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What powers does the European Union have?

Old 10-30-05, 06:31 AM
  #1  
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What powers does the European Union have?

Frankly I don't know a lot and certainly not enough about the European Union. I know it's big, I know it matters a lot But I'd like to know what the European Union actually can do?

What can the EU do to/with the rest of the world and in particular, the US? (US-EU relations) What are the EU's powers and forces?

A small question: I remember hearing how the EU fined Microsoft. But how..? did they only fine Microsoft in Europe and thereby indirectly punish Microsoft in the US?
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Old 10-30-05, 07:41 AM
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You live there, right? And you expect a bunch of Americans to know the answer?

There seems to be a lot of argument in Europe about how much power they have in Europe, and whether they can actually force member states, who don't wish to, to go along with decisions (and enforce them internally in their country) ratified by the majority. Theat may be a bit like the Federal/States rights issues we had in the 1880's.

Externally, they are largely limited to acting as a trading block. If you want to do business in Europe, to the degree all the countries act in unison (see 1) you have to follow the EU rules they have all agreed to. Microsoft could elect to just go home and not offer Windows in Europe. I doubt they will.

But I can't speak in anything other than broad generalities.
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Old 10-30-05, 10:44 AM
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http://europa.eu.int/index_en.htm
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Old 10-30-05, 11:31 AM
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still waiting for a united Europe to become the next superpower
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Old 10-30-05, 11:23 PM
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Nothing. The power of the others is all decreased over France's involvement.

Don't know how they can really effect the US? We deal with Asia mostly for our stuff. Not a whole lot of importing from Europe that I can think of.
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Old 10-30-05, 11:39 PM
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By powers are you referring to specific legal powers it has over its individual member states (i.e. what areas it has an exclusive or shared competency in), or theoretical powers as to what the EU is capable of with regards to acting in international politics and such?
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