The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million. 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 members 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. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.
Motto: "In Varietate Concordia" (Latin)
"United in Diversity"
Anthem: "Ode to Joy" (orchestral)
|Type||Political and economic union|
|Government||Supranational and intergovernmental|
|Ursula von der Leyen|
|1 January 1958|
|1 July 1987|
|1 November 1993|
|1 December 2009|
|1 July 2013|
|4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) (7th)|
• Water (%)
• 2019 estimate
|117.2/km2 (303.5/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Euro (EUR; €; in eurozone) and|
|Time zone||UTC to UTC+2 (WET, CET, EET)|
• Summer (DST)
|UTC+1 to UTC+3 (WEST, CEST, EEST)|
|(see also Summer Time in Europe)|
Note: with the exception of the Canary Islands and Madeira, the outermost regions observe different time zones not shown.
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD/CE)|
See also: Date and time notation in Europe
The EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), established, respectively, by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome. The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. 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 Lisbon, came into force in 2009. No member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations (Greenland, an autonomous territory within Denmark, left the Communities in 1985). The United Kingdom signified its intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. The United Kingdom and its independent territories are scheduled to leave the European Union by 31 January 2020.
Containing 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower.
During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii ("transfer of rule") of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire (481–843) and the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West. This political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii ("restoration of the empire"), either in the forms of the Reichsidee ("imperial idea") or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum ("christian empire"). Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are often cited as conducive to European integration and unity.
In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, and ultimately the Empire (1547–1917), declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The gap between Greek East and Latin West had already been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054; and would be eventually widened again by the Iron Curtain (1945–91).
Pan-European political thought truly emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire (1804–15). In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent, especially in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski. The term United States of Europe (French: États-Unis d'Europe) was used at that time by Victor Hugo 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.
During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent. 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." 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. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which then Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. 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. 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.
After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated parts of the continent. In a speech delivered on 19 September 1946 at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, Winston Churchill went further and advocated the emergence of a United States of Europe. The 1948 Hague Congress was a pivotal moment in European federal history, as it led to the creation of the European Movement International and of the College of Europe, where Europe's future leaders would live and study together.
It also led directly to the founding of the Council of Europe in 1949, the 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 hopes of further European integration, and there were fevered debates in the two years that followed as to how this could be achieved.
But in 1952, disappointed 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 Community, which was declared to be "a first step in the federation of Europe". This community helped to economically integrate and coordinate the large number of Marshall Plan funds from the United States. European leaders Alcide De Gasperi from Italy, Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman from France, and Paul-Henri Spaak from Belgium understood that coal and steel were the two industries essential for waging war, and believed that by tying their national industries together, future war between their nations became much less likely. These men and others are officially credited as the founding fathers of the European Union.
Treaty of Rome (1957–92)
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. 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 1958.
The EEC and Euratom were created separately from the ECSC and they shared the same courts and the Common Assembly. The EEC was headed by Walter Hallstein (Hallstein Commission) and Euratom was headed by Louis Armand (Armand Commission) and then Étienne Hirsch. Euratom was to integrate sectors in nuclear energy while the EEC would develop a customs union among members.
During the 1960s, tensions began to show, with France seeking to limit supranational power. Nevertheless, in 1965 an agreement was reached and on 1 July 1967 the Merger Treaty created a single set of institutions for the three communities, which were collectively referred to as the European Communities. Jean Rey presided over the first merged Commission (Rey Commission).
In 1973, the Communities were enlarged to include Denmark (including Greenland, which later left the Communities in 1985, following a dispute over fishing rights), Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Norway had negotiated to join at the same time, but Norwegian voters rejected membership in a referendum. In 1979, the first direct elections to the European Parliament were held.
Greece joined in 1981, Portugal and Spain following in 1986. In 1985, the Schengen Agreement paved the way for the creation of open borders without passport controls between most member states and some non-member states. In 1986, the European flag began to be used by the EEC and the Single European Act was signed.
In 1990, after the fall of the Eastern Bloc, the former East Germany became part of the Communities as part of a reunified Germany. A close fiscal integration with the introduction of the euro was not matched by institutional oversight making things more troubling. Attempts to solve the problems and to make the EU more efficient and coherent had limited success.
Maastricht Treaty (1992–2007)
The European Union was formally established when the Maastricht Treaty—whose main architects were Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand—came into force on 1 November 1993. The treaty also gave the name European Community to the EEC, even if it was referred as such before the treaty. With further enlargement planned to include the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta, the Copenhagen criteria for candidate members to join the EU were agreed upon in June 1993. The expansion of the EU introduced a new level of complexity and discord. In 1995, Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the EU.
In 2002, euro 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. In 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement to date when Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined the Union.
Lisbon Treaty (2007–present)
In 2007, Bulgaria and Romania became EU members. The same year, Slovenia adopted the euro, followed in 2008 by Cyprus and Malta, by Slovakia in 2009, by Estonia in 2011, by Latvia in 2014, and by Lithuania in 2015.
On 1 December 2009, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force and reformed many aspects of the EU. 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.
In 2012, the EU received the Nobel Peace Prize for having "contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights in Europe." In 2013, Croatia became the 28th EU member.
From the beginning of the 2010s, the cohesion of the European Union has been tested by several issues, including a debt crisis in some of the Eurozone countries, increasing migration from the Middle East, and the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU. A referendum in the UK on its membership of the European Union was held in 2016, with 51.9% of participants voting to leave. The UK formally notified the European Council of its decision to leave on 29 March 2017, initiating the formal withdrawal procedure for leaving the EU, committing the UK in principle to leave the EU two years later, on 29 March 2019, unless an extension was sought and granted, which occurred.
The following timeline illustrates the integration that has led to the formation of the present union, in terms of structural development driven by international treaties:
The criteria for accession to the Union are included in the Copenhagen criteria, agreed in 1993, and the Treaty of Maastricht (Article 49). 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", may 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 April 1987), North Macedonia (applied on 22 March 2004 as "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"), Montenegro (applied in 2008), Albania (applied in 2009), and Serbia (applied in 2009). While the others are progressing, Turkish talks are at an effective standstill.
As of 1 January 2019, the population of the European Union was about 513.5 million people (6.9% of the world population). In 2015, 5.1 million children were born in the EU-28, corresponding to a birth rate of 10 per 1,000, which is 8 births below the world average. For comparison, the EU-28 birth rate had stood at 10.6 in 2000, 12.8 in 1985 and 16.3 in 1970. Its population growth rate was positive at an estimated 0.23% in 2016.
In 2010, 47.3 million people who lived in the EU were born outside their resident country. This corresponds to 9.4% of the total EU population. Of these, 31.4 million (6.3%) were born outside the EU and 16.0 million (3.2%) were born in another EU member state. The largest absolute numbers of people born outside the EU were in Germany (6.4 million), France (5.1 million), the United Kingdom (4.7 million), Spain (4.1 million), Italy (3.2 million), and the Netherlands (1.4 million). In 2017, approximately 825,000 persons acquired citizenship of a member state of the European Union. The largest groups were nationals of Morocco, Albania, India, Turkey and Pakistan. 2.4 million immigrants from non-EU countries entered the EU in 2017.
The EU contains about 40 urban areas with populations of over one million, including the two megacities (cities with a population of over 10 million) of London and Paris. Also, there are several other metropolises with a population of over 5 million like Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin and includes polycentric urbanised regions like Rhine-Ruhr (Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf et al.), Randstad (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht et al.), Frankfurt Rhine-Main (Frankfurt), the Flemish Diamond (Antwerp, Brussels, Leuven, Ghent et al.) and Upper Silesian area (Katowice, Ostrava et al.).
The European Union has 24 official languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish. Important documents, such as legislation, are translated into every official language and the European Parliament provides translation for documents and plenary sessions.
Due to the high number of official idioms, most of the institutions use only a handful of working languages. The European Commission conducts its internal business in three procedural languages: English, French, and German. Similarly, the European Court of Justice uses French as the working language, while the European Central Bank conducts its business primarily in English.
Even though language policy is the responsibility of member states, EU institutions promote multilingualism among its citizens. English is the most widely spoken language in the EU, being understood by 51% of the EU population when counting both native and non-native speakers. German is the most widely spoken mother tongue (16% of the EU population). More than half (56%) of EU citizens are able to engage in a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue.
Most official languages of the EU belong to the Indo-European language family, represented by the Balto-Slavic, the Italic, the Germanic, the Hellenic, and the Celtic branches. Some EU languages, namely Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian (all three Uralic), Basque (isolate) and Maltese (Semitic), do not belong to Indo-European languages. The three official alphabets of the European Union (Cyrillic, Latin, and modern Greek) all derive from the Archaic Greek scripts.
Besides the 24 official languages, there are about 150 regional and minority languages, spoken by up to 50 million people. Catalan, Galician, Basque, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh are not recognised official languages of the European Union but have semi-official status: official translations of the treaties are made into them and citizens have the right to correspond with the institutions in these languages. 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. The European Day of Languages is held annually on 26 September and is aimed at encouraging language learning across Europe.
|Affiliation||% of EU population|
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 and non-confessional organisations".
The preamble to the Treaty on European Union mentions the "cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe". Discussion over the draft texts of the European Constitution and later the Treaty of Lisbon included proposals to mention Christianity or a god, or both, in the preamble of the text, but the idea faced opposition and was dropped.
Christians in the European Union are divided among members of Catholicism (both Roman and Eastern Rite), numerous Protestant denominations (Anglicans, Lutherans, and Reformed forming the bulk of this category), and the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 2009, the EU had an estimated Muslim population of 13 million, and an estimated Jewish population of over a million. The other world religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism are also represented in the EU population.
According to new polls about religiosity in the European Union in 2015 by Eurobarometer, Christianity is the largest religion in the European Union, accounting for 71.6% of the EU population. Catholics are the largest Christian group, accounting for 45.3% of the EU population, while Protestants make up 11.1%, Eastern Orthodox make up 9.6%, and other Christians make up 5.6%.
Eurostat's Eurobarometer opinion polls showed in 2005 that 52% of EU citizens believed in a god, 27% in "some sort of spirit or life force", and 18% had no form of belief. Many countries have experienced falling church attendance and membership in recent years. The countries where the fewest people reported a religious belief were Estonia (16%) and the Czech Republic (19%). The most religious countries were Malta (95%, predominantly Roman Catholic) as well as Cyprus and Romania (both predominantly Orthodox) each with about 90% of citizens professing a belief in their respective god. 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".
Through successive enlargements, the European Union has grown from the six founding states (Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) to the current 28. Countries accede to the union by becoming party to the founding treaties, thereby 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".
To become a member, a country must meet the Copenhagen criteria, defined at the 1993 meeting of the European Council in Copenhagen. 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. Evaluation of a country's fulfilment of the criteria is the responsibility of the European Council. No member state has yet left the Union, although Greenland (an autonomous province of Denmark) withdrew in 1985. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty provides the basis for a member to leave the Union. Since mid-2017, the United Kingdom has been negotiating terms for its withdrawal from the EU.
There are six countries that are recognised as candidates for membership: Albania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey, though Iceland suspended negotiations in 2013. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are officially recognised as potential candidates, with Bosnia and Herzegovina having submitted a membership application.
The four countries forming the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are not EU members, but have partly committed to the EU's economy and regulations: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, which are a part of the single market through the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, which has similar ties through bilateral treaties. The relationships of the European microstates, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City include the use of the euro and other areas of co-operation. The following 28 sovereign states (of which the map only shows territories situated in and around Europe) constitute the European Union:
|Austria||Vienna||AT||1 January 1995||8,858,775||83,855 km2
(32,377 sq mi)
(11,787 sq mi)
|Bulgaria||Sofia||BG||1 January 2007||7,000,039||110,994 km2
(42,855 sq mi)
|Croatia||Zagreb||HR||1 July 2013||4,076,246||56,594 km2
(21,851 sq mi)
|Cyprus||Nicosia||CY||1 May 2004||875,898||9,251 km2
(3,572 sq mi)
|Czech Republic||Prague||CZ||1 May 2004||10,649,800||78,866 km2
(30,450 sq mi)
|Denmark||Copenhagen||DK||1 January 1973||5,806,081||43,075 km2
(16,631 sq mi)
|Estonia||Tallinn||EE||1 May 2004||1,324,820||45,227 km2
(17,462 sq mi)
|Finland||Helsinki||FI||1 January 1995||5,517,919||338,424 km2
(130,666 sq mi)
(247,368 sq mi)
(137,847 sq mi)
|Greece||Athens||GR||1 January 1981||10,722,287||131,990 km2
(50,960 sq mi)
|Hungary||Budapest||HU||1 May 2004||9,797,561||93,030 km2
(35,920 sq mi)
|Ireland||Dublin||IE||1 January 1973||4,904,226||70,273 km2
(27,133 sq mi)
(116,347 sq mi)
|Latvia||Riga||LV||1 May 2004||1,919,968||64,589 km2
(24,938 sq mi)
|Lithuania||Vilnius||LT||1 May 2004||2,794,184||65,200 km2
(25,200 sq mi)
|Luxembourg||Luxembourg City||LU||Founder||613,894||2,586 km2
(998 sq mi)
|Malta||Valletta||MT||1 May 2004||493,559||316 km2
(122 sq mi)
(16,040 sq mi)
|Poland||Warsaw||PL||1 May 2004||37,972,812||312,685 km2
(120,728 sq mi)
|Portugal||Lisbon||PT||1 January 1986||10,276,617||92,390 km2
(35,670 sq mi)
|Romania||Bucharest||RO||1 January 2007||19,401,658||238,391 km2
(92,043 sq mi)
|Slovakia||Bratislava||SK||1 May 2004||5,450,421||49,035 km2
(18,933 sq mi)
|Slovenia||Ljubljana||SI||1 May 2004||2,080,908||20,273 km2
(7,827 sq mi)
|Spain||Madrid||ES||1 January 1986||46,934,632||504,030 km2
(194,610 sq mi)
|Sweden||Stockholm||SE||1 January 1995||10,230,185||449,964 km2
(173,732 sq mi)
|United Kingdom||London||GB||1 January 1973||66,647,112||243,610 km2
(94,060 sq mi)
|28 total||513,481,691||4,475,757 km2
(1,728,099 sq mi)
The EU's member states cover an area of 4,423,147 square kilometres (1,707,787 sq mi). The EU's highest peak is Mont Blanc in the Graian Alps, 4,810.45 metres (15,782 ft) above sea level. The lowest points in the EU are Lammefjorden, Denmark and Zuidplaspolder, Netherlands, at 7 m (23 ft) below sea level. The landscape, climate, and economy of the EU are influenced by its coastline, which is 65,993 kilometres (41,006 mi) long.
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 majority of the population lives in areas with a temperate maritime climate (North-Western Europe and Central Europe), a Mediterranean climate (Southern Europe), or a warm summer continental or hemiboreal climate (Northern Balkans and Central Europe).
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 act 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 the EU institutions are passed in a variety of forms. Generally speaking, they can be classified into two groups: those which come into force without the necessity for national implementation measures (regulations) and those which specifically require national implementation measures (directives).
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. It is less integrated than a federal state because it is not a state in its own right: sovereignty continues to flow 'from the bottom up', from the several peoples of the separate member states, rather than from a single undifferentiated whole. 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; they retain control of taxation; and in that they retain a right of unilateral withdrawal from the Union 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.
The European Union has seven principal decision-making bodies, its institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the European Court of Auditors. Competence in scrutinising and amending legislation is shared between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, while executive tasks are performed 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 and the application of EU law and the treaties are ensured by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The EU budget is scrutinised by the European Court of Auditors. There are also a number of ancillary bodies which advise the EU or operate in a specific area.
- the European Council, which sets the general political directions and priorities of the Union by gathering together its member states' heads of state/government (elected chief executives). The conclusions of its summits (held at least quarterly) are adopted by consensus.
- the European Commission, the only institution empowered to propose legislation, serves as the "Guardian of the Treaties". It consists of an executive cabinet of public officials, led by an indirectly elected President. This College of Commissioners manages and directs the Commission's permanent civil service. It turns the consensus objectives of the European Council into legislative proposals.
- the Council of the European Union brings together ministers of member states governments' departments. It serves to represent the various governments directly and its approval is required for any proposal to enter into law.
- the European Parliament consists of 751 directly elected representatives. It shares with the Council of the EU equal legislative powers to amend, approve or reject Commission proposals for most areas of EU legislation. Its powers are limited in areas where member states' view sovereignty to be of primary concern (i.e. defence). It elects the Commission's President, must approve the College of Commissioners, and may vote to remove them collectively from office.
- the Court of Justice of the European Union ensures the uniform application of EU law and resolves disputes between EU institutions and member states, and against EU institutions on behalf of individuals.
- the European Central Bank is responsible for monetary stability within member states.
- the European Court of Auditors investigates the proper management of finances within both the EU entities and EU funding provided to its member states. As well as providing oversight and advice, it can refer unresolved issues to the European Court of Justice to arbitrate on any alleged irregularities.
EU policy is in general promulgated by EU directives, which are then implemented in the domestic legislation of its member states, and EU regulations, which 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. The 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by EU citizens every five years on the basis of proportional representation. MEPs are elected on a national 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 procedure, the 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 the proposed membership 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 President and Vice-Presidents are elected by MEPs every two and a half years.
The European Council gives political direction to the EU. It convenes at least four times a year and comprises the President of the European Council (currently Donald Tusk), the President of the European Commission and one representative per member state (either its head of state or head of government). The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (currently Federica Mogherini) also takes part in its meetings. It has been described by some as the Union's "supreme political authority". It is actively involved in the negotiation of treaty changes and defines the EU's policy agenda and strategies.
The European Council uses its leadership role to sort out disputes between member states and the institutions, and to resolve political crises and disagreements over controversial issues and policies. It acts externally as a "collective head of state" and ratifies important documents (for example, international agreements and treaties).
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 European Council should not be mistaken for the Council of Europe, an international organisation independent of the EU based in Strasbourg.
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union (also called the "Council" and the "Council of Ministers", its former title) forms one half of the EU's legislature. It consists of a government minister from each member state and meets in different compositions depending on the policy area being addressed. Notwithstanding its different configurations, it is considered to be one single body. In addition to its legislative functions, the Council also exercises executive functions in relations to the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The European Commission acts both as the EU's executive arm, responsible for the day-to-day running of the EU, and also the legislative initiator, with the sole power to propose laws for debate. The Commission is 'guardian of the Treaties' and is responsible for their efficient operation and policing. It operates de facto as a cabinet government, with 28 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.
One of the 28 is the President of the European Commission (Jean-Claude Juncker for 2014–2019), appointed by the European Council, subject to the Parliament's approval. After the President, the most prominent Commissioner is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who is ex-officio a Vice-President of the Commission and is also chosen by the European Council. The other 26 Commissioners are subsequently appointed by the Council of the European Union in agreement with the nominated President. The 28 Commissioners as a single body are subject to approval (or otherwise) by vote of the European Parliament.
The EU had an agreed budget of €120.7 billion for the year 2007 and €864.3 billion for the period 2007–2013, representing 1.10% and 1.05% of the EU-27's GNI forecast for the respective periods. In 1960, the budget of the then European Economic Community was 0.03% of GDP.
In the 2010 budget of €141.5 billion, the largest single expenditure item is "cohesion & competitiveness" with around 45% of the total budget. Next comes "agriculture" with approximately 31% of the total. "Rural development, environment and fisheries" takes up around 11%. "Administration" accounts for around 6%. The "EU as a global partner" and "citizenship, freedom, security and justice" bring up the rear with approximately 6% and 1% respectively.
The Court of Auditors is legally obliged to provide the Parliament and the Council (specifically, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council) with "a statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions". The Court also gives opinions and proposals on financial legislation and anti-fraud actions. The Parliament uses this to decide whether to approve the Commission's handling of the budget.
The European Court of Auditors has signed off the European Union accounts every year since 2007 and, while making it clear that the European Commission has more work to do, has highlighted that most of the errors take place at national level. In their report on 2009 the auditors found that five areas of Union expenditure, agriculture and the cohesion fund, were materially affected by error. The European Commission estimated in 2009 that the financial effect of irregularities was €1,863 million.
EU member states retain all powers not explicitly handed to the European Union. In some areas the EU enjoys exclusive competence. These are areas in which member states have renounced any capacity to enact legislation. In other areas the EU and its member states share the competence to legislate. While both can legislate, member states can only legislate to the extent to which the EU has not. In other policy areas the EU can only co-ordinate, support and supplement member state action but cannot enact legislation with the aim of harmonising national laws.
That a particular policy area falls into a certain category of competence is not necessarily indicative of what legislative procedure is used for enacting legislation within that policy area. Different legislative procedures are used within the same category of competence, and even with the same policy area.
The distribution of competences in various policy areas between Member States and the Union is divided in the following three categories:
|As outlined in Title I of Part I of the consolidated Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union|
Legal system and Justice
The EU is based on a series of treaties. These first established the European Community and the EU, and then made amendments to those founding treaties. These are power-giving treaties which set broad policy goals and establish institutions with the necessary legal powers to implement those goals. These legal powers include the ability to enact legislation which can directly affect all member states and their inhabitants. The EU has legal personality, with the right to sign agreements and international treaties.
Under the principle of supremacy, national courts are required to enforce the treaties that their member states have ratified, and thus the laws enacted under them, even if doing so requires them to ignore conflicting national law, and (within limits) even constitutional provisions.
The direct effect and supremacy doctrines were not explicitly set out the European Treaties but were developed by the Court of Justice itself over the 1960s, apparently under the influence of its then most influential judge, Frenchman Robert Lecourt
Courts of Justice
The judicial branch of the EU—formally called the Court of Justice of the European Union—consists of two courts: the Court of Justice and the General Court 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. 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.
The General Court mainly deals with cases taken by individuals and companies directly before the EU's courts, and the European Union Civil Service Tribunal adjudicates in disputes between the European Union and its civil service. Decisions from the General Court can be appealed to the Court of Justice but only on a point of law.
The treaties declare that the EU itself is "founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities ... in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail."
In 2009, the Lisbon Treaty gave legal effect to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The charter is a codified catalogue of fundamental rights against which the EU's legal acts can be judged. It consolidates many rights which were previously recognised by the Court of Justice and derived from the "constitutional traditions common to the member states." The Court of Justice has long recognised fundamental rights and has, on occasion, invalidated EU legislation based on its failure to adhere to those fundamental rights.
Signing the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is a condition for EU membership previously, the EU itself could not accede to the Convention as it is neither a state nor had the competence to accede. The Lisbon Treaty and Protocol 14 to the ECHR have changed this: the former binds the EU to accede to the Convention while the latter formally permits it.
The EU is independent from the Council of Europe and they share purpose and ideas especially on rule of law, human rights and democracy. Further European Convention on Human Rights and European Social Charter, the source of law of Charter of Fundamental Rights are created by Council of Europe. The EU also promoted human rights issues in the wider world. The EU opposes the death penalty and has proposed its worldwide abolition. Abolition of the death penalty is a condition for EU membership.
The main legal acts of the EU come in three forms: regulations, directives, and decisions. Regulations become law in all member states the moment they come into force, without the requirement for any implementing measures, and automatically override conflicting domestic provisions. Directives require member states to achieve a certain result while leaving them discretion as to how to achieve the result. The details of how they are to be implemented are left to member states. When the time limit for implementing directives passes, they may, under certain conditions, have direct effect in national law against member states.
Decisions offer an alternative to the two above modes of legislation. They are legal acts which only apply to specified individuals, companies or a particular member state. They are most often used in competition law, or on rulings on State Aid, but are also frequently used for procedural or administrative matters within the institutions. Regulations, directives, and decisions are of equal legal value and apply without any formal hierarchy.
Home affairs and Migration
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. Accordingly, the Union has legislated in areas such as extradition, family law, asylum law, and criminal justice. Prohibitions against sexual and nationality discrimination have a long standing in the treaties. In more recent years, these have been supplemented by powers to legislate against discrimination based on race, religion, disability, age, and sexual orientation. By virtue of these powers, the EU has enacted legislation on sexual discrimination in the work-place, age discrimination, and racial discrimination.
The Union has also established agencies to co-ordinate police, prosecutorial and immigrations controls across the member states: Europol for co-operation of police forces, Eurojust for co-operation between prosecutors, and Frontex for co-operation between border control authorities. The EU also operates the Schengen Information System which provides a common database for police and immigration authorities. This co-operation had to particularly be developed with the advent of open borders through the Schengen Agreement and the associated cross border crime.
Foreign policy co-operation between member states dates from the establishment of the Community in 1957, when member states negotiated as a bloc in international trade negotiations under the EU's common commercial policy. Steps for a more wide-ranging co-ordination in foreign relations began in 1970 with the establishment of European Political Cooperation which created an informal consultation process between member states with the aim of forming common foreign policies. In 1987 the European Political Cooperation was introduced on a formal basis by the Single European Act. EPC was renamed as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) by the Maastricht Treaty.
The aims of the CFSP are to promote both the EU's own interests and those of the international community as a whole, including the furtherance of international co-operation, respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. The CFSP requires unanimity among the member states on the appropriate policy to follow on any particular issue. The unanimity and difficult issues treated under the CFSP sometimes lead to disagreements, such as those which occurred over the war in Iraq.
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. The High Representative heads up the European External Action Service (EEAS), a unique EU department that has been officially implemented and operational since 1 December 2010 on the occasion of the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. The EEAS will serve as a foreign ministry and diplomatic corps for the European Union.
Besides the emerging international policy of the European Union, the international influence of the EU is also felt through enlargement. The perceived benefits of becoming a member of the EU act as an incentive for both political and economic reform in states wishing to fulfil the EU's accession criteria, and are considered an important factor contributing to the reform of European formerly Communist countries.:762 This influence on the internal affairs of other countries is generally referred to as "soft power", as opposed to military "hard power".
The predecessors of the European Union were not devised as a military alliance because NATO was largely seen as appropriate and sufficient for defence purposes. 22 EU members are members of NATO while the remaining member states follow policies of neutrality. The Western European Union, a military alliance with a mutual defence clause, was disbanded in 2010 as its role had been transferred to the EU.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the United Kingdom spent $61 billion on defence in 2014, placing it fifth in the world, while France spent $53 billion, the sixth largest. Together, the UK and France account for approximately 40 per cent of European countries' defence budget and 50 per cent of their military capacity. Both are officially recognised nuclear weapon states holding permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. Most EU member states opposed the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty.
Following the Kosovo War in 1999, the European Council agreed that "the Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and the readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO". To that end, a number of efforts were made to increase the EU's military capability, notably the Helsinki Headline Goal process. After much discussion, the most concrete result was the EU Battlegroups initiative, each of which is planned to be able to deploy quickly about 1500 personnel.
EU forces have been deployed on peacekeeping missions from middle and northern Africa to the western Balkans and western Asia. EU military operations are supported by a number of bodies, including the European Defence Agency, European Union Satellite Centre and the European Union Military Staff. Frontex is an agency of the EU established to manage the cooperation between national border guards securing its external borders. It aims to detect and stop illegal immigration, human trafficking and terrorist infiltration. In 2015 the European Commission presented its proposal for a new European Border and Coast Guard Agency having a stronger role and mandate along with national authorities for border management. In an EU consisting of 28 members, substantial security and defence co-operation is increasingly relying on collaboration among all member states.
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, or "ECHO", provides humanitarian aid from the EU to developing countries. In 2012, its budget amounted to €874 million, 51% of the budget went to Africa and 20% to Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Pacific, and 20% to the Middle East and Mediterranean.
Humanitarian aid is financed directly by the budget (70%) as part of the financial instruments for external action and also by the European Development Fund (30%). The EU's external action financing is divided into 'geographic' instruments and 'thematic' instruments. The 'geographic' instruments provide aid through the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI, €16.9 billion, 2007–2013), which must spend 95% of its budget on official development assistance (ODA), and from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which contains some relevant programmes. The European Development Fund (EDF, €22.7 billion for the period 2008–2013 and €30.5 billion for the period 2014-2020) is made up of voluntary contributions by member states, but there is pressure to merge the EDF into the budget-financed instruments to encourage increased contributions to match the 0.7% target and allow the European Parliament greater oversight.
International Cooperation and Development Partnerships
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. These countries, primarily developing countries, include some who seek to one day become either a member state of the European Union, or more closely integrated with the European Union. The EU offers financial assistance to countries within the European Neighbourhood, so long as they meet the strict conditions of government reform, economic reform and other issues surrounding positive transformation. This process is normally underpinned by an Action Plan, as agreed by both Brussels and the target country.
International recognition of sustainable development as a key element is growing steadily. 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. Other key global agreements are the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2015). The SDGs recognize that all countries must stimulate action in the following key areas - people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership - in order to tackle the global challenges that are crucial for the survival of humanity.
EU development action is based on the European Consensus on Development, which was endorsed on 20 December 2005 by EU Member States, the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission. It is applied from the principles of Capability approach and Rights-based approach to development.
The European Union is the largest exporter in the world and as of 2008 the largest importer of goods and services. Internal trade between the member states is aided by the removal of barriers to trade such as tariffs and border controls. In the eurozone, trade is helped by not having any currency differences to deal with amongst most members.
The European Union Association Agreement does something similar for a much larger range of countries, partly as a so-called soft approach ('a carrot instead of a stick') to influence the politics in those countries. The European Union represents all its members at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and acts on behalf of member states in any disputes. When the EU negotiates trade related agreement outside the WTO framework, the subsequent agreement must be approved by each individual EU member state government.
The European Union has concluded free trade agreements (FTAs) and other agreements with a trade component with many countries worldwide and is negotiating with many others.
The European Union has established a single market across the territory of all its members representing 513 million citizens. In 2018, the EU had a combined GDP of $22 trillion international dollars, a 16% share of global gross domestic product by purchasing power parity (PPP). As a political entity the European Union is represented in the World Trade Organization (WTO). EU member states own the estimated second largest after the United States (US$105 trillion) net wealth in the world, equal to 22% (US$82 trillion) of the US$360 trillion (~€300 trillion) global wealth.
19 member states have joined a monetary union known as the eurozone, which uses the Euro as a single currency. The currency union represents 342 million EU citizens. The euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.
Of the top 500 largest corporations in the world measured by revenue in 2010, 161 have their headquarters in the EU. In 2016, unemployment in the EU stood at 8.9% while inflation was at 2.2%, and the current account balance at −0.9% of GDP. The average annual net earnings in the European Union was around €24,000 (US$30,000) in 2015, which was about 70% of that in the United States.
There is a significant variation in Nominal GDP per capita within individual EU states. The difference between the richest and poorest regions (281 NUTS-2 regions of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) ranged, in 2017, from 15% (Severozapaden, Bulgaria) of the EU28 average (€30,000) to 700% (Inner London – West, UK), or from €4,600 to €209,900.
Two of the original core objectives of the European Economic Community were the development of a common market, subsequently becoming a single market, and a customs union between its member states. The single market involves the free circulation of goods, capital, people, and services within the EU, and the customs union involves the application of a common external tariff on all goods entering the market. Once goods have been admitted into the market they cannot be subjected to customs duties, discriminatory taxes or import quotas, as they travel internally. The non-EU member states of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland participate in the single market but not in the customs union. Half the trade in the EU is covered by legislation harmonised by the EU.
Free movement of capital is intended to permit movement of investments such as property purchases and buying of shares between countries. Until the drive towards economic and monetary union the development of the capital provisions had been slow. Post-Maastricht there has been a rapidly developing corpus of ECJ judgements regarding this initially neglected freedom. The free movement of capital is unique insofar as it is granted equally to non-member states.
The free movement of persons means that EU citizens can move freely between member states to live, work, study or retire in another country. This required the lowering of administrative formalities and recognition of professional qualifications of other states.
The free movement of services and of establishment allows self-employed persons to move between member states to provide services on a temporary or permanent basis. While services account for 60–70% of GDP, legislation in the area is not as developed as in other areas. This lacuna has been addressed by the recently passed Directive on services in the internal market which aims to liberalise the cross border provision of services. According to the Treaty the provision of services is a residual freedom that only applies if no other freedom is being exercised.
Monetary union and Financial services
The creation of a European single currency became an official objective of the European Economic Community in 1969. In 1992, having negotiated the structure and procedures of a currency union, the member states signed the Maastricht Treaty and were legally bound to fulfil the agreed-on rules including the convergence criteria if they wanted to join the monetary union. The states wanting to participate had first to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
In 1999 the currency union started, first as an accounting currency with eleven member states joining. In 2002, the currency was fully put into place, when euro notes and coins were issued and national currencies began to phase out in the eurozone, which by then consisted of 12 member states. The eurozone (constituted by the EU member states which have adopted the euro) has since grown to 19 countries.
The euro, and the monetary policies of those who have adopted it in agreement with the EU, are under the control of the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB is the central bank for the eurozone, and thus controls monetary policy in that area with an agenda to maintain price stability. It is at the centre of the European System of Central Banks, which comprehends all EU national central banks and is controlled by its General Council, consisting of the President of the ECB, who is appointed by the European Council, the Vice-President of the ECB, and the governors of the national central banks of all 28 EU member states.
The European System of Financial Supervision is an institutional architecture of the EU's framework of financial supervision composed by three authorities: the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority. To complement this framework, there is also a European Systemic Risk Board under the responsibility of the ECB. The aim of this financial control system is to ensure the economic stability of the EU.
To prevent the joining states from getting into financial trouble or crisis after entering the monetary union, they were obliged in the Maastricht treaty to fulfil important financial obligations and procedures, especially to show budgetary discipline and a high degree of sustainable economic convergence, as well as to avoid excessive government deficits and limit the government debt to a sustainable level.
Industry and Digital Economy
The European Commission working sectors are: Aeronautics, automotive, biotechnology, chemicals, construction, cosmetics, defense, electronics, firearms, food and drink, gambling, healthcare, maritime, mechanics, medical, postal, raw materials, space, textile, tourism, toys and Social economy (Societas cooperativa Europaea).
In 2006, the EU-27 had a gross inland energy consumption of 1,825 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe). Around 46% of the energy consumed was produced within the member states while 54% was imported. In these statistics, nuclear energy is treated as primary energy produced in the EU, regardless of the source of the uranium, of which less than 3% is produced in the EU.
The EU has had legislative power in the area of energy policy for most of its existence; this has its roots in the original European Coal and Steel Community. The introduction of a mandatory and comprehensive European energy policy was approved at the meeting of the European Council in October 2005, and the first draft policy was published in January 2007.
The EU has five key points in its energy policy: increase competition in the internal market, encourage investment and boost interconnections between electricity grids; diversify energy resources with better systems to respond to a crisis; establish a new treaty framework for energy co-operation with Russia while improving relations with energy-rich states in Central Asia and North Africa; use existing energy supplies more efficiently while increasing renewable energy commercialisation; and finally increase funding for new energy technologies.
In 2007, EU countries as a whole imported 82% of their oil, 57% of their natural gas and 97.48% of their uranium demands. There is a strong dependence on Russian energy that the EU has been attempting to reduce.
The EU is working to improve cross-border infrastructure within the EU, for example through the Trans-European Networks (TEN). Projects under TEN include the Channel Tunnel, LGV Est, the Fréjus Rail Tunnel, the Öresund Bridge, the Brenner Base Tunnel and the Strait of Messina Bridge. In 2010 the estimated network covers: 75,200 kilometres (46,700 mi) of roads; 78,000 kilometres (48,000 mi) of railways; 330 airports; 270 maritime harbours; and 210 internal harbours.
Rail transport in Europe is being synchronised with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), an initiative to greatly enhance safety, increase efficiency of trains and enhance cross-border interoperability of rail transport in Europe by replacing signalling equipment with digitised mostly wireless versions and by creating a single Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems.
The developing European transport policies will increase the pressure on the environment in many regions by the increased transport network. In the pre-2004 EU members, the major problem in transport deals with congestion and pollution. After the recent enlargement, the new states that joined since 2004 added the problem of solving accessibility to the transport agenda. The Polish road network was upgraded such as the A4 autostrada.
Telecommunications and Space
The Galileo positioning system is another EU infrastructure project. Galileo is a proposed Satellite navigation system, to be built by the EU and launched by the European Space Agency (ESA). 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.
Agriculture and Fisheries
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one of the long lasting policies of the European Community. The policy has the objectives of increasing agricultural production, providing certainty in food supplies, ensuring a high quality of life for farmers, stabilising markets, and ensuring reasonable prices for consumers. It was, until recently, operated by a system of subsidies and market intervention. Until the 1990s, the policy accounted for over 60% of the then European Community's annual budget, and as of 2013 accounts for around 34%.
The policy's price controls and market interventions led to considerable overproduction. These were intervention stores of products bought up by the Community to maintain minimum price levels. To dispose of surplus stores, they were often sold on the world market at prices considerably below Community guaranteed prices, or farmers were offered subsidies (amounting to the difference between the Community and world prices) to export their products outside the Community. This system has been criticised for under-cutting farmers outside Europe, especially those in the developing world. Supporters of CAP argue that the economic support which it gives to farmers provides them with a reasonable standard of living.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the CAP has been subject to a series of reforms. Initially, these reforms included the introduction of set-aside in 1988, where a proportion of farm land was deliberately withdrawn from production, milk quotas and, more recently, the 'de-coupling' (or disassociation) of the money farmers receive from the EU and the amount they produce (by the Fischler reforms in 2004). Agriculture expenditure will move away from subsidy payments linked to specific produce, toward direct payments based on farm size. This is intended to allow the market to dictate production levels. One of these reforms entailed the modification of the EU's sugar regime, which previously divided the sugar market between member states and certain African-Caribbean nations with a privileged relationship with the EU.
The EU operates a competition policy intended to ensure undistorted competition within the single market. The Commission as the competition regulator for the single market is responsible for antitrust issues, approving mergers, breaking up cartels, working for economic liberalisation and preventing state aid.
The Competition Commissioner, currently Margrethe Vestager, is one of the most powerful positions in the Commission, notable for the ability to affect the commercial interests of trans-national corporations. For example, in 2001 the Commission for the first time prevented a merger between two companies based in the United States (GE and Honeywell) which had already been approved by their national authority. Another high-profile case against Microsoft, resulted in the Commission fining Microsoft over €777 million following nine years of legal action.
The EU seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7% in September 2018. The euro area unemployment rate was 8.1%. Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.3%), Germany and Poland (both 3.4%), and the highest in Spain (14.9%) and Greece (19.0 in July 2018).
Social policy and Equality
The EU has long sought to mitigate the effects of free markets by protecting workers rights and preventing social and environmental dumping. To this end it has adopted laws establishing minimum employment and environmental standards. These included the Working Time Directive and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. 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.
The European Social Charter is the main body that recognizes the social rights of European citizens.
Since 2019 there is a European Commissioner for Equality; a European Institute for Gender Equality has existed since 2007.
Housing, youth, childhood, Functional diversity or elderly care are supportive competencies of the European Union and can be financed by the European Social Fund.
Regional and Local Policy
Structural Funds and Cohesion Funds are supporting the development of underdeveloped regions of the EU. Such regions are primarily located in the states of central and southern Europe. Several funds provide emergency aid, support for candidate members to transform their country to conform to the EU's standard (Phare, ISPA, and SAPARD), and support to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS). TACIS has now become part of the worldwide EuropeAid programme.
Demographic transition to a society of aging population, low fertility-rates and depopulation of non-metropolitan regions is tackled within this policies.
Environment and Climate
In 1957, when the EEC was founded, it had no environmental policy. Over the past 50 years, an increasingly dense network of legislation has been created, extending to all areas of environmental protection, including air pollution, water quality, waste management, nature conservation, and the control of chemicals, industrial hazards, and biotechnology. According to the Institute for European Environmental Policy, environmental law comprises over 500 Directives, Regulations and Decisions, making environmental policy a core area of European politics.
European policy-makers originally increased the EU's capacity to act on environmental issues by defining it as a trade problem. Trade barriers and competitive distortions in the Common Market could emerge due to the different environmental standards in each member state. In subsequent years, the environment became a formal policy area, with its own policy actors, principles and procedures. The legal basis for EU environmental policy was established with the introduction of the Single European Act in 1987.
Initially, EU environmental policy focused on Europe. More recently, the EU has demonstrated leadership in global environmental governance, e.g. the role of the EU in securing the ratification and coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol despite opposition from the United States. 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. The Lisbon Treaty further strengthened the leadership ambitions. EU law has played a significant role in improving habitat and species protection in Europe, as well as contributing to improvements in air and water quality and waste management.
Mitigating climate change is one of the top priorities of EU environmental policy. In 2007, member states agreed that, in the future, 20% of the energy used across the EU must be renewable, and carbon dioxide emissions have to be lower in 2020 by at least 20% compared to 1990 levels. The EU has adopted an emissions trading system to incorporate carbon emissions into the economy. 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.
In the Elections to the European Parliament in 2019, the green parties increased their power, possibly because of the rise of post materialist values.
Proposals to reach a zero carbon economy in the European Union by 2050 were suggested in 2018 - 2019. Almost all member states supported that goal at an EU summit in June 2019. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, and Poland disagreed.
Education and Research
Basic education is an area where the EU's role is limited to supporting national governments. In higher education, the policy was developed in the 1980s in programmes supporting exchanges and mobility. The most visible of these has been the Erasmus Programme, a university exchange programme which began in 1987. In its first 20 years, it supported international exchange opportunities for well over 1.5 million university and college students and became a symbol of European student life.
There are similar programmes for school pupils and teachers, for trainees in vocational education and training, and for adult learners in the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013. These programmes are designed to encourage a wider knowledge of other countries and to spread good practices in the education and training fields across the EU. Through its support of the Bologna Process, the EU is supporting comparable standards and compatible degrees across Europe.
Scientific development is facilitated through the EU's Framework Programmes, the first of which started in 1984. The aims of EU policy in this area are to co-ordinate and stimulate research. The independent European Research Council allocates EU funds to European or national research projects. EU research and technological framework programmes deal in a number of areas, for example energy where the aim is to develop a diverse mix of renewable energy to help the environment and to reduce dependence on imported fuels.
Health care and Food safety
The EU has no major competences in the field of health care and Article 35 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union affirms that "A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities". The European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers seeks to align national laws on the protection of people's health, on the consumers' rights, on the safety of food and other products.
All EU and many other European countries offer their citizens a free European Health Insurance Card which, on a reciprocal basis, provides insurance for emergency medical treatment insurance when visiting other participating European countries. A directive on cross-border healthcare aims at promoting co-operation on health care between member states and facilitating access to safe and high-quality cross-border healthcare for European patients.
Cultural co-operation between member states has been a concern of the EU since its inclusion as a community competency in the Maastricht Treaty. Actions taken in the cultural area by the EU include the Culture 2000 seven-year programme, the European Cultural Month event, and orchestras such as the European Union Youth Orchestra. The European Capital of Culture programme selects one or more cities in every year to assist the cultural development of that city.
Association football is by far the most popular sport in the European Union by the number of registered players. The other sports with the most participants in clubs are tennis, basketball, swimming, athletics, golf, gymnastics, equestrian sports, handball, volleyball and sailing.
Sport is mainly the responsibility of the member states or other international organisations, rather than of the EU. There are some EU policies that have affected sport, such as the free movement of workers, which was at the core of the Bosman ruling that prohibited national football leagues from imposing quotas on foreign players with European citizenship.
The Treaty of Lisbon requires any application of economic rules to take into account the specific nature of sport and its structures based on voluntary activity. This followed lobbying by governing organisations such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, due to objections over the application of free market principles to sport, which led to an increasing gap between rich and poor clubs. The EU does fund a programme for Israeli, Jordanian, Irish, and British football coaches, as part of the Football 4 Peace project.
The flag used is the Flag of Europe, which consists of a circle of 12 golden stars on a blue background. Originally designed in 1955 for the Council of Europe, the flag was adopted by the European Communities, the predecessors of the present Union, in 1986. The Council of Europe gave the flag a symbolic description in the following terms, though the official symbolic description adopted by the EU omits the reference to the "Western world":
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. The number of stars is invariably twelve, the figure twelve being the symbol of perfection and entirety.— Council of Europe. Paris, 7–9 December 1955.
United in Diversity was adopted as the motto of the Union in the year 2000, having been selected from proposals submitted by school pupils. Since 1985, the flag day of the Union has been Europe Day, on 9 May (the date of the 1950 Schuman declaration). The anthem of the Union is an instrumental version of the prelude to the Ode to Joy, the 4th movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's ninth symphony. The anthem was adopted by European Community leaders in 1985 and has since been played on official occasions. Besides naming the continent, the Greek mythological figure of Europa has frequently been employed as a personification of Europe. Known from the myth in which Zeus seduces her in the guise of a white bull, Europa has also been referred to in relation to the present Union. Statues of Europa and the bull decorate several of the Union's institutions and a portrait of her is seen on the 2013 series of Euro banknotes. The bull is, for its part, depicted on all residence permit cards.
Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne (Latin: Carolus Magnus) and later recognised as Pater Europae ("Father of Europe"), has a symbolic relevance to Europe. The Commission has named one of its central buildings in Brussels after Charlemagne and the city of Aachen has since 1949 awarded the Charlemagne Prize to champions of European unification. Since 2008, the organisers of this prize, in conjunction with the European Parliament, have awarded the Charlemagne Youth Prize in recognition of similar efforts by young people.
Media freedom is a fundamental right that applies to all member states of the European Union and its citizens, as defined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as the European Convention on Human Rights.:1 Within the EU enlargement process, guaranteeing media freedom is named a "key indicator of a country's readiness to become part of the EU".
The vast majority of media in the European Union are national-oriented. Some EU-wide media focusing on European affairs have emerged since the early 1990s, such as Euronews, EUobserver, EURACTIV or Politico Europe. ARTE is a public Franco-German TV network that promotes programming in the areas of culture and the arts. 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.
The MEDIA Programme of the European Union intends to support the European popular film and audiovisual industries since 1991. It provides support for the development, promotion and distribution of European works within Europe and beyond.
- The 24 languages are equally official and accepted as working languages. Three of them – English, French and German – have the higher status of procedural languages and are used in the day-to-day workings of the European institutions.
- Currently undergoing exit procedures known as Brexit.
- Calculated using UNDP data for the member states with weighted population.
- Martinique, Guadeloupe (UTC−4); French Guiana (UTC−3); Azores (UTC−1 / UTC); Mayotte (UTC+3); and La Réunion (UTC+4); which, other than the Azores, do not observe DST.
- .eu is representative of the whole of the EU; member states also have their own TLDs.
- Kikuchi Yoshio (菊池良生) of Meiji University suggested that the notion of Holy Roman Empire as a federal political entity influenced the later structural ideas of the European Union.
- See Articles 165 and 166 (ex Articles 149 and 150) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
- Slavic: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Polish, Slovak and Slovene. Baltic: Latvian and Lithuanian.
- French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.
- Danish, Dutch, English, German and Swedish.
- Basque is not an official language of the European Union but has a semi-official status.
- Referred to by the EU as the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
- On 3 October 1990, the constituent states of the former German Democratic Republic acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany, automatically becoming part of the EU.
- This figure includes the extra-European territories of member states which are part of the European Union, and excludes the European territories of member states which are not part of the Union. For more information see Special member state territories and the European Union.
- See Article 288 (ex Article 249 TEC) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
- According to the principle of Direct Effect first invoked in the Court of Justice's decision in Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen, Eur-Lex (European Court of Justice 1963). See: Craig and de Búrca, ch. 5.
- According to the principle of Supremacy as established by the ECJ in Case 6/64, Falminio Costa v. ENEL  ECR 585. See Craig and de Búrca, ch. 7. See also: Factortame litigation: Factortame Ltd. v. Secretary of State for Transport (No. 2)  1 AC 603, Solange II (Re Wuensche Handelsgesellschaft, BVerfG decision of 22 October 1986  3 CMLR 225,265) and Frontini v. Ministero delle Finanze  2 CMLR 372; Raoul George Nicolo  1 CMLR 173.
- and is effectively treated as one of the Copenhagen criteria.Assembly.coe.int. This is a political and not a legal requirement for membership. Archived 26 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- The European Convention on Human Rights was previously only open to members of the Council of Europe (Article 59.1 of the Convention), and even now only states may become member of the Council of Europe (Article 4 of the Statute of the Council of Europe).
- Opinion (2/92) of the European Court of Justice on "Accession by the Community to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms" 1996 E.C.R. I-1759 (in French), ruled that the European Community did not have the competence to accede to the ECHR.
- See: Case 34/73, Variola v. Amministrazione delle Finanze  ECR 981.
- To do otherwise would require the drafting of legislation which would have to cope with the frequently divergent legal systems and administrative systems of all of the now 28 member states. See Craig and de Búrca, p. 115
- See Articles 157 (ex Article 141) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
- See Article 2(7) of the Amsterdam Treaty on eur-lex.europa.eu Archived 17 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (OJ L 180, 19 July 2000, pp. 22–26); Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (OJ L 303, 2 December 2000, pp. 16–22).
- "ERM II". Danish Finance Ministry. 20 March 2009. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
- Almost all uranium is imported and nuclear power is considered primary energy produced in the EU.
- Article 39 (ex Article 33) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
- Article 3(1)(g) of the Treaty of Rome
- "European Commission – Frequently asked questions on languages in Europe". europa.eu.
- Leonard Orban (24 May 2007). "Cyrillic, the third official alphabet of the EU, was created by a truly multilingual European" (PDF). europe.eu. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "DISCRIMINATION IN THE EU IN 2015", Special Eurobarometer, 437, European Union: European Commission, 2015, retrieved 15 October 2017 – via GESIS
- The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edn., Erin McKean (editor), 2051 pages, 2005, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6.
- Current Article 1 of the Treaty on European Union reads: "The Union shall be founded on the present Treaty and on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Those two Treaties shall have the same legal value. The Union shall replace and succeed the European Community".
- "Eurostat – Population on 1 January 2019". European Commission. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
- "IMF World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "IMF World Economic Outlook Database, April 2016". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income - EU-SILC survey". ec.europa.eu/eurostat. Eurostat. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "Human Development Report 2018 Summary". The United Nations. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- "The EU in brief". European Union. 16 June 2016.
- European Commission. "The EU Single Market: Fewer barriers, more opportunities". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
"Activities of the European Union: Internal Market". Europa web portal. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
- "Common commercial policy". Europa Glossary. Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
- "Agriculture and Fisheries Council". The Council of the European Union. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "Regional Policy Inforegio". Europa web portal. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "Schengen area". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- Craig & De Burca 2011, p. 15.
- "European Union reaches 500 Million through Combination of Accessions, Migration and Natural Growth". Vienna Institute of Demography. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "World Economic Outlook Database". International Monetary Fund. 7 June 2018.
- "EU collects Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo". BBC News. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- John McCormick (2006). The European Superpower. ISBN 978-1-4039-9846-0.
- Christopher I. Beckwith (2009), Empires of the Silk Road, Oxford University Press, p.30
- Kikuchi (菊池), Yoshio (良生) (2003). 神聖ローマ帝国. p. 264. ISBN 978-4-06-149673-6.
- "Renovatio imperii romanorum – Oxford Reference". doi:10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100414131 (inactive 20 August 2019). Retrieved 22 November 2018. Cite journal requires
- René, Metz (1955). "Robert Folz, L'idée d'Empire en Occident du Ve au XIVe siècle, Collection historique, 1953". Revue des Sciences Religieuses (in French). 29 (2).
- Schramm, Percy Ernst (1957). Kaiser, Rom und Renovatio; Studien zur Geschichte des römischen Erneuerungsgedankens vom Ende des karolingischen Reiches bis zum Investiturstreit (in German). Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. OCLC 15021725.
- Jones, Jonathan (23 November 2010). "Europe has been building a secret community of culture". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- Perkins, Mary Anne (2004). Christendom and European Identity: The Legacy of a Grand Narrative Since 1789. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-018244-6.
- Nelsen, Brent F.; Guth, James L. (2015). Religion and the Struggle for European Union: Confessional Culture and the Limits of Integration. Georgetown University Press. ISBN 978-1-62616-070-5.
- Mather, J. (2006). Legitimating the European Union: Aspirations, Inputs and Performance. Springer. ISBN 978-0-230-62562-4.
- Parry, Ken; Melling, David J.; Brady, Dimitri; Griffith, Sidney H.; Healey, John F. (2001). The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-631-23203-2.
- Sherrard, Philip (1995). The Greek East and the Latin West: A Study in the Christian Tradition. D. Harvey. ISBN 978-960-7120-04-5.
- Pinterič, Uroš; Prijon, Lea (2013). European Union in 21st Century. University of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Faculty of Social Sciences. ISBN 978-80-8105-510-2.
- Smith, Denis Mack (2008). Mazzini. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-17712-1.
- Szymanowski, Teodor Korwin (1885). L'avenir économique, social et politique en Europe (in French). H. Marot.
- Metzidakis, Angelo (1994). "Victor Hugo and the Idea of the United States of Europe". Nineteenth-Century French Studies. 23 (1/2): 72–84. JSTOR 23537320.
- Kaiser, W.; Varsori, A. (2010). European Union History: Themes and Debates. Springer. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-230-28150-9.
- John Maynard Keynes, Economic Consequences of the Peace, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Howe, 1920, pp. 265–66.
- Rosamond, Ben (2000). Theories of European Integration. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-312-23120-0.
- Weigall, David; Stirk, Peter M.R. (1992). The Origins and development of the European Community. Leicester University Press. pp. 11–15. ISBN 978-0-7185-1428-0.
- Klos, Felix (30 September 2017). Churchill's Last Stand: The Struggle to Unite Europe. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 51. ISBN 9781786732927.
- "The political consequences". CVCE. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- "Ein britischer Patriot für Europa: Winston Churchills Europa-Rede, Universität Zürich, 19. September 1946" [A British Patriot for Europe: Winston Churchill's Speech on Europe University of Zurich, 19 September 1946]. Zeit Online. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- Dieter Mahncke; Léonce Bekemans; Robert Picht, eds. (1999). The College of Europe. Fifty Years of Service to Europe. Bruges: College of Europe. ISBN 978-90-804983-1-0. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016.
- "Declaration of 9 May 1950". European Commission. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- "Europe: How The Marshall Plan Took Western Europe From Ruins To Union". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
- "A peaceful Europe – the beginnings of cooperation". European Commission. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "A European Atomic Energy Community". Cvce.eu. 13 October 1997. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "A European Customs Union". cvce.eu. 2016.
- "Merging the executives". CVCE – Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l'Europe. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- Merging the executives CVCE.eu
- Discover the former Presidents: The Rey Commission, Europa (web portal). Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- "The first enlargement". CVCE. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- "The new European Parliament". CVCE. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- "Negotiations for enlargement". CVCE. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- "Schengen agreement". BBC News. 30 April 2001. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "History of the flag". Europa web portal. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- "1980–1989 The changing face of Europe – the fall of the Berlin Wall". Europa web portal. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
- Hunt, Michael H. (2014). The World Transformed, 1945 to the Present. New York: Oxford University press. pp. 516–517. ISBN 978-0-19-937103-7.
- "Treaty of Maastricht on European Union". Activities of the European Union. Europa web portal. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- "A decade of further expansion". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
- Piris 2010, p. 448.
- "European Parliament announces new President and Foreign Affairs Minister". Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- "The Nobel Peace Prize 2012". Nobelprize.org. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "Nobel Committee Awards Peace Prize to E.U". New York Times. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "Croatia: From isolation to EU membership". BBC News. BBC. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "EU Referendum Result". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- Erlanger, Steven (23 June 2016). "Britain Votes to Leave E.U., Stunning the World". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- "'No turning back' on Brexit as Article 50 triggered". BBC politics. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
- Members of the European Parliament (19 May 1998). "Legal questions of enlargement". Enlargement of the European Union. The European Parliament. Archived from the original on 21 March 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2008.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- "Turkey's EU dream is over, for now, top official says". Reuters. 2 May 2017.
- ""Turkey is no longer an EU candidate", MEP says". EuroNews. 10 April 2017.
- "A truce with the EU?". Daily SabahEuroNews. 2 May 2017.
- "Share of world population, 1960, 2015 and 2060 (%)". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- "The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- "Fertility statistics". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- "The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- 6.5% of the EU population are foreigners and 9.4% are born abroad Archived 12 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Eurostat, Katya VASILEVA, 34/2011.
- "Acquisition of citizenship statistics". www.ec.europa.eu. Eurostat. March 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
- "Migration and migrant population statistics". Eurostat. March 2019.
- "Migration and migrant population statistics" (PDF). Eurostat. March 2019.
- "Eurostat – Data Explorer". Eurostat. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
- Population on 1 January by broad age group, sex and metropolitan regions, Eurostat. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- "Europeans and Their Languages, 2012 Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- European Commission (2012). "Europeans and their Languages" (PDF). Special Eurobarometer 386. europa.eu. pp. 54–59. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- European Commission (2012). "Europeans and their Languages" (PDF). Special Eurobarometer 386. europa.eu. pp. 78–83. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- EUR-Lex (12 December 2006). "Council Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 of 20 November 2006". Official Journal of the European Union. Europa web portal. Retrieved 2 February 2007.
- "Languages in Europe – Official EU Languages". EUROPA web portal. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- europarltv, official webtv of the European Parliament, is also available in all EU languages
- "Languages and Europe. FAQ: Is every document generated by the EU translated into all the official languages?". Europa web portal. 2004. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
- Sharpston, Eleanor V.E. (29 March 2011), "Appendix 5: Written Evidence of Advocate General Sharpston", The Workload of the Court of Justice of the European Union, House of Lords European Union Committee, retrieved 27 August 2013
- "Frequently asked questions on languages in Europe". europa.eu. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- Buell, Todd (29 October 2014). "Translation Adds Complexity to European Central Bank's Supervisory Role: ECB Wants Communication in English, But EU Rules Allow Use of Any Official Language". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- Athanassiou, Phoebus (February 2006). "The Application of multilingualism in the European Union Context" (PDF). ECB. p. 26. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- European Parliament (2004). "European Parliament Fact Sheets: 4.16.3. Language policy". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
- European Commission (2006). "Special Eurobarometer 243: Europeans and their Languages (Executive Summary)" (PDF). Europa web portal. p. 4. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
English is the most commonly known language in the EU with over a half of the respondents (51%) speaking it either as their mother tongue or as a foreign language.
- European Commission (2006). "Special Eurobarometer 243: Europeans and their Languages (Executive Summary)" (PDF). Europa web portal. p. 3. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
56% of citizens in the EU Member States are able to hold a conversation in one language apart from their mother tongue.
- European Commission (2004). "Many tongues, one family. Languages in the European Union" (PDF). Europa web portal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
- Coulmas, Florian (1996). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-0-631-21481-6.
- Klimczak-Pawlak, Agata (2014). Towards the Pragmatic Core of English for European Communication: The Speech Act of Apologising in Selected Euro-Englishes. Springer Science & Business. ISBN 978-3-319-03557-4.
- "MEPs push for EU recognition of Catalan, Welsh languages". EURACTIV.com. 8 March 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- "Committee of Ministers – European Year of Languages Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1539". Wcd.coe.int. 2001. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union" – via Wikisource.
- Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union.
- Castle, Stephen (21 March 2007). "EU celebrates 50th birthday-with a row about religion". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2008.
- "Muslim Population" (PDF). europa web portal. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- Jewish population figures may be unreliable. Sergio DellaPergola. "World Jewish Population (2002)". American Jewish Year Book. The Jewish Agency for Israel. Archived from the original on 22 December 2004. Retrieved 3 May 2007.
- Eurostat (2005). "Social values, Science and Technology" (PDF). Special Eurobarometer 225. Europa, web portal: 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
- Ford, Peter (22 February 2005). "What place for God in Europe". USA Today. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- "Answers – The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions". Answers.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "EU institutions and other bodies". Europa. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- "Accession criteria (Copenhagen criteria)". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
- "The Greenland Treaty of 1985". The European Union and Greenland. Greenland Home Rule Government. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- Article 50 of the Consolidated Treaty on European Union.
- "European Commission – Enlargement – Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Fox, Benjamin (16 June 2013). "Iceland's EU bid is over, commission told". Reuters. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- European Commission. "The European Economic Area (EEA)". Europa web portal. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- "The EU's relations with Switzerland". Europa web portal. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
- European Commission. "Use of the euro in the world". The euro outside the euro area. Europa web portal. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "European Countries". Europa web portal. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Mont Blanc shrinks by 45 cm (17.72 in) in two years". Sydney Morning Herald. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "The World Factbook". cia.gov. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Humid Continental Climate". The physical environment. University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. 2007. Archived from the original on 30 May 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
- "Urban sprawl in Europe: The ignored challenge, European Environmental Agency" (PDF). 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "European Union". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
international organisation comprising 28 European countries and governing common economic, social, and security policies ...
- "European Union". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- According to P.C. Schmitter, Comparative Politics: Its Past, Present and Future (2016), 1 Chinese Political Science Review, 397, at 410, "European Union is the most complex polity in the world".
- These legislative instruments are dealt with in more detail below.
- Kiljunen, Kimmo (2004). The European Constitution in the Making. Centre for European Policy Studies. pp. 21–26. ISBN 978-92-9079-493-6.
- Burgess, Michael (2000). Federalism and European union: The building of Europe, 1950–2000. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 0-415-22647-3. "Our theoretical analysis suggests that the EC/EU is neither a federation nor a confederation in the classical sense. But it does claim that the European political and economic elites have shaped and moulded the EC/EU into a new form of international organization, namely, a species of "new" confederation."
- "Qualified majority - Consilium". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
- "Practical Law UK Signon". signon.thomsonreuters.com. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
- "EU Library Briefing:Lobbying the EU institutions" (PDF). Europarl. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- Wellfire Interactive. "MEPs must be elected on the basis of proportional representation, the threshold must not exceed 5%, and the electoral area may be subdivided in constituencies if this will not generally affect the proportional nature of the voting system". Fairvote.org. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "Institutions: The European Parliament". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
- "How does the EU work". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 12 July 2007.
- With US or against US?: European trends in American perspective Parsons, Jabko. European Union Studies Association, p.146:
Fourth, the European Council acts a "collective head of state" for the EU.
- "President of the European Council" (PDF). General Secretariat of the Council of the EU. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
- The Latin word consilium is occasionally used when a single identifier is required, as on the Council Web site.
- "Institutional affairs: Council of the European Union". Europa. European Commission. 6 January 2010.
It is commonly called the Council of Ministers.
- "Institutions: The Council of the European Union". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
- "Legislative powers". European Parliament. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "Parliament's legislative initiative" (PDF). Library of the European Parliament. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "Planning and proposing law". European Commission. 20 April 2019.
- "Guardian of the Treaties". CVCE Education Unit. University of Luxembourg. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
- Treaty on European Union: Article 17:7
- "The EU budget 2011 in figures – Financial Programming and Budget". Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Q&A on Interinstitutional Agreement on Budgetary Discipline and Sound Financial Management 2007-2013". europa.eu.
- David Smith., David (1999). Will Europe work?. London: Profile Books. ISBN 978-1-86197-102-9.
- European Commission. "EU Budget in detail 2010". Europa web portal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 August 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Section 7, Article 287."Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union". European Commission.
- "Institutions: Court of Auditors". Europa (web portal). Archived from the original on 22 December 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- "2012 annual report". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 13 November 2015.>
- "European auditors point to errors but sign off EU's accounts – some UK media decline to listen to what the auditors say". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 13 November 2015.>
- "Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2009, together with the institutions' replies" (PDF). p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- "Protection of the European Union's financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual Report 2009 (vid. pp. 6, 15)" (PDF). Europa. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2010.
- "Competences and consumers". Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- "Sources of EU law". European Commission. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- de Schoutheete, Philippe; Andoura, Sami (2007). "The Legal Personality of the European Union" (PDF). Studia Diplomatica. LX (1). Retrieved 15 November 2010. Its examples are the ratifications of United Nations Convention against Corruption and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by EU. And Article 47 of the Consolidated Treaty on European Union.
- William Phelan, Great Judgments of the European Court of Justice: Rethinking the Landmark Decisions of the Foundational Period (Cambridge, 2019).
- "Article 19 of the Treaty on European Union". eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- "Court of Justice: presentation". Europa web portal. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
- "General Court: presentation". Europa web portal. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
- "Civil Service Tribunal: presentation". Europa web portal. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
- Article 256(1) (ex article 225(1)) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
- "EU court rules in favour of same-sex rights". 5 June 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018 – via www.bbc.com.
- Article 2, Treaty on European Union (consolidated 1 December 2009)
- Case 11/70, Internationale Handelsgesellschaft v. Einfuhr und Vorratstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel; Article 6(2) of the Maastricht Treaty (as amended).
- "Respect for fundamental rights in the EU – general development". European Parliament Fact Sheets. The European Parliament. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
- "EU Policy on Death Penalty". Europa. European Union External Action Service. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "How EU takes decisions". Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- "European arrest warrant replaces extradition between EU Member States". Europa web portal. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
- "Jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility (Brussels II)". Europa web portal. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- "Minimum standards on the reception of applicants for asylum in Member States". Europa web portal. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- "Specific Programme: 'Criminal Justice'". Europa web portal. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- "European police office now in full swing". Europa web portal. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
- "Eurojust coordinating cross-border prosecutions at EU level". Europa web portal. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
- Frontex. "What is Frontex?". Europa web portal. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
- "Qualified-Majority Voting: Common commercial policy". Europa web portal. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
- The European commission. "European political co-operation (EPC)". Europa Glossary. Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 8 July 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
- Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (as inserted by the Treaty of Lisbon), on eur-lex.europa.eu
- "Divided EU agrees Iraq statement". BBC News. BBC. 27 January 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- Rettman, Andrew (23 October 2009) EU states envisage new foreign policy giant, EU Observer
- "European External Action Service gives Europe voice on world stage". German Foreign Ministry. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "European External Action Service". Europa web portal. 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Peterson, John (August 2008). "Enlargement, reform and the European Commission. Weathering a perfect storm?". Journal of European Public Policy. 15 (5): 761–780. doi:10.1080/13501760802133328.
- Bildt, Carl (2005). "Europe must keep its 'soft power'". Financial Times on Centre for European Reform. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
- Wilkinson 2007, p. 100.
- "NATO Member Countries". Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- Laursen, Finn (29 May – 1 June 1997). "The EU 'neutrals,' the CFSP and defence policy". Biennial Conference of the European Union Studies Association. Seattle, WA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 27. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- Statement of the Presidency of the Permanent Council of the WEU – on behalf of the High Contracting Parties to the Modified Brussels Treaty – Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom – Western European Union 31 March 2010.
- "The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database". Milexdata.sipri.org. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "Britain and France to work together" by Catherine Field. 4 November 2010. nzherald.co.nz. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Britain spent more than US$69 billion on defence last year, placing it third in the world after the United States and China, while France spent US$67.31 billion, the fourth largest. Together, Britain and France account for 45 per cent of Europe's defence budget, 50 per cent of its military capacity and 70 per cent of all spending in military research and development. Copyright 2010, APN Holdings NZ Limited.
- "Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons ─ the 'Ban Treaty'". European Parliament. 17 January 2018.
- Council of the European Union (July 2009). "EU battlegroups" (PDF). Europa web portal. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Council of the European Union (April 2003). "Overview of the missions and operations of the European Union". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 2 December 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Council of the European Union. "CSDP structures and instruments". Europa web portal. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "The Russo-Georgian War and Beyond: towards a European Great Power Concert, Danish Institute of International Studies". Diis.dk. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- GHA (22 February 2015). "GHA report 2014". globalhumanitarianassistance.org.
- OECD (4 August 2013). "Aid to developing countries (2013)". OECD.
- "ECHO's finances". ec.europa.eu. Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, European Commission. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013.
- Mikaela Gavas 2010. Financing European development cooperation: the Financial Perspectives 2014–2020. Archived 16 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine London: Overseas Development Institute
- "." ec.europa.eu. Retrieved on 9 December 2018. "ACP – Main funding programmes."
- "Development aid rises again in 2016" (PDF). OECD. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Central Intelligence Agency". Cia.gov. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "World trade report 2009" (PDF). WTO information website.
- "EU position in world trade". European Commission. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Se-jeong, Kim (19 July 2009). "EU-Korea FTA Will Be a Long Process: Greek Ambassador". The Korea Times. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
- "Free trade agreements". European Commission. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- "Agreements". European Commission. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019 Edition". International Monetary Fund. October 2019.
- "3.17E+14 USD to EUR | Convert US Dollars to Euros | XE". www.xe.com.
- "Global Wealth Report 2019" (PDF). Credit Suisse. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2019.
- "The Single Market". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- "Triennial Central Bank Survey 2007" (PDF). BIS. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
- Aristovnik, Aleksander; Čeč, Tanja (30 March 2010). "Compositional Analysis of Foreign Currency Reserves in the 1999–2007 Period. The Euro vs. The Dollar As Leading Reserve Currency" (PDF). Munich Personal RePEc Archive, Paper No. 14350. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Boesler, Matthew (11 November 2013). "There Are Only Two Real Threats To The US Dollar's Status As The International Reserve Currency". Business Insider. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "Global 500 2010: Countries – Australia". Fortune. Retrieved 8 July 2010. Number of companies data taken from the "Pick a country" box.
- "Euro area unemployment rate at 10.3%, EU28 at 8.9%" (PDF). Europa web portal. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "Database – Eurostat". ec.europa.eu.
- SueKunkel. "National Average Wage Index". www.ssa.gov.
- "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 31% to 626% of the EU average in 2017". ec.europa.eu.
- European Commission. "A Single Market for goods". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 21 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- European Commission. "A Single Market for Capital". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 18 May 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- European Commission. "Living and working in the Single Market". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- European Commission. "A Single Market for Services". Europa. Archived from the original on 10 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- Kuchler, Teresa (25 October 2006). "Almunia says 'undesirable' to act on Sweden's euro refusal". EUobserver.com. Retrieved 26 December 2006.
- "ECB, ESCB and the Eurosystem". European Central Bank. Retrieved 15 September 2007.
- "ECB, ESCB and the Eurosystem". European Central Bank. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- "Europe seals deal on financial supervision". euobserver.com.
- "Energy consumption and production: EU27 energy dependence rate at 54% in 2006: Energy consumption stable" (PDF) (Press release). Eurostat. 10 July 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
In the EU27, gross inland energy consumption was 1 825 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) in 2006, stable compared with 2005, while energy production decreased by 2.3% to 871 mn toe ...
Gross inland consumption is defined as primary production plus imports, recovered products and stock change, less exports and fuel supply to maritime bunkers (for seagoing ships of all flags) ...
A tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is a standardised unit defined on the basis of one tonne of oil having a net calorific value of 41.868 Gigajoules.
- "EU supply and demand for nuclear fuels" (PDF). Euratom Supply Agency – Annual Report 2007. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 2008. p. 22. ISBN 978-92-79-09437-8. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
European uranium mining supplied just below 3% of the total EU needs, coming from the Czech Republic and Romania (a total of 526 tU).
Nuclear energy and renewable energy are treated differently from oil, gas, and coal in this respect.
- "Q&A: EU energy plans". BBC. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
- Shamil Midkhatovich Yenikeyeff (November 2008). "Kazakhstan's Gas: Export Markets and Export Routes" (PDF). Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Retrieved 17 November 2011. Cite journal requires
- "'Low-carbon economy' proposed for Europe". NBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
- European Parliament. "Ukraine-Russia gas dispute – call for stronger EU energy policy". Europa web portal. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "The trans-European transport network: new guidelines and financial rules" (PDF). Europa web portal. European Commission. 1 October 2003. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
- Mirea, Silvia. "The trans-European transport network: new guidelines and financial rules". The Railway Journal. Archived from the original on 23 April 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
- "White Paper on Transport". Euractiv. 22 September 2004. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
- "EUR 650 million for the Polish Road Network". Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Barrot, Jacques. "Jacques Barrot Home Page, Commission vice president for transport". Europa web portal. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
- Stead, David; Robert Whaples (eds) (22 June 2007). "Common Agricultural Policy". EH.Net Encyclopedia. Retrieved 30 August 2007.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Agriculture: Meeting the needs of farmers and consumers". Europa: Gateway to the European Union. European Commission. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
the common agricultural policy is the most integrated of all EU policies and consequently takes a large share of the EU budget. Nevertheless, its portion of the EU budget has dropped from a peak of nearly 70% in the 1970s to 34% over the 2007–2013 period.
- Jeffery, Simon (26 June 2003). "The EU common agricultural policy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Sugar: Commission proposes more market-, consumer- and trade-friendly regime". Europa. 14 April 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- European Commission. "Competition: making markets work better". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
- Lungescu, Oana (23 July 2004). "Examining the EU executive". BBC News. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- "The Commission prohibits GE's acquisition of Honeywell". Europa web portal. 3 July 2001. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
- Gow, David (22 October 2007). "Microsoft caves in to European Commission". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
- "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". ec.europa.eu.
- Select Committee on European Union (2008). "Chapter 2: The European Union Structural and Cohesion Funds". Nineteenth Report. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "EU Structural and Cohesion funds". Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- Jordan, A.J. and Adelle, C. (eds)(2012) Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3e). Earthscan: London and Sterling, Virginia
- Knill, C. and Liefferink, D.(2012) The establishment of EU environmental policy, In: Jordan, A.J. and Adelle, C. (eds) Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3e). Earthscan: London and Sterling, Virginia
- Institute for European Environmental Policy (2012) Manual of European Environmental Policy, Earthscan, London.
- Knill, C. and Liefferink, D.(2012) The establishment of EU environmental policy, In: Jordan, A.J. and Adelle, C. (eds) Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3e). Earthscan: London and Sterling, VA.
- Johnson, S.P. and Corcelle, G. (1989) The Environmental Policy of the European Communities, Graham & Trotman, London
- "EUR-Lex – l28027 – EN – EUR-Lex". eur-lex.europa.eu.
- Benson, D. and Adelle, C. (2012) European Union environmental policy after the Lisbon Treaty, In: Jordan, A.J. and Adelle, C. (eds) Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3e). Earthscan: London and Sterling, VA.
- Aldred, Jessica (23 January 2008). "EU sets 20% target for carbon cuts". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
- "EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)". Climate Action - European Commission. 23 November 2016.
- Berman, Sheri (3 June 2019). "Populists, greens and the new map of European politics". Social Europe. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
- "EU summit deadlock over top jobs and climate discord". 21 June 2019.
- European Commission. "The Erasmus programme celebrates its 20th anniversary". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007.; Jean-Sébastien, Lefebvre (22 January 2007). "Erasmus turns 20 – time to grow up?". Café Babel. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
- EACEA. "About the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency". Europa web portal. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
- European Commission. "Lifelong Learning Programme". Europa web portal. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
- European Research Council. "What is the ERC?". Europa web portal. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
- European Commission. "Energy". Europa web portal. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
- "Europa web portal". Europa (web portal). Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "Europa web portal". Europa (web portal). Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "Europa web portal". Europa (web portal). 18 November 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "info about health care and EHIC". Nhs.uk. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "Consilium.europa.eu" (PDF). Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "Eur-lex.europa.eu". Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "NHSconfed.org". NHSconfed.org. 17 May 2011. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Bozoki, Andras. "Cultural Policy and Politics in the European Union" (PDF). Cultural Policy and Politics in the European Union.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- European Commission. "European Culture Month". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "An Overture to the European Union Youth Orchestra". The European Youth Orchestra. Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
- European Commission. "European Capitals of Culture". Europa web portal. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010.
- M. van Bottenburg; B. Rijnen; J.C. van Sterkenburg (2005). "Sports participation in the European Union : Trends and differences". WJH Mulier Instituut. dspace.library.uu.nl: 33 (table 2.5). hdl:1874/305728.
- Fordyce, Tom (11 July 2007). "10 years since Bosman". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
- Cases C-403/08 and C-429/08, Opinion of Advocate General Kokott, para 207
- "IOC, FIFA presidents welcomes new EU treaty, call it breakthrough to give sports more power". International Herald Tribune. 19 October 2007. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
- "Sports coaches from Israel travel to UK for training". Eeas.europa.eu. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Thirty-sixth meeting of the ministers' deputies: resolution (55) 32 (PDF), Council of Europe, 9 December 1955, archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2009, retrieved 2 February 2008
- (in French) Guide graphique relatif à l'emblème européen (1996), p. 3: Description symbolique: Sur le fond bleu du ciel, les étoiles figurant les peuples d'Europe forment un cercle en signe d'union. Elles sont au nombre invariable de douze, symbole de la perfection et de la plénitude...Description héraldique: Sur fond azur, un cercle composé de douze étoiles d'or à cinq rais, dont les pointes ne se touchent pas. c.f. Graphical specifications for the European Emblem, European Commission, archived from the original on 22 June 2006, retrieved 4 August 2004
- Simons 2002, p. 110.
- "Council of Europe". www.coe.int. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009.
- Demey 2007, p. 387.
- Riché, Preface xviii, Pierre Riché reflects: "[H]e enjoyed an exceptional destiny, and by the length of his reign, by his conquests, legislation and legendary stature, he also profoundly marked the history of Western Europe."
- "Der Karlspreisträger Seine Heiligkeit Papst Johannes Paul II. außerordentlicher Karlspreis 2004". Karlspreis.de. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Chamberlin, Russell (2004). The Emperor Charlemagne. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7509-3482-4.
- "Laureates". karlspreis.de. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Winners 2015". charlemagneyouthprize.eu. Archived from the original on 12 December 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- Maria Poptcheva, Press freedom in the EU Legal framework and challenges, EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service, Briefing April 2015
- "European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations". European Commission. Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Mollin, Sandra (2006). Euro-English : assessing variety status. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. p. 56. ISBN 978-3-8233-6250-0. OCLC 804963256.
- "How is ARTE funded?". ARTE Entreprise. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- "Media Programme". Europa. European Commission. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Barnard, Catherine (2010). The Substantive Law of the EU: The four freedoms (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 447. ISBN 978-0-19-956224-4.
- Craig, Paul; De Burca, Grainne (2011). EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-19-957699-9.
- Demey, Thierry (2007). Brussels, capital of Europe. S. Strange (trans.). Brussels: Badeaux. p. 387. ISBN 978-2-9600414-6-0.
- Piris, Jean-Claude (2010). The Lisbon Treaty: A Legal and Political Analysis (Cambridge Studies in European Law and Policy). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 448. ISBN 978-0-521-19792-2.
- Simons, George F., ed. (2002). EuroDiversity (Managing Cultural Differences). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-87719-381-4.
- Wilkinson, Paul (2007). International Relations: A Very Short Introduction (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-19-280157-9.
The EU states have never felt the need to make the organisation into a powerful military alliance. They already have NATO to undertake that task.
- Berend, Ivan T. (2017). The Contemporary Crisis of the European Union: Prospects for the Future. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-24419-1.
- Bomberg, Elizabeth; Peterson, John; Corbett, Richard, eds. (2012). The European Union: How Does it Work? (New European Union) (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-957080-5.
- Corbett, Richard; Jacobs, Francis; Shackleton, Michael (2011). The European Parliament (8th ed.). London: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9564508-5-2.
- Craig, Paul; de Búrca, Gráinne (2007). EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927389-8.
- Federiga, Bindi, ed. (2010). The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe's Role in the World (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8157-2252-6. The E.U.'s foreign-policy mechanisms and foreign relations, including with its neighbours.
- Gareis, Sven; Hauser, Gunther; Kernic, Franz, eds. (2013). The European Union – A Global Actor?. Leverkusen, Germany: Barbara Budrich Publishers. ISBN 978-3-8474-0040-0.
- Grinin, L.; Korotayev, A.; Tausch, A. (2016). Economic Cycles, Crises, and the Global Periphery. Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-319-17780-9.
- Jones, Erik; Anand, Menon; Weatherill, Stephen (2012). The Oxford Handbook of the European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-954628-2.
- Jordan, A.J.; Adelle, Camilla, eds. (2012). Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3rd ed.). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-84971-469-3.
- Kaiser, Wolfram (2009). Christian Democracy and the Origins of European Union (New Studies in European History). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-511-49705-6.
- Le Gales, Patrick; King, Desmond (2017). Reconfiguring European States in Crisis. Corby: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-879337-3.
- McAuley, James, "A More Perfect Union?" (review of Luuk van Middelaar, Alarums and Excursions: Improving Politics on the European Stage, translated from the Dutch by Liz Waters, Agenda, 2019, 301 pp.; and Stéphanie Hennette, Thomas Piketty, Guillaume Sacriste, and Antoine Vauchez, How to Democratize Europe, translated from the French by Paul Dermine, Marc LePain, and Patrick Camiller, Harvard University Press, 2019, 209 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVI, no. 13 (15 August 2019), pp. 46–48. James McAuley writes: "There was never a single moment that marked the definitive establishment of the European Union, which... has continued to define itself since World War II. [T]he major turning points have all been quiet steps on the way to further economic integration while preserving national sovereignty. Today there is only an incomplete monetary union without a real political contract to manage it... [Nevertheless, the Union's] various peoples have grown remarkably closer... The European Union now has open borders, a single market from Portugal to the Baltics, and more or less monthly meetings of member state leaders [the European Council]. What's more, those member states are now closer to each other than they are to the United States... [T]his transformation has occurred informally and organically... [R]obust supranational politics are taking root in Europe... Luuk van Middelaar writes: '[W]hat unites us as Europeans on this continent is bigger and stronger than anything that divides us.'" (pp. 47–48.)
- McCormick, John (2007). The European Union: Politics and Policies (5th ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-4202-3.
- Mount, Ferdinand, "Why We Go to War", London Review of Books, vol. 41, no. 11 (6 June 2019), pp. 11–14. "[H]istorians have tended to weave their narratives around [...] high-flown themes: the struggle to maintain the balance of power, the struggles against fascism and communism, against the French Revolution or German militarism. In reality, most large wars have contained within them a violent and persistent economic conflict. [p. 12.] Not for one second do [the U.K.'s Brexiteers] pause to think how hard-won [Europe's economic integration and peace, within the European Union, have] been. They are the feckless children of seventy years of peace." [p. 14.]
- Pinder, John; Usherwood, Simon (2013). The European Union: A Very Short Introduction (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-968169-3. excerpt and text search
- Rifkin, Jeremy (2005). The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream. City of Westminster, London: TarcherPerigee. ISBN 978-1-58542-435-1.
- Smith, Charles (2007). International Trade and Globalisation (3rd ed.). Stocksfield: Anforme Ltd. ISBN 978-1-905504-10-7.
- Staab, Andreas (2011). The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-22303-6. excerpt and text search
- Steiner, Josephine; Woods, Lorna; Twigg-Flesner, Christian (2006). EU Law (9th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927959-3.
- Tausch, Arno (2012). Globalization, the Human Condition, and Sustainable Development in the Twenty-first Century: Cross-national Perspectives and European Implications. With Almas Heshmati and a Foreword by Ulrich Brand (1st ed.). Anthem Press, London. ISBN 978-0-85728-410-5.
- Yesilada, Birol A.; Wood, David M. (2009). The Emerging European Union (5th ed.). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-205-72380-5.
- EUROPA – official web portal
- European Council
- European Commission
- European Parliament
- European Central Bank
- Court of Justice of the European Union
- Court of Auditors
- EUR-Lex – EU Laws
- Historical Archives of the European Union
Overviews and data:
- Eurostat – European Union Statistics Explained
- Datasets related to the EU on CKAN
- "CIA World Factbook: European Union". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
- British Pathé – Online newsreel archive of the 20th century
- Search EU Financial Sanctions List
- The European Union: Questions and Answers Congressional Research Service
- Works by European Union at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about European Union at Internet Archive
News and interviews:
- Documents and clippings about European Union in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
- Der Spiegel interview with Helmut Schmidt and Valery Giscard d'Estaing
- European Studies Hub – interactive learning tools and resources to help students and researchers better understand and engage with the European Union and its politics.