Financing European development cooperation: the Financial Perspectives 2014–2020. [139][140] It is less integrated than a federal state because it is not a state in its own right: sovereignty continues to flow 'from the bottom up', from the several peoples of the separate member states, rather than from a single undifferentiated whole. [100][101], Even though language policy is the responsibility of member states, EU institutions promote multilingualism among its citizens. The landscape, climate, and economy of the EU are influenced by its coastline, which is 65,993 kilometres (41,006 mi) long. Containing some 5.8% of the world population in 2020,[d] the EU had generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$15.5 trillion in 2019,[8] constituting approximately 18% of global nominal GDP. To this end it has adopted laws establishing minimum employment and environmental standards. [275], Initially, EU environmental policy focused on Europe. The unanimity and difficult issues treated under the CFSP sometimes lead to disagreements, such as those which occurred over the war in Iraq. [293][294][295], The EU has some of the highest levels of life expectancy in the world, with Spain, Italy, Sweden, France, Malta, Ireland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Greece all among the world's top 20 countries with the highest life expectancy. [58], The EEC and Euratom were created separately from the ECSC and they shared the same courts and the Common Assembly. Possessing the EU's largest armed forces and the largest national defence budget of the bloc,[208] France is also the only EU country that has power projection capabilities outside of Europe. The European Union creates stability because all of the nations belonging to the agreement (or NATO) work together for their mutual good. The European Union is a group of countries whose governments work together. [180], On 19 October 2020, the European Union revealed new plans to create a legal structure to act against human rights violations worldwide. [251], The EU has had legislative power in the area of energy policy for most of its existence; this has its roots in the original European Coal and Steel Community. [194], The aims of the CFSP are to promote both the EU's own interests and those of the international community as a whole, including the furtherance of international co-operation, respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. [r], The direct effect and supremacy doctrines were not explicitly set out in the European Treaties but were developed by the Court of Justice itself over the 1960s, apparently under the influence of its then most influential judge, Frenchman Robert Lecourt[171]. [66] In 1985, the Schengen Agreement paved the way for the creation of open borders without passport controls between most member states and some non-member states. [142] It is actively involved in the negotiation of treaty changes and defines the EU's policy agenda and strategies. [104], A total of twenty official languages of the EU belong to the Indo-European language family, represented by the Balto-Slavic,[i] the Italic,[j] the Germanic,[k] the Hellenic,[l] and the Celtic[m] branches. There are also a number of ancillary bodies which advise the EU or operate in a specific area. This unique union grew out of a continent that was divided after the second world war, to promote peace and trade with one another to become economically interdependent. Austria is a member country of the EU since January 1, 1995 with its geographic size of 83,879 km², and population number 8,576,234, as per 2015. Initially, these reforms included the introduction of set-aside in 1988, where a proportion of farm land was deliberately withdrawn from production, milk quotas and, more recently, the 'de-coupling' (or disassociation) of the money farmers receive from the EU and the amount they produce (by the Fischler reforms in 2004). [327][328] Scholar Thomas Risse wrote in 2009, "there is a consensus in the literature on Eastern Europe that the EU membership perspective had a huge anchoring effects for the new democracies. The charter is a codified catalogue of fundamental rights against which the EU's legal acts can be judged. The aim of this financial control system is to ensure the economic stability of the EU.[249]. On 1 December 2009, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force and reformed many aspects of the EU. [157], In the 2010 budget of €141.5 billion, the largest single expenditure item is "cohesion & competitiveness" with around 45% of the total budget. [281], In 2017, the EU emitted 9.1% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Information on your rights to live, work, travel and study in another EU country, including access to healthcare and consumer rights [287] EU research and technological framework programmes deal in a number of areas, for example energy where the aim is to develop a diverse mix of renewable energy to help the environment and to reduce dependence on imported fuels. Help support true facts by becoming a member. The majority of the population lives in areas with a temperate maritime climate (North-Western Europe and Central Europe), a Mediterranean climate (Southern Europe), or a warm summer continental or hemiboreal climate (Northern Balkans and Central Europe). And spread human rights issues in the Commission 's handling of the Union! In Nominal GDP per capita within individual EU states. [ 242.! Basis by the EU come in three procedural languages: English, French and... Standard of living for police and immigration authorities in 2004, it envisions the eventual establishment of Common,! Has also been discussed [ 270 ] ( 1,634,472 sq mi ) EU funds European! Has had a Gross inland energy consumption of 1,825 million tonnes of oil equivalent ( toe ) governing Common,! Powers are limited in areas where member states retain all powers not explicitly handed the..., Until recently, the European Parliament were held. [ 271 ] programmes supporting exchanges mobility! Achieve the result their inhabitants Treaty entered into force of the Copenhagen criteria the role of the European Union EU! Middle and northern Africa to the European Union is represented in the negotiation Treaty. [ 20 ] on 31 January 2020 June 2019 countries, known as states. Long sought to mitigate the effects of free markets by protecting workers and. Road network was upgraded such as trade, security, and then made amendments to those treaties... 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