Why the European Union is considered a highly influential regional organisation in the economic, political and military fields?
The European Union is considered a highly influential organisation because of its economic, political, diplomatic and military influence.
1. Economic:- The EU is the world's largest economy with a GDP of more than $12 trillion in 2005, slightly larger than that of the US. Its currency, the Euro, can pose a threat to the dominance of the US dollar. Its share of world trade is three times larger than that of the US, allowing it to be more assertive in trade disputes with the US and China. Its economic power gives it influence over its closest neighbours and in Asia and Africa. It also functions as an important bloc in international economic organisations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
2. Political and Diplomatic:- The EU also has political and diplomatic influence. France holds permanent seats in the UN Security Council. The EU includes several non-permanent members of the UNSC. This has enabled the EU to influence US policies such as the current position on Iran's nuclear programme. Its use of diplomacy, economic investments and negotiations rather than coercion and military force has been effective as in its dialogue with China on human rights and environmental degradation.
3. Military:- The EU's combined armed forces are the second largest in the world. Its total spending on defence is second after the US. It is also the world's second most important source of space and communications technology. As a supranational organisation, EU can intervene in economic, political and social areas.
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