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Portal:European Union

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The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states that are primarily located in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. Institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.

The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by the Inner Six countries in 1951 and 1958, respectively. In the intervening years, the community and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.

Selected article

The EUFOR or European Union Force is an international military force under the supervision of the European Council. It is best known for operation Althea; their current involvement in Bosnia and Herzegovina to oversee the military implementation of the Dayton Agreement. It replaced the NATO-led SFOR on the 2nd of December 2004. The EUFOR is led by the Political and Security Committee, and the civilian implementation of the agreement lies in the hands of the Office of High Representative. The efforts of both are coordinated by the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana.

EUFOR has around 7,000 personnel from 33 countries, mostly from the countries of the European Union. There are however, additional troops from other European countries and also some from Canada and elsewhere. As of 2005, this is the largest purely European military operation.

Selected city

Dublin

Dublin is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Ireland, located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and forms the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally founded as a centre of Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's capital city since mediæval times. The population within the city was 505,739 at the census of 2006. Beyond this, at the same census the Dublin Region population was 1,186,159, whilst the Greater Dublin Area had a figure of 1,661,185.

In a 2003 European wide survey by the BBC, questioning 11,200 residents of 112 urban and rural areas, Dublin was found to be the best capital city in Europe to live in, and the Republic of Ireland was judged to be the most content country in Europe. A person from Dublin is known as a Dubliner or colloquially as a Dub. Dublin is a major European cultural centre and the origin of many prominent literary figures including Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Seán O'Casey, and Samuel Beckett.

Selected picture

Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge 2005.jpg
Photo credit: Solipsist
The Sun rising over Stonehenge on the morning of the Summer Solstice (21st June 2005).

Did you know?

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

...that Greenland and United Kingdom are the only countries to ever leave the European Union?

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