The European Communities: Advantages and Disadvantages
The European Communities is the trading bloc, which was created shortly after World War II in an attempt to prevent the balkanization of the finance system on the continent. The original members of the bloc were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and West Germany. These six countries were later joined by Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, United Kingdom, Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Denmark, Iceland, and Norway later became members of the European Communities through their membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which was formed in 1960 as an alternative to the European Communities for those countries who did not want to join the bloc.
2. What is the European Communities?
The European Communities refers to a number of economic international organizations created by European countries with the goal of pooling resources and eliminating barriers to trade between its members. The primary goal of the European Communities is to create a single market between its member states so that goods, services, and capital can flow freely between them. In order to achieve this goal, the European Community has adopted a number of policies over the years including the free movement of people, a common currency (the euro), and a common set of regulations (the acquis communautaire).
3. The Origins of the European Communities
The origins of the European Communities can be traced back to the aftermath of World War II when there was a desire among European leaders to prevent another war from happening again. One of the key ways that they hoped to achieve this was by creating economic ties between countries so that they would have an incentive to work together instead of against each other. The first steps towards this goal were taken in 1951 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris which created the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). This was followed by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 which established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).
4. The European Coal and Steel Community
The ECSC was created in 1951 with the intention of pooling resources and eliminating tariffs on coal and steel between its members which included Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. The ECSC was seen as a success as it helped to boost economic growth and cooperation between its members. This led to calls for further integration and eventually led to the creation of the EEC in 1957.
5. The European Economic Community
The EEC was established in 1957 with the goal of creating a single market between its member states. To achieve this goal, various policies were put in place including the free movement of goods, services, capital, and people. The EEC was also responsible for setting up various institutions such as the European Commission (the executive body), the Council of Ministers (the legislative body), and the European Court of Justice (the judicial body).
6. The European Atomic Energy Community
The Euratom was established at the same time as the EEC in 1957 with a similar goal of creating a single market for atomic energy between its members which included Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. Euratom also established various institutions such as the Euratom Supply Agency which is responsible for ensuring that member states have access to nuclear fuel supplies.
7. Free Trade in the European Communities
One of the key features of the European Communities is the concept of free trade which is the idea that goods, services, and capital should be able to flow freely between member states. This policy has led to the creation of a number of region free trade agreements (FTAs) between the European Community and its trading partners. The most notable of these FTAs is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.
8. Advantages of the European Communities
There are a number of advantages associated with the European Communities including:
-The free movement of goods, services, and capital between member states fosters economic growth and creates jobs.
-The single market ensures that consumers have a wider choice of goods and services at lower prices.
-The common currency (the euro) makes trade between member states easier and reduces transaction costs.
-The acquis communautaire provides a level playing field for businesses operating in the European Union.
-The European Union has been successful in negotiating free trade agreements with its major trading partners.
9. Disadvantages of the European Communities
There are also a number of disadvantages associated with the European Communities including:
-The free movement of people has put strain on public services in some member states.
-The single market has led to a race to the bottom in terms of environmental and social standards.
-The euro has led to economic problems in some member states such as Greece and Spain.
-The acquis communautaire can be bureaucratic and difficult to change.
-The European Union has been slow to respond to international crises such as the Syrian refugee crisis.
10. Conclusion In conclusion, while there are some disadvantages associated with the European Communities, overall it has been a positive force for economic growth and integration on the continent. The bloc has been successful in negotiating free trade agreements with its major trading partners and eliminating barriers to trade between its members. The euro has also made trade between member states easier and reduced transaction costs.