Expansion Plan for European Union

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    Syllabus : GS 2/International Relations 

    In News

    • Recently, France and Germany pushed new proposals for the enlargement of the European Union.

    Expansion Plan

    •  Russia’s war in Ukraine has sparked thinking towards enlargement. But while there is now widespread support for welcoming new member states, many believe this should be accompanied by reform of how the union works.
    • The proposals include capping the number of EU legislators, changing the voting mechanism by expanding majority voting (as opposed to unanimity), and enhancing the bloc’s budget.
    • The ideas are likely to form the foundation of discussions among all the EU’s 27 leaders at an informal summit in the Spanish city of Granada early next month.

    About European Union

    • It is a group of 27 countries in Europe.
      • These countries came together to make things better, easier, and safer for people.
    • Background: The idea to make the European Union came after two big wars happened in Europe.
      • Countries in Europe saw that it was better to work together than to fight against each other.
    • Purpose:  All countries that are part of the European Union work together to make sure that:
      • There is peace in Europe
      • People have good lives
      • Things are fair for all people and nobody is left out
      • The languages and cultures of all people are respected
      • There is a strong European economy and countries use the same coin to do business together.
    • Role and Achievements:  The European Union made it easier for people to move freely from one country to another.
      • The European Union made the ‘Schengen Area’ which is an area without borders.
        • In this area, people can travel from country to country freely and easily.
      • The European Union sells many things and services to other countries.
        • Also, it buys things from other countries.
        • This way it helps the world economy keep going.
      • Most countries that are part of the European Union use the same coin.
        • This coin is called ‘Euro’.
    • Awards:   In 2012, the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for its good work keeping peace in Europe.

    Brief Overview of India and EU Relations

    • The EU works closely with India to promote peace, create jobs, boost economic growth and enhance sustainable development across the country.
    • The 1994 EU-India Cooperation Agreement provides the legal framework for EU-India relations and boosted political, economic, and sectoral cooperation.
    • India and the EU are two of the world’s largest economies having shared synergies and offering significant trade and investment opportunities.
    • The Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII): The infrastructure plan was first announced in June 2021 during the G7 (or Group of Seven) summit in the UK.
      • The G7 countries include the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Union 
    • In 2023 the EU and India also set up a new Trade and Technology Council (TTC).
      • The TTC will deepen strategic engagement in trade and technology between both partners.
    • On the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Governments of India, the US, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the UAE, France, Germany, and Italy to establish the India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC).
      • The IMEC is envisioned as a network of transport corridors, including railway lines and sea lanes, that is expected to aid economic growth through integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and Europe.
    Do you know?
    – In June 2016 the United Kingdom decided to stop being part of the European Union. So from 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union.

    Source: TH