The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states. It derives from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), founded in 1951 and 1957. Since its modest beginnings, the EU has become an emerging superpower counting 510 million inhabitants and covering an area of 4,475,757 km2. There are several branches like the European Council, the European Parliament and the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European central bank. EU policy is carried out through EU directives which are to be implemented into domestic legislation by its members.
In 1945, the United Nations were founded as a political forum to promote peace and human rights as well as to solve global issues such as climate change, humanitarian emergencies, and gender inequality. Its 193 member states voice their opinions in various committees like the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council. Only the Security Council can make decisions based on binding international law, such as determining an act of aggression or imposing sanctions. Something that is often criticised about the UN is the veto right of its five permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America) which allows them to block any decision. This happened repeatedly in the current Syrian crisis when Russia and China blocked sanctions against Syria after 2011.
The World Bank is an international financial institution which provides loans to states. It has its headquarters in Washington D.C. in the US and has more than 10,000 employees in more than 120 offices worldwide. It is divided into two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) with 189 member states and the International Development Association (IDA) with 173 member states.
On the Conference of Bretton Woods in 1944, war opponents of Germany and Japan, led by the US, founded the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Its initial aim was to finance the reconstruction of post-war Europe. Today, the World Bank’s stated goal is the reduction of poverty by providing low-interest loans as well as policy advice, research, analysis and technical support.
by Schirin H.