The epoch of television and computer began in 1950. In 1951, several European countries decided to cooperate. They founded the European Coal and Steel Community. The Netherlands was also part of this community. France, Belgium, Luxembourg, West Germany and Italy also participated. All these countries needed coal and steel to rebuild their country after the war. They thought it best to arrange the trade in this together. Working together would prevent a new war.
Nowadays, if you want to travel to Italy as a Dutch (for example), you do not need a passport. A European ID is sufficient. The borders between European countries have become very thin. We also all pay with the same coin; the Euro. Not long ago, in 1993 none of this existed. Then you had to show your passport when you crossed a European border. You also had to exchange your money. All European countries had their own money. So these changes have only been made recently. But they have led to lasting changes in history. The decision to do so has been taken by the European Union. This is the successor to The European Coal and Steel Community. The European Union is a very important organisation at this time.
The European Union consists of 28 countries from 2013. This number will continue to grow for the time being. But not all countries pay with the Euro. In 2012, there were 10 European countries that still have their own currency. If a country wants to officially switch to the Euro, it must meet certain requirements. For example, the national debt should not be too high. The countries must solemnly promise that they will not ensure that the Euro will fall in value. They promise this in a stability pact. But from 2009 onwards, it proved very difficult for many countries to abide by this pact. Many European countries were over-indebted. As a result, the value of the Euro decreases. If the value of the Euro falls, all euro countries will be affected.
But the European Union has not only ensured that a common currency is created. Because although the EU originally started as a partnership, nowadays it is much more. However, they still have the same idea; They want to prevent another great war from ever breaking out. This has happened too many times in history and we never want that again. By working together and forming a single government, they hope that this can be prevented. The partnership is also very important worldwide. The European countries are quite small. All together, they are not much bigger than all of India. Europe therefore has more power than the Netherlands alone.
In order to ensure that all European countries can form a strong voice together, there is a central government in Brussels. This is where laws are made for Europe. In some cases, that's very useful. If new laws need to be made on, for example, fisheries, it is useful that all countries sit together so that they can agree on this together. But sometimes a central government is not so convenient. Some things, such as health care and agriculture, most countries prefer to regulate themselves.