The government campaign EUCountry provides information about 6 basic European values, reveals the practical meaning of European integration and the advantages and opportunities that appear in the lives of Ukrainians thanks to the integration of our country into the EU. The EUCountry campaign is supported by the Representation of the European Union in Ukraine.
There is no single capital in the European Union, but the Belgian Brussels actually performs this function. Separate European institutions are also located in Luxembourg, Strasbourg (France) and Frankfurt am Main (Germany).
Residents of the European Union enjoy significant advantages resulting from the unity of states with different potential. The stronger “pull up” the weaker, and the absence of borders within the EU increases opportunities for work, trade, travel, and education.
There is a common market in the EU, goods and services move freely between countries. Appropriate standardized laws have been adopted for this purpose. The single internal market provides access to the four freedoms: freedom of movement of goods, services, people and easier access to financial resources.
And there is no passport control in the EU, that is, every resident of the EU can freely travel around the EU, having only, for example, a driver’s license in their pocket.
Ukraine, following the course for membership in the European Union laid down in the Constitution, is also gradually bringing its legislation into line with EU requirements. This is necessary for full-fledged integration and is a kind of “base” for the growth of the national economy, and therefore the standard of living of Ukrainians.
So, to briefly summarize what the European Union is, it can be said that these are advantages for ordinary people, which have become possible thanks to the unity of the democratic states of Europe.
The advantages of freely choosing a country to work and live in, freely travel or study, freely trade and feel protected.
Although the European Union is not a state, it has characteristic state features, such as a flag, an anthem, and a motto. This allows the citizens of the EU to feel their belonging to a single worldview, even on a symbolic level.
The flag of the European Union is a blue background with a circle of 12 golden stars. Unlike, for example, the US flag, the number of stars is not related to the number of countries in the Union. They mark the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony between the peoples of Europe. And the circle represents unity.
The anthem of the European Union became the instrumental version of “Ode to Joy” by one of the greatest European composers, Ludwig van Beethoven, which was written to a poem by the famous poet Friedrich Schiller. The EU anthem reflects the values and ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity common to all Europeans.
The motto In varietate concordia (from the Latin – “Unity in diversity”) emphasizes that the peoples of the continent are united for peace and prosperity, and in this single European family there is a place for different countries and cultures.
So, to summarize, the main emphases of the EU symbolism are equality, unity and completeness – as the ability of people to live in peace and prosperity, regardless of language, national culture or contradictions that existed in the past.
THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE EUROZONE, SHENGEN AND VISA FREE - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
The European Union is not the same as the Schengen area, and the Eurozone is something else altogether. What do these three concepts mean? And why visa-free for Ukrainians?
In 1985, an agreement was signed in the Luxembourg city of Schengen, according to which five countries – Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and France – agreed to gradually abolish border controls among themselves and ensure freedom of movement for all citizens of EU countries and citizens of third countries who signed this agreement.
Today, the Schengen area includes 22 EU countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which are not part of the EU. In addition, the micro-states of Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, which are also not members of the European Union, are “in Schengen”.
For a long time, the need to obtain a Schengen visa prevented citizens of Ukraine from traveling freely in Europe. But since June 11, 2017, visa requirements for Ukrainians have been abolished, and a visa is no longer required for entry to Schengen countries. The Eurozone, in turn, is a group of 19 EU countries whose official currency is the euro. It was formally founded in 1999, but the currency itself appeared in 2002.
The seven EU countries that are not currently part of the Eurozone should join it when their economies meet the “convergence criteria”. This is necessary in order to avoid possible crises in the event of the unification of economies of different capacities (mostly, the Eurozone does not include “new” EU members, such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and others).
HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
United for the sake of steel and coal, and turned into the basis of peace and prosperity in Europe. 70 years of EU development on one page.
Europe has not always been united by common values. This continent has experienced the largest number of wars. Throughout history, Europe has been a motley map of various state entities, the borders of which have constantly changed and rarely in a peaceful manner. European countries fought for territory, resources and power not only on their continent, but also competed for the opportunity to influence world politics. The apogee of this struggle was the 20th century with its two world wars, which almost brought Europe to a complete collapse.
It became obvious that the continent could not withstand another such war. The key to understanding was… the economy. It turned out that military conflicts can be avoided if we find the format of an economic union for neighboring countries, agree on the joint use of limited resources and organize a permanent discussion between the states on these issues.
On May 9, 1950, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Robert Schuman, issued a declaration that was called the “Schuman Declaration”. He called on a number of European countries, first of all Germany, the main “opponent” of France, to unite the production of the two strategic resources of that time – coal and steel – under the leadership of a single supranational body.
Thus, in 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community was established, which included France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It was she who became the prototype of the future European Union.
In 1957, the participating countries signed the Treaty of Rome. He founded the European Atomic Energy Community (Euroatom), which was supposed to coordinate cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, a new strategic field. The European Economic Community also appeared – in fact, a step towards a common European market for goods and services, with a coordinated economic policy, where there are no import duties. Thus began the movement towards the four freedoms of the EU: free movement of goods, services, labor and capital. It also turned out that the EU countries and their residents have something in common beyond the economy – the desire for freedom, democracy, and equal opportunities.
The commonality of values became the reason for the transformation of this union from an economic one to a “worldview”, which is based on a common vision for development in the fields of culture and art, ecology, medicine, etc.
So, over the next 30 years, the European Communities experienced several waves of expansion, and thus obviously needed new documentation. In 1992, in Maastricht, the Netherlands, the member countries of the communities signed the “Maastricht Treaty”, or “Treaty on the European Union”. A year later, in 1993, the EU as we know it now appeared.
Membership in the EU had such obvious advantages that more and more countries of the European continent began to join it. For this, they carried out important reforms that brought the standard of living in these countries closer to that of the European Union. After all, the philosophy of the existence of the European Union is the equality of the economic and social development of the member countries. This is the reason why one cannot join the EU only at will and why the countries of the post-Soviet space should carry out fundamental reforms in order to adapt their system to the possibility of working according to the rules and procedures of the European Union.
In 2002, the European Union introduced its own currency – the euro, which is used today by 20 countries out of 27 and which has become one of the world’s main reserve currencies.
The biggest wave of EU expansion occurred in 2004, when 10 countries joined the European Union at once – mainly the Eastern Bloc member states and the Baltic States, which were able to freely choose the path of their development after the collapse of the USSR.
The last to join the EU in 2013 was Croatia, which became the 27th member state of the European Union.
In the same year, Ukraine became the next country whose people declared their desire for membership in the European Union. The European sentiments of Ukrainian citizens were not shared by the then pro-Russian President Yanukovych, which eventually led to massive popular protests known as Euromaidan, or the Revolution of Dignity. In an effort to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence, Russia annexed a part of the Ukrainian territory – Crimea and started military aggression on part of the eastern territories of Ukraine – in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, unleashing the largest war in Europe since World War II. On February 28, 2022, on the fifth day of the war, Ukraine applied to join the EU. This step was intended to pave a certain path to preserve the chosen direction of development of our state, especially in the dark times of threats to the existence of Ukraine. And also the need to fix and strengthen those European integration reforms and transformations that Ukraine implemented before the start of a full-scale war.
Currently, Ukraine is finalizing the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission, has launched the procedure of self-screening of national legislation for compliance with EU law, in order to take the necessary steps to start negotiations on joining the EU as soon as possible.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT EU
The population of the European Union is almost 445 million people, and the total nominal gross domestic product is 17 trillion US dollars. This is the third and second place in the world, respectively, which makes the EU one of the most powerful world economies that provides a high standard of living for people. how tall For example, the minimum wage in the European Union varies between 400 and 1,500 euros, depending on the country. Yes, somewhere it is lower, somewhere higher, but every resident of the EU can freely and legally go to work in any other EU country - as easy as, for example, moving from one region to another in Ukraine. The prosperity of the European Union became possible thanks to unity and the four freedoms: the movement of goods, services, people, and easier access to financial resources. There is room for everyone in this huge market, and the high purchasing power of EU residents makes it so attractive to the world's entrepreneurs.
Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine
The Delegation of the European Commission to Ukraine was opened in Kyiv in September 1993. Starting from 1 December 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty entering into force, the Delegation of the European Commission is transformed into the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.
The Delegation in Kyiv is one of over 130 European Union Delegations around the world. The Delegation has the status of a diplomatic mission and officially represents the European Union in Ukraine.
The Delegation’s mandate includes the following:
– to promote the political and economic relations between Ukraine and the European Union by maintaining extensive relations with governmental institutions and by increasing awareness of the EU, its institutions and its programs;
– to monitor the implementation of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine;
– to inform the public of the development of the EU and to explain and defend individual EU policies;
– to participate in the implementation of the European Union’s assistance programs.Roll up
You can follow the activities of Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine on thewebsite