The United Kingdom’s Membership in the European Union

By Cecilia Ibru

A constantly evolving organization, the European Union (EU) has played a critical role in the continent’s political, social, and economic environment since the end of World War II. Born from entities such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Defence Community, the EU now includes 27 member countries. The ECSC, before morphing into the EEC, originally consisted of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The United Kingdom first applied to join the EEC in 1961; however, two years later, French President Charles de Gaulle chose to veto the country’s membership. A decade later, the EEC underwent its first major expansion and accepted the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Norway into its ranks. The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister at the time, Sir Edward Heath, noted that his country’s acceptance into the EEC would make the UK more competitive economically and offer its citizens greater access to knowledge and information.

About the Author

A successful Nigerian businesswoman, Cecilia Ibru completed her postsecondary education in the United Kingdom. Formerly, Ms. Ibru served as the Managing Director for Oceanic Bank International Plc, now Ecobank Nigeria.

UN Women: Promoting Female Empowerment through Worldwide Reform By Cecilia Ibru

Created in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly, UN Women brings together a number of impact-oriented organizations that share similar goals, including the Division for the Advancement of Women, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Pooling the resources of these agencies to facilitate positive change on a global scale, UN Women leverages its power to advocate for gender equality, extend financial support to female populations in economically challenged nations, and monitor government leaders as they work to build a better future for women everywhere.

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Maintaining a specific focus on the socioeconomic ramifications of gender bias, UN Women strives to eradicate workplace discrimination and related injustices such as unequal pay and sexual harassment. Championing basic human rights, as well, UN Women works to ensure that all girls and women receive the scholastic training, health care, and social services necessary to end cycles of violence in the home and elsewhere. Visit UNWomen.org to learn more.

About the Author: A prominent Nigerian philanthropist and businesswoman who previously served as Managing Director and CEO of Oceanic Bank International Plc, Cecilia Ibru joined the United Nations Development Fund for Women as a Trustee in 2004. Named an Honorary Ambassador for that year’s Women’s Entrepreneur Forum, she currently directs the Michael and Cecilia Foundation, a charitable venture formed in partnership with her husband.