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The European Union (EU) is an international organization comprising 27 European countries governing common economic, social, and security policies.
See the fact file below for more information on the European Union or alternatively, you can download our 28-page European Union worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Creation and the Members
- The European Union was established by the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into force on November 1, 1993.
- It was a long-proposed agreement between the European countries after the Second World War, aiming at economic, social, and political ties to achieve economic growth and military security and to promote a lasting reconciliation between the European territories.
- From the Treaty of Paris (1952) to the European Economic Community (1958) and then the Single European Act (1987), the European nations strengthened their ties and worked for an agreement that would consolidate all earlier mandates – the Maastricht Treaty (1992).
- The economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, kickstarted further membership of the 22 other countries, forming a huge single market ( ‘internal’ market).
- The organization of the European Union led to a wider scope involving issues on climate, environment, and health to external relations and security, justice, and migration.
- Currently, there are 27 member countries after the United Kingdom left (Brexit) on 31 January 2020.
- The euro (€) is the official currency of 19 out of 27 EU countries and is collectively known as the Eurozone.
- One of the EU’s achievements is the implementation of the Schengen Area – an area within which citizens, many non-EU nationals, business people, and tourists can freely circulate without being subjected to border checks. Twenty-six countries are currently under this rule.
- Any nation interested in joining the EU must comply with the following, known as the ‘Copenhagen criteria’: it must have a free-market economy, a stable democracy and rule of law, and the acceptance of all EU legislation, including the euro.
- Currently, the EU’s members are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Goal of the European Union
- The goals of the European Union are:
- Promote peace, its values, and the well-being of its citizens
- Offer freedom, security, and justice without internal borders
- Sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive market economy with full employment and social progress, and environmental protection
- Combat social exclusion and discrimination
- Promote scientific and technological progress
- Enhance economic, social, and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU countries
- Respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity
- Establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro. Source: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/eu-in-brief_en
Benefits of the EU to its Citizens
- According to the European Union, the following are the benefits for EU citizens:
- Single market – one territory without any internal borders or regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods and services.
- High food and environmental standards
- Consumer benefits – EU citizens enjoy equal treatment in all transactions
- Human rights and global power
- Use of phones and online services at no extra cost wherever you are in the EU
- Rights are protected while you’re traveling: in the event of delays or cancellations
- Benefit from training and support for your business provided by the EU, such as the Erasmus+
- Workers’ protection from unfair treatment in the workplace bans discrimination, including in the areas of pay and dismissals
- Protection against the downside of globalisation by EU support for small businesses and for big companies to pay their fair share of tax.
- Perhaps the biggest event that happened in the European Union was Great Britain’s departure on January 31, 2020.
- This was not, however, a surprise since it was already known back in 2016.
- The UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, but both sides agreed to uphold the membership until December 31, 2020, to allow enough time to agree to the terms of a new trade deal.
- The trade relations were concluded on December 24th, before the UK officially left the trading bloc.
- In the Brexit deal, UK nationals now need a visa if they want to stay in the EU for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.
- Their departure, however, gave the UK the freedom to set its own trade policy and negotiate deals with other countries – especially those that don’t have free trade deals with the EU.
- Brexit also allowed the UK to develop its own agriculture policy, control immigration from the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), and be independent of the EU’s existing laws that originally had supremacy over British laws.
- Their departure, however, would limit certain benefits under EU membership, such as research funding from EU sources, no automatic recognition of professional qualifications for people such as doctors, chefs, and architects, and no automatic access to key security databases, but should be able to gain access upon request.
EU Priorities for 2019-24
- European Green Deal – Transforming the EU into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy while preserving Europe’s natural environment, tackling climate change, and making Europe carbon-neutral and resource-efficient by 2050.
- Embracing digital transformation by investing in businesses, research, and innovation, reforming data protection, and empowering people with the skills necessary for a new generation of technologies.
- Reinforcing the EU economy while securing jobs and reducing inequalities, supporting businesses, deepening the Economic and Monetary Union, and completing the Capital Markets Union.
- Upholding fundamental rights and the rule of law as a bastion of equality, tolerance, and social fairness.
- Protecting EU democracy from external interference.
European Union Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about European Union across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about the European Union, which is an international organization comprising 27 European countries governing common economic, social, and security policies.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- European Union Facts
- Intergovernmental Orgs.
- The EU Motto
- EU Values
- EU Benefits
- EU Members
- The 27th Member
- Non-members Word Find
- EU Day
- UK after Brexit
- Visiting An EU Country
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Link will appear as European Union Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 1, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.