EU three

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For the strategy computer game, see Europa Universalis III.
EU-3 ministers and Iran's top negotiator Hassan Rouhani, Sa'dabad Palace, Tehran, October 2003
The foreign ministers from the EU three in 2006

The EU three, also known as EU big three or EU trio refers to: France, Germany, and the United Kingdom,[1][2][3] a group of countries who used to wield most influence within the European Union, especially during the negotations with Iran; or Germany, France and Italy, a group that consists of the three large founding members of the European Community and that has retaken a leading role in Europe following the decision of the UK to leave the EU.[4][5][6]

A European Union membership referendum took place on Thursday 23 June 2016 in the UK and resulted in an overall vote to leave the EU, by 51.9%. The British government will invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union to start the process to leave the EU, which is expected to take several years. Despite voting to leave the European Union, the UK has remained a "great European power" and a member of the NATO Quint,[7] as one of the European G4 nations and because of its special relationship with the United States, which is seen as "untouched" by Brexit.[8]

E3 + 3[edit]

In 2003, France, Germany and the UK launched negotiations attempting to limit the Iranian nuclear program, which led to the Tehran Declaration of 21 October 2003 and the voluntary Paris Agreement of 15 November 2004.[9][10][11]

"EU 3 + 3", more commonly referred to as the "E3+3",[12] refers to a grouping which includes the EU-3 and China, Russia, and the United States. It was coined when these states joined the EU diplomatic efforts with Iran in 2006. In the United States and Russia, it is more commonly known as P5+1, which refers to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.[13]

"E3/EU+3"[14]) refers to a grouping of the "E3+3" plus an EU representative, namely: China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.[15]

Following the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, the EU-3 group had a declining influence in the European Union other than in negotiations with Iran, and has acted more often within the G6.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bretherton, Charlotte; John Vogler (2006). The European Union as a Global Actor. Routledge. p. 174. ISBN 9780415282451. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ [5]
  7. ^ [6]
  8. ^ [7]
  9. ^ Peter Crail, Maria Lorenzo Sobrado (1 December 2004). "IAEA Board Welcomes EU-Iran Agreement: Is Iran Providing Assurances or Merely Providing Amusement?". NTI. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Kjell Engelbrekt, Jan Hallenberg (2010). European Union and Strategy: An Emerging Actor. Routledge. pp. 94–97. ISBN 9781134106790. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Joachim Koops, Gjovalin Macaj (2014). The European Union as a Diplomatic Actor. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137356864. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Nuclear talks between Iran and E3+3 to continue in November". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "E3/EU+3". Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Information Note on EU sanctions to be lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)" (PDF). European Union. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  16. ^ Strategic Vision: America & the Crisis of Global Power, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, pp 43-45. ISBN 9780465029556. Published 2012.

External links[edit]