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Portal:European Union

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Introduction

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Flag of Europe.svg   Welcome to the European Union Portal!

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 28 member states that are primarily located in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. Institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.

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

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Tratado de Lisboa 13 12 2007 (081).jpg

The Treaty of Lisbon or Lisbon Treaty (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement which amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU). The Lisbon Treaty was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends the Maastricht Treaty (also known as the Treaty on European Union) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC; also known as the Treaty of Rome). In this process, the Rome Treaty was renamed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Prominent changes included the move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in several policy areas in the Council of Ministers, a change in calculating such a majority to a new double majority, a more powerful European Parliament forming a bicameral legislature alongside the Council of ministers under the ordinary legislative procedure, a consolidated legal personality for the EU and the creation of a long-term President of the European Council and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Treaty also made the Union's bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, legally binding.

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Luxembourg

The city of Luxembourg, commonly known as Luxembourg City, is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is located at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers in southern Luxembourg

As of 2005, the commune of Luxembourg City has a population of 76,420, which is almost three times the population of the second most populous commune. The city's metropolitan population, including that of surrounding communes of Hesperange, Sandweiler, Strassen, and Walferdange, is 103,973. Luxembourg City lies at the heart of Western Europe, situated 188 km (117 miles) from Brussels, 289 km (179 miles) from Paris, 190 km (118 miles) from Cologne. Luxembourg City is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, having developed into a banking and administrative centre. Luxembourg is a seat of several institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, and the European Investment Bank.

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Did you know?

...that Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City all mint their own euro coins, with their own national symbols on the back, despite not being EU members?

...that Slovenia will be joining the Euro on January 1, 2007?

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