The European Union is a supranational government body that is, by definition, changing the traditional role of the nation state and sovereignty in Europe. This Union was formed voluntarily by states with similar goals and is unique in its conception and design to the European continent. Although The EU (European Union) is strengthening Europe economically and politically the states that form it have surrendered considerable amounts of their national sovereignty. The meaning of sovereignty has evolved over time; however, today there are several clear characteristics that define the concept of sovereignty in relation to the nation state. A sovereign state is defined by its autonomy and independence from foreign powers. Sovereign states have well defined borders and have the power to control, in principal, the amount of goods and people that enter and exit it's territory.

The citizens of such a state have the ability to choose a form of government without foreign interference. A sovereign state and its government are also able to set and conduct domestic and economic policy free from external intervention. These qualities are the main factors that define a sovereign state and its capabilities. The European states, which have joined the EU voluntarily, forfeited some of these aspects of sovereignty with the goal of creating a stronger more unified Europe. These countries have established a supranational government consisting of several bodies. The European Parliament, the Council Of The European Union, and The European Commission make up the governing forces behind the Union.

In addition to these bodies are the European Court of Justice and the Central Bank of Europe. Each state delegates certain amounts of power to the EU central government and thereby surrenders a portion of its sovereignty. As member states they have accepted to open their borders completely to travel and trade coming from within the Union. The majority of the member states have adopted a single currency that is managed and issued by the Central Bank of Europe. The Bank also manages monetary policy for these states.

International trade guidelines for the Union's members are decided on a European level. These are just some of the ways in which these countries have ceded portions of their sovereignty to the EU. The ability to take such self-limiting steps is unique to Europe. Due to several factors that lie in the history of the European experience as well as certain conditions that existed in Europe during to twentieth century, the EU states were able and willing to commit to a supranational government structure whereas other states in other regions of the world could not and would not do so. The concept of European integration into one all encompassing force can be traced back to ancient Rome. The founders of the EU actually chose Rome as the location in which to sign its founding treaty in nineteen fifty-seven as well as the place where they hope the European Constitution will be ratified.

Much like it's Roman predecessor the EU has placed a great deal of emphasis on expanding to include all of Europe as well as pushing for the adoption of a single currency for all its members. After the fall and dissolution of Rome, Europe experienced a number of rulers who conquered and united large parts of the continent. Around the year Eight Hundred A. D.

Charlemagne built an empire that encompassed large parts of Europe. After him it was the church that held the position of central power. In the beginning of the nineteenth-century Napoleon built his empire and ruled most of Europe and then the first half of the twentieth-century saw the Germans take command. Towards the end of the Cold War the United States began pushing politically and supporting economically a strong somewhat unified Europe to oppose the U. S. S.

R. This assistance was vital for the success of the EU. All of these experiences and influences have helped create the notion amongst Europe's citizens that one over-arching ruling body is familiar, possible, and desirable. The lack of shared experiences of this sort in other regions makes the chances of a government forming elsewhere, resembling the EU in structure, slim to none. Several other crucial factors also attribute to the distinctiveness of the EU and its location in Europe. Europe has been the scene of almost constant warfare throughout most of history.

Its populations have waged wars against one another leaving behind complete destruction and death time and time again culminating in the Nazi horrors of World War Two. Just the first half of the twentieth-century alone gave witness to the deaths of millions of Europe's sons at the hand of internal fighting. No other region of the world has served as such a constant battleground on such a grand scale as has Europe. This historic fact has undoubtedly prompted the EU states to join together and place large sections their sovereignty into one united governing body where internal war and aggression can be prevented. Without these shared experiences the common goal of regional peace at the expense of national sovereignty could not be have taken precedent. Europe is seemingly the only region in which countries are prepared to sacrifice large segments of their national sovereignty in order to prevent the recurrence of experienced historical trends.

It is also the only region where nations have shown a greater dedication towards achieving regional priorities than national ones. This trend is exclusive to Europe and will continue to be so as long as the other nations of the world continue to view sovereignty as a non-negotiable aspect of their independence regardless of the benefits that integration could bring and the tragedies it could prevent.