GCSE economics (Role of European Union)- AQA- Unit 12- final exam

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  • Created by: Jack
  • Created on: 12-10-11 17:17

The role of the European Union (EU)


  • The EU comprises of 27 nations, that cooperate together on economic and political issues. It started in the 1950's, as an agreement between 6 countries, allowing free trade of certain products. Further countries have joined at different stages throughout the years.
  • The role of the EU has developed over the years, and comprises of more that just free-trade. It is a very large organisation that contains almost 500 million people, has its own parliament and sets rules and regulations across each of the member nations.

Free Trade: 

  • A significant attraction of being in the EU, is the allowance of free trade between the member countries. So, buying and selling goods between countries should be as easy as buying and selling within one country. This means there will be no tariffs on goods or services between the countries.
  • Tariffs are taxes placed on imports, with the intention of discouraging the purchasing of these such items, which in this case in imports, in favour of purchasing "home grown" or in this case, EU products instead.


  • A form of protectionism, is something called the "common external tariff". The name is quite self-explanatory, but it is basically there to discourage imports, and promote EU produced goods instead for the residents of EU countries. It is common, as it is applied equally across all EU countries. It is called external, as it refers to goods and services that are externally produced to the EU, and yepp, you guessed it, tariff, because it it like a tax. Foreign competition is reduced
  • There are some negative effects of this, and they mainly affect consumers. It may be helping industries survive as the threat of foreign competition is reduced, but it also means that consumers have less choice- they have to pay more for products that come from outside the EU. There is also the potential for


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