It has developed a role in foreign policy, representing its members in the World Trade Organisation, at G8 summits, and at the United Nations. Twenty-one EU countries are members of NATO. It has developed a role in justice and home affairs, including the dealings with immigration to the states by the abolition of passport control between many member states under the Schengen Agreement (Europa 2005). The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
Since then the EU has grown in size through the accession of new member states and has increased its powers by the addition of new policy areas to its remit. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one the oldest policies of the European Community and was one of its core aims (Stead & Whaples 2007). There are a number of Structural and Cohesion Funds to support the development of underdeveloped regions of the EU. Such regions are primarily located in the new member states of Eastern Europe (Business 2000 Case Study 2007).
Several funds provide emergency aid, support for candidate members to transform their country to conform to the EU's standard. With societal endeavors as mentioned, it rests assured that there are political movements shaping up to create an effect on national or EU level of Government. The two major political issues for the EU are European integration and enlargement. Enlargement, the accession of new states to the EU, is a highly politicised issue. Supporters such as the European Commission argue it aids democracy in new members, as well as supporting the European economy as a whole (European Communities 2008).
Integration is another political issue, where the public view is sometimes that national interest conflicts with that of the Union as a whole. The aim of increasing harmonization between states has meant that national powers have been pooled at the European level. This aim is criticised by eurosceptics who fear the loss of national democracy (Abbott 2002). As per the current trend, enlargement is the topic of the hour with more and more European countries joining the league. The paper is discussing from the perspective of an EU candidate country that how the development in question is relevant for Croatia.
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