Has anyone ever traveled to different states or regions within the United States? What differences do you notice among the states?

KEY CONCEPTS

Decision Making, Economic Institutions, Exports, Imports

INTRODUCTION

Has anyone ever traveled to different states or regions within the United States? What differences do you notice among the states? Some examples may include accents or dialects, food, dominant industries, dominant religions (in Utah, for example), architecture.Europe

Imagine what a United States of Europe would be like. Why would you establish a United States of Europe? What would be the benefits? What might be some of the problems? What problems does the European Union face that are significantly different from the challenges the United States encounters? Remember: The EU is made up of autonomous nations. Each nation has its own distinct government which must conform to the decisions made by the EU if the EU is to be successful. In other words, the United States is a federation and EU isn't even a confederation.

RESOURCES


PROCESS

  1.  List the goals of the EU. Go to the EU website . [The European Union is made up of 15 European member states designed to organize relations among their people. They have five major goals: to promote economic and social progress, to assert the identity of the European Union on the international scene, to introduce European citizenship, to develop an area of freedom, security and justice, and to maintain and build on established EU law.]

  2. The European Union is currently in the process of enlarging. In 1993, at the Copenhagen European Council, member states created a specific set of accession criteria for nonmember states seeking to join the union.

    Go here to learn about accession criteria. Which of the following is not a requirement for accession?
    • stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities;
    • the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union;
    • the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.
    • agreement to abide by the laws of a central governing authority.

      [When a nonmember state would like to become a member of the European Union, the Commission (the executive body which initiates legislation) compiles and presents a report to the Council ( the representative body of the governments of member states) regarding the status and progress of the prospective new member.]
       
  3. Read the Businessweek Online article entitled "Is Central Europe Ready to Join the EU?" and then answer the following questions using examples from the article.
    1. Why would a nonmember country want to join the European Union? [A nonmember country might want to join the European Union to receive subsidies from the union. Also, the nonmember country would gain international recognition as a more secure economic nation. Members can trade with each other without restrictions and tariffs and citizens are free to work and live anywhere in the European Union.]
       
    2. Why might it be difficult for nonmembers to join the union? [It might be difficult for nonmember states to meet the economic and human rights standards needed to join the European Union. In order to qualify to use the euro, member nations would need to bring budgetary spending and deficits under control. Also, many citizens of nonmember states worry about the impact of joining the European Union on their lives. For instance, Polish farmers are concerned that joining will increase food imports. Other Central Europeans are worried that western investors will buy their companies and replace the native workers.]
       
    3. Why might it be difficult for the European Union to accept new members? [It will be difficult initially for the wealthier countries in the European Union to subsidize new member states. Also, citizens of current European Union member states worry that workers from poorer countries will flood the labor market once they are granted freedom to live and work in any European Union member state.]
       
  4. Simulation: You will be acting as representatives to the EU Commission for one of three candidate countries: Hungary, Romania or Turkey. The Commission will be reviewing candidate countries to the EU. Commission Members will need to review the cases of each of the countries and create a brief report for the EU Council, making recommendations for admission. For information about the country assigned to you, click on the map below:
     

Here is the list of accession criteria:
As stated in Copenhagen, membership requires that the candidate country has achieved:

  • stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities;
  • the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union;
  • the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.
     

The report should include:

  • the name of the country
  • an evaluation of the country based on the three accession criteria created at the Copenhagen conference
  • a list of recommendations
  • a potential date the country may join the EU
     

The report is expected to be 1-2 pages in length.

[Note to teacher: Turkey has been invited to become a candidate for EU membership. In order to become a member of the EU, Turkey must resolve disputes with Greece and eliminate the death penalty. Hungary is in membership negotiations with the EU and may be admitted as early as 2003. Romania has been invited to begin preparatory talks with the EU but because of its economic problems will probably not be admitted for at least 10 years.]

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