International Organisations

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

  • The focus of the IMF is to stabilise currencies and it was first brought about following the economic crisis of the Depression and World War II.
  • Initially, the wealthiest countries created a fund that could be used to loan money for those in debt- to stabilise their currencies and economies. The focus of this was to prevent communism and poverty.
  • The current members of the IMF are not equal because voting rights are proportional to the amount invested.
  • The world’s 21 leading economies control over 70% of the votes.
  • The USA has 17% of the votes because it is the largest economy.
  • The IMF often reflects American and European interests. It imposes conditions on those borrowing money which often follows the idea that superpowers like to ‘keep the rich countries rich and the poor countries poor’.


The World Bank

  • The focus of the World Bank is to finance development; it focuses on reconstruction following natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies. It aims to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to eliminate poverty and implement sustainable development.
  • The current members of the World Bank are not equal because voting rights are proportional to the amount invested.
  • Power lies in the hands of the wealthiest countries!

The European Union

  • The EU has grown more unified and more powerful- both politically and economically.
  • EU countries control 31% of the global GDP.
  • Some members of the EU are involved in international organisations, e.g. the G8 and NATO.
  • The EU was set up to achieve political and economic co-operation.


How Has the EU Changed Since its Beginning?
  • The EU has permanent staff such as the EU commission.
  • The European Parliament which governs common laws economically such as the consumer law, socially like human rights and environmentally including pollution laws.
  • Common currency such as the Euro.
What Will Affect the Future of the EU?
  • A larger EU as many countries have expressed an interest in joining the trade bloc.
  • Enlargement of the governmental force such as the European Defence Force is an idea that has been proposed but is problematic because of the location of funding.
  • Nationalist movements are strengthening such as in Scotland where devolution is grown. Some support EU membership while others want to withdraw from the EU such as UKIP.

Devolution – this is to take a step backwards, i.e. towards independence.

·         North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

  • NATO was created as a result of the tensions of the Cold War.
  • There is a growing queue of potential members.
  • From 1999 onwards, former communist countries (USSR break-up) from Eastern Europe have joined.