Talk:European Union/Archive 6

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Archive 1 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 10



I read in the CIA world fact book that there is provision to make 13 european half brigades (1500 men strong) between 2005 and 2010.

Should not be a military section?

Or even a link to the euroarmy?

or both?

-- 17:46, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


According to the Lisbon Agenda the European Union is to become the most advanced economic, technological and cultural area of the Earth by the end of the decade.

Adding Olympic Medals of the EU?

I am not sure whether this could be of interest to members of this forum - I created a table with Olympic medal statistics that includes a total medal count for the entire EU (among many other things). I'd be glad if someone could find some time to comment on the pros and cons: Olympic Medal Statistics: Medal Count Winners. Thanks a lot in advance! Medalstats 16:50, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

In fact, recently someone nominated this article for deletion. Whether it really should be deleted is being discussed here: this article's entry. Medalstats 14:37, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Having an Olympic medal statistics for the EU would be a great addition since other countries also have those statistics, even though the IOC does not favor it.

Add it to the "Sport" section of "Life in the European Union".--MichaelJBuck 23:21, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Bogus statistic changes?

I just reverted an anon who changed a bunch of statistics without any edit summary or justification - just thought I'd mention it here in case they are actually accurate. Dan | Talk 03:13, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It would have been helpful if you had put some edit summary yourself when you wrote the text above, so that we know from the watchlist what your point is :) (Especially since you are bringing up a serious topic). Oleg Alexandrov 04:11, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think that anonymous user is outdoing you, check the page history. Oleg Alexandrov 04:17, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
At first glance, the numbers inserted do appear to match the reference provided below the table (at least for Austria, being the only one I checked). What I don't know is if the IMF numbers and "GDP PPP" are the proper measures to be using. Previously, the numbers were cited as being from the World Bank. In any case, I fixed that bloody link. I just want to be sure that no-one takes my edit as tacit approval of the numbers—I'm no economist.
Incidentally Rdsmith4, this edit is unlike the previous anonymous edits [1] that were plaguing this page.  — Saxifrage |  06:44, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)

I looked through the numbers, using the IMF site linked to generate the reports with the matching numbers (since the link given was only for per-capita GDP PPP, and was for all countries, bah). There was a mistake with the GDP of Slovakia (was about half what it should be), and the sums were off by second-most significant digits (GDP was low, per-capita GDP was high). I've updated them and fixed the value for Slovakia's GDP. My numbers are based on the data available at the links below the table, and I can provide the Exel/Gnumeric files I used to calculate the totals for review. I'm going to update the numbers in the intro European Union#Economic status for the EU and USA too. I've just got to get my conversions to euros first. (Update: those numbers are updated now too using  — Saxifrage |  02:30, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)

EU headquarters

An anon amended the sentence that stated that Brussels was the headquarters, to say that the headquarters is "largely" in Brussels and Luxembourg (diff). I knew this was a vast oversimplification, but then so was the original sentence. I've taken the liberty of expanding it, trying to be as terse as I could while including the relevant fragments of the "headquarters". (I used this [2] as my initial source. Someone care to double-check my facts?)

Comments? Additionally, I notice that this is going to be a featured article: if there's contention over this, perhaps we should reinstate the simple sentence about only Brussels (perhaps changing "headquarters" to "capital", which is more accurate) just for the time that it's a featured article?  — Saxifrage |  22:37, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)

Capital of the European Union

(The first three posts in this thread are copied from User_talk:Pgreenfinch)

Regarding your recent edit to European Union,

As far as I was aware, the fact that Brussels is the location of the European Commission, it being the executive body of the EU, made Brussels the capital of the Union. Apart from that, according with the Treaty of Amsterdam, Strasbourg is not the location of the European Parliament: the EP is held half the time in Brussels, half the time in Strasbourg. Further, the administration of the Parliament is located in Luxembourg. Therefore, if the location of the capital is determined by the location of the Parliament, the "capital" is divided between Brussels, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg. Am I mistaken in any of these points?  — Saxifrage |  02:36, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)

Come on, you know perfectly well that the EU has no official capital, you will never find the word capital in the treaties, even the new one, for deliberate reasons that I explain below. So to say that Brussels is the capital is as wrong as to say it for any other European town. But as some people insist that Brussels is, it is normal to correct it by telling that other towns can rightly pretend to the title. Btw, Strasbourg is regarded as the capital of the whole Europe, as it is the seat of the Council of Europe. Also, the EU Parliament is really in Strasbourg, since the beginning, and it is exceptional that its sessions take place in Brussels, so nobody can deny that it is the democratic capital. So, either it is mentionned in this article that the EU has *no* capital, which happens to be its will from the beginning, this is the core of the issue, as a volontary sign of a decentralised union, or some try to maintain in the article that Brussels is, or is regarded as, *the* capital, then everybody is entitled to write on the article that any other town with a EU institution is the capital, or a capital, or a specific capital for a given aspect, or a part of the capital, or whatever specie, taste or flavor of capital. --Pgreenfinch 07:39, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Good point, that there's no official policy on where the captial is. I thought that, being the location of the executive body of the EU, Brussels automatically became the capital, but I'm not sure that's definitive. (As for the Council of Europe, it's not part of the EU and so is irrelevant to the passage in question.) As for "democratic capital", there's no such technical term and as such is shouldn't be presented as one. If I recall my history correctly, the Parliament's functions were deliberately divided between Brussels and Strasbourg to prevent exactly this kind of debate, so I remain unconvinced that Strasbourg has any better claim to capital-hood than does Brussels.
A compromise, perhaps? The article could say something like (roughly), "Though Brussels is commonly regarded as the capital, in actuality the EU has no official capital and its component institutions are divided among an number of major cities..." How does that sound? It explicitly grants that there is no capital, while still explicitly addressing the potential reader who thought that Brussels was the capital. Just saying, "it has no capital" will confuse people and tempt them to "correct" the article, which is a Bad Thing™; similarly bad would be to list every town that has any claim at all to capital-hood.
(Incidentally, I will copy this thread to Talk:European Union so that others may see it easily. If you would, please respond there.)  — Saxifrage |  22:49, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)
No objection, although I would prefer "often" to "commonly". Do we consider the negociation completed and we shake hand on that? ;-) --Pgreenfinch 23:31, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I agree that "often" is better than "commonly"—it implies less. Done! :-) Now the question I opened below just needs to be decided to finish punching that paragraph into shape...  — Saxifrage |  23:51, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)
I disagree, but am not inclined to involve myself in any kind of edit warring over the issue. I think there is a good point in saying that people in general, i.e. common people, journalists, etc, etc, regard Bruxelles as (at least the equivalent to) the capital of the European Union. Hence the word commonly seems quite fit, doesn't it?
(I also disagree with the notion of Strasbourg as a "capital" for "Europe" as Europe isn't such a political unity that commonly is understood as having capitals, but that doesn't matter, of course! :-))
--Ruhrjung 00:03, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)
I would be happy with either "commonly" or "often", both probably being correct. "Often" simply makes a lesser claim than "commonly" does, so it's less likely to be contested.  — Saxifrage |  00:12, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Things on Wikipedia don't have to match the official status. Example: the official name of Ireland (country) is just Ireland, but the page is Republic of Ireland. -Gerbon689
The CIA World Fact Book has now included the EU, because inclusion of basic intelligence on the EU has been deemed appropriate as a new, separate entity in The World Factbook. However, because of the EU's special status, this description is placed after the regular country entries. It says this about the capital: "Capital: Brussels, Belgium. Note: the Council of the European Union meets in Brussels, the European Parliament meets in Strasbourg, France, and the Court of Justice of the European Communities meets in Luxembourg." [3]. Personally I see Brussels as the Capital too! Pmaas 11:01, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
The article on Paris asserts in the first paragraph that Paris is known as the "Heart of Europe". On the Paris article talk page, there is debate as to the substance behind this assertion. --jrleighton 11:04, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

With a legal background, and being very familiar with EC law, I can confirm that there is no "capital city" of the EC/EU. More to the point, if there was a "capital city", it would be of the European Community, not the European Union, as it is the European Community which constitutes the main binding legal framework. I also think that in the interests of Wikipedia remaining as a source of information it is a serious mistake to make reference to the EC/EU having a "capital city", as this is factually wrong, and is a political assertion.

Info on structure of EU in para 2

I don't think it's appropriate to be addressing the complex topic of the structure of the EU in the second paragraph of the article, particularly while also trying to address the sticky topic of the "capital" of the EU in the same paragraph. The intro to the article must be focused and terse. I belive that the "capital" question can be quickly addressed there, but that the proper treatment of the structure of the EU should be put in the body of the article in a dedicated section. Notice that European Union#Structure already exists.  — Saxifrage |  23:19, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)

I think also that the intro should have only a few lines, a thing I try to do when I write an article, even if this lead to a multiplication of subchapters, but I think it improves clarity. Thus, the paragraph about the institutions could be merged into the "structure" chapter, and the EU topics could become a short separate "EU role" chapter. --Pgreenfinch 08:49, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Both of those seem to be adequately addressed in the Structure section and its subsections. I'm going to remove the asides on structure from para 2 and do any smoothing necessary. (If anyone else has any objections, feel free to revert and we can keep discussing it here. I'm just going to go ahead and do it for expediency since it's currently very sloppy writing.)  — Saxifrage |  21:47, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

French Guiana on location map

Why is French Guiana not highlighted on the location map? It is part of the Union.

Good point. It's an integral part of the Union due to being an integral part of France.
Someone had reverted the image to a version without Fr. Guiana highlighted. I fixed it and left the user a note. Unfortunately one cannot add images to a watchlist, only the image pages (not the same thing).
zoney talk 12:21, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
La Réunion, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, La Martinique, La Guadeloupe are also parts of France as overseas Régions. Why don't be exhaustive and put a circle around these countries, if you cannot paint them in green ? I was told that Neterhlands antillas are always under Netherlands sovereinty. For Groenland, i am not sure it stays under danish sovereinty.

Greenland stays under danish sovereinty but it is not part of the EU anymore.

The same goes for the Netherlands Antilles. The are associated with the Union but not part of it. In fact they don't use the euro as currency. -- 16:48, 29 January 2006 (UTC) 16:47, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Antilles got full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 1954. And Aruba got full autonomy in internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the Netherlands Antilles. The Dutch Government remains responsible for defense and foreign affairs. They are indeed no part of the EU, only the Netherlands (European part o the kingdom) is. Pmaas 10:53, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Institutions and branches

It is very ill-advised to divide the institutions into the traditional Montesquieu 3 branches. I have changed it. – Kaihsu 22:52, 2005 Jan 22 (UTC)

Regardless of whether it's useful to divide the EU institutions that way (I think you're right), the edits you reverted were unnecessary since all the added information properly belongs in the individual articles on each of the institutions. That's to say, I agree with the revert. :-)  — Saxifrage |  23:02, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)

Economic status

Hello. User:Rl is reverting my changes to this section with the following edit summary: "rv to Cantus' version of 10:37; the "geeky stuff" was correct, your math isn't; and these ain't minor edits, either". My version is this:

In 2004 the EU, considered as a unit, had the largest economy in the world, with a GDP of 12,481,827,000 million dollars [4]. The United States, by comparison, had the largest GDP of a single country — 11,750,414,000 million dollars [5]. The European Union continues to enjoy a significant trade surplus. However, as of 2004 the European Union has been suffering stagnant economic growth and high unemployment (averaged across the Union).

And User:Rl is reverting to this version:

Currently (January 2005) the EU, considered as a unit, has the largest economy in the world, with a 2004 GDP of 8.639·10¹² euro (or 11.323·10¹² USD at the exchange rate of $US 1.31 per euro on January 11, 2005 [see table]). The United States, by comparison, has the largest GDP of a single country — 11.175·10¹² dollars (or 8.525·10¹² euro). [6] The European Union continues to enjoy a significant trade surplus. However, as of 2004 the European Union has been suffering stagnant economic growth and high unemployment (averaged across the Union).

The figures I'm adding come from the IMF web site, and you can see them for yourself. If there is a problem with this figures I would like to know. —Cantus 12:54, Feb 12, 2005 (UTC)

1.323·10¹² equals 13,323,000 million. Now it's 12,481,827,000 million all of a sudden? Your math is off by 3 orders of magnitude. What you aptly demonstrate is that those who think correct notation is "too geeky" shouldn't mess with large numbers to begin with :-). Oh, and beware of interpreting "billion" in your sources. Rl 13:05, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry for that mistake. —Cantus 07:47, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
"13,323,000 million" is even more awkward that the original notation. I can understand wanting to keep it accessible to any reader, but I fail to see how "n,nnn,nnn million" makes more sense than the obvious "n.nnn trillion".  — Saxifrage |  02:58, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
The reason I used "n,nnn,nnn million"' instead of "n.nnn trillion" is because a trillion is not the same everywhere in the world, whereas a million is the same everywhere. The same occurs with the definition of billion across the world. Wikipedia English is not for Americans only :-) See [7] and [8]. —Cantus 07:47, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't know that trillion suffered the same ambiguity as billion. In that case, all three options (including writing it out in full) are about equally awkward.  — Saxifrage |  09:48, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)

I don't know if there is something wrong, but we might talk again about it when the euro will reach 1.5 US dollars ;-)) --Pgreenfinch 13:13, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Cantus, both your (corrected for magnitude) numbers and the previous numbers were correct. They were simply calculated by different standards, both acceptable (those being "current pricing" and "purchasing power parity" or "PPP"). Before your edits, all the figures in that section were derived from the IMF's PPP calculations and were consistent. Now, the table contains PPP-calculated figures and the text contains conflicting figures based on current-pricing calculations. I don't object to using the new numbers over the old (I don't care which, really), but I strongly object to using inconsistent figures. According to Gross domestic product#Cross-border comparison, there is a good argument for using the current-pricing model of calculation in this context, since we're talking about global economic power and not standard-of-living. If we do use the new numbers, though, the table must be edited to agree. I'm not willing to rewrite the table again, having already done it once recently. If someone else is, great. If not, it would be very simple to return the article to a correct and consistent state by reverting the new numbers.  — Saxifrage |  02:58, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)

As you said above, in the context of global economic power, current prices should be used. The table, however, provides two types of information, total GDP and per capita GDP, both in PPP. As this table is about standard of living across member states, PPP should be used, at least for per capita figures. If you want to change the total GDP figures for all the countries to current prices, I would not oppose, however I wouldn't see much benefit either. —Cantus 07:44, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
Er... you're right. My bad. :) Too long in the numbers and the context gets lost. On rereading, the context is clear enough that there should be minimal confusion.  — Saxifrage |  09:48, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
EU GDP PPP 2nd Quarter of 2005: 12329.110 trillion $USD
EU GDP Nominal 2nd Quarter of 2005: 13346.782 trillion $USD [9]
US GDP PPP 2nd Quarter of 2005: 12332.296 USD$ trillion
US GDP Nominal 2nd Quarter of 2005: 11131.761 trillion USD$[10] --JDnCoke 15:47, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

EU administrative structure

I think this two links point to some very informative diagrams that can help readers quickly grasp how EU runs its business. [11] and [12] This links here act more like a site map tp the former link [13]

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

The comparison with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is irrelevant, as this was only a regional east European state with no european dimension. It cannot be compared to the Holy Roman Empire or the European Union. It has existed dozens of multiple-nation states like the Polish-Lithuanian one, like Sweden-Finland, Denmark-Norway, not to mention Austria-Hungary, and perhaps even Great Britain. But all these are only regional and have not the same dimension as the EU and the HRE. Also, the European Union originated in "core Europe" (Germany/France), and that's why the empire of Charlemagne and the HRE have some relevance, but regional east European history has no relevance.

Depends on your definition of "core." Also, if you are going to include the HRE, include the RE, Napolean's empire, Hitler's Empire, and maybe even the Hunnic Empire.

Cameron Nedland 23:57, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Sui generis

Why am I not allowed to make the article say outright the E.U. is a sui generis entity? The current awkward, almost groveling sounding and redundant wording seems to exist only to placate some imaginary concern for NPOV. Who is arguing against the E.U. being unique? -- Dissident (Talk) 14:29, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It does skate dangerously close to original research. By qualifying it, it's obvious that it is a tentative conclusion. If we're going to state it more firmly and decisively, we'll have to do it as a citation of someone authoritative saying that the EU is best described as a sui generis entity.  — Saxifrage |  16:22, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
Look, everybody here, in Strasbourg, Brussels, Luxembourg, uses that term every day. When somebody says hotdog or electric bulb, do you need an authoritative quotation? From the President of the EU Commission, Council or Parliament? From the dean of the best law university (yes, it is a legal term, used for any legal animal that don't fit an predefined category) ? It is no conclusion, critic, approval or whatever. And, gosh, it is even less original research. It is just the way the thing is usally called. I would never have thought that there would be a discussion on so futile a point. --Pgreenfinch 18:46, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps the article should say as much, then. As an entry in an international encyclopedia, if familiarity with a term is limited to three cities on the smallest continent of the world (that's hyperbole, I know, but it underscores the point), it shouldn't assume that it will be taken as "common knowledge" by every reader. I haven't any stake or expertise either way, and was just offering my two bits on the edit skirmish. My "original research" comment just reflects the fact that it isn't supported and isn't common knowledge (or that I live under a rock).  — Saxifrage |  21:07, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
The University of Southampton [ENG] teaches that the European Union is best described as sui generis. I don't know of a single University in the Union that would describe it as anything BUT sui generis. Yes, it has characteristics of the Confederal, Federal, Intergovernmental and Supranational; but ultimately the structure of the EU is so complex an arrangement of those forms that the best and indeed only meaningful way to list it is as a form of itself. Walshicus 23:15, 13 April, 2005 (UTC)

Economic status section

How much of the information in the economic status section should be moved over to Economy of the European Union? And how much crossover should there be between the section and the article? -- Joolz 12:03, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Table styles

Could some make all of the table styles consistent? Either all of them with borders or without borders. It looks rather shoddy to have such varying tables. 21:23, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

European defence and the Eurocorps-Foreign Legion concept

The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union needs an operational start point. The Eurocorps-Foreign Legion concept and the Single European Regiment can respond to this need. The following URL is for the perusal of anyone interested in this central but highly delicate EU portfolio.

and follow its debate:

Population of the EU

May I ask where does the population figure in the infobox come from? According to the Population Reference Bureau, a very authoritative source, the population of the EU in mid-2004, not forgetting the French overseas départements, which are part of the EU too, was: 259,900,000. That's more than what's currently listed in the infobox. The population in the overseas départements of France alone is close to 2,000,000 inhabitants. Were they forgotten? Hardouin 13:23, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

The EU has since admitted 10 new members. The CIA World Factbook states that the EU population is 456,953,258 (July 2005 est.)


To be factually correct, I think all the French overseas departments (not only French Guiana, but also Réunion, Martinique and Guadeloupe including northern Saint Martin and Saint-Barthélemy) should be highlighted on the location map, for example with green dots. What do you think of it?

I'm not sure it's that important since they're far less than one pixel large, and aren't shown at all (even in light grey) on the map. But I'm not against showing them either, if you feel it would be better. → SeeSchloß 14:02, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Just on the map its pretty low quailty any one want to make a better version. - Fabhcún 14:33, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

If anyone makes a better version, please change the name Macedonia in FYROM or Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, That's the country's name for EU. Thank you.Xmartha 00:59, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Why is Northern Ireland not part of the EU in that map? --CJWilly 12:44, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I think we should try to make this map fair to all nations of the EU and therefore Britain's overseas territories should be displayed and every other nation with overseas territories e.g. Portugal and Denmark. 19:12, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Denmark's overseas territories are not displayed on the map as they are not a part of the EU and Portugal has no overseas territories any more, the Azores and Madeira are integral parts of the Portugese state. --Bjarki 20:10, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Despite that you have failed to place Britain's overseas territories on the map. This is ridiculous as Britain has the most overseas territories in the world. Therefore if France's overseas territories are placed on the map Britain's should be too. 11:54, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Location of EU institutions & Institutional framework

Maybe "3. Location of EU institutions" should be placed under "9.2 Institutional framework". I don't think the former deserves a main title. Taupe 16:16, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Random text

The following text appears under Current Issues:

Major issues facing the European Union at the moment include its enlargement to the south and east (see below), its relationship with the United States of America, the revision of the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact, and the ratification of the European Constitution by member states. HAllo Fini und Mama

Is there any reason it says "HAllo Fini und Mama"?

No.--Fenice 20:32, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)


When I click on the subscript numbers in the table, nothing happens. Have the footnotes been deleted?Deus Ex 29 June 2005 10:21 (UTC)

European Court of Justice

In the 2nd para it says each of the 4 bodies listed have a president but does the "European Court of Justice" --Fabhcún 29 June 2005 15:18 (UTC)

yes it does Wild ride 19:39, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Formation date

The Formation date has the forming of the EEC, but the first step was the formation of the ECSC. Or one could look further ahead and state that the formation was the merger treaty to form the EC. Either way, they are both more relevant than the EEC being formed as a formation date.-- 03:48, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

I think the EEC date should stay as the ECSC was only about coal and steel while the EEC changed it to an economic union. The EC date just updated the EEC and made a political union closer. In all the text books I've read on the EU the EEC date is always been given as the start as the ESCS only became part of the EEC in the 60's. Wild ride 19:43, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

The formation "kind of" started with the Benelux plan of 1944.

Cameron Nedland 23:57, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

The EEC date is the most important date. The ECSC had actually nothing to do withe the EEC and the EU. The ECSC was just a treaty among those countries as there are many treaties. If one take the formation of the ECSC as a starting point, or the the formation of the Benelux, one could also take the independence of Belgium, The Netherlands or Luxembourg as a starting point, and that's just bullshit. Furthermore, the Treaty of Rome and the formation of the EEC is the most important date in almost every history text book. 15:45, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

British English

Why is this written in British English? I don't understand the disclaimer at the beginning..considering more Americans speak english.

Far more people in the world speak British-English than US-English. There are 298m americans, of whom about 80% speak English natively; say about 250m. There are _at minimum_ 1bn speakers of English around the world, including at least 300m in India alone, nearly all of whom have learned British-English spellings. (eg, correct English - US English is an innacurate form of inherited spelling mistakes from poor quality US educational establishments in the 19th Century, but best not to go into that probably!) - so the comment above is unfortunately a typically arrogant US-centric piece of rubbish. I imagine it won't be long before the US'ers need to split off into USipedia so the rest of us can have a factual cyclopedia. MarkThomas 11:39, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The EU has several official languages in which it conducts its business. British English is one of them and is spoken as the primary or secondary language within members states UK, Eire, Cyprus, & Malta. It would be perverse to use American English for this article. See the Wikipedia style guide which suggests using the English form most appropriate to an article. Lumos3 20:35, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the official version of English used is reffered to as European English. Why should it only say en-UK in the article note, why shouldn't it say en-IE, or both? Or if you really want to be precise, use en-EU, since EU is the EU's ISO 3166-1 code. Because UK is just as bad as if you were to use US English spelling, since like I said European English is what it's called within the EU. - RedHotHeat 19:17, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
The European Commision english style guide states (section 1.1) "Follow English usage of the British Isles". It then contually refers to British English. josh 18:25, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
My point is, the en-UK thing. British Isles (whether I like it or not) includes Ireland. The UK does not. - TALK ®€Ð¦-¦0† TALK 17:35, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

On a deeper level just because there are more Americans than British people should not be used as a justification to impose American spelling on non American articles, especially as this is not wikipedia policy probably because many non Americans would not participate were it American policy, though also and fundamentally because wikipedia is an international encyclopedia. My sense is this issue is becoming more widesprerad throughout wikipedia. I for one would bitterly oppose any attempt to Americanize (sic) this or any other European Union based article. I would further argue that all the articles about EU countries and their affairs should be in British English. NATO is in British English and has continuous problems from anons who, like the above contributor here, believe all articles should be in American English, SqueakBox 18:40, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

The Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English says it all. Fabhcún 20:46, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Let's convert the whole thing into mandarine Chinese since more people speak it.. - HJV
I'm not trying to offend any British people out there, but British people spell a lot of words weird and it's hard to read. Cameron Nedland 23:57, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
My goodness, you are particularly simple-minded. Don't you think that Europeans, who are taught British English, find American English weird? I'm Dutch and have been taught British English in school, both pronunciation and writing, and I am pretty sure that the rest of Europe is taught the same - British - English. Maartenvdbent 17:06, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not trying to offend any American people out there, but American people spell a lot of words strangely and it's difficult to follow. "English usage of the British Isles" varies quite a bit, I can think of at least 5 variations. Keith 16:25, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm still laughing about "British people spell a lot of words weird and it's hard to read" - is this a joke? Marco Neves 18:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

  • This sentence and some other assorted quotes from this section should be hono(u)red by listing it on WP:BJAODN. --Fenice 19:05, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
What I'm trying to say is that British English uses a lot of extra letters the "u" in honor/honour, color/colour and using an "s" in organize or civilization doesn't make much sense.

Cameron Nedland 16:24, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Its how we write English and I find it hard to believe you have difficulty understanding what colour means. Fabhcún 14:19, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
"Honour" does not make much sense ? It is spelling "honor" which is an etymological non-sense. Rama 14:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
This is getting out of hand, the fact is that it is wikipedia policy to use uk/eu English (Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National_varieties_of_English) and here is not the place to say how valid you think uk or us english is. sorry. - Fabhcún 13:34, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Fabhcun. Honor makes no sense either depending on where you are coming from and I propose any more anti-Brit forum venom style ranting of the type engaged in by Cameron etc be removed. English doesn't spell phonetically or we would say shugar, shure, etc, and anti-British slurs are slurs and should be treated as such. Civility in wikipedia includes not making ignorant and inflammatory commenmts about Britain. If you want a US encyclopedia go and make one, but wikipedia is an international encyclopedia and Americans don't get special rights to hijack that in the name of a spurious nationalism, here or anywhere on wikipedia, SqueakBox 13:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

People, just read the Wikipedia's Manual of Style. There is no need for a discussion, because that manual says what to do! Articles that focus on a topic specific to a particular English-speaking country should generally conform to the spelling of that country. For example: Article on European Union institutions: British, Irish and Maltese English usage and spelling. So American English should not be used for EU articles! Pmaas 13:13, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
There is doubtful validity in the assertion that more people spell in the American English fashion than spell in variants of Commonwealth English (even if we put half of all Canadians into the US English category). It is true that there are more first language speakers (I hate the term "native speaker" - who is a "native" anyway ? Do native speakers of English only come from England ? anyway...) of American English than Commonwealth English, but spelling wise, you need to consider that: (i) British English spelling is by far and away the preferred flavour of English taught in the worlds schools - consider the whole EU population and the whole of the population of ex-British India the vast majority of which learn English as their primary foreign language at school (if not spoken already as a first language); and (ii) not all speakers of American English can spell properly anyway - a fact that can also be applied to other flavours of English as well, but it does mean that you cannot count the number of American English spellers as equal to the US population (even excluding arguments about non-English speaking Spanish speakers in the US, and the fact that children can't really spell until they are at least 5 years old, or even older). So all those who declare that American English spelling conventions rule in the world - think again. Let's not be anti-American though, let's just try to be a bit more realistic about our world. :-) --jrleighton 11:23, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
ok this has been discused to death and British English is staying if you have a problem or opion put it in you blog or on that persons talk page here is not the place. -Fabhcún 21:56, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

please do not be a typical amercian and assume you are correct we the british gave you the language and now you want to lecture to us on how to write and say thing you are the reason why the language has been butchered over the years you and your removal of the letter U from every word and re instead of er keep with british english where america or americans have nothing at all to do with the article.Lucy-marie 23:17, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

"We gave you the language"? What a stupid thing to say. Skinnyweed 12:29, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Stupid, but it's undeniably true. MichaelJBuck 22:58, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Scotland Portal

The Scotland Portal is now up and running. It is a project in the early stages of development, but I think it could be a very useful resource indeed, perhaps more for general readers (the vast majority I presume), rather than committed editors, who may be more attracted by the great possibilities of the notice board format: Wikipedia:Scottish Wikipedians' notice board.

Give it a Watch, and lend a hand if you can. It is (hopefully) fairly low-maintenance, but if we run with the "News" section, that will take dedication: time which I cannot commit to presently myself. Most other boxes need replacment/update only weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, plus the occasional refreshment of the Scotland-related categories. Anyway, I assume this is how the other Portals are run, so we can follow their lead.

Please add the following code - {{portal|Scotland}} - to your own User page, and you will have the link to the portal right there for easy access. I will investigate how other portals use shortcuts too.

Assistance from Wikipedians in the rest of Europe, and indeed everywhere, would be greatly appreciated!--Mais oui! 08:58, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

GDP Ranking

I find that the GDP Ranking is misleading since when you view the link that goes to the table it shows it as not counted (eg. -), so why does it have it listed on this article? Plus if you view United States of America it is ranked as #1 too, so why the two articles have the same rank? I would suggest it to be edited to something like "Not Ranked".

Well for economical reasons, you'd count the EU as a whole because of the institutions, perhaps it would be good to add a footnote to Not Ranked with something like "As an entity No1 place". I think there was a big dispute about this before too... --JDnCoke 16:59, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

US is behind EU. The GDP of EU is higher than the GDP of USA. -- Bonaparte talk 17:53, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm reinserting the GDP rank (along with a #4 footnote saying "if counted as a single unit"). This way it is consistent with how population and area are handled in the infobox, and in my opinion it is not too hard to understand that the US still is the #1 ranked country if one does not rank the EU - especially since we link to the rankings. -- Marcika 01:22, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Why is the GDP given in (presumably) US dollars? Wouldn't euros be more appropriate? Markb 13:34, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

European Union if counted as a single unit , would be placed at 2nd place (2005 & 2006 PPP)According to IMF, CIA WORLDFACTBOOK....

If the Eu was counted as one unit it would be first end of story. 12:11, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Comparison with other blocs/countries

Does anyone else have a problem distinguishing between green and cyan on a laptop? I think pink would be a better substitute for one of the colors. Rudykog 17:44, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

YES! This gets brought up every once in a while in this discussion page. Pretty much every archived discussion page for this article has someone mentioning this since at least 2003, and I agree. Here's a better map: [14]Tokek 13:00, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


Macedonia needs to be added in the candidate countries.-- 03:15, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

 EU is not a tea club.

In the article I've seen several times the name Macedonia and some changes are required. The EU accepts only the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (or FYROM). I suggest you to visit As you see there's no such name as Macedonia in EU's page.Xmartha 01:39, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but in Wikipedia we use the neutral name Republic of Macedonia, which is the country's own constitutional name. The name FYROM shouldn't be used. I agree, however, that using the short form "Macedonia" may be controversial. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 06:27, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

It's ok then, I just wanted to mention that it's an article for EU and it would be aprropriate to be as FYROM (this name is 'adopted' from EU) , but if we can't change it, it's ok!Xmartha 18:40, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

The international formal name of this country (FYROM) is the only one recognised by the EU and UN, therefore you should change your article and all related graphs accordingly. 16:38, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

So? A majority of UN member states use "Republic of Macedonia". It is Wikipedia consensus to use "Republic of Macedonia", since that is unambiguous and fulfills the WP:NC (self-identifying: check, most common: check, that's two out of three). Live with it until Greece and Macedonia finally come up with a compromise. —Nightstallion (?) 20:08, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
It's not the most common name, you have to do the search properly (when you search for "Republic of Macedonia" you get all the results for "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" as well, for obvious reasons - you have to prevent that): [15] [16]. It is also possible to argue that it is the self identifying name, as they consented to it, but whatever... --Latinus 20:18, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
No; that's not what "self-identifying" means. They identify themselves as the "Republic of Macedonia" in their constitution, so that's their self-identifying name; and the most commonly used name for the country is "Macedonia", naturally. "Republic of Macedonia" as the article name seems like a fair compromise to me until the issue is resolved. —Nightstallion (?) 21:33, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Where's the Armenian genocide?

Under the issues that would probably prevent Turkey from becoming a member of the EU, I inserted in text that Turkey does not recognize the Armenian genocide about two months ago, and now it is gone. What happened? It is true. Turkey refuses to acknowledge that such a genocide existed, even though it did happen. There was a program on my local PBS station the other day about Armenia and it stated that the European Parliament told Turkey that it must accept the fact that the Armenian genocide happened before it could be an EU member; Turkey still refuses to believe that it actually happened. Does this tell you something? -Daniel Blanchette 02:06, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

It says here that, unfortunately, many EU states don't consider this an issue. - Rudykog 17:13, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Sad to say, this and other issues specific to conflicts between member states/candidate states and states that are neither actual nor likely candidate states aren't going to be addressed by the eu with any seriousness, no matter how grave. For example, Greece is upset with one of the candidate states, being Macedonia, on account of it's name. The Greeks have an unreasonable fear that the Macedonians will forget that they are Slavic and will become confused by their name, believing that they are in fact Hellenes in the tradition of Alexander of Macedon. The Greeks insist this could spur a Macedonian invasion of Greece. Is any of this likely? Ummm... well, the Macedonians would have to forget their entire history, language, and cultural norms, so my bet is...... no. But despite this, the EU is much more interested in Athens' paranoid delusions than they are in Skopje's claim that being made to use the monniker, "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" is just too unweildy. But, Skopje's pragmatism is not a point of interest to Brussels. Why? Greece is in the Club, Macedonia isn't. It's just that simple. If Armenia wants the EU to force Turkey to acknowledge the Massacre, there's only one real way it can do it. Armenia has to put in a serious bid for membership, and make itself a far more attractive candidate than Turkey. If Armenia gets in, Turkey will have to toe the EU line (which always favours existing members over non-members) or stay out. Otherwise? Don't expect any apologies from Ankara, or any demands for an apology from Brussels. Wandering Star 02:52, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Extra paragraph about accession of Turkey

I removed this paragraph from early on in the article - the topic is covered in suitable depth further down. Have kept the information here in case it is of use - some of it could be incorporated into Accession of Turkey to the European Union if the info is not there already --Cjnm 09:23, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

On 4 October 2005, Turkey furthered its will to enter the European Union, making them the first predominantly Muslim populated country to open membership talks with the organisation. Many states within the union are wary of this decision, chiefly Austria. Austrian apprehension for Turkey dates back for centuries, leading from the 1683 Battle of Vienna, where the Austrians defeated the Ottoman Turks. Fears of an influx of migration from Turkey into Austria if the country and its 70 million inhabitants are allowed into the union is a heated topic. Others argue that most of the country is on the wrong side of the Bosporus Strait, which many believe to be the dividing line between Europe and Asia. Turkey also refuses to acknowledge any relations with the state of Cyprus since Turkish troops invaded the northern section of the island in 1974 following a coup attempt by Greek ultra-nationalists. Austria has proposed for an esteemed partnership for Turkey which would come short of an actual membership. Turkey rejected that proposal. Other European states claim that denying Turkey to a membership would brew future hostilities with other Muslim nations, as well as reinforce the widely held perception that the European Union is a "Christian Club".

Updated statistics

User Ronline updated the statistics around GDP, stating they are 2006 data. Surely he must be mistaken, since 2006 is just starting. How can the data be available now? −Woodstone 11:31, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

The data is from the IMF, 2006 projections. See 1, 2 and 3. The 2005 data are also projections. The only real data is the 2004 one, but there before the 2006 update we were already using 2005 projections, so 2006 projections are actually more accurate and better in this case, since we're in the year 2006. 2005 projections were used on this page since about April 2005, before 2005 was over. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 03:54, 15 January 2006 (UTC)


More financials can be found on the German Wiki. English is not my native language, so if somebody else would update the section, please. Mion 12:57, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

+adding section about the financial side.

- ==European Union Financials== - The European Union's income can be divided in 3 area's: - * EU-importtax leveyd on goods on the borders of the EU. - * Sanctions leveyd by the European Commission (Competition) - * Contribution of the Member States. - - - ===Bruto contribution pro country=== - - ===Netto contribution pro country=== - - ===Contribution pro head of the population=== - - ===European subsidies===

Sorry, English is not my native language. Mion 23:54, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Move this

Someone take this Goddamned cartoon of the page!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

please explain what you're talking about Pure inuyasha 01:42, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Dispute: Cyprus

There is some dispute over whether Cyprus is geographically in Asia or Europe.

The current first sentence of the article reads:

The European Union or the EU is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 European countries known as member states.

A proposed revised first sentence of the article - asserted as more geographically correct - reads:

The European Union or the EU is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 24 European countries and one country in Asia (Cyprus) with a broadly European culture, known as member states

To avoid an edit war, this section of the talk page has been created.

Cyprus is in Europe

Evidenced by:

The question here is how does the EU define itself? Not whether all of it is geographically limited to the European continent. The EUs own published view of itself should be given precedence and then later in the article it can be noted that some parts are outside the European mainland area. From the EU official website "The European Union (EU) is a family of democratic European countries..." [17]. When the EU changes its definition of itself , then Wikipedia should change its principal description, not before. Lumos3 14:10, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Cyprus is in Asia

Evidenced by:

Certainly looks like it's in Asia to me. Until looking at a map I had the idea that it was west of Turkey and therefore in Europe, but obviously I was wrong. It seems to be clearly south and east of that 5% of Turkey that I've always heard is considered the south-east corner of Europe. --Malthusian (talk) 11:17, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes... there are plenty of pages on Wikipedia that try to establish a fixed geographic boundary between Europe and Asia, all of it is horribly POV of course. For some reason I can't understand this seems to be a relly passionate subject for some people. The fact of the matter is that continents are not clearly defined entities, especially this particular border, if the people of Cyprus identify themselves as European, they are European. --Bjarki 12:32, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Cyprus is an European country, not an Asian one. Why, because only European countries are allowed to join the EU. You could say it is geographically in Asia (although it is impossible to fix the continental boundaries, actually it is the Eurasian plate), but culturally and politically it is certainly European! So the sentence you've changed should be changed back as it was in my opinion! Pmaas 12:40, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I understand that it may seem illogical to some that what is thought to be European is in fact in Asia, but we're looking for facts here, not opinions. Let's get the facts on the table - citations and other referenced sources, not original research or Wikipedians reasoned arguments. With reference to the EU = European country suggestion - please see the article on the Copenhagen criteria. It's really no big deal of an issue this: but if a statement is going to be made, as it is made in the first sentence, then let's get it factually correct. --jrleighton 12:46, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Regarding this, the only "factually correct" view on this issue is that there is no "factually correct" view. --Bjarki 12:56, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
In the interests of an EU-style compromise, perhaps an intro sentence such as the below would both be factually correct from the point of both opinions:
The European Union or the EU is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 culturally European countries, known as member states.
Is this objectionable ? There are points of issue with the pro-Cyprus-is-in-Europe references above (such as the BBC link that fails to mention geography - unless I am blind), but in seeking a compromise we need not get into the nitty-gritty of this dull debate.--jrleighton 14:27, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
So, what does this mean? It means... IT'S TIME FOR THE GOOGLEFIGHT! \o/ <- Click, plz -- 20:49, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
This looks pretty even to me. Keep the headline definition to The EUs own view of itself ( see my comment above) and add a qualifier later on. Lumos3 09:39, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Just to sir up the pot, when I was growing up, my older brother used to refer to Europe and Asia as one continent, Eurasia. He insisted that Europe was really just the easternmost part of Asia, nothing more than a peninsula, really. And, if you look at the map, it does kinda look like that. The continental boundaries aren't very distinct, except for Australia. One could argue that North and South America are really just one landmass. Ask people what continent the middle east is in, and you get some seriously confused looks. Then there's the whole matter of the pacific island nations. Are they Asian countries, or Australian? Also, if Europe is a continent, why isn't India? It's certainly large enough to be one, and since Europe is defined by a mountain range, shouldn't the Continent of India be as well? Also, explain why Georgia and Armenia are European countires but Iran is Asian. Wandering Star 14:53, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a very long and very sad history of people trying to define Europe. It has always been, and always will be, completely pointless and a waste of everyone's time. On the specific point of the opening sentence, the first sentence of the article is certainly not the place to go into the continental status of Cyprus. Deal with it (briefly!) later in the article. Markyour words 15:17, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree, Wikipedia should not present a single definition of Europe as a fact like so many af these awful articles do (Transcontinental nation, Copenhagen criteria and the lenghty and futile discussion at Template talk:Europe), it violates NPOV. Remember that Wikipedia is supposed to be descriptive, not prescriptive. The intro paragraph should of course be based on the EU's own self-description, keep this rather lame question of the continental status of Cyprus somewhere further down in the article. --Bjarki 16:08, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Saying it's "24 European countries and 1 country in Asia" is ridiculous. Obviously, Cyprus is more geographically Asian than European. On the other hand, it is an island, and as such is not actually part of Europe or Asia. Many of Greece's Aegean islands - Rhodes, Lemnos, Samos, Chios, Cos - are considerably closer to Asian Turkey than they are to mainland Greece. Why are they to be considered European? Essentially, what is "European" has to be a matter of self-definition, and the Cypriots define themselves as European (more or less). Furthermore, it's just stylistically absurd to bring this issue into the first sentence. john k 18:57, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

In light of this, Burlesconi's suggestion that Israel be considered for membership is not so strange. Wandering Star 17:52, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Sying the EU is a " union of 25 culturally European countries " is rediculaous. This would make most of North America , South America and Australia eligible fo membership. Switching back to the EUs own definition of itself. Lumos3 19:44, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with users underlining above that there is simply no right answer to the question as whether Cyprus is in Europe or Asia, only arguments in both directions. As concerns the article, I would suggest simply to remove the European adjective in the first sentence AND completely erase the clumsy second sentence, that is replacing the lengthy "The European Union or the EU is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 democratic European countries known as member states. Since the accession of Cyprus this has also included a state not geographically in Europe but culturally aligned to it." by a shorter "The European Union or the EU is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 democratic countries known as member states.". --French Tourist 19:57, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

In the context of Cyprus alone, the debate seems a little silly. But in the context of precedent, it takes on a more important role. Remember, what you do now will serve as grounds for similair action or inaction in the future. The time has come for Europe to define itself in a real way. Is Europe a cultural group, a geographical area, what? It's also important because it adds respectability to the idea of the Union, especially for those of us who love outside of it. Once the EU comes to aa consensus on such basic elements as a Constitution that will stand the test of time and who qualifies for membership, the rest of the world will be ready to acknowledge it's validity instead of scratching it's head, wondering what it is exactly we're all looking at. A difficult task, to be sure. But a critical one, if the EU is to survive. Wandering Star 02:56, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

And what of French Guiana which is a part of France but in South America Ironcorona 19:01, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

There is not 6 billion people in the EU!! There's only 6.5 billion people on the Planet!

There is not 6 billion people in the EU!! There's only 6.5 billion people on the Planet!

Look[18] [19]As of Last Saturday!

and there 1 bilion in china and another billion in india! That adds up to 8 billion! Plus europes poplation when down big time after 2 world wars, find new population figures.

I place this up for Disupted Facts!HP465 20:50, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

You are misreading the chart. In the section on comparison with other blocks it states that the UN (as in United Nations, not EU) has 6,411,682,270 people. At the top of the same chart you will see that the EU has 460,124,266 people. By the way the infobox at the top says 459,500,000 which is essentially the same in view of the uncertainty of such numbers. −Woodstone 21:04, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Opps, Sorry, thx for pointing that outHP465 06:34, 1 March 2006 (UTC)


i'm surprised that there is nothing about XAVIER SOLANA who the european representant of the foreign affairs of the UE. There is something to do. He's really important, really. My english is too bad to write something (i'm french) but i'm sure someone will add it.

Javier Solana#Foreign affairs - Rudykog 20:23, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

European Coal and Steel Community

Given that some people regard the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community as the founding of the EU ( see the Schuman declaration for details), could somebody with the requisite knowledge or time on their hands please take a look at the request for expansion of the European Coal and Steel Community article ? Thanks --jrleighton 07:42, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Map showing GDP

Is it possiblr to fix this map so that it shows the mid ranking wealth members in a diffferent colour to the non-EU members? Need someone who knows how to edit it. (Stpaul 13:04, 13 March 2006 (UTC))

Criticism of the EU.

There already exists a critical link in the UN article. Opposition to EU is considerable, and links and/or critical text should be added, in my humble opinion. --Thomi 02:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Criticism of EU policies, rather than criticism of the EU in itself, may be more appropriate. That is, of course, if the only EU body that is charged with promoting policies (the European Commission - not the European Parliament which is not allowed to promote policy) is allowed to be said to have policies, unelected body that it is.--jrleighton 13:43, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's right - nobody should ever criticize the EU itself as an institution, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if the EU Commission rule that to be a criminal offence enforceable by Europol before too long. After that it will be the rack for anyone daring to challenge the absolute infallibility of the Papal See, er, sorry, I mean the Office of the EU Commission. MarkThomas 10:33, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the unsigned user could provide us with some evidence that there exists "considerable opposition" to the European Union in multiple countries. Let's just keep in mind that what the Americans have to say about it isn't extremely important, just as what the Europeans have to say about salmon fishing in Alaska. –Aquarelle 21:32, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, in Finland for example, a recent study indicates that only 33% of the population believes EU a good thing. While for sure, in other countries where they can at least vote on the EU constitution, the people keep felling it. --Thomi 02:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Is Aquarelle asserting that what Americans think about the EU is not important ? This does not make sense: US-EU relations are extremely important, as the two most important trading blocs in todays world. It is an absurdity to compare what Americans think of the EU to what Europeans think of salmon fishing in Alaska. Whatever people think of the EU, it is an organisation of some significance in todays world ! --jrleighton 08:09, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Counter-question: does it matter what the EU thinks of the US internal affairs? Should that be relevant in an article on Politics of the United States?
By the by, opposition to the EU also exists within the Union, so perhaps it should be added. Will try to find an appropriate place to do so... The Minister of War (Peace) 08:41, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
First of all, the US is not a trading block. I hope that's not what user:jrleighton actually meant, but his sentence implies it. Anyway, yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. The United States has no place to critize European internal affairs. Are you saying that the European Union needs to make sure that the US is pleased with what they are doing ? Does the European Union need to fear impending invasion if the United States is not happy with their new trading orginization ? I think not. So I say again, what the US has to say about the European Union isn't very important, and I again ask for some references that there is "considerable" opposition in multiple relevant nations, because I don't believe we can assert that it's common knowledge. –Aquarelle 12:42, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
User:jrleighton (i.e. me) did mean to say that the EU is a trading bloc. That is a fact. It is another fact that the EU is more than just a trading bloc. Saying that the EU is a trading bloc does not include saying that the EU does or should limit itself to being a trading bloc. Let us also not lose sight of the fact that Aquarelle first addition above (to this section) described what the US thinks about the EU, whilst the last comment from this user above talks of US opinions of EU internal policies. US thoughts about the EU are important (I exemplified this by stating the importance of trade), however it is also true that US thoughts about EU internal policies are less important. Let us not debate whilst changing peoples words ! :-) However, it is of at least some importance to listen to what the US says about EU internal policies, just as it is of some importance for people to listen to what the EU says about the internal affairs of any other country and organisation. Let us take the example about what the EU is presently saying about the internal affiars of other countries where people do care - such as Iran. It is not a yes or no issue that countries and organisations statements should or should not be listened to - it is a grey-scale. Hope this addresses the issues above :-) --jrleighton 07:42, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
My dear ! Did you even notice that I said "The US is not a trading block" (not the EU)? Or is this perhaps another one of your sloppy edits due to your lack of time? Ou bien, maybe you are the one who is, as you said, "changing words." In either case, I see no point in continuing this discussion with you. Go ahead and continue pushing your agenda against the EU, and yes, I will continue to correct your inaccurate and poorly-worded edits. –Aquarelle 12:40, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Let's be clear about this - I understood I was engaged in rational debate here. Perhaps I may be wrong on certain issues. Perhaps I cannot spell from time to time. I am sorry, I am human. I do not - however - like being charged with having an agenda "against the EU" and other charges that are not of a debating nature, but which are personal ( as well as unfounded ). Thank goodness user Aquarelle is discontinuing this discussion. So therefore I do too. Adieu. --jrleighton 14:35, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

EU wide dialing-code

Claims that the EU will have an international code: "A numbering policy for telecommunications" green paper from the european comission

Thewikipedian 14:41, 1 March 2006 (UTC+1)

Would someone be able to explain what exactly this green-paper suggests about an international code?

Telephone_numbering plan also explains how the +3 code would have been implemented. Thewikipedian 21:38, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Standard of liveing is not the same as GDP

GDP is a bad indicator of standard of living for a million diffrent reasons and here are some of them

It dosent show what you have access to. For example it dosent show if schools and unis are free in the country, it dosent show if hospitals are free it dosent show if medicin is free and it shows nothing about how many policemen there are or firefighters. All it shows is how much the country makes and how much that is per person. Also it is all messured in dollars but allprices in EU are not the same for example one pound of bread might cost X amount in one country and Y amount in another so saying standard of living is the same as GDP is so wrong.

Also a rich country like USA has a worse Standard of liveing for then normal person then for Norway but if one only looks at the GDP one would think that the Standard of liveing for the normal USA person is better then for a Norway citizen. But the GDP does not mention that 37 million USA citizens live bellow the Poverty line and it dosent mention that hospitals schools of all levels are free in Norway. There are many diffrent lists in the world that state standard of liveing in the world and none of them uses GDP as the main factor.

(Deng 00:53, 22 March 2006 (UTC))

Correct. A better way to compare countries and their standard of living would be GDP (PPP) + amount of money spent by the particular country per year per person. This averages about 20,000 USD in Western European countries and about 7,000-8,000 in the US. Themanwithoutapast 14:16, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion, this is complete nonsense, since state spenditures are already counted in the gdp statistics. Also, nothing is free, the diference of a private school and a public school is that public schools are payed by the money that the state extracts from people using coercion and cumpulsion and private school are financed by voluntary payments, so private schools tend to be better and, in my opinion, morally correct. So, if the per capita income of Europe is lower than USA's, is because they are simply poorer. Outside money income, it is impossible to compare living standards, since living standards are subjective and cannot be measured with statistics.--RafaelG 16:57, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Largest city

The largest city in the European Union may be London or Paris depending on the criteria (boundary, source, census year, etc.) used. I have edited to reflect this. – Kaihsu 15:42, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Boundaries are notably easy for these two cities, no? London is Greater London, and Paris is the Paris Department. Looking at the 2004 estimates, which ought to be compatible, London is quite clearly much bigger. Obviously, this doesn't include the Paris suburbs, but these would properly be included in determining the largest conurbation in the EU, not the largest city. Paris would seem to be the largest conurbation, though, since Paris+suburbs is bigger than Greater London. john k 08:18, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that Greater London is mainly made up suburbs. It even includes another city (Westminster). It's mainly because the City of London is so absurdly small that Greater London is used for population instead. In actual fact Greater London is one of Englands 9 regions. So you could just as easily class it as a conurbation. I think this needs a definitive/offical source but the EU tends to get vague on these sort of points in order not to offend. josh (talk) 20:12, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

The swedish city Kiruna is the bigest city on the world if you only look at area size :D (Deng 07:00, 5 April 2006 (UTC))

Official language is now Engish !

In CBC Canada news on the March of 24 to 26 ask the EU put a Offical Language: Engish !--Brown Shoes22 01:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

No it is not! The EU has 20 official languages, and soon even more! Pmaas 13:11, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
There is no 1 official language, but many (Deng 07:01, 5 April 2006 (UTC))
Yes, true. English, German and French do, however, have a slightly more important status as they are "working languages". Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 11:23, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

What does it mean that they are "working languages"? That only german, french and english can be spoken in the european parliament? Talous 20:00, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

English should be the official language. We don't need 20 official languages cos that's ridiculous. Skinnyweed 20:17, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
This is the EU we're talking about. What makes sense has nothing to do with it. josh (talk) 20:50, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh, come on! As much as I would like to see English spreading in Europe, it's tendentious to say that English alone should be the only official language. Having 20 official languages makes sense and perpetuates equality throughout the union. To answer Talous - the "working languages" refer to languages that are used for things like signage, some websites, some documents, etc. These are the languages that the EU uses for most of its affairs, with the official languages only used for things like the translation of treaties, resolutions, etc. However, any of the 20 languages can be used in the European Parliament, and I believe that it's also possible to address any EU agency in any official language you want. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 13:57, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

POLL: Introduction for Republic of Macedonia article

Given ongoing discussions and recent edit warring, a poll is currently underway to decide the rendition of the lead for the Republic of Macedonia article. Please weigh in! E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 01:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Map missing Ceuta and Melilla?

Shouldn't the map include Melilla and Ceuta, Spanish exclaves on the African coast? I don't see them on the map. StarryEyes 01:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Removal of featured article status

This article is currently being considered for removal of its Featured Article status. See the debate at - Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates/European Union. All contributors need to take part. Lumos3 09:14, 7 April 2006 (UTC)


Why is Sakhalin island colored blue on the map?

Sorry, I don't see Sakhalin on any of the maps, nor would I expect an island next to Japan to be mentioned in this article.—Tokek 13:06, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


European Union is an economic, politics and social union. Exception handling - military. UE is 25 autonomy country and 1 totality organism/system (similar - United States: 51 autonomy state is 1 totality organism/system ).

GDP ordering

Quit reverting this back and forth and please discuss this issue here. Otherwise I will be forced to protect the article. --Bjarki 18:23, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

The table should be ordered by GDP per capita rather than total GDP because GDP per capita is more useful in gauging relative economic performance among member states. Total GDP is not particularly useful, other than seeing relative economic weight among member states. But in the Economy section, I think most people are looking for a table that shows them how the member states fare relative to other economically, which states are the wealthiest and which are the poorest. What are the reasons for sorting it by total GDP? Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 06:52, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. The GDP per capita is more useful in this situation. By going just by the GDP one gets the "larger country equals larger GDP" situaton, causing indirectly the sorting becoming a sort by population size rather than a usable economic measure of relative strength. One solution would be to show both, but that would take up a bit too much space in my opinion. It would be nice if the table could be user-sortable by columns, but that is apparently a bit beyond what one can currently do here with tables, and then the problem would be to decide what the default sorting should show.
In any case, I find sorting by the GDP (PPP) per capita to be the most suitable for this. -- TimSE 10:44, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree that ordering by GDP per capita gives better information. −Woodstone 11:37, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree with ordering by GDP (PPP) per capita Alinor 19:06, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
  • LET WELL ALONE - GDP (PPP) millions of int. dollars LUCPOL 22:36, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
    • GDP (PPP) millions of int. dollars - sum 2,605,373 (Germany) + 1,911,943 (UK) + 1,900,467 (France)...etc = 12,954,042 EU
    • GDP (PPP) per capita - arithmetic mean. By no means to 28,477 UE. No imperf to classify arithmetic mean. LUCPOL 18:45, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
      • per capita should be calculated by the weighted average formula, where "weight" is the population. Anyway, if there is an error in the numbers - just correct it. This has nothing to do with ordering by total GDP or per capita GDP. 16:20, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I'm really not understanding your reasoning as to why it should be sorted by total GDP. To an extent, it is useful to classify it that way because it shows the "components" of European GDP, and which country "contributes" most to the European economy. However, it is much more useful to look at relative economic power and "standard of living" in the different member states particularly since this determines things like transfer payments and EU budget contributions. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 07:08, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
So, what is the conclusion now? To order by GDP (PPP) per capita? (and add a note that the order is not random, but on purpose) Alinor 20:12, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, although it can be argued that full consensus has not been reached yet, it seems that the option of sorting by GDP per capita is favoured, 4-1. Thus, it should be ordered by GDP per capita, with the accompanying text saying that it is ordered by GDP per capita. The subtitle should also be changed from "GDP/Country" to something like "Economic variation". Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 08:09, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it should proabably be arranged by per capita, it's more useful for comparison purposes. --Bjarki 14:44, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Czech Rep. missing in the GDP/country table

There are only 24 countries in this chart!

  • Someone has corrected this now. Alinor 17:52, 9 May 2006 (UTC)


I notice there is alot of switching back and forth of the map in the infobox. There is a map that shows the location of the EU in a global perspective and there is a map that shows a close-up of Europe and identifies which countries are members. In my opinion, the map in the infobox should display this global perspective and serve the purpose that these maps serve in any country article, that is to display a location of an entity. We do have another map in the article which displays only Europe and identifies the member states and we don't need another. --Bjarki 14:44, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

I changed the map back to the old version Scavenger 11:00, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The current map doesn't show the European Union. It has Norway and Switzerland as members. --Larsw 12:49, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Someone changed it, I've reverted back to the correct one. --Bjarki 13:21, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Sea border?

"The European Union has land borders with 20 nations and sea borders with 31."

I have two questions about this sentence. Are the countries that share both a land and a sea border with existing EU members counted twice (included in both figures)? What exactly is a sea border? Territorial waters only extend 12 nautical miles from a country's coast and are considered a sovereign territory of the respective state. EEZs extend up to 200 nm from the coast but states do not excercise sovereignty over that area, only an exclusive right to manage resources. In my mind, one can only speak of sea borders when territorial waters of different states meet (if there are less than 24 nm between them). I haven't managed to find a single country that borders an EU member only by sea border. --Bjarki 15:11, 13 May 2006 (UTC)


Add any references if possible, especially if they are Internet sources. Skinnyweed 23:06, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Good article nomination/peer review

Would someone like to champion this as a good article? Or shall we put this in peer review? Skinnyweed 18:22, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments and feedback

Standard of liveing is not the same as GDP

>GDP is a bad indicator of standard of living for a million diffrent reasons and here are some of them

Agreed. I sincerely believe this.

>It dosent show what you have access to. For example it dosent show if schools and unis are free in the country, it dosent show if hospitals are free it dosent show if medicin is free and it shows nothing about how many policemen there are or firefighters. All it shows is how much the country makes and how much that is per person. Also it is all messured in dollars but allprices in EU are not the same for example one pound of bread might cost X amount in one country and Y amount in another so saying standard of living is the same as GDP is so wrong.

The price difference within the European Union is incredible (i'm not from there but spent many years travelling there). If it was considered as one country or economic unit it probably would have the largest gap between rich and poor and standard of living in the OECD by a long shot. It's a truly phenomenal gap.

And you cannot simply divide the average wage or PP GDP to get the average price of goods. By the GDP per person say, a packet of cigarettes ($2 USD) in Vilnius, Lithuania is much cheaper per average dollar earned (over $30,000 US pp GDP) than in England, where it's $7-8 USD a packet at least, and certainly not 3-4 times the GDP per head. A can of coke is the same difference.. a big mac is less difference (you'd pay more of as a percentage of your wage in the Baltics for a burger than in London).

I don't know where people get off thinking GDP is the be all and end all indicator of living standards. Is it really a conclusive indicator of lifestyle and living standard? no.

>Also a rich country like USA has a worse Standard of liveing for then normal person then for Norway but if one only looks at the GDP one would think that the Standard of liveing for the normal USA person is better then for a Norway citizen. But the GDP does not mention that 37 million USA citizens live bellow the Poverty line and it dosent mention that hospitals schools of all levels are free in Norway. There are many diffrent lists in the world that state standard of liveing in the world and none of them uses GDP as the main factor.

Actaully, no you wouldn't. Norway has a higher GDP per head than the United States of America, so I'm really not sure where you get this argument from. Per person Norway is universally considered a richer country than the USA, which a parity GDP to match. So measuring solely on the basis of parity GDP, you'd have to come to the conclusion Norwegians have a better living standard than Americans.....right?

Remeber that PPP scales GDP up or down to reflect differences in prices across countries. Even that doesn't make GDP (PPP) per capita a perfect indicator for standard of living, but I would probably argue it is the best, most comprehensive indicator we have for that concept. Remember that standard of living is by definition a material concept, different from quality of life, which is more subjective and general. I think you're mixing up the two a bit. It's quality of life that looks at lifestyles, and things like rates of crime, etc. These are subjective and cannot be really be measured (the Economist has tried, producing what is IMO a very different but highly controversial ranking). The fact that a country has more police officers per capita doesn't show better standard of living, it may however reflect lower crime and hence a better quality of life. Sure, standard of living does include things like the quality of education or healthcare services, and these are measured more comprehensively in the UN's HDI. But even the HDI tends to correlate quite well with GDP per capita (at least in terms of general trends). In the EU, the countries with the lower GDPs per capita tend to have poorer results for other standard of living indicators, and also lower HDIs. Your argument is sound to an extent, though - many people say that living in Europe is much better than living in the USA (I would agree), even though US GDP per capita is more than 25% higher than average Eurozone GDP per capita. Then again, happiness indicators have shown that low-income countries like Nigeria are happier than some higher-income countries, thus showing the subjective nature of any quality of life measurements. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 13:53, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Marchalina hellenica ... The European union must ACT against Greece before it is too late

By Common Sense, may 2006 Pine forests falling victim to beekeepers’ initiative.

The European union must ACT against Greece before it is too late

A pine tree covered in the secretion of Marchalina hellenica. The insect lives off the sap of the tree, producing a white fluff, which bees feed on to produce honey.

HANIA - All over Greece, pine trees are being dessicated because of the introduction by beekeepers of large numbers of an insect whose secretions bees feed on to make honey.

The latest victims of the insect (Marchalina hellenica) are the pine forests in the prefecture of Hania on the island of Crete and in the island’s Samaria Gorge to the south.

According to Hania Prefecture Forestry Director Vassilis Kasiotakis, this infestation occurred with the blessing of the Ministry for Agricultural Development.

The first dead pines were found in forests above Anopoli and Aghios Ioannis in the early 1990s. Kasiotakis said that even then the problem had been attributed to the insects, known to the local beekeepers as “workers.”

Yet in March 2001, the Animal Produce General Directorate’s beekeeping department at the Agriculture Ministry (as it was then known) wrote to local authorities “encouraging” them to introduce the insects into the pine forests.

It actually funded beekeeping associations through the EU’s Third Community Support Framework to the tune of 4,000 drachmas (11.70 euros) per 0.10 hectares without first evaluating the climatological conditions in the area and any future negative effects on the ecosystem. As a result, the population of this parasite multiplied dramatically and spread to pines and cypress trees in forests around the region.

“What they actually did was to fund the beekeepers’s associations to deliberately infest the pine forests,” said Kasiotakis.

“These forests exist in extreme ecological conditions since there is very little water, due to an extended dry period (of up to eight months) and sudden deluges in winter,” he explained. “This is a serious problem, as the existence of a parasite such as Marchalina hellenica maximizes the risks to the forest, as it sucks the sap from the tree in order to survive, thereby weakening the tree. If one adds to that the damage done by the processional caterpillar, then the risks are great indeed.”

Parts of the Hania prefecture where the problem has assumed major dimensions are around Anopoli and Aghios Ioannis, at Prasse north of the White Mountains, at Aghii Apostoli and within the national park of the Samaria Gorge.

According to Kasiotakis, a survey carried out four years ago by the Institute for Forestry Research found that the pines had been affected by a number of species of nematodes, worms that live in the soil and attack the roots of the trees. Scientists from the Benaki Phytopathology institute, who took soil samples for further analysis, said these nematodes had been found in forests in Attica where Marchalina hellenica had also been found in large numbers.

The problem appears to lie in the fact that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate this insect using the means permitted by the European Union. In 1996, the Italian government passed a special law on the eradication of Marchalina hellenica and spent large sums for the purpose, yet Greece has done just the opposite.

According to a document from the Institute for Mediterranean Forestry Ecosystems and Forestry Product Technology at the National Agricultural Research Foundation (ETHIAGE), this occurred because of “incompetence and insufficient knowledge on the part of those responsible for the program, who had no idea of the harm the insect could cause, and who approved and encouraged the spread of the insect populations with funds from the Greek state.”

So these huge populations of Marchalina hellenica that have spread throughout the prefecture of Hania can no longer be controlled and are continuing on their path of destruction — and all this in order to increase the amount of honey produced.

The authorities cannot estimate the magnitude of the destruction, but it is certain that the extent of the destruction is enormous, particularly in the National Park of Samaria.

The Hania Forestry Department has issued a document calling the presence of the insect in the Samaria gorge a “danger to the structure and operation of the ecosystem” and that because of the rate at which it multiplies, the trees will be destroyed at the same rate, threatening the economy of the island.

The department recommends an awareness campaign along with on-the-spot evaluation by experts.

Retrieved from ""

New Map

Here are two maps, one is the currently used map, and here i present a new map showing the imminent partition of Serbia and Montenegro. I have retained seperate borders for each country to show that they are sovereign states. plz choose which one to display in the article as and when partition occurs.

Old map

New map

WoodElf 07:39, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

or perhaps u might prefer

2nd option

3rd option

First or last I think. - RedHot 17:43, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

What about Gronland island isnt it a part of Denmark and EU. While Guine is. And wont EU have a great army to deal with USA and Russia.


How do people feel about making the Infobox looking more like this one, used on most country pages. On the UK page, for example. Due to the EU being more unique than a country, I suggest we just copy the code from the template, not use it. I have edited so it contains the data of the one now, but looks like the current country ones (saved in Notepad for when/if the time comes). One downside is that it is much harder to edit and makes the page a couple of KBs bigger. So, if anybody wants it just say and I'll change the page to have it. MichaelJBuck 18:32, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Great (Budapestonline 13:36, 5 June 2006 (UTC))


(I am unsure exactly how its calculated, so this suggestion may not work)

Would it be possible to estimate a HDI of the EU as a whole, by multiplying each state's HDI, by it's population, and adding them, then divide the answer by the population of the EU? I may not have the formula right, but if you know what I mean, would it work as an accurate estimate? If so, working on the most current population ESTIMATES, as stated in their respective articles, I have worked out that the EU's HDI, is approximately 0.922101021. Is this accurate (or as accurate as can be)? Anyway in the meantime, I've added it to the article in this format as an estimate. If anyone wants to see how I calculated it, I can send the spreadsheet. - RedHot 21:32, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Excellent idea, but my figures seem to differ from yours. I got 0.90724 as the average. However, I didn't include the acceding countries. Did you? MichaelJBuck 01:11, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Neither did mine. What did you use as population? I used the most recent estimates on the pages. If you have Excel, I've uploaded the spreadsheet I did it in, to Tripod, so you can check the figures. BUT, they don't allow linking from other sites, so go to Tripod first, then copy the link into the browser. BUT you'll notice, I didn't use the estimate for the EU's population, as given on the EU's article - I used the sum of the rest. The reason for this is, as I used their individual populations to weight them, if I used the EU's total as given here, it would skew the results. - RedHot 11:46, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Ah, looking at yours it seems I got my figures wrong. Nice work. MichaelJBuck 17:34, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Are you sure you've got it wrong (what was it)? I could've made a mistake, I didn't use the best method for entering the data (I copied it manually as opposed to copy-and-paste) - RedHot 17:41, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

HDI ranking

I think the 9th place is more accurate. Shouldn't we discount the EU Member States from the HDI list? Typelighter 23:49, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

No, because we don't discout them from GDP lists etc. Remember it's if the EU was ranked. MichaelJBuck 23:58, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but I think your explanation isn't satisfactory. I'am not sure if we don't discount EU Member States from the other lists. When I analyse that lists, I always discount the EU Member States. I think it's like what happens with US States and with the USA, I don't see Texas or California along with the US in the lists. The if means a list where EU Member States are combined as a single unity - the European Union. So, I am conviced that the right place should be 9th. Typelighter 10:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I think it should be 22nd, as opposed to 9th, because when you think about it, using a list where the members are discounted, then you're not using the same list as is being used for all the other countries/states/territories on the list (i.e. you can't compare them accurately). Also, for example, the CIA World Factbook always counts the members and EU for ranking. - RedHot 12:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Working languages

See the resolution. All languages of the EU are also working languages. French, German and English are working languages of the Comission. [20] In the Parliament all languages are allowed and there are interpreters for each cabin. Documents which a Member State or a person subject to the jurisdiction of a Member State sends to institutions of the Community may be drafted in any one of the official languages selected by the sender. The reply shall be drafted in the same language. Regulations and other documents of general application shall be drafted in the twenty official languages. The Official Journal of the European Union shall be published in the twenty official languages.

Legislation and documents of major public importance or interest are produced in all 20 official languages, but that accounts for a minority of the institutions' work. Other documents (e.g. communications with the national authorities, Decisions addressed to particular individuals or entities and correspondence) are translated only into the languages needed. For internal purposes the EU institutions are allowed by law to choose their own language arrangements. The European Commission, for example, conducts its internal business in three languages, English, French and German, and goes fully multilingual only for public information and communication purposes. The European Parliament, on the other hand, has Members who need working documents in their own languages, so its document flow is fully multilingual from the outset.

See also: [21].

So we should get rid of the "working languagesk always counts the members and EU for ranking. - RedHot 12:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Working languages

See the resolution. All languages of the EU are also working languages. French, German and English are working languages of the Comission. [22] In the Parliament all languages are allowed and there are interpreters for each cabin. Documents which a Member State or a person subject to the jurisdiction of a Member State sends to institutions of the Community may be drafted in any one of the official languages selected by the sender. The reply shall be drafted in the same language. Regulations and other documents of general application shall be drafted in the twenty official languages. The Official Journal of the European Union shall be published in the twenty official languages.

Legislation and documents of major public importance or interest are produced in all 20 official languages, but that accounts for a minority of the institutions' work. Other documents (e.g. communications with the national authorities, Decisions addressed to particular individuals or entities and correspondence) are translated only into the languages needed. For internal purposes the EU institutions are allowed by law to choose their own language arrangements. The European Commission, for example, conducts its internal business in three languages, English, French and German, and goes fully multilingual only for public information and communication purposes. The European Parliament, on the other hand, has Members who need working documents in their own languages, so its document flow is fully multilingual from the outset.

See also: [23].

So we should get rid of the "working languages" section, because it is missleading. --Danutz


Why has "Capital" been removed? I think this has been discussed several times before and each time it was agreed that "Brussels (de facto)" was the best choice, wasn't it? - Рэдхот 10:55, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it was Talk:European_Union/Archive02#Capital Fabhcún 11:33, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I see.... Well I saw SOMEWHERE on Wikipedia, at SOME point a discussion where it was agreed to use capital, but don't know where. Maybe I didn't and I'm just goin crazy thought :) ......... but still, I can remember it so well! But also, why change it all of a sudden when it's been as capital for ages now, and not even discuss that ?! - Рэдхот 20:28, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

No criticism

This page seems strangely anodyne and devoid of critical thought, yet in recent years the EU as an institution has had many severe failures and is widely critiqued. To name but a few, the recent constitution proposal failed; the eurozone economy is stagnant or even declining; the european institutions appear out of touch; the auditors have once again refused to accept the accounts; I could go on. Isn't there room on this page for a serious criticisms section? MarkThomas 23:14, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

European Commission estimates economic growth in the eurozone this year will be 2.1%, I dont think a delevoped economy like the eurozone can be said to be stagnant or even declining with that level? Fabhcún 15:26, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
As you surely know, the European Union Constitution was approved and signed by the heads of government from all the 25 member states. Although France and The Netherlands rejected the Constitution in a referendum, the majority of EU Member States pursued the ratification process. So far, 13 countries have fully ratified the constitution, two of them by referendum; two have very nearly finished ratifying it, one is likely to ratify it in the next few months; and two have rejected it. That leaves seven countries where the constitution is on ice. Moreover, as official candidates for EU membership, Bulgaria and Romania already approved the new EU Constitution. Typelighter 20:08, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
True, and as the Dutch (which I am too) rejected the EU constitution, does not mean that they want to leave the EU. Still the majority see the EU as good/beneficial for our country, although the number used to be higher. What the majority of the Dutch don't like it the further and fast enlargement of the EU. Most are willing to let Croatia join (according to a recent poll), but for the other countries, especially Turkey, there is much resistance. A referendum on such an enlargement would most certainly result in a no. A majority want to slow down or stop a further enlargement. More transfer of power to "Brussels" is also something the majority dislikes. Although I fully support the EU and support further intergration, I think there must be room here for some criticism, as there is also some in reality, especially in the western (old) European member states. But the criticism must be based on numbers, like polls, etc. Not someone's POV. Peter Maas 07:51, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Just on a very basic level, I would have thought that quite a few people in Europe regard the vast EU budget of 862 billion Euros with some apprehension, particularly since large tranches of it are spent without accountability by an unelected and authoritarian commission, and in the past substantial segments of it have apparently gone to the Sicilian mafia. We have the Democratic deficit page to handle some of the critiques on that, but I'm just puzzled that on something as important as the EU, there appears to be no critique at all on this page. In fact the current WP page reads like it was written by commission propagandists. I suggest we have a "problems and criticisms" section or something similar. MarkThomas 10:10, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree, I don't consider myself particularly eurosceptic but I have always wondered about the lack of a criticism section on this article while I keep finding these criticism sections in the strangest places here on Wikipedia. The EU is heavily controversial and this article should reflect that if someone is to take it seriously. Democratic deficit, stagnant growth, bureocracy, centralization, loss of national sovereignty, corruption etc. etc. are all points that have been raised by many people and it should not be hard to describe these concerns in a neutral manner while citing appropriate sources. --Bjarki 14:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

The thing about critism on wikipedia it has to be NPOV, which is very hard to do right and I don't think the page is promoting the Union simply explaining it but if you want to write a paragraph as long as it is fact based, with citations and NPOV go a head Fabhcún 11:54, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

That is indeed true! It is indeed simply explaining the EU, not promoting. And everything needs indeed to be NPOV, as I wrote earlier. Peter Maas 15:16, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Come off it. Zillions of pages on Wikipedia have perfectly acceptable criticisms pages. I suspect motives here. MarkThomas 17:11, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Hold on a second I said go for it, and that is what i got from what Peter Maas said, Write the criticism rather than criticise that there is no criticism Fabhcún 17:18, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, sorry and thanks, was getting confused in mid-rant there. :-) MarkThomas 17:28, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Workers rights

While I fully agree that problems with the EU should be properly discussed, I don't think that the sentence "This has led to a gross anomaly whereby family related social welfare benefits are payable by the member state where an EU citizen is employed, even where the family of the worker are resident elsewhere in the Union." is quite appropriate in a short overview of internal policies, which in my opinion should concentrate on giving the general idea of what each point means, instead of going into any detail. I looked around for a better place for the sentence, and couldn't find a page where the right of free movement and work in the EU would be further explained. Is there one on wikipedia?

The EU -- A 'German Ploy'?

This might be worth mentioning in this article: many people in Eastern Europe (and elsewhere [i.e. France, Russia, those Europeans countries that refuse to join, many others]) believe that the EU is nothing more than a 'German ploy' to 'control' Europe both politically and economically (given that Germany is the most economically powerful and populous member of the EU). They say that the success of the EU obliquely fulfills the Third Reich's burning desire for Germany to become "The Undisputed Masters of Europe." Should this hypothesis be included in the article or simply written off as a deluded conspiracy theory? -- 03:34, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I think it's more commonly described as a "French plot" or as a "mad fulfillment of Napolean's ambitions" but it is true that many see it as essentially a victory for European rule from France and/or Germany, usually with the Gaullist agenda or Napoleonic laws and governmental model thrown in for good measure. I think a critique section should refer to some description of these views, as they are so often aired. MarkThomas 06:49, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I think the common belief is that the EU is not so much a solely "French plot" or a "German plot", but rather that it is led by joint Franco-German "continental" interests, as opposed to the more "Atlanticist" orientation of the "New Europe", UK and, arguably, the Nordic states. In any case, the view is pretty much ridiculous, IMO. The EU is, in fact, moving away from Franco-German influence (many people like to say that the French reject of the EU Constitution was because of this loss of influence for France). Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 13:47, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed Ronline, and wasn't the French rejection also to do with attempting to defend the French Model, eg, massive state intervention in working life patterns, etc, which result in FR having highest unemployment in developed world, coupled with riots by rich white students fearing for their comfy civil service positions. France is the only country in the western world whose young people put "civil service" as their no 1 job choice. Unfortunately, the EU reflects this backwards neo-socialist mentality with it's slavish adoration on public expenditure and an ever more bloated and corrupt "civil" "service". (better name for it might be Arrogant Plutocracy. I used to wonder why Brussels is only rarely shown on UK TV - a quick visit, with the insanely over-priced restaraunts full of lounging overpaid secretaries, is enough to see why. MarkThomas 16:54, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
True, but that phenomena, sad to say, isn't exclusive to French students. I am sure here in Portugal most youngsters dream with a civil service position. The difference is the reasons of the Portuguese are very different. Portugal is a relatively small country, a small market to the eyes of multinationals, and don’t have strategic natural resources. Everybody in Portugal likes the EU because they know about the millions euro received in Structural Funds since the 1980s. Among other recent developments, we have better, hospitals, roads and highways now. Many civil engineering firms, large farmers, and politicians profited wonderfully during all these years, but the economy remains stagnant, the wealth of the average citizen is low, and there is little innovation capacity or entrepreneurship. It is a centralized elitist country, where Lisbon Region appears as the only region with a GDP per capita at the average European level. Lisbon is also the only developed metropolis in the country, with small evidence of world city formation. So, without a strong and competitive industry, and having a tradition of excessive public expenditure, moreover in a context characterised by rising unemployment, most Portuguese just see an option and a goal for their lives, joining the generous and comfortable large public service sector. The truth is that we (like many other countries and depressed regions of the entire continent) wish a stronger, imaginative and dynamic EU to save ourselves from this disgraceful condition. We do not have imperialistic ambitions or a xenophobic sense of self-superiority. We just want a better Europe to live in this increasingly globalized world, where military, economic and political emerging superpowers are as big as the USA, Russian Federation, India, Brazil, and the People’s Republic of China, never like an isolated Germany, France or United Kingdom. Page Up 14:29, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I assume "imperialistic ambitions or a xenophobic sense of self-superiority" is a dig at the UK, but it's a misplaced one - Britain has a long history of fighting for democracy and liberty within Europe. Your story of Lisbon reminds me of medieval China - decaying regional cities of serfs ruled over by a stunningly wealthy bureacracy, indifferent to their wishes, in far away Peking. In fact, the EU is nothing more than a plot to re-introduce Holy Roman Empire serfdom, something which intellectually and culturally/sociologically, many French, Germans, etc are emotionally content with, as there is no really profound history of liberty on the continent. "The bureacrat knows best" should be the motto of the EU. But it's all modernised so that really - and essentially secretly - it serves the interests of international big business and the class of footloose world shareholders. Hence enlargement, which is about extending the cheap labour pool into Poland and Hungary. My advice to poor Portugal is to return to your roots; maritime capitalism and entrepreneurial ability; shake off Brussels, even leave the EU, as should many other countries. The plot, which goes back pre-war and even to the Nazis, to hegemonise Europe, is unravelling. We had a Holy Roman Empire already - it dissolved in flames. We don't need another one. MarkThomas 08:33, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Er, ok. That wasn't at all crazy. john k 09:50, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Who are you to suggest a country leaves the EU, return to your roots; maritime capitalism and entrepreneurial ability; what does that mean? The EU has loads more benefits for poor Portugal, as you put it, than negatives. Fabhcún 11:15, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Probably it's wiser to ignore the crazy guy than to engage him. I like the "no really profound hsitory of liberty on the continent" bit best myself. Also the "Holy Roman Empire serfdom" bit, whatever the hell that means. I can't even tell if this is a crazy left wing paranoid fantasy or a crazy right wing paranoid fantasy. john k 16:52, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that a stronger, larger Europe will become a better partner, not a bigger rival, to the United States in international affairs, creating social and economic development. And this is good both for rich and for poor citizens living in Portugal and the United Kingdom. Typelighter 18:45, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Hello, crazy guy here again. :-) Totally agree that EU can counter-balance US power in key areas like competition, but does that mean we need a federal superstate with a bloated EU "new aristocracy of bureacrats" living the high life from our taxes? Of course not. The comments above by the way tend to prove my point - many continental europeans are apparently quite happy to be tax-farmed like grazing cattle for the benefit of the New Eurocracy. Many in England and elsewhere are not so happy. And on the liberty issue - those who disagree with me - where is the history of liberty in Europe? Germany had about 60 years of freedom in the last 400. France about 10 - the revolution was soon crushed and the current France is ruled over by Napoleonic ENA-aristocrats in the Gaullist hegemony, which Brussels itself is modelled on. Spain has only just shaken off Franco and before that was a catholic plutocracy. Only the Netherlands and Denmark had anything resembling liberal democracy for any length of time. MarkThomas 08:30, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

You credit the UK with the invention of liberty, but yet I know no other country in which democracy is so poorly organised. There is no such thing as a clear separation of the powers, because in the UK the members of the legislative branch are also the supreme judicial authority in the country (the House of Lords). The document which you credit with the institution of liberty, the Magna Charta, was written for nobles instead of the common people. Until recently Britain was the only developed country in the world in which nobles had anything to say in politics, through hereditary peerage. It was left to Tony Blair to remove the last vestiges of the Ancien Regime from British politics. No American would agree with the thesis "Liberty was invented by the British". Instead they would answer: "We rebelled because the British were so unfree". Britain still has a state church, so in theory members of the Church of England are favoured over members of other faiths. No, Mr Thomas, true liberty was invented on the Continent, in the city states of Ancient Athens and Italy during the Renaissance.

I do think the EU has flaws, such as an unnecessarily large budget, which is largely drained by the equally unnecessary and money-wasting Common Agricultural Policy (which I think the French shouldn't defend any longer). The democratic deficit of Strasbourg needs to be addressed. But with globalism on the rise I think the EU is the only way to be influential beyond our tiny corner of the world. EU politics are hard and to get things your way you need to find allies. There are now two blocs within the EU. One bloc led by France and Germany, which centers around the social welfare state and one led by the UK which favours liberal laissez-faire economics. I tend to favour the UK-bloc. Anyway, the EU is flawed, but as you can see the UK has severe flaws as well.-- 20:15, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Request for Comment

Hey. Over at the Superpower talkpage, we're having a bit of a row about whether the European Union qualifies as a superpower. As you guys are the EU experts :P, if you could contribute to the dicussion your views would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Trip: The Light Fantastic 16:53, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

What is a "superpower"? Surely in this enlightened world it implies nuclear weapons, which the EU does not have and a bullying, threatening attitude toward other countries, which the EU also does not in general do a lot of. Therefore the EU is not a "superpower" unlike the US, China, Russia, and maybe to some extent India? Also the UK and France might qualify on the edges of superpowerdom, with a little more emphasis on the UK, which does like to go to war now and then still and is currently substantially increasing naval force strength for example by building new aircraft carriers. Another contender might be Israel which has nuclear weapons, powerful armed forces and goes to war against neighbours periodically when it feels threatened, and so far, has always won those fights. But not the EU per se. MarkThomas 08:23, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Not nuclear weaponry, certainly. It's more an ability to influence world affairs on a massive scale. Which the EU does kind of fulfil. Depending on whether everyone agrees of not. Trip: The Light Fantastic 23:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

EU sui generis????

in what way the EU don't folow this definition Confederation???--Ruber chiken 09:01, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Some institutions are federal, some supranational, some intergovernmental. Maartenvdbent 09:30, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Map failure

Hi, on the map in the middle of the page, some "not on the map" countries, like Franch Guayana are marked. Note, that French Guayana & co. belong to EU member countries, but they themselves are not part of the alliance. This is extra mentioned in the Maastricht Contract.

But they are on Euro notes that is why they are included. Fabhcún 09:08, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, and Guadeloupe are integral parts of France. As they are not actually countries, they are not "part of the alliance" in the same way that Scotland is not "part of the alliance," or that Bavaria is "not part of the alliance." john k 12:45, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

New map

Here are two contenders to be the map as one of the is the current map and a new map that was not previously included.Lucy-marie 09:11, 17 June 2006 (GMT) EUmap.png

I like Image:EUmap.png Fabhcún 14:16, 18 June 2006 (GMT)
I agree with Fabhcúen, I think the current map is best. The second map, with inserts, gives the reader no perspective as to the location of the areas which are not on the European continent.  <font="center" color="#FFFFFF"> theKeith  Talk to me   14:22, 18 June 2006 (GMT)
Also for the current map showing EU location in the World, not in Europe. Alinor 19:21, 20 June 2006 (GMT)
Both maps are obviously defective in that they do not show Britain's Antarctic bases. Neither for that matter do they fully explore Denmark's grip on territorial Greenland. MarkThomas 09:23, 23 June 2006 (GMT)
Greenland is not in the EU (having left the predecessor of the EU, the European Community, in 1985) and I don't think that Britain's Antarctic bases are part of the EU Fabhcún 22:25, 23 June 2006 (GMT)
It's no good Fabhcún, I cannot accept any map that does not show each and every British posession. Where is Rockall for example, and Tristan Da Cunha? St Kitts Nevis and Anguilla? Belize? Christmas Island? The Falklands? Your maps are nothing more than piffle. I deprecate your shabby indrawn Euro-maps, they are merely the field maps of Bismark and Napolean! They are worthless, as nothing to our glorious Ordnance Survey! MarkThomas 22:31, 23 June 2006 (GMT)
Rockall is not part of the UK! My understanding is that Gibraltar is the only overseas territory that is part of the European Union. ps I can do with out sentances like "They are worthless, as nothing to our glorious Ordnance Survey!"Fabhcún 08:05, 24 June 2006 (GMT)
Rockall is so part of the UK!! See BBC report on Rockall for a totally NPOV view on the matter. I'm fine though if you continentals don't want it in the EU, as it can be the last bastion of what was once a great nation. Lots of bat guano and seagull dung for mining there, so we will not be poor. If you hate my reference to the greatness of the Ordnance Survey, what can you throw against it? The pitiful efforts of the French cartographers? The German maps which only show highways suitable for tanks? MarkThomas 08:57, 24 June 2006 (GMT)
Firstly I am not a "continental" and that link you gave doesn't say rockall is part of the UK try reading it again. I don't understand what the next of that comment means! Fabhcún 14:12, 24 June 2006 (GMT)
The Island of Rockall Act 1972 states that Rockall is part of the county of Inverness-shire. In the view of the UK government then, it's an integral part of the UK, and hence part of the EU. Dmn Դմն 14:24, 24 June 2006 (GMT)
But Ireland, Denmark and Iceland all dispite that, any way it is way way to small to be seen on the map but accourding to the BBC when Greenpeace activists landed on the island, stayed for 42 days, replaced the navigational beacon with a solar-powered one and declared Rockall the sovereign territory of Waveland, announcing that it was now, 'two steps closer to freedom from oil development and industrialisation'. The status of Rockall remains unresolved to the present day. Fabhcún 14:28, 24 June 2006 (GMT)
Rockall is as British as cricket, beer and Wimbledon. Anyone who says otherwise is a knave and a fool and we shall be annexing their territory shortly, as they deserve. MarkThomas 15:20, 24 June 2006 (GMT)
Oh right I never realised just because you said it, it is true!! Fabhcún 15:41, 24 June 2006 (GMT)
Falkland islands etc. are part of UK but not of the EU, EU law does not apply there. See Special member state territories and their relations with the European Union for more info. There are many territories of members states that are not part of the EU. Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are two Dutch examples. Maartenvdbent 21:43, 28 June 2006 (GMT)
No no no no no. Rockall is part of Invernesshire, a county of the UK. This case has nothing whatever to do with the Falklands or ex-colonial territories. Rockall should be on the map of the EU, but hey, they left the whole of Wales off a recent map. so evidently somebody in Brussels knows something we don't! I expect the UK will be renamed "EU offshore immigrant holding facility 1B" any time soon and placed on maps as a small dark square with the legend "not part of the EU due to failure to agree to the currency and the Napoleonic / Hitlerian Federal Superstate Plan" or some such. All kind of puts Rockall in perspective, doesn't it. MarkThomas 22:21, 28 June 2006 (GMT)
Mark are you an Internet troll, Fabhcún 13:33, 29 June 2006 (GMT)
And you are I suspect an EU Commission plant on Wikipedia "Fab-prune". Thank you thank you for defining "internet troll" for me, I would never have known what it is without your help. MarkThomas 15:12, 29 June 2006 (GMT)
If you can't have a civilised conversation you don't belong here, the fact is according to the BCC (which you pointed out), the status of rockall is in dispute, this conversation is about the map, which is too low res to show the rock so it is pointless having this conversation. ps I would apricate it if you did not mock my name Mark Fabhcún 22:18, 29 June 2006 (GMT)
Then don't be so quick to declare people trolls. The facts are against you - it is completely clear that Rockall is a part of mainland UK and so should appear on EU maps. The fact that it doesn't is in the opinion of many, suspicious, just as it is suspicious that Gibralter is never shown separately. These appear to be covert rendering of secret policies held in the EU Commission, which as we have seen many times in recent history, will eventually be issued much to everyone's surprise. I am just pointing out the facts. other people with their own pro-EU motives may query them and attempt to blacken my name. This also goes with the basic point that at the moment this page reads like a piece of propaganda fluff for Brussels rather than an objective page; where the heck are all the criticisms that people have of the EU and it's "institutions" (actually just huge instruments for wasting money on a stunning scale) - not here. There should be a sign on Wikipedia sometimes - "facts not here". MarkThomas 07:36, 30 June 2006 (GMT)
OK, Mark, you're clearly a eurosceptic and you've proven your point, but don't you think this discussion about Rockall is a little bit ridiculous. Where I come from (a country frequently labelled as small) an area of that size (80 by 100 ft or 40 m²) isn't even named, in fact the lot on which my house is built is larger. If you want to prove that the EU is plain wrong because it doesn't put a rock on a map, then you are indeed a troll. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but try to keep your criticism of the EU confined to the relevant things, such as the budget or the democratic deficit (admit, the real thing you want to see displayed here is a map of the UK, right?). You've got to admit, Rockall (no matter whether it is British, Irish, Faroese or Icelandic) is way too small to be included on a map of this scale. I judge by your rhetoric (Anyone who says otherwise is a knave and a fool and we shall be annexing their territory shortly, as they deserve) that you are the kind of person who resorts to threats, if you can't win an argument. About annexing territory, I doubt the UK will ever annex new territories as the UK hasn't yet been able to restore British rule to a derelict dry dock construction (HM Fort Roughs, also known as the Principality of Sealand), right off the British coast. As far as the British Antarctic Territory is concerned, the Antarctic Treaty stipulates that not an inch of Antarctic soil belongs to a country (all claims are suspended or as the Wikipedia article states: Antarctica has no government). If you want to write a section about Criticism of the EU go ahead, but don't include Euromyths like "the EU wants to introduce legislation that bans milk from British schools"-- 19:43, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

France spam

In the section listing economies per capita my computer displays this for France:

" [[France France has been a top tourist place for years and still is. Here are a few sites to use to find out more:


Please feel free to use these!|France]]

1,900,467  "

However when I clicked to edit the article the text wasn't there, but then I preview you the page and the text is there. Is this just my computer or is it also there for other people? and If so it needs to be removed.

Kyle sb 09:54, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Serbia/Montenegro GDP/GDP per capita etc

What are we going to do about this? Somebody has inputted figures, but offered no sources to back them up. Should we just cut the GDP in half for each country and leave a reference saying that this does not represent the true GDP of each state, but represents the combined GDP of them both before independence? That way we get rid of another "[citation needed]" and offer technically factual information. Of course, this can be updated as soon as figures are released for the separate countries. Agree? MichaelJBuck 21:57, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Stats have already been released for Serbia, and Montenegro, by the CIA World Factbook, which is where I took the GDP info from. See [24] and [25]. Thanks, Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 23:47, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Excellent. That's another "[citation needed]" gone. :) MichaelJBuck 23:11, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Institutions of the EU

I removed the European Ombudsman & the European Data Protection Supervisor from the list of "institutions", because they are not institutions. There are only five institutions, as listed in the text of the treaty. I know this sounds strange to some people, but "institutions" is a technical term of EU law, and has a more precise meaning here than it does in ordinary language. The Ombudsman & Data Protection Supervisor are indeed EU bodies, but they do not have institution status. People have to stop adding other things to the list of five. All those other things belong latter on in that section. --SJK 06:44, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Infobox Change

As I said I would earlier, I have created a new Infobox that is more similar to new country Infoboxes, so it may be preferrable. View it here.--MichaelJBuck 19:04, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Largest cities?

I was wondering why Rome is on that list and Athens is not (Athens has a larger Population by a fair bit) (Giorgos 06:33, 15 July 2006 (UTC))

Depends on how you count the population. It seems the Metropolitan Rome population is greater than the Metropolitan Athens population (if going by the Largest European metropolitan areas list, which is a bit infamous by now for its high degree of inaccuracy and lack of cited sources...).
Generally this is a problem plaguing all city size comparisons — as long as one isn't using the same scale of measurement, one is shooting in the dark. The core of the problem is to draw the line where the city ends. Usually the border of the city proper is inadequate, in many cases a substansial portion of what is considered to be part of the city is outside that border. This is ridiculously evident in the case of London, where the City of London completely dwarfs in comparison with Greater London. Counting the urban area or contiguous built-up area is a better measurement, but these figures aren't as easy to come by or aren't as frequently updated, and the method of measurement differs a bit between different countries. And then there can often be areas lying outside the urban area that still are more or less associated in practice with the city. These typically are covered in the concept of a metropolitan area. And again, the fuzzyness of the concept leads to differences of measurement between different cities/countries. In my opinion, the extent of a city lies somewhere between the urban area and the metropolitan area.
In any case, if you can dig up some verifiable numbers of the population, and the people here manage to agree on what figures/where to draw the line regarding the city, and if Athens is by that larger than Rome, then it should reasonably be changed to that. -- TimSE 14:29, 15 July 2006 (UTC)


I don't understand why do you support accention of Turkey in the EU. By my opinion Turkey is an Asian country. You should give them an ultimatum to cede Constantinople to Greece and abandon North Cyprus and feel happy. Better I prefer EU to accept Iceland, Norway, Balarus, Ukraine and then some parts of Russia step by step.--Verger 16:22, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Boohoo, cry me a river. For your information, the city called Istanbul, has a population bigger than the whole of grease and by incorporating it, Turks would become the majority in greece . weird huh? I have a better idea in fact, lets do a trade since you want be a minority in your own country so bad. Northern cyprus and turkish-majority southern bulgaria should join Turkey. Cyprus is a totally artifical state and the second was forcibly incorporated into bulgaria by the russians. No harm done at all here.Herltol 19:03, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't live in Greece and I think the Turks should be transfetrred from Constantinople just as Germans were transferred from Koenigsberg.--Verger 10:44, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Turkey is not wholey in asia it is partly in europe and asia. I support turkish accession so as the west can build relationships and have bridges with muslims in the middle east and artound the world. I agree that Iceland Norway Andorra Switzerland Leichinstein Monaco San Marino Macadonia Ukraine Kosovo Serbia Montnegro Moldova Albania Bosina and Herzogovina Georgia and Azerbiajan. all of these countries need to join the Eu as well but gradually they need to join the queue turkey has finally joined the queue in front of all of those countries. Turkey will one day become a full EU member after all of the issues surounding it have been resolved. Turkey will also Use the Euro coins and thown in the bin the highly devalued Turkish Lira. The Turkish lira will join other currencies in the bin such as the British Pound Swiss Franc Danish Swedish and Nowegian Kronas to name just a few of the many to go in the bin.--Lucy-marie 19:04, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Yea yea. It's only Azrebaijan - that we all need! --Verger 10:44, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Um guys, just in case you didnt know, Wikipedia is not a political forum/soapbox. This talk page is reserved for discussions on the content of the European Union page. Let's keep to that--Cezz 19:11, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Never Turkey will never be a part of theocratic imperialistic blood drinkers league anyhow. In 40 years 3 times Turkey declared to Europe that they will not enter and today just because of Imf and Capital owners(ok ok also some seperatists less than %6) in Turkey wants join but the majority didnt forget 1919 and won't let that happen again by trick instead now they started to sue for war crimes of France and Greece soon comes Britan i hope (i will sue Greece) to Human Rights Court i hope that will drive dirty imperialist hands off my country once and for all. Take Arabs as they love you more they have more blood ties with EU citizens, here no one loves EU nor puppet Turks. Hope soon the customs union will be broken also which for 10 years worked one sided for EU. And Azerbaijan Eu wants only oil there nothing else as after WW1.If Eu wants turkey first all the religious emblems in the member flags must be dropped or changed to a secular one as Turkey doesn't have any religious sybol or writing, but saıdi Arabia has hey take saudi arabia that will be fun watching Arabs in streets of london with their traditional clothes and slave woman behind.But i love one Arabic thing and will be very suitable for this article. YALLAH YALLAH.Opps but the bombs they are walking bombs i forgot your bombs fly theirs walk they evolved in another way....

By the way i am not a Turk just a citizen from caucasus diaspora here. We are neither European nor Asian we are Anatolian.

European Parliamentary Elections

The article states that the MEPs are "directly" elected by the citizens of the EU's member states. I'm not sure this is so: aren't a significant number elected indirectly, through party list based PR systems? Countersubject 13:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

This is in refernce to the situation before 1979 when MEP's were elected by National Parliaments. --Wild ride 14:15, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I understand the context, but a different, more accurate phrasing would be preferable. Party list based PR lets political parties choose at least some of their parliamentary representatives, on the basis of the proportion of the vote received by the party, rather than the individual. This inserts an element of indirection into the election. One can observe this as a matter of fact, without passing judgement on its desirability. Countersubject 09:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Its is what is refered to within the EU and the member states. Read anybook on it and it will refer to direct elections. Even using PR list systems you are voting directly for the party rather the parliament selecting the representatives. --Wild ride 09:42, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree. However, the article didn't say that there are direct elections. It said that the MEPS are directly elected by the people they represent. This is subtly different, and could reasonably be taken to imply imply more than the facts will bear. I think this is one of those cases where it's good to say less :-) Countersubject 12:20, 4 August 2006 (UTC)