European Social Fund and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantees Fund. The European Regional Development Fund was created in 1975 to redistribute part of the Member State’s budget contributions to the poorest regions. The Treaty on European Union, which were signed in 1992 and came into the force in 1993, designed cohesion as one of the main aims of the Union. This Treaty also provided the creation of the Cohesion Fund. The Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) also pointed the importance of cohesion. The reducing the unemployment in all regions was one of the objectives of this Treaty. From 2000 till 2006 the Cohesion Funds will receive about 30 billion euro per a year. This Fund receives a lot of money, because of the European Union’s enlargement. European Union’s new members are behind the old ones almost in all spheres, that is why these new member states need financial support. Now appears a question: why the cohesion between the regions is necessary? The answer will be found in the next section of this essay.
The European Union is one of the most successful economic areas in the world, but the disparities between the member states are striking. If we compare the levels of wealth generated by each country, it is possible to consider that, for example, in Greece, Portugal and Spain the average per capita GDP is 80 % of the Community average.
- History of the Community formation and the modem Union development. Integration ideas. Main Treaties
- Major EU Policies: Common Commercial Policy and Customs Union. Competition Policy
- The Latest European Union Enlargement and Constitutional Treaty
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