Portal:European Union

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 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 447 million. 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 per cent of the world population in 2020, the EU generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$17.1 trillion in 2021, constituting approximately 18 per cent of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all EU states 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 19 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. (Full article...)

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Tratado de Lisboa 13 12 2007 (081).jpg

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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Hungarian Parliament Building
The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary. It lies in Budapest's Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. One of the city's popular tourist destinations, it is the largest building in Hungary and the tallest in Budapest. The building was designed by Hungarian architect Imre Steindl in neo-Gothic style and opened in 1902.

This picture, taken in 2015, shows the building in the late afternoon.

See also: a picture of the building at dawn

Did you know?

...that the President of Ireland, who serves as head of state, is elected for a seven year term and can be re-elected only once?

...that within the Eurozone the European Central Bank has the exclusive authority to set monetary policy?

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Vienna

Vienna is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city; with a population of about 1.6 million (2.2 million within the metro area), Vienna is by far the largest city in Austria as well as its cultural, economic and political centre. Vienna lies in the south-eastern corner of Central Europe and is close to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Founded around 500 BC, Vienna was originally a Celtic settlement. In 15 BC, Vienna became a Roman frontier city guarding the Roman Empire against Germanic tribes to the north. Art and culture have a long tradition in Vienna, in the areas of theatre, opera, classical music and fine arts. Apart from the Burgtheater which, together with its branch, the Akademietheater, is considered one of the best theatres in the German-speaking world.

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