European Union Policies

European Union Policies

Important Features and Policies of the European Union

Introduction to European Union Policies

A major goal of the EU has been to establish a single market in which the economies of all the EU member states are unified. The EU has sought to meet this objective in three ways: by defining a common commercial policy, by reducing economic differences among its richer and poorer members, and by stabilizing the currencies of its members.

The 1957 Rome treaties obliged the EU to adopt a Common Commercial Policy (CCP) and a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). By 1968 the EU had also created a customs union in which all tariffs and duties among members were eliminated. Finally, members had defined uniform commercial practices for trade with nonmember states. In the 1980s the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was adopted to regulate fishing in EU waters.

The EU has attempted to address regional economic differences through agencies such as the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, and the European Investment Bank (EIB). These agencies provide money through loans or grants to promote development in the economically disadvantaged areas of the EU. However, apart from activities of the EIB, this funding is limited by the size of the EU’s overall budget, which is equivalent to about 1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of all the member states.

Finally, the EU attempted to stabilize the currencies of its members with the European Monetary System (EMS). The EMS was prompted not only by the desire for a single market, but also by international economic problems and fluctuations in exchange rates. These problems also convinced the EU of the importance of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), in which both the economies and the currencies of the members would be unified.” (1)


Notes and References

  • Information about European Union Policies in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia
  • Guide to European Union Policies

    More Topics about the European Union

    European Economic Area, European Union, European Union History (including European Union Early Cooperation, Benelux Customs Union, European Coal and Steel Community, European Economic Community, European Community, Expansion of the EC, Single European Act, Creation of the European Union, Treaty on European Union, Amsterdam Treaty, Treaty of Nice, Treaty of Lisbon, Monetary Union and EU Growing Accountability), EU Pillar System, EU Major Bodies Structure, European Commission, Council of the European Union, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, European Central Bank, Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions, European Union Policies, Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries Policy,

    EU Economic Differences, European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Investment Bank, European Monetary System, Economic and Monetary Union, EU International Relations, EU Expansion,

    EU and Non-European Nations and European Union Future.

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