Glencoe World Geography

Chapter 13: Europe Today

“The European Union”

In this chapter you have learned that the countries of Europe formed the European Union to eliminate trade barriers and to have a unified voice in world affairs. The new, unified Europe is not yet complete, however-new members continue to be added, and the member countries continue to consolidate their economies. In this activity you will learn more about how the European Union works. You will also examine some of its most important issues.

Destination Title: European Union in the US

Start at the European Union in the US Web site.
  • Click on About Us in the menu at the top of the screen, and then select EU Guide for Americans in the menu that appears.
  • Click on and read Chapter 1: What Is the European Union?, Chapter 3: The Euro-Completing Economic Unity, and Chapter 5: EU Relations with the United States.

Take notes as you read these chapters, and then answer the questions below.

What countries are members of the EU? What are the requirements for membership?
Identify the "three pillars" of the European Union.
What is the euro? Describe its symbol and the euro notes and coins.
Describe the scope and balance of EU-US economic relations.
Imagine that Europe is proposing the creation of a United States of Europe, a union that will be very closely modeled on the United States of America. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper, and on one half write an essay arguing in favor of a completely unified Europe. What would be the benefits of this union? On the other half, write an essay arguing against the union. What would be the drawbacks of this union?
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