European union – simple english wikipedia, the free encyclopedia electricity experiments for preschoolers

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The European Union ( abbreviation: EU) is a de facto confederation [11] of 28 member countries in Europe, started in 1957 as the European Economic Community (EEC). It has created a common economic area with Europe-wide laws allowing the citizens of EU countries to move and trade in other EU countries almost the same as they do in their own. Nineteen of these countries also share the same type of money: the euro.

The Treaty of Lisbon is the most recent treaty that says how the Union is run. Every member state signed to say that they each agreed with what it says. Most importantly, it says which jobs ("powers") the Union should do for the members and which jobs they should do themselves. The members decide how the Union should act by voting for or against proposals.

The objective of the EU is to bring its member states closer together with respect of human rights and democracy. It does this with a common style of passport, common rules about fair trading with each other, common agreements about law enforcement, and other agreements. Most members share a common currency (the euro) and most allow people to travel from one country to another without having to show a passport.

After World War II, the countries in Europe wanted to live peacefully together and help one another’s economies. Instead of fighting each other for coal and steel, the first member countries (West) Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg created one European Coal and Steel Community in 1952.

In 1993, with the Treaty of Maastricht it changed its name to the European Union. Now the member countries work together not only in politics and economy (coal, steel and trade), but also in money, justice ( laws), and foreign affairs. With the Schengen Agreement, 22 member countries of the EU opened their borders to each other, so people can now travel from one country to the other without a passport or identity card. Now already 16 member countries have replaced their national currencies with the euro. 10 new countries became members of the EU in 2004, 2 more became members in 2007, and 1 more in 2013. Today there are 28 member countries altogether. Free movement [ change | change source ]

A person who is a citizen of a European Union country can live and work in any of the other 27 member countries without needing a work permit or visa. For example, a French person can move to Greece to work there, or just to live there, and he or she does not need permission from an authority in Greece.

In the same way, products made in one member country can be sold in any other member country without any special permissions or extra taxes. For this reason, the members agree rules on product safety – they want to know that a product made in another country will be as safe as it would be if it had been made in their own. Main institutions [ change | change source ]

Before the Treaty of Lisbon (written in 2007, implemented in 2008) each member state takes a turn at being President of the Council for six months. For example, from January 2007 until July 2007, Germany held the presidency. The six months before that, Finland held the presidency. Now the President of the European Union chairs the council summits. The President of the Council is the organiser and manager and is voted into office for a duration of two and a half years. He or she does not have the power to make decisions about the European Union like the President of the United States does for that country.

Twice a year, the heads of government ( Prime Ministers) and/or the heads of state ( Presidents) meet to talk about the main issues and make decisions on different issues. This meeting is different and not as formal. It is known as a European Council. Note: This is not the same thing as the Council of Europe , which is not part of the European Union. European Commission [ change | change source ]

• ↑ Cybriwsky, Roman Adrian (2013). Capital Cities around the World: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610692489. Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is considered to be the de facto capital of the EU

• ↑ "Discrimination in the EU in 2012" (PDF), Special Eurobarometer, 393, European Union: European Commission, p. 233, 2012, archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2012 , retrieved 14 August 2013 The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be…?" With a card showing: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, and Non-believer/Agnostic. Space was given for Other (SPONTANEOUS) and DK. Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu did not reach the 1% threshold.

• ↑ Current Article 1 of the Treaty on European Union reads:"The Union shall be founded on the present Treaty and on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Those two Treaties shall have the same legal value. The Union shall replace and succeed the European Community".

• ↑ Cybriwsky, Roman Adrian (2013). Capital Cities around the World: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610692489. Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is considered to be the de facto capital of the EU