Brief Introduction to the European Union

Within the last few decades, the politics and economy of Europe have changed significantly in many respects, with the introduction and progression of the EU. Officially founded in 1957 after member states created and signed the Treaty of Rome, the EU has evolved into what is today: one of the most influential political and economical institutions in the world. The evolution of the EU has led to a complex agreement between the 15 original member states, which gave up their control over specific policy areas to create a common body of law (McCormick, 1999, pp. 121-122). Among those policy areas that the EU has recently begun to emphasize is the environment; the majority of policy focusing on environmental standards in the member states is now controlled by EU law. Since the creation of the Treaty of Rome, in which no mention of environmental policy was made, the union turned its focus toward the important role the environment, among other factors, plays in the economy (McCormick, 1999, p. 120).

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