What Objectives Have Driven the Development of the EU’s Regional Policy until Today
Gradual enhancement in member strength of the European Union clearly reflects its regional policy with an objective of regional enlargement. The integration of economies of more number of European countries has been its main objective since its formation (Brent F Nelsen and Alexander Stubb, 2003). It mainly due to the fact the globalization and liberalization demand fast changes and higher flexibility. It also demands the reorientation of strategies to face global competition.The regional integration will certainly aid the European Union to compete well in world trade. The enlargement of the European Union also helped in consolidating security positions (Erik Holm, 2001). Keeping this in view, the EU allowed continuing the open-ended process of European integration. As a result of these initiatives, the EU is one of the largest economic and political entities in the world, with approximately 500 million people and a combined nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of €11.6 (US$14.5) trillion in 20061. Further, it has evolved as a single market with a common trade policy2, a Common Agricultural/Fisheries Policy, and a Regional policy to assist underdeveloped regions3. It has also introduced a single currency, the euro, adopted by 13 member states. The euro introduction has resulted in the faster economic development of European countries and the euro stood strongly against the American dollar. Moreover, the EU also initiated a limited Common Foreign and Security Policy, and a limited Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters.Countries as possible have to do at a faster rate. At the same time, it also identified that there have been a lot of differences among these countries in terms of economic growth, gross domestic product, and human development index. Hence simple enlargement will not help European union to achieve success at a global level.