|Core Members: Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, Netherland, Czech Repubbic.Associated Members: Albania, Macedonia, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Morocco, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Slovenia, United Kingdom|
|Members state||14 +15|
|European Council||José María Aznar|
|Council of Ministers||Belgium|
|23 July 1952|
|Rome Treaty||1 January 1958|
|Rome Treaty||1 January 1985|
|Berlin Treaty||1 December 1994|
|GDP (PPP)||2009 (IMF) Estimate|
|Total||$ 14,927 trillion|
|Per Capita||% 29,729|
|Currency||Euro + 15|
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 14 member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by six countries in the 1950s. In the intervening years the EU has grown, in size, by the accession of new member states and, in power, by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Second Rome Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1985. The last amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Berlin, came into force in 1994. The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmentally made decisions negotiated by the member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens. The EU has developed a two type of membership: the core and the associated , both type of member partecipate in a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states including the abolition of passport controls within the Berlin area. It ensures the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital, enacts legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. The core member partecipate in the monetary union, the so called eurozone, that was established in 1992 and is currently composed of fourteen member states. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the creation of the Eurocorps as his military branch the EU core has developed a strong role in external relations and defence. Permanent diplomatic missions have been established around the world and the EU is represented at the United Nations, the WTO, and the G-8.
After NATO was disbanded the nations of Western Europe immediately created a new organization to coordinate their defense in case of an attack by a foreign power. The final decision was to resuscitate the Western European Union (basically an all-Europe NATO), an old project that almost all, politician and military alike, thought dead and buried. Immediately after the news of the founding of a new alliance, protests spontaneusly happened in all the old continent: many people who supported the withdrawal from NATO saw this move as changing a Fascist-Military organization who was a tool of the military-industrial complex with another. This vision could be a little justified by the fact that the command and logistical structure of the NATO was kept untouched, the only change in many cases was only the sign at the entrance and the soldiers' patches. The protests, sit-ins and marches that hit the streets of Europe at the end of 1984, even if in great number and very loud, were a lot less than what the Soviet and the Green/Far Left leaderships hoped: very few people in Western Europe, even if they were not very fond of the NATO or the USA, had any desire to see their country become a satellite of the URSS, or even share Finland's destiny, so the overwhelming majority of the population of Europe saw the WEU as a necessity and supported the project. The final move that put an end to the protests was the complete integration of the new military organization within the frame of the EEC, thus creating the frame of a real united Europe. The leaders of the opposition at the WEU, the Italian Armando Cossutta, secretary of the Italian Communist Party, and Georges Marchais, head of the French Communist Party, saw the writing in the wall and decided to stop the campaign, but in the following years they never lost a chance to limit or diminish the WEU funds and were great proponents for unilateral disarmament.
On January 1st 1985, in the symbolic location of Rome, the Eternal City, a new treaty was signed by nine nations enstablishing the European Union.
The European Union role in WWIII
On October 3rd 1985, the Europeans, like everybody else in the world, were astonished by what was happening: ICBM were flying, and armored divisions were crossing the U.S. borders, beginning the Third World War, and possibly the last. The civilian and military analysts everywhere were completely fooled by the Warsaw Pact military build-up, which all of them thought was destined for an expedition into the People's Republic of China in respons to the numerous border clashes of the past months and to intimidate the new alliance: no one imagined that the objective was North America, but after the initial nuclear strike all doubt vanished.
Immediately, the military activated the contingency plan in case the Soviets decided to invade even Western Europe and began to mobilize, in hopes to dissuade the Soviets from doing that, while the politicians were taken to a secure command site to discuss the situation and try to decied something. Meanwhile, the other people began to pray. The reaction of the population was unexpected: riots and civil disturbance were minimal, and the majority of people, regardless of age, sex, religion and race began to pray privately and in public; in Piazza San Marco the Pope celebrated a Mass for everyone in the world, and was indispensable in helping to keep the population calm. On the dark side, the number of suicides in that day was higher than that of the entire past year.
The worst moment was the second day of war, when the massive nuclear exchange between the URSS and the PRC happened. Even with a death toll of almost half a billion, the disparity of the arsenal limited the overall damage and Europe was spared the worst of the nuclear aftermath, but in many places the police barely held the line against panicking people who assaulted malls and hospitals in search of any supplies. By October 7th, a semblance of normality had returned to all the countries: the world had not ended, and gradually the people decided to go back to their normal lives.
However, for the governments the work had just begun. At the opening of hostilities, the WEU issued a declaration of neutrality, and warned that an attack by anyone would cause massive retalation: for this reason, the French nuclear arsenal was placed in the highest alert level ever since the Cuban Crisis, and, in a shocking announcement, François Miterrand, the President of France, declared that the violation of the borders of any EU nations would be considered a violation of French borders themselves, and would bring the same response.
The Soviets quickly declared that the now free people of Western Europe had nothing to fear from their communist brothers, and they wouldn't have and never have any intention to invade anyone: they were just helping the poor people of the USA to overthrow their tyrannical regime: soon their police action would be over, and a new era of peace and prosperity would come.
The American response was less diplomatic, although very understandable in that situation, and compared the EU leaders to Chamberlain. In reality, now declassified documents reveal that, in private communications between the leaders of both sides of the Atlantic, then President George H. W. Bush made some speculations about the works of its counterparts' mothers and other amenities of the same kind.
Immediately after the invasion started, the WEU began a series of operations to bring all European citizens stranded in the different war zones back home. Operation Barilla and Operation Liocorne brought more than 20.000 people were brought back to safety, and Operation Safe Haven was the baptism of fire for the new organization, an operation that was passed with flying colours.
From the beginning of the conflict, two different policies originated in the EU: one of official neutrality sustained by the left/green coalitions in various countries; and one of unofficial and secret help for the USA and its allies (Israel, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Korea and later the UK), sustained by the military and the intelligence agencies of all the EU.
For example, soon the normality was that, when a Warsaw Pact naval or aerial unit was shadowed or tracked by an European unit, the latter would broadcast its finding on an open channel, "casually" near American (or its allies) units. A great number of volunteers went to Israel or America to fight the Communist aggresion, and a lot of them were basically entire regular army units "loaned" for the duration of the conflict and permitted by the respective governments, along the other, more normal, volunteers, to leave their countries on humanitarian convoys. With them usually would go all the military spare parts, ammunitions and other materials that the regular forces had the chance to divert without depleting their reserve or being discovered by the neutralism supporters.
In Geneva, regular anonymous packages were being received by the American Embassy, the content of which were highly classified material from different agencies, and informal meetings between agents for the exchange of information were common all over Europe.
This "farcical mockery of neutrality", as the Soviets Secretary General called it in one of the most heated diplomatic protests that would bring serious consequences for the continent: dozens of armed incidents between the WEU and the Warsaw Pact forces happened during this period, along with a series of terrorist attacks and mysterious assassinations, all traceable to Eastern intelligence services. Naturally, all of them were downplayed by both parts, as neither felt ready for open war. More serious was the reduction of the gas and oil exported by the Soviets, a move that was done not only to make the Europeans more pliable, but more for the needs of the military, as these were greater than what was originally expected. This caused some shortage and rationing, but the purchase of more oil from other sources and the acceleration of the construction of new nuclear stations spared the continent the real damage, and with plenty of reserves thanks to the lesson learned from the last oil crash, Europe survived even this test.
Naturally, the hard left that still governed tried with every means at hand to oppose this unofficial lifeline, even trying to put many high officers into jail for crimes against the nations or humanity. Fortunately for them, the public opinion was firm at the side of this "ancien regime military scum", as a German green deputy defined some of the questioned officers, who by the way were very good at covering their traces.
The Outer Rim
The so called 'Outer Rim group' is a group of European nations who are not members of the EU or even associated but still maintain great economic, political and cultural connections with it. This unofficial club is formed by three nations that at the moment of the signing of the Berlin Treaty in 1994 declined or were not offered an invitation.
The Republic of Serbia-Montenegro would have gladly accepted an invitation but after the Yugoslavian war and the NATO-WEU attack that ended it there was too many hard feelings at a popular level. The end result was that she did not demand admission and the European Council did not offer membership.
Switzerland values its neutrality too much to bind her destiny to the EU.
Norway also falls into this group, prefering to remain in EFTA, although it does comply with most EC directives.
Last but not least is Turkey. Like Serbia, if asked would gladly accept the membership, but the presence of a Muslim country with a lot of civil rights problem and an endemic guerilla problem with the Kurds would not make it easy for the EU to extend the invitation.
To preserve all the precious tie between these nations and the EU a series of bilateral treaties were made between '94 and '96, so the 'outer rim' countries are in all but name associate members of the EU with the same right and duty of the official ones.