what is the european union
, EU forces have been deployed on peacekeeping missions from middle and northern Africa to the western Balkans and western Asia. In the Elections to the European Parliament in 2019, the green parties increased their power, possibly because of the rise of post materialist values. 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 themselves on the right of the political scale". , The EU contains about 40 urban areas with populations of over one million. , Besides the emerging international policy of the European Union, the international influence of the EU is also felt through enlargement. Tasks for the President of the European Council are ensuring the external representation of the EU, driving consensus and resolving divergences among member states, both during meetings of the European Council and over the periods between them. The main legal acts of the EU come in three forms: regulations, directives, and decisions. " During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. , The EU had an agreed budget of â¬120.7 billion for the year 2007 and â¬864.3 billion for the period 2007â2013, representing 1.10% and 1.05% of the EU-27's GNI forecast for the respective periods.  The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages ratified by most EU states provides general guidelines that states can follow to protect their linguistic heritage. Centre for European Policy Studies.  Decisions from the General Court can be appealed to the Court of Justice but only on a point of law. , Since the creation of the EU in 1993, it has developed its competencies in the area of justice and home affairs; initially at an intergovernmental level and later by supranationalism.  The lowest points in the EU are Lammefjorden, Denmark and Zuidplaspolder, Netherlands, at 7 m (23 ft) below sea level. , The European Union is the largest exporter in the world and as of 2008 the largest importer of goods and services. 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 personality, created a permanent President of the European Council, the first of which was Herman Van Rompuy, and strengthened the position of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. European Union - Official website of the European Union. The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It serves to represent the various governments directly and its approval is required for any proposal to enter into law.  Until the drive towards economic and monetary union the development of the capital provisions had been slow. Of the top 500 largest corporations in the world measured by revenue in 2010, 161 had their headquarters in the EU. Other key global agreements are the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2015).  The term United States of Europe (French: Ãtats-Unis d'Europe) was used at that time by Victor Hugo (1802â1885) during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood ... A day will come when we shall see ... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. Accordingly, the Union has legislated in areas such as extradition, family law, asylum law, and criminal justice. Since 1993, the EU has worked to increase economies and spread human rights advances worldwide.  Frontex is an agency of the EU established to manage the cooperation between national border guards securing its external borders.  According to the Treaty the provision of services is a residual freedom that only applies if no other freedom is being exercised. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. Together they cover much of the European continent. It convenes at least four times a year and comprises the President of the European Council (currently Charles Michel), the President of the European Commission and one representative per member state (either its head of state or head of government). EU member states own the estimated second largest after the United States (US$105 trillion) net wealth in the world, equal to around 20% (~â¬60 trillion) of the US$360 trillion (~â¬300 trillion) global wealth. , Since the beginning of the 1990s, the CAP has been subject to a series of reforms. Since the end of World War II, sovereign European countries have entered into treaties and thereby co-operated and harmonised policies (or pooled sovereignty) in an increasing number of areas, in the so-called European integration project or the construction of Europe (French: la construction europÃ©enne). The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 European countries. , In 2007, EU countries as a whole imported 82% of their oil, 57% of their natural gas and 97.48% of their uranium demands.  In 1986, the European flag began to be used by the EEC and the Single European Act was signed. The Court of Justice primarily deals with cases taken by member states, the institutions, and cases referred to it by the courts of member states. The EU has also sought to coordinate the social security and health systems of member states to facilitate individuals exercising free movement rights and to ensure they maintain their ability to access social security and health services in other member states.  Since 2008, the organisers of this prize, in conjunction with the European Parliament, have awarded the Charlemagne Youth Prize in recognition of similar efforts led by young people. , European policy-makers originally increased the EU's capacity to act on environmental issues by defining it as a trade problem. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict.The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and ini…  The EEAS will serve as a foreign ministry and diplomatic corps for the European Union. [p] Directives require member states to achieve a certain result while leaving them discretion as to how to achieve the result. This co-operation had to particularly be developed with the advent of open borders through the Schengen Agreement and the associated cross border crime. The EU uses foreign relations instruments like the European Neighbourhood Policy which seeks to tie those countries to the east and south of the European territory of the EU to the Union.  In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established ... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union. Two territories have left the Union: Greenland (an autonomous province of Denmark) withdrew in 1985; the United Kingdom formally invoked Article 50 of the Consolidated Treaty on European Union in 2017, and became the only sovereign state to leave when it withdrew from the EU in 2020. The distribution of competences in various policy areas between Member States and the Union is divided in the following three categories: The EU is based on a series of treaties. The most visible of these has been the Erasmus Programme, a university exchange programme which began in 1987. , The Galileo positioning system is another EU infrastructure project. By 2013 the group had 28 member countries.  Passport controls have been abolished for travel within the Schengen Area. Austrians comprise 1.7% of the total EU population. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Before this, three territories of member states had left the EU or its forerunners. The predecessor of the EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. 65,993 km (41,006 mi) coastline dominates the European climate (Natural Park of Penyal d'Ifac, Spain), Mont Blanc in the Alps is the highest peak in the EU, The Danube (pictured in Budapest), is the longest river in the European Union, Repovesi National Park in Finland, where there are some 187,888 lakes larger than 500 square metres (5,382 sq ft), Nuorgam, a village in the Utsjoki municipality, is the northernmost point of the European Union, Including the overseas territories of France which are located outside the continent of Europe, but which are members of the union, the EU experiences most types of climate from Arctic (north-east Europe) to tropical (French Guiana), rendering meteorological averages for the EU as a whole meaningless.  The European Green Capital is an annual award given to cities that focuses on the environment, energy efficiency, and quality of life in urban areas to create smart city. US politics.  It operates de facto as a cabinet government, with 27 Commissioners for different areas of policy, one from each member state, though Commissioners are bound to represent the interests of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. Its role was recognized in three major UN summits on sustainable development: the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa; and the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro. It maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. More recently, the EU has demonstrated leadership in global environmental governance, e.g. Important documents, such as legislation, are translated into every official language and the European Parliament provides translation for documents and plenary sessions. The free movement of capital is unique insofar as it is granted equally to non-member states. The landscape, climate, and economy of the EU are influenced by its coastline, which is 65,993 kilometres (41,006 mi) long. [y] By virtue of these powers, the EU has enacted legislation on sexual discrimination in the work-place, age discrimination, and racial discrimination.[z]. The unanimity and difficult issues treated under the CFSP sometimes lead to disagreements, such as those which occurred over the war in Iraq. This international dimension is reflected in the EU's Sixth Environmental Action Programme, which recognises that its objectives can only be achieved if key international agreements are actively supported and properly implemented both at EU level and worldwide. Only four languages, namely Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian (all three Uralic), and Maltese (Semitic), are not Indo-European languages. The Galileo project was launched partly to reduce the EU's dependency on the US-operated Global Positioning System, but also to give more complete global coverage and allow for greater accuracy, given the aged nature of the GPS system. Housing, youth, childhood, Functional diversity or elderly care are supportive competencies of the European Union and can be financed by the European Social Fund. Euratom was to integrate sectors in nuclear energy while the EEC would develop a customs union among members. These require a stable democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law; a functioning market economy; and the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including EU law. Professor of Political Science, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. In 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome, which created the European Economic Community (EEC) and established a customs union.  These men and others are officially credited as the founding fathers of the European Union. Financing European development cooperation: the Financial Perspectives 2014â2020.  In subsequent years, the environment became a formal policy area, with its own policy actors, principles and procedures.  Because of the doctrines of direct effect and supremacy, many judgments of the Court of Justice are automatically applicable within the internal legal orders of the member states.  A European Directive about Minimum Wage has also been discussed. , Cultural co-operation between member states has been an interest of the EU since its inclusion as a community competency in the Maastricht Treaty. The EU is independent from the Council of Europe, although they share purpose and ideas, especially on the rule of law, human rights and democracy. 80% of its programming are provided in equal proportion by the two member companies, while the remainder is being provided by the European Economic Interest Grouping ARTE GEIE and the channel's European partners.  It is applied from the principles of Capability approach and Rights-based approach to development. In an EU consisting of 27 members, substantial security and defence co-operation is increasingly relying on collaboration among all member states. It aims to allow all EU citizens to live, work, shop, study, and retire in the EU country of their choice. , Most EU member states opposed the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty. The ombudsman is elected by the European Parliament for the length of the Parliament's term, and the position is renewable.  In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, and mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. The President of the European Parliament (currently David Sassoli) carries out the role of speaker in Parliament and represents it externally. " Greece was the exception reported by the study, which analysed up to 2008, "to avoid confounding effects from the global financial crisis". , The European Union has had a significant positive economic impact on most member states.  Emily O'Reilly is the current ombudsman since 2013. The European Day of Languages is held annually on 26 September and is aimed at encouraging language learning across Europe. The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Trade barriers and competitive distortions in the Common Market could emerge due to the different environmental standards in each member state. Constitutionally, the EU bears some resemblance to both a confederation and a federation, but has not formally defined itself as either. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (currently Josep Borrell) also takes part in its meetings. Structural Funds and Cohesion Funds are supporting the development of underdeveloped regions of the EU. , The coordinator and representative of the CFSP within the EU is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who speaks on behalf of the EU in foreign policy and defence matters, and has the task of articulating the positions expressed by the member states on these fields of policy into a common alignment. , As of 1 February 2020[update], the population of the European Union was about 447 million people (5.8% of the world population). Against the blue sky of the Western world, the stars symbolise the peoples of Europe in a form of a circle, the sign of union. In 1960, the budget of the then European Economic Community was 0.03% of GDP. 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