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  1. Introduction to the European Union
  2. Formation of the European Union
    1. The idea of union between European nations
    2. The idead of economic integration
    3. The European Union as it stands today
  3. The council of the European Union
    1. The meeting of the European Council
    2. The organization of the council
    3. The financial aspect of the European Union
  4. The European Commission
    1. Background
    2. The responsibilities of the Commission
    3. The powers that the European Commission wields
    4. Setting the budget for the European Union
  5. The European Parliament
    1. The set up of the Parliment
    2. The power of the parliment
  6. Current views on the interactions of European institutions and their affect on European integration
    1. Tensions between the institutions
    2. Unmotivated and uninterested EU citizens
    3. Proposals made by Sarkozy
    4. The rule regarding unanimous decision-making
    5. Controversies surrounding the EU
  7. The positive and negative affects of this political structure on the European Union as a whole
    1. Obstacles between member states
    2. The environment as an important issue
    3. The question of the war in Iraq
    4. The problem of taxing
  8. Conclusion
  9. Bibliography

The European Union, which formed under this name in 1992, currently consists of 25 nations and covers much of Western Europe. The European Union is an enormous organization that was initially created to maintain peace and security between European states through various political and economic arrangements. Each E.U. member state is a democratic, independent nation, and it is represented in a complicated European system that integrates these independent states into what has become the world's largest economic organization. Originally, the intention of this union was to prevent hostilities between European nations, mainly France and Germany, before they arise.

[...] This is just one example in which an institution within the European Union acted with little regard towards EU citizens, or at least this was the way the media chose to spin it. The point is that in order for the European Union to succeed as an institution, it must have the unwavering support of its citizens, a stable economy, and leaders with a vision who are willing to take risks. Given that the European Union represents about half a billion people with conflicting interests, lifestyles, languages, and points of view, it is no surprise that conflicts between the institutions as well as tensions between political factions exist. [...]

[...] The overall European Union as envisioned by its founders, Monnet and Schuman, has remained remarkably stable. The original intention of was to provide European with a federalist union, somewhat similar to that of the United States, with all democratic processes such as a parliamentary assembly and a court system.(Pinder 10). In order to understand the forces that eventually formed that European Union, it is important to note some of the major treaties that shaped it. In 1952, the Schuman Plan was an important step toward European integration. [...]

[...] In order to understand the tensions, it is important to note that a person's or a nation's opinion of the European Union depends heavily on their views regarding European integration. Those in favor of further integrating Europe support the political actions of federalists and want more of a united political system, while those who oppose further integration, Eurosceptics, believe that Europe would run more smoothly and with less tension if politicians prevented further unification. This internal conflict within the European Union often becomes visible in the analysis of separate institutions and their role in passing legislation, affecting regulations, and administering government in a general sense. [...]

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