Through the rise of unity in the European Union other questions arise. Euroskepticism is prominent throughout Europe.

**Euroskepticism---Polish nationalist European parliament members show posters after the vote of a resolution in favour of the European Constitution in Jan. 2005 at the European Parliament. The European Parliament gave its overwhelming endorsement to the European Union's first-ever constitution, which faced widespread opposition in EU skeptic countries. AP Photo below by Christian Lutz.**

EuroskepticismOne the many controversial issues is how much political power should be delegated to the EU. Some opponents fear that it will bring about a United States of Europe. Others hope that it will achieve exactly that. Where does the boundary between the nation's government and the EU stand and which outweighs?

Also enlargement brings out another major issue. The process of enlargement is sometimes referred to as European Intergration.
Further expansion, especially to Turkey, but also to Croatia and other Balkan nations, could take much longer than expected — if it happens at all — due to their backward economies and EU fears that they will be a huge draw on resources. On the opposite side of the argument, what grounds would the EU have for not allowing these countries access into the EU? However, the Maastricht Treaty states that any European country that respects the principles of the European Union may apply to join.


The introduction in 1999 of a single European currency uniting the currencies of 12 EU members and managed by a European Central Bank was the most ambitious innovation in the EU's history. The euro went into circulation across the 12-nation euro zone on Jan. 1, 2002. However, several states, the most important of the Britain, declined to take part. Strict economic requirements will be placed on new members who want to replace their currencies with the Euro. Meanwhile, efforts to entice Britain into the Euro zone will continue.


Finally, the EU faces a massive reform challenge in the coming decade. The bureaucracy is seen by many member states as inefficient and prone to fraud, and also as insufficiently democratic. The biggest challenge is the politically sensitive Common Agricultural Policy, a subsidy system that consumes more than $40 billion of member states' taxes a year.

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Copyright 2006 Carmen Osorio-Rodrigues