Portal:European Union

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Introduction

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The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of 4,233,255 km2 (1,634,469 sq mi) and an estimated total population of over 448million. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity (without precedent or comparison) combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation.

Containing 5.8% of the world population in 2020, the EU generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$16.6trillion in 2022, constituting approximately one sixth of global nominal GDP and the third-biggest global economy after the United States and China. Additionally, all EU states except Bulgaria have a very high Human Development Index according to the United Nations Development Programme. Its cornerstone, the Customs Union, paved the way to establishing an internal single market based on standardised legal framework and legislation that applies in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where the states have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market; enact legislation in justice and home affairs; and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Passport controls have been abolished for travel within the Schengen Area. The eurozone is a group composed of the 20 EU member states that have fully implemented the economic and monetary union and use the euro currency. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the union has developed a role in external relations and defence. It maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Due to its global influence, the European Union has been described by some scholars as an emerging superpower.

After the creation by six states, 22 other states joined the union in 1973–2013. The United Kingdom became the only member state to leave the EU in 2020; ten countries are aspiring or negotiating to join it. (Full article...)

Selected article

The Treaty of Lisbon or Lisbon Treaty (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement which amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU). The Lisbon Treaty was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends the Maastricht Treaty (also known as the Treaty on European Union) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC; also known as the Treaty of Rome). In this process, the Rome Treaty was renamed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Prominent changes included the move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in several policy areas in the Council of Ministers, a change in calculating such a majority to a new double majority, a more powerful European Parliament forming a bicameral legislature alongside the Council of ministers under the ordinary legislative procedure, a consolidated legal personality for the EU and the creation of a long-term President of the European Council and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Treaty also made the Union's bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, legally binding.

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Frankfurt
Image credit: Nicolas17
The night skyline of Frankfurt, showing the Commerzbank Tower (centre) and the Maintower (right of centre). Frankfurt is the fifth-largest city in Germany, and the surrounding Frankfurt Rhein-Main Region is Germany's second-largest metropolitan area.

Did you know?

...that Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City all mint their own euro coins, with their own national symbols on the back, despite not being EU members?

...that Slovenia joined the Euro on January 1, 2007?

Selected city

Amsterdam

Amsterdam, capital city of the Netherlands, lies on the banks of two bodies of water, the IJ bay and the Amstel river. Founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, it is now the largest city in the country and is a financial and cultural centre. In 2006, the population of the municipality proper was 741,329; the population of the official Greater Amsterdam area is approximately 1.5 million, but the real agglomeration is estimated at 2 to 2.5 million. Amsterdam is also one of the core urban centres of the greater metropolitan area called Randstad (English: "Ring City") which encompasses other Dutch cities and has a population of over 7.5 million.

Amsterdam has one of the largest historic city centres in Europe, dating largely from the 17th century. At this time, a series of concentric, semi-circular canals (grachten) were dug around the old city centre. Along the canals houses and warehouses were built. The canals still define Amsterdam's layout and appearance today. Amsterdam is famous for its free-spirited liberalism, diversity and tolerance.

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This page was last updated at 2023-12-07 17:36 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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