36 Facts About European Union


European Union is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.

FactSnippet No. 437,053

The original member states of what came to be known as the European Union Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.

FactSnippet No. 437,054

In March 1948 the Treaty of Brussels was signed, establishing the Western European Union, followed by the International Authority for the Ruhr.

FactSnippet No. 437,055

In 1986, the European Union flag began to be used by the EEC and the Single European Union Act was signed.

FactSnippet No. 437,056

European Union was formally established when the Maastricht Treaty—whose main architects were Horst Kohler, Helmut Kohl and Francois Mitterrand—came into force on 1 November 1993.

FactSnippet No. 437,057

In particular, it changed the legal structure of the European Union, merging the EU three pillars system into a single legal entity provisioned with a legal personality, created a permanent president of the European Council, the first of which was Herman Van Rompuy, and strengthened the position of the high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy.

FactSnippet No. 437,058

European Union has 24 official languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish.

FactSnippet No. 437,059

Important documents, such as legislation, are translated into every official language and the European Union Parliament provides translation for documents and plenary sessions.

FactSnippet No. 437,060

The European Commission conducts its internal business in three procedural languages: English, French, and German Similarly, the Court of Justice of the European Union uses French as the working language, while the European Central Bank conducts its business primarily in English.

FactSnippet No. 437,061

Catalan, Galician and Basque are not recognised official languages of the European Union but have official status in one member state: therefore, official translations of the treaties are made into them and citizens have the right to correspond with the institutions in these languages.

FactSnippet No. 437,062

Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognises the "status under national law of churches and religious associations" as well as that of "philosophical and non-confessional organisations".

FactSnippet No. 437,063

Christians in the European Union are divided among members of Catholicism, numerous Protestant denominations (Anglicans, Lutherans, and Reformed forming the bulk of this category), and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

FactSnippet No. 437,064

European Union operates through a hybrid system of supranational and intergovernmental decision-making, and according to the principles of conferral and of subsidiarity (which says that it should act only where an objective cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states acting alone).

FactSnippet No. 437,065

Main legal acts of the European Union come in three forms: regulations, directives, and decisions.

FactSnippet No. 437,066

The latter is a decentralized independent body of the European Union, established under the Treaty of Lisbon between 22 of the 27 states of the EU following the method of enhanced cooperation.

FactSnippet No. 437,067

Tasks for the president of the European Union Council are ensuring the external representation of the EU, driving consensus and resolving divergences among member states, both during meetings of the European Union Council and over the periods between them.

FactSnippet No. 437,068

European Parliament is one of three legislative institutions of the EU, which together with the Council of the European Union is tasked with amending and approving the European Commission's proposals.

FactSnippet No. 437,069

The president of the European Union Parliament carries out the role of speaker in Parliament and represents it externally.

FactSnippet No. 437,070

Judicial branch of the European Union is formally called the Court of Justice of the European Union and consists of two courts: the Court of Justice and the General Court.

FactSnippet No. 437,071

European Union is the largest exporter in the world and in 2008 was the largest importer of goods and services.

FactSnippet No. 437,072

The European Union represents all its members at the World Trade Organization, and acts on behalf of member states in any disputes.

FactSnippet No. 437,073

European Union has concluded free trade agreements and other agreements with a trade component with many countries worldwide and is negotiating with many others.

FactSnippet No. 437,074

However, in May 2022, it was reported that the European Union is preparing another sanction against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

FactSnippet No. 437,075

European Union is working to improve cross-border infrastructure, for example through the Trans-European Networks.

FactSnippet No. 437,076

ECB is the central institution of the Banking European Union established within the eurozone and manages its Single Supervisory Mechanism.

FactSnippet No. 437,077

European Union Border and Coast Guard Agency is an agency of the EU aiming to detect and stop illegal immigration, human trafficking and terrorist infiltration, having since 2015 a stronger role and mandate along with national authorities for border management.

FactSnippet No. 437,078

On 19 October 2020, the European Union revealed new plans to create a legal structure to act against human rights violations worldwide.

FactSnippet No. 437,079

Predecessors of the European Union were not devised as a military alliance because NATO was largely seen as appropriate and sufficient for defence purposes.

FactSnippet No. 437,080

European Union uses foreign relations instruments like the European Neighbourhood Policy which seeks to tie those countries to the east and south of the European territory of the EU to the union.

FactSnippet No. 437,081

European Union has long sought to mitigate the effects of free markets by protecting workers' rights and preventing social and environmental dumping.

FactSnippet No. 437,082

The European Union Green Capital is an annual award given to cities that focuses on the environment, energy efficiency, and quality of life in urban areas to create smart city.

FactSnippet No. 437,083

Since 2008, the organisers of this prize, in conjunction with the European Union Parliament, have awarded the Charlemagne Youth Prize in recognition of similar efforts led by young people.

FactSnippet No. 437,084

Majority of media in the European Union are national-orientated, although some EU-wide media focusing on European affairs have emerged since the early 1990s, such as Euronews, Eurosport, EUobserver, EURACTIV or Politico Europe.

FactSnippet No. 437,085

MEDIA Programme of the European Union has supported the European popular film and audiovisual industries since 1991.

FactSnippet No. 437,086

European Union has had a significant positive economic effect on most member states.

FactSnippet No. 437,087

European Union has contributed to peace in Europe, in particular by pacifying border disputes, and to the spread of democracy, especially by encouraging democratic reforms in aspiring Eastern European member states after the collapse of the USSR.

FactSnippet No. 437,088