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The development of the European Union

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The development of the European Union

In 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed by six countries: Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands. By this treaty, they established the European Economic Community. The aim was to facilitating trade between the member countries, this was to be achieved by the abolition of taxes on goods imported from other member countries and the subsiding of certain industries. Other European countries not initially wishing to join the EEC and set up the EFTA in 1960, the member countries were Norway, the UK, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. In 1973 the UK, Ireland and Denmark join the EEC followed by Greece, in 1981, and Spain and Portugal, in 1986. Austria, Finland and Sweden had also joined in 1995. Now there are 15 member.

With the Maastricht Treaty (EU Treaty, Feb 1992) the EEC was develop into a political union, the European Union. The Treaty implied a large shift in power from national governments to the European Parliament. It fixed a standard tax rates across the EU, the setting up of a centralised banking system, the standardisation of labour laws and workers' rights. The EU would become a Single Market without trading restrictions between the member countries. The existing barriers: physical (national frontiers), technical and financial were delete. The EU is now the largest single trading unit in the world, with many states. In 1994 USA, Canada and Mexico established the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) looking for a reduction of barriers to free trade between the members.

European Council is made up of the different heads of the states of the member countries; they meets at least twice a year and discuss the EU policy.

European Commission that ensures that the rules of common market are sustained, it can impose fines and can negotiates trade agreement with the extra-community countries. It is in Brussels and implements the decisions of the European council; then it makes proposals to the Council Minister.

European Parliament which is in Strasbourg; the members are elected every 5 years, the number of members is proportional to the population of each country; they discuss about the proposal of the Commission.

European Council of Ministers takes decisions, based on the proposal of the Commission.

Court of Justice which ensures that common European law is observed.

Court of Auditors which regulates the EU's financial management

One market, one currency

The major financial barrier to be overcome on the way to a single market was the instability brought about by uncertain international exchange rates. The Maastricht Treaty aimed to bring about monetary union in the EU - the replacement of individual national currencies with a single EU currency: the euro.

The European Monetary System (EMS) which sought to bring long-term stability to market condition had already been in place since 1979. The treaty decided to further this process with the setting up of the ERM (Exchange Rates Mechanism), which would be to reduce risks for importers and exporters who would no longer have to gamble on the currency exchanges. The 1st  January 1994 was the date for the beginning of the transaction towards full European Monetary Union (EMU) and a single currency for the whole of the European Union. The introduction of the currency was effected by 1st Jan 1999. Now Euro is only used by governments, banks and firms. For banknotes and coins we will be wait until 1st Jan 2002 and on 1st April 2002 the Euro will be the only legal currency of the United Europe

Marketing and advertising

Advertising: this is the practice of drawing the attention of old and new customer to our products in the hope that this will increase sales of those products. We can do this either by just giving the plain facts about our products, or by using more persuasive techniques.

The most difficult task for the advertiser is to make sure that consumers remember the message of his adverts.

We have 3 types of messages:

Persuasive adv. is to create the desire to buy a product;

Informative adv. is to supply information in the public interest;

Competitive adv. is to encourage the public to buy a brand of product rather than one of its rival.

Marketing: This is the practice of defining, anticipating and satisfying your customers' demands. In order to survive in a competitive business world, you need to be able to identify your customers' present and future needs, and to provide the goods and services that can fulfil these needs.

The Market Research aim to gather information (quality and quantity data) from existing and potential customers, to determining customer profiles.

Advertising Media

Advertising is used both to increase the sales of an existing product by attracting new customers to it, and also to promote new products and services.

Television is the most powerful form of advertising; radio; press can reach large numbers of people in specific geographical areas, and groups of people; and direct mail are the methods of advertising.

Billboards, leaflet, door to door, newspaper, tv, radio, e-mail, banner, posters are ways to advertise a product.

Trade fairs are good opportunities for business to make new contacts and generate new sales. At a trade fair, different businesses are invited to hire stands and to promote their goods and services at an organised convention. Other parties interested in the same area of business are invited to visit the stand and to attend the organised events. The visitor to a trade fair has the opportunity to approach new suppliers and to discuss products and services with expert in the field, can order new products, receive special offers and free gifts.


The British read more than any other European people. On average, two-thirds of the population buy a paper every day, but most are less serious than anything published as a newspaper in Italy. Only 19 are nationally distributed.

We have two types of newspaper:

BROADSHEETS comprise the "serious" or "quality" press. Their name comes from the large format they are printed in. They are aimed at the educated middle and upper-middle classes and contain in-depth reportage on a wide range of topics. The Times, one of the world's most famous newspaper, used to have a special role in British society as a critical voice within the establishment. In 1981 it was bought by the Australian press magnate Murdoch who took it downmarket in a battle for increase circulation. Murdoch is the owner of the Times group, the Sun newspaper, some of US and Australian paper and a satellite TV channel, Sky.

[Daily Telegraph - 1.000.000; Times 500.000]

TABLOIDS print in smaller format. Aimed to the lower-middle and working class, they are writing in a colloquial style and tend to cover domestic issues and human interest. The Sun featuring stories about private lives of the rich and famous, competitions and introducing photographs of naked women.

[The Sun 4.000.000; Daily Mirror 3.000.000]

Daily papers

The UK press leans towards the Conservative (Dx) rather than Labour (Sx) party.

The only large circulation left or centre-left are the Daily Mirror and the Guardian. The right of the Conservative party is represented  by the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and the Sun. The Star occupies the centre ground by default.

Sunday Papers

Some newspaper are published only on Sunday. They are aimed more at leisure reading. The Observer which is a broadsheet and News of the World and The People are both tabloids.


The Economist is a weekly news magazines, it has taken over its traditional role as an independent voice in the British establishment. It sells all over the world and has become influential in Washington as well as in London. It is  printed mainly in black and white and written in austere yet witty English.

Private Eye is a satirical magazine printed on cheap paper in black and white. Major scandals are sometimes reported in the Eye days ore even weeks before they surface in the conventional press, it is frequently involved in libel cases.


When the customer don't pay the supply by the stated date, the supplier write a letter of reminder.

The reason could be an oversight, a financial straits We write three reminders: in the first we refer to the outstanding account, in the third we threaten legal action. It is more normal for a company to pay factoring companies to collects debts.

1a Reference to outstanding account

1b Reference to previous reminder(s)

2a Request for payment

2b Notification of steps taken/to be taken

3 Hope for positive settlement/continued business relations

Reply to reminder

When the customer receive a reminder it is behaviour to reply and apologise for the inconvenience, explained the reason for the delay writing a reply to a reminder.

1 Refer to reminder

2 Give reasons

3 Suggest course of action

4 Apologise

5 Express hope for future/reply


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