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Portal:European Union

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Introduction

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The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity (without precedent or comparison) combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation.

Containing 5.8 per cent of the world population in 2020, the EU generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$17.1 trillion in 2021, constituting approximately 18 per cent of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all EU states have a very high Human Development Index according to the United Nations Development Programme. Its cornerstone, the Customs Union, paved the way to establishing an internal single market based on standardised legal framework and legislation that applies in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where the states have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market; enact legislation in justice and home affairs; and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Passport controls have been abolished for travel within the Schengen Area. The eurozone is a group composed of the 19 EU member states that have fully implemented the economic and monetary union and use the euro currency. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the union has developed a role in external relations and defence. It maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Due to its global influence, the European Union has been described by some scholars as an emerging superpower. (Full article...)

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European flag outside the Commission.jpg

The Flag of Europe is the flag and emblem of the European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE). It consists of a circle of 12 golden (yellow) stars on a blue background. It was created in 1955 by the CoE and adopted by the EU, then the European Communities, in the 1980s.

The CoE and EU are distinct in membership and nature. The CoE is a 47-member international organisation dealing with human rights and rule of law, while the EU is a quasi-federal union of 28 states focused on economic integration and political cooperation. Today, the flag is mostly associated with the latter.

It was the intention of the CoE that the flag should come to represent Europe as a whole, and since its adoption the membership of the CoE covers nearly the entire continent. This is why the EU adopted the same flag. The flag has been used to represent Europe in sporting events and as a pro-democracy banner outside the Union.

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House of the Blackheads (Riga)
The House of the Blackheads is a building in the old town of Riga, Latvia. The original building was erected during the early 14th century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, with major work completed in 1580 and 1886. In 1941, the original building was bombed by the Germans; the ruins were demolished by the Soviets seven years later. The current reconstruction was erected from 1995 to 1999.

Did you know?

... that the presidency of the EU Council rotates every half year?

... that the EU parliamentary election is the world's biggest transnational election?

... that the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012?

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Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain, and the largest city in Spain. It is located on the river Manzanares in the center of the country, between the Autonomous Communities of Castilla y Leon and Castilla la Mancha. Madrid is also the capital of the Community of Madrid, an uniprovincial Autonomous Community. Due to its geographical location, wealth and history, Madrid is considered one of the financial centers of the Iberian Peninsula, together with Lisbon, and the political center of Spain.

As the capital of the former Spanish Empire, Madrid is a city of great cultural and political importance. While Madrid possesses a modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. Its landmarks include the huge Royal Palace of Madrid; the Buen Retiro park, opened in 1631; an archaeological museum of international reputation; and three superb art museums.

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