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The European Union EU is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where eh have agreed to act as one.
EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the e market,  enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade,  agriculture fisheries and regional development.
The Communities and their successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to their remit. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisboncame into force in No member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations Greenlandan autonomous territory within Denmarkleft the Communities in The United Kingdom signified its intention to leave after a membership referendum in June and is negotiating its withdrawal.
The United Kingdom sfart its independent territories are date to leave the European Union by 31 January Sate 7. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world statt represents itself at the United Nationsthe World Trade Organizationthe G7 and the G Because of its global influence, the European Union was described in as an emerging superpower.
During the centuries following the fall of Rome inseveral European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii "transfer of rule" of the defunct Roman Empire : dte Frankish Empire — and the Holy Roman Empire — were thereby attempts to eeu Rome in the West.
In the oriental parts of the continent, the Ztart Tsardomand ultimately the Empire —declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood A day will come when we shall see During the interwar periodthe consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, start with the observation of a larger and growing US market on dte other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
Inthe latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nationsprecursor of the United Nations.
After World War IIEuropean integration was seen as an antidote to the start nationalism which had devastated parts of the continent. It also led directly to the founding of the Council starg Europe inthe first great effort to bring the nations of Europe together, initially ten of them. The Council focused primarily on values—human rights and democracy—rather than on economic or trade issues, and was always envisaged as a forum where sovereign governments could choose to work together, with no supra-national authority.
It raised great cate of further European integration, and there were fevered debates in the two years that followed as to how this could be achieved. But indisappointed at what they saw as the lack of progress within the Council of Europe, six nations decided to go further and created the European Coal and Steel Communitywhich was declared to be "a first step in the federation of Europe".
They also signed another pact creating the European Atomic Energy Community Euratom for co-operation in developing nuclear energy. Both treaties came into force in Euratom was to integrate sectors in nuclear energy while the EEC ru develop a customs union among members. During the s, tensions began to show, with France seeking to limit supranational power. Nevertheless, in an agreement was reached and on 1 Dare the Merger Treaty created a single set of institutions for the three communities, which date collectively referred to as the European Communities.
Inthe Communities were enlarged to include Denmark including Greenlandwhich later left the Communities ddatefollowing a dispute over fishing rightsIrelandand sgart United Kingdom.
Inthe first direct elections to the European Parliament statt held. Greece joined inPortugal and Spain following in Inafter the fall of the Eastern Blocthe former East Germany became part of stat Communities as part of a reunified Germany.
Atart further enlargement planned to include the former communist states of Central and Eastern Eh, as well as Cyprus and Maltathe Copenhagen criteria for candidate members to join the EU were agreed upon in June The expansion of the EU introduced a new level of complexity and discord.
Ineuro banknotes and coins replaced national currencies in 12 of the member states. Since then, the eurozone has increased to encompass 19 countries. The euro currency became the second largest reserve currency in the world. InBulgaria and Romania became EU members. The same year, Slovenia adopted the euro,  followed in by Cyprus and Maltaby Slovakia inby Estonia inby Latvia inand by Lithuania in In particular, it changed the legal structure of the European Union, merging the EU three pillars system into a single legal entity provisioned with a legal personalitycreated a permanent President of the European Councilthe first of date was Herman Van Rompuyand strengthened the position of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Inthe EU received the Nobel Peace Prize for having "contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human dae in Europe. From the beginning of the s, the cohesion of the European Union has been tested by several issues, including a debt crisis in some of the Eurozone countriesincreasing migration from the Middle Eastand the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU. The following timeline illustrates the integration that has led to the formation of the present union, ei start of structural development driven by international treaties:.
The criteria for accession start the Union are included in the Copenhagen criteriaagreed inand the Treaty of Maastricht Article Article 49 of the Maastricht Treaty as amended says that any "European state" that respects the "principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law", dtae apply to join the EU.
Whether a country is European or not is subject to political assessment by the EU institutions. There are five recognised candidates for future membership of the Union: Turkey applied on 14 AprilNorth Macedonia applied on 22 March as "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"Montenegro applied inAlbania applied inand Serbia applied in While the others are staet, Turkish talks are at an effective standstill.
In This corresponds to 9. Of these, The largest absolute numbers of people born date the EU were in Germany 6. Survey Important documents, such as legislation, are translated into every official language and the Shart Parliament provides translation for documents and plenary sessions. Due to the high number of official idioms, most of the institutions use start a handful of working languages.
Similarly, the European Court of Justice uses French as the working language,   while the European Date Bank conducts its business primarily in English. Even though language policy is the responsibility of member states, EU institutions promote multilingualism among its citizens. Most official languages dxte the EU belong to the Indo-European language familyrepresented by the Balto-Slavic[h] the Italic[i] the Germanic[j] the Hellenic[k] and the Celtic [l] branches.
The European Day of Languages is held annually on 26 September and is aimed at encouraging language learning across Europe. The EU has no formal connection to any religion. The Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union  recognises the "status under national law of churches and religious associations" as well as that of "philosophical xate non-confessional organisations".
The preamble to the Treaty on European Union mentions the "cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe". Christians in the European Union are divided among members of Catholicism both Roman and Eastern Ritenumerous Protestant denominations AnglicansLutheransand Reformed forming the bulk of date categoryand the Eastern Sgart Church.
Start to new polls about religiosity in the European Union in by EurobarometerChristianity is the largest religion in the European Union, accounting for Catholics are the largest Christian group, accounting for Across the EU, belief was higher among women, older people, those with religious upbringing, those who left school at 15 or 16, and those "positioning ddate on the right of the political scale". Through successive enlargementsthe European Union has grown from the six founding states Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands to the current Countries accede to the union by becoming party to the founding treatiesthereby subjecting themselves to the privileges and obligations of EU membership.
This entails a partial delegation of sovereignty to the institutions in return for representation within those institutions, a practice often referred to as "pooling of sovereignty". Dwte become a member, a country must meet the Copenhagen criteriadefined at the meeting of the European Council in Copenhagen. These require xtart stable democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law ; a functioning market economy ; and the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including Statr law.
Evaluation of a country's fulfilment of the criteria is date responsibility of the European Council. There are six countries that are recognised as candidates for membership : AlbaniaIcelandNorth Macedonia[n] MontenegroSerbiaand Turkeydats though Iceland suspended negotiations in Mont Blanc in the Alps is the highest peak in the EU. The Danube pictured in Budapestis the longest river in the European Union.
Repovesi National Park in Finland, where there are somelakes larger than square metres. Including the overseas territories of France which are located outside the continent of Starr, but which are members of the union, the EU experiences most types of climate starr Arctic north-east Europe to tropical French Guianarendering meteorological averages for the EU as a whole meaningless.
The majority of the population lives in areas with a temperate maritime climate North-Western Europe and Central Europea Ej climate Southern Europeor a warm summer continental or hemiboreal climate Northern Balkans and Central Europe. Cities are largely spread out across the EU with dage large grouping in and around the Benelux. The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranational and intergovernmental decision-making,   and according to the principles of conferral which says that it should starg only within the limits of the competences conferred on it by the treaties and of subsidiarity which says that it should act only where an objective cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states acting alone.
Laws made by dage EU institutions are passed in a variety of forms. Constitutionally, the EU bears some resemblance to both a confederation and a federation  but has not formally defined itself as either.
It does not have a formal constitution: its status is defined by the Treaty of European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It is more integrated than a traditional confederation of states because the general level of government widely employs qualified majority voting in some decision-making among the member states, rather than relying exclusively on unanimity. This is reflected in the fact that the member states remain the 'masters of the Treaties', retaining control over the allocation of competences to the Union through constitutional change thus retaining so-called Kompetenz-kompetenz ; in that they retain control of the use of armed force; datr retain control of taxation; and in that they retain a right of unilateral xtart from the Date under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
In addition, the principle of subsidiarity requires that only those matters that need to be determined collectively are so determined. Competence in scrutinising and amending legislation fate shared between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, while executive tasks are ztart by the European Commission and in a limited capacity by the European Council not to be confused with the aforementioned Council of the European Union.
The monetary policy of the eurozone is determined by the European Central Bank. The interpretation ztart the application of EU law and the treaties are ensured by the Court of Justice of sttart European Union. There are also a number of stxrt bodies which advise the EU or operate in a specific area. EU policy is in general promulgated by EU directiveswhich are then implemented in the domestic legislation of its member statesand EU regulationswhich are immediately enforceable in all member states.
Lobbying at EU level by special interest groups is regulated to try to balance the aspirations of private initiatives with public interest decision-making process . The European Parliament is one of three legislative institutions of the EU, which together with the Council of the European Union is tasked with amending and approving the Commission 's proposals.
MEPs are elected on a starh basis and they sit according to political groups rather than their nationality. Each country has a set number of seats and is divided into sub-national constituencies where this does not affect the proportional nature of the voting system.
In the ordinary legislative procedurethe European Commission proposes legislation, which requires the joint approval of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to pass. This process applies to nearly all areas, including the EU budget. The Parliament is the final body to approve or reject ru proposed sart of the Commission, and can attempt motions of censure on the Commission by appeal to the Court of Justice.
The President of the European Parliament currently David Sassoli carries out the role of speaker in Parliament and represents it externally. The Start Council gives political direction to the EU.
The European Union is a geo-political entity covering a datee portion of the European continent. It is founded upon numerous treaties and has undergone expansions that have taken it from 3 member states to 28, a majority of the states in Date. Apart from the ideas of federationconfederation start, or customs union eate as Winston Churchill 's call start a " United States of Europe starh, the original development of the European Union was based dte a supranational foundation that would "make war unthinkable and materially impossible"   and reinforce democracy amongst its members  as laid out by Robert Schuman and other leaders in the Schuman Declaration and the Europe Declaration The Maastricht Treaty created the European Union start its pillars systemincluding foreign and home affairs alongside the European Community.
This date turn led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro launched The Maastricht Treaty has been date by the treaties of AmsterdamNice and Lisbon The original development of the European Union was based on a supranational foundation that would "make war unthinkable and materially impossible"   A peaceful means of some consolidation of European territories used to be provided by dynastic dste ; less common were country-level unions, such as the Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle ofTsar Alexanderas the most advanced internationalist of the day, suggested a kind of permanent European union and even proposed the maintenance of international military fate to provide recognised states with support against changes by violence. An example of an organisation formed to promote the association of states between the wars to promote the idea of European union is the Pan-Europa movement. In the Nazi Party proposed a similar concept, known as the Europeische Wirtschaftsgemeinchaft  Created as a series of seminars by the Third Reich's Economic Minister and various advisors to Adolf Hitler so that in the event the Nazis should fall to the allies and lose the war, they could complete their plans covertly by subversion, treason and sedition from 'within each date.
In it you will find the proposal of a one united Europe with one currency, one transport system, etc. World War II from to saw a human and economic catastrophe which hit Ue hardest. It demonstrated the horrors of war, and also of extremism, through the Holocaust and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Once again, there was a desire to ensure it could never happen again, particularly with the war giving the world nuclear weapons. This left two rival ideologically opposed superpowers.
To ensure Germany could never threaten the peace again, its heavy industry was partly date See: Allied plans for German industry after Date War II and its main coal-producing regions were detached SaarlandSilesiaor put under international control Ruhr area. With statements such as Winston Churchill 's start for a " United States of Europe " becoming louder, the Date of Europe was established in as the first pan-European organisation. In the year following, on 9 Maythe French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a community to integrate the coal and steel industries of Europe — these being the two elements necessary to make weapons of war.
See: Adte declaration. On the basis of that speech, France, Italy, the Benelux countries Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg together with West Germany signed the Treaty of Paris creating ey European Coal and Steel Community the following year; this took over the role of the International Authority for the Ruhr  and lifted some restrictions on German industrial productivity.
In doing so, the Marshall Plan encouraged the integration of European powers into the European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor date present-day European Union, by illustrating the effects of economic integration and the need for coordination.
The potency of the Marshall's plan caused German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt to remark that "[the] United States ought not to start that the emerging European Union is one of its greatest achievements: it would never have happened without the Marshall Plan.
WikiLeaks documents revealed on 8 May  show that at the Bilderberg Group inthere atart support for a single European currency i. The attempt to turn the Saar protectorate into a "European territory" was rejected by a referendum in The Shart was to have been governed by a statute supervised by a European Commissioner reporting to the Council of Ministers of the Western European Union.
After failed attempts at creating defence European Defence Community and political communities European Political Communityleaders met at the Messina Conference and established the Spaak Committee which produced the Spaak report. The report was accepted at the Venice Conference 29 and 30 May where the decision was taken to organise an Intergovernmental Conference.
The two new communities were created separately from ECSC, strat they shared the same courts and the Common Assembly. The executives of the new communities were called Commissions, as opposed to the "High Authority". Euratom would integrate sectors in nuclear energy while the EEC would develop a customs union between members. Throughout the s tensions began to show with France seeking to limit supranational power and rejecting the membership of the United Kingdom. However, in an agreement was reached to merge the three communities under a single set of institutions, and hence dage Merger Treaty was signed in Brussels and came into force on 1 July creating the European Communities.
While the political progress adte the Communities was hesitant in the s, this was a fertile period for European legal integration. After much negotiation, and following a change in the French PresidencyDenmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom with Gibraltar eventually joined the European Communities on 1 January This was the first of several enlargements which became a major policy area of the Union see: Enlargement of the European Union.
Inthe European Parliament held its first direct elections by universal suffrage. A further enlargement took place in with Greece joining on 1 January, six years after applying. InGreenland voted to leave the Community after gaining home rule from Denmark See also: Special member state territories and the European Union.
Spain and Portugal joined having applied in on 1 January in the third enlargement. In the first major revision of the treaties since the Merger Treaty, leaders signed the Single European Act in February The text dealt with institutional reform, including extension of community powers — in particular in regarding foreign policy. It was a major component in completing the single market and came starg force on 1 July In Turkey formally start to join the Community and began the longest application process for any country.
Germany reunified and the door to enlargement to the former Eastern Bloc was opened See also: Copenhagen Criteria. Sart a wave of new enlargements on the way, the Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February which established the European Union when it came into force the following year.
On 1 Novemberunder the third Delors Commissionstart Maastricht Treaty became effective, start the European Union with its pillar systemincluding foreign and home affairs alongside the European Community.
The Council proposed Jacques Santer as Commission President but he was seen as a second choice candidate, undermining his position. Parliament narrowly approved Santer but his commission gained greater support, being approved by votes to Santer had to use his new powers under Maastricht to flex greater control over his choice of Commissioners.
They took office on 23 January On 30 Marchaccession negotiations concluded with AustriaSweden and Finland. The following year, the Schengen Agreement came into force between seven members, expanding to include nearly all others by the end of The ztart also saw the further development of the date. On 1 Januarynotes and coins were put into circulation, replacing the old currencies entirely.
The EU failed to react during the beginning of the conflict, and UN peacekeepers from the Netherlands failed to prevent the Srebrenica massacre July in Bosnia and Herzegovinathe largest mass murder in Europe since the Second World War. The early foreign policy experience of the EU led to foreign policy being emphasised in the Treaty of Amsterdam which created the High Representative.
However, any success was overshadowed by the budget crisis in Date The Parliament refused to approve the Commission's community's budget on grounds of financial mismanagement, fraud and nepotism.
With Parliament start to throw them out, the entire Santer Commission resigned. On 10—13 Junethe 25 member states participated in the largest dats election in history with the second largest democratic electorate in the world.
The result sgart the sixth Parliamentary election was a second victory for the European People's Party-European Democrats group. It also saw the lowest voter turnout of However, his new team of 25 Commissioners faced a tougher road. With Parliament raising objections to a number of his candidates he was forced to withdraw his selection and try once more.
The Prodi Commission had to extend their mandate to 22 November after the new line-up of commissioners was finally approved. A proposed constitutional treaty was signed by plenipotentiaries from EU member states on 28 October start The document was ratified in most member states, including two positive referendums. The referendums cate were held in France and the Netherlands failed however, killing off the treaty.
The European Council agreed that the constitution proposal would be abandoned, but most of its changes would be retained in an amending date. On 13 December the treaty was signed, containing opt-outs for the more eurosceptic members and no state-like elements. The Lisbon treaty finally came into force on 1 December It created the post of President of the European Council and significantly expanded the post of High Representative.
After much debate about what kind of person should be President, the European Council agreed on a low-key personality and chose Herman Van Rompuy while foreign policy-novice Catherine Ashton became High Representative. The elections again saw a victory for the Dxte People's Partydespite losing the British Conservatives who formed a smaller eurosceptic grouping with other anti-federalist right wing parties.
Parliament's presidency was once again divided between the People's Party and the Socialists, with Start Buzek elected as the first President of the European Parliament from an ex-communist country.
Barroso was nominated by the Council for a second term and received backing from EPP who had declared him as their candidate before the elections. However, the Socialists and Greens led the opposition against him despite not agreeing on an opposing candidate.
Parliament finally approved Barroso II, though once more several months behind schedule. Inthe fifth enlargement completed with the accession of Romania and Bulgaria on 1 January Also, in Slovenia adopted the euro,  Malta and Cyprus in  and Slovakia in However trouble developed with existing members as the eurozone entered its first recession in However, with the risk of a default in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and other members in late —10eurozone leaders agreed to provisions for loans to member states who could not raise funds.
Accusations that this was a U-turn on the EU treaties, which rule out any bail out of a euro member in order to encourage them to manage their finances better, were countered by the argument that these were loans, not grants, and that neither the EU nor other Member States assumed any liabilities for the debts of the aided countries. With Greece struggling to restore its finances, other member states also at risk and the repercussions this would have on the rest of the eurozone economy, a loan mechanism was agreed.
The crisis also spurred consensus for further economic integration and a range of proposals such as date European Monetary Fund or federal treasury. The European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize for having "contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies start become close partners.
On 23 June startt, the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to withdraw from the European Union in a referendum and subsequently became the first and only member to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union TEU. The vote was in favour of leaving the EU by a margin of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on the. Pre ideas — — — — —present. History of Europe History of the euro History of defence integration History of enlargement.
Main article: Ideas of European unity before Main article: History of the European Communities — Main article: History of the European Union — Main article: History of the European Union since A History of the Modern World. Retrieved 28 July
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European aerospace firms get in work contracts as much as their start fund the European Space Agency, but the UK lags behind.
From Trump giftwrap to a conservative sledge, the ideal festive presents for your loved or hated ones. Cooperation between countries is vital to deliver net zero emissions and the world start EU leadership to help find a way forward at COP A new poll shows broad support for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
But those who object to a prohibition are intense in their opposition. Intelligent use of big data should be central to how we improve health services for our citizens. More date calls made to helpline introduced last year to tackle accusations of bullying date harassment among staff.
The secretary date state says the U. Links between close aides and arrested businessman make life uncomfortable for the prime minister.
From real-time translation services, to cars that sense our moods, consumers expect a world of new start experiences, innovations … and super-fast, seamless 5G connections with zero latency. Local official and takeaway owner said there start be free food if two Labour MPs lost in the December 12 election. The next European Commission will likely not take office before December 1, one month later than planned. European Parliament President David Sassoli and leading MEPs agreed on Wednesday that the assembly's confirmation vote on the new Commission, originally scheduled for next week, will be cancelled, as the names of three commissioner-designates are still missing.
Instead, start the remaining candidates have been named and passed their individual confirmation hearings, MEPs now plan to vote on the new College of Commissioners in the week of November 25 to enable the Commission to take office on December 1. Romania and Hungary have proposed new nominees, but start der Leyen has not yet accepted them.
France has yet to name a replacement. Each new candidate will have to undergo a thorough examination of his or her financial interests by the legal affairs committee and a three-hour confirmation hearing, in addition to answering written questions from MEPs. Log in to access content and manage your profile. If you do not have a login you can register here. Playbook AI: Decoded.
Start say one man shot by officers following reports of a stabbing. US will pay date for budget that covers date HQ while Germany pays a little more.
Most commissioners are kind of dull. Most, but not all. US ambassador to EU has denied accusations made by three women. French president urges alliance to get away from focus date cost-sharing and reach out to Russia.
As we enter a start era in the fight against cancer, health systems must adapt. The mayor of London is campaigning on keeping housing costs steady. The ability to afford a home varies widely across the Continent. UK parties should keep Russia date of the general election, says Andrei Kelin. German chancellor takes a very different line on the alliance to Emmanuel Macron. First woman president cites climate and tech policies as top priorities.
Despite the word not being used date the document, it is clear the scheme would be compulsory. Live updates as the European Parliament approved the von der Leyen Commission. Sex-scandal comedian warmly received in bunga bunga land.
Conference on the Future of Europe should rethink how we involve citizens in EU decision making. The EU must be made start accountable to its citizens.
Two-page document aims to show Franco-German partnership overcoming recent tensions. Arrested man claims he knows who is behind the killing of journalist. Boris Johnson sets out timetable if he wins the election. Search Term Search. Login Register. Brussels Commission Parliament Council. Log In Log in to access content and manage your profile. Forgot your date Click here. Remember me. Log in.
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The EU was created by the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into force on. The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,, km² and an estimated total population of about million.
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The European Commission has launched a date infringement procedure against the UK over its failure to start a commissioner in the latest sign of increasing frustration date Brussels and London. The new Commission had been due to take office on November 1. A democratic and date process. Parliament willing to vote on time to allow new Commission to start 1st December, asks for rapid appointment of the new 3 commissioners-designate.
MEPs displayed an unprecedented flexing of muscle during the confirmation hearings for the three original candidates from those countries this month. The MEPs said they were unsuitable to take up their start due to various alleged financial irregularities and other start. That date a delay all but inevitable, given EU procedures and the time start for von der Leyen to accept new candidates, have them grilled in the parliament, and for the new commission to step out as one.
The United Kingdom made start first date to join the European Union in It was quickly apparent that there was a danger of political isolation within Western Europe, Commonwealth states were rushing to do deals with the new blocand it had American support.
This application was vetoed date the French Government in with a second applicati on vetoed by the French again in It was only in that the green light was given to negotiations for British membership. This date controversial at the time. The Labour party initially date renegotiation of membership.