European Union or EU is a group of European nations committed to economic union and greater political integration. It came into existence in 1993 and its headquarter is at Brussels. The six original members include; Belgium, France, Netherlands, Italy, Luxemburg and West Germany.
Later on following countries joined EU:
In 1973 UK, Denmark and Ireland
In 1981 Greece
In 1986 Spain and Portugal
In 1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden
Twelve member of the EU changed over to common currency from Jan. 1, 2002 In May 2005; thirteen new members joined the organizations. Total strength has gone to 25.
EU operates through following institutions:
(i) The Council having representative from each state (usually the foreign minister).
(ii) The Council of Ministers is a deliberative but not a legislative body.
(iii) The European Court of Justice at Luxemburg can decide cases and its judgments are binding.
(iv) Economic and Social Committee is a advisory body.
EU has serious implications for Indian entrepreneurs. The advent of Euro has simplified trading procedures and provided a common market
It has resulted in cost effective trading. However, it also has negative implications in the sense that Euro is competing with dollar in the international financial market which may hamper the prospect-of Indian business if deflation of Euro occurs. Nevertheless, the trend towards integration in Europe has provided a model to the world to emulate.
The first India – EU summit was held at Lisbon in Portugal (2000). In the fifth Summit held at Hague (2005) the two sides showed keen interest in renewing their commitment to increase market access and create an enabling economic environment.
Apart from economic cooperation, the two sides pledged to combat terrorism and enhance collective action against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. For this, they outlined five point action plan. They also pledged to continue their effort in reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq.