Established in 1992, the European Union (EU) is an intergovernmental union of 25 European countries, or member states. Its activities cover all areas of public policy, from health and economics to international relations and defense. Among its key accomplishments have been the establishment of: a common single market; a customs union; a single monetary currency that has been adopted by 12 of its member states; and common policies in the realms of agriculture, fisheries, and trade. EU member states currently include Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Finland, and Sweden. Romania and Bulgaria are scheduled to become EU members in 2007.
Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet dissident whose published works include To Build a Castle and Judgement in Moscow, says the following about the European Union: “What is the EU today? It is an undemocratic superstate (governed by 25 unelected Commissars as opposed to just 15 in the former Soviet Union) which most nations join involuntarily, under tremendous pressure; which is socialist by nature (just read their Social Charter!); which has the same ideological goal of eliminating national states; which already has its own nomenclatura (about 30,000 unaccountable bureaucrats who don’t even pay taxes); which has the same type of in-built corruption as the Soviet Union used to have. [In December 2003] … the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg released a 400-page report that found ‘systematic problems, over-estimations, faulty transactions, significant errors and other shortcomings’ in the EU budget. EU auditors could vouch for only 10 percent of the $120 billion the bloc spent in 2002. [That] was the ninth successive year the auditors were unable to certify the budget as a whole. … [T]he EU is [an] undemocratic, socialist, ideological superstate [formed] from completely different national states with at least a millennium of recorded history each, with completely different languages, traditions, economies, etc. [It is] an artificial, contrived project of European socialists.”
The EU provides significant funding to numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which are highly political in nature, and which seek to demonize and delegitimize the state of Israel. Among these are: Betselem; the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network; the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights; the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions; Physicians for Human Rights – Israel; and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
Parts of this profile are adapted, with permission, from NGO Monitor.