欧州連合

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欧州連合
Circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background
モットー:  InVarietate Concordia (ラテン語)
「ユナイテッド・イン・ダイバーシティ」
国歌:  「欧州の国歌」(インストゥルメンタル)
Global European Union.svg
Special member state territories and the European Union.svg
機関の席ブリュッセル

フランクフルト

ルクセンブルク市

ストラスブール

  • 議会(公式議席)
最大の大都市パリ
公用語
公式スクリプト
宗教
(2015)[3]
住民の呼称ヨーロッパ人
タイプ超国家連合
加盟諸国
政府政府間
ウルズラフォンデアライエン
デビッドサッソーリ
シャルル・ミシェル
 スロベニア
フォーメーション[4]
1951年4月18日
1958年1月1日
1987年7月1日
1993年11月1日
2009年12月1日
2013年7月1日(クロアチア
2020年1月31日(イギリス
領域
• 合計
4,233,262 km 2(1,634,472平方マイル)
• 水 (%)
3.08
人口
•2020年の見積もり
Decrease447,706,209 [5]
• 密度
106 / km 2(274.5 /平方マイル)
GDP  PPP2021年の見積もり
• 合計
Increase20.918 ドル[6]
• 一人あたり
46,888ドル
GDP  (名目)2021年の見積もり
• 合計
Increase17.128 ドル[6]
• 一人あたり
38,256ドル
ジニ (2019)Positive decrease 30.2 [7]
HDI  (2019)Increase 0.911 [8]
非常に高い ・ 14日
通貨ユーロEUR ; ;ユーロ圏)および
他9人
タイムゾーンUTC からUTC + 2 WET CET EET
•夏(DST
UTC + 1からUTC + 3 WEST CEST EEST
ヨーロッパの夏時間も参照[b]
インターネットTLD.eu [c]
ウェブサイト
エウロパ.EU

欧州連合EUは)の政治・経済同盟である27の加盟国に主に位置しているヨーロッパ[9]組合の総面積は4,233,255.3km 2(1,634,469.0平方マイル)で、推定総人口は約 4億4,700万人です。内部単一市場、これらの問題に関してすべての加盟国に適用される標準化された法体を通じて確立されており、州が1つとして行動することに同意した場合にのみ適用されます。 EUの政策は、国内市場内での人、物、サービス、資本の自由な移動を確保することを目的としています。[10]司法および内務に関する法律を制定する。貿易[11] 農業[12] 水産業および地域開発に関する共通の政策を維持します。[13]シェンゲン圏内の旅行のためのパスポート管理は廃止されました[14] 通貨同盟は、1999年に設立され、2002年に完全に発効しユーロ通貨を使用する19の加盟国構成されいますEUは、連邦または連合のいずれかの特徴を備えsui Generisの政治的実体(前例や比較なし)として説明されることがよくあります。[15][16]

組合とEU市民権、1993年にマーストリヒト条約が発効したときに設立されました。[17] EUは、それぞれによって設立された欧州石炭鋼共同体(ECSC)と欧州経済共同体(EEC)にその起源をたどります。1951年のパリ条約と1957年のローマ条約欧州共同体として知られるようになった最初の加盟国は、ベルギー、フランス、イタリア、ルクセンブルグ、オランダ、西ドイツの6でした。コミュニティとその後継者は、新しい加盟国の加盟によって規模が拡大しましそして、彼らの任務に政策分野を追加することによって権力を握っています。英国は、2020年1月31日にEU離脱した最初の加盟国になりました[18]。これまで、加盟国の3つの地域がEUまたはその前身を離脱してました。 EUの憲法上の基礎に対する最新の主要な改正であるリスボン条約が2009年に発効しました。

2020年には世界人口の約5.8%を含み[d] EUは2021年に17.1兆米ドルの名目国内総生産(GDP)を生み出しました[6]。これは世界の名目GDPの約18%を構成します。[20] [より良い情報源が必要]さらに、国連開発計画によれば、すべてのEU加盟国は非常に高い人間開発指数を持っています。 2012年、EUはノーベル平和賞を受賞しました[21]共通外交・安全保障政策を通じて 、組合は対外関係防衛において役割を果たしてきましたそれは世界中で恒久的な外交使節団を維持、国連世界貿易機関G7およびG20代表を務めていますその世界的な影響力のために、欧州連合は一部の学者によって新興の超大国として説明されてきました[22] [23] [24]

歴史

年末以来、第二次世界大戦主権 の欧州諸国は条約を締結しているし、それによって政策(または同時操作と調和プール主権いわゆる内の領域の数が増加中)、欧州の統合プロジェクトヨーロッパの建設をフランス語laconstructioneuropéenne)。次のタイムラインは、この統一の主要な枠組みである欧州連合(EU)の法的な発足の概要を示していますEUは、現在の責任の多くを、1950年代に設立された欧州共同体(EC)から受け継いでいます。シューマン宣言

凡例:
   S:署名
  F:発効
  T:終了
  E:事実上の交代の有効期限Rel。EC / EUフレームワーク付き:
   
  
   事実上の内部
   
                  Flag of Europe.svg 欧州連合 (EU) [続き ]  
Flag of Europe.svg 欧州共同体 (EC) (第1の柱)
欧州原子力共同体(EAECまたはユーラトム) [続き ]      
Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community 6 Star Version.svg/ Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community 9 Star Version.svg/ Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community 10 Star Version.svg/欧州石炭鉄鋼共同体(ECSC)Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community 12 Star Version.svg  
    欧州経済共同体 (EEC)    
            シェンゲン協定 欧州共同体(EC)
「TREVI」 正義と内務 (JHA、第2の柱)  
  Flag of NATO.svg 北大西洋条約機構 (NATO) [続き ] 刑事 事件における警察と司法の協力(PJCC、第2の柱
Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
英仏同盟
[ NATOに渡され防衛腕 ] 欧州政治協力 (EPC)   共通外交・安全保障政策
(CFSP、第IIIの柱
Flag of the Western Union.svg ウエスタンユニオン(WU) Flag of the Western European Union (1993-1995).svg/西欧同盟(WEU) Flag of the Western European Union.svg [タスクWEUの1984次のように定義再活性化が 手渡さEU ]
     
[ CoEに渡される社会的、文化的タスク] [続き ]                
    Flag of Europe.svg 欧州評議会 (CoE)
ダンケルク条約¹S
:1947年3月4日
F:1947年9月8日
E:1997年9月8日
ブリュッセル条約¹S
:1948年3月17日
F:1948年8月25日
T:2011年6月30日
ロンドンワシントンの条約
¹S:1949年5月5日/ 4月4日
F:1949年8月3日/ 8月24日
パリ条約:ECSCEDC
S:4月18日1951年から1927年1952年5月
F:1952年7月23日/ -
E:2002年7月23日/ -
議定書の変更及び
完了ブリュッセル条約
¹
S:1954年10月23日
F:1955年5月6日
ローマ条約:EEC²およびEAEC
S:1957年3月25日
F:1958年1月1日
WEU-COE契約¹
S:1959年10月21日
F:1960年1月1日
ブリュッセル(合併)条約³S
:1965年4月8日
F:1967年7月1日
ダヴィニョンレポート
S:1970年10月27日
欧州理事会の結論
S:1975年12月2日
単一欧州
議定書(SEA)S:1986年2月17/28日
F:1987年7月1日
シェンゲン協定条約
S:1985年6月14日/ 1990年6月19日
F:1995年3月26日
マーストリヒト条約² ⁴S
:1992年2月7日
F:1993年11月1日
アムステルダム条約
S:1997年10月2日
F:1999年5月1日
ニース条約
S:2001年2月26日
F:2003年2月1日
リスボン条約⁵S
:2007年12月13日
F:2009年12月1日
¹EU条約自体はありませんが、これらの条約は、CFSPの主要部分であるEU防衛部門の開発影響を及ぼしました。ダンケルク条約によって確立されたフランスとイギリスの同盟は、事実上WUに取って代わられました。 CFSPの柱は、1955年のブリュッセル条約(MBT)の権限の範囲内で確立されたセキュリティ構造のいくつかによって強化されました。ブリュッセル条約は2011年終了し、その結果、リスボン条約がEUに規定した相互防衛条項がWEUを不必要にすると考えられたため、WEUは解散しました。したがって、EUは事実上WEUに取って代わりました。
マーストリヒトとローマの²The条約は、EUの形成法的根拠を、とも呼ばれ、欧州連合条約(TEU)と欧州連合の機能に条約それぞれ、(TFEU)。それらは二次条約によって修正されます。
³欧州共同体は、共通の制度と共通の法人格(すなわち、例えば、それ自体で条約に署名する能力)を獲得しました。
⁴1993年のEUの設立から2009年の統合までの間、連合は3つの柱構成され、その最初のは欧州共同体でした。他の2つの柱は、EUの権限に追加された追加の協力分野で構成されていました。
⁵統合は、EUが欧州共同体の法人格継承し、柱システムが廃止されたことを意味し、その結果、すべての政策分野をカバーするEUの枠組みが生まれました。代わりに、各分野の行政権/立法権はEU機関加盟国のの能力の分布によって決定されました。この分布、および全会一致が必要であり、適格多数決が可能である政策分野に関する条約の規定は、EU統合の深さ、およびEUの部分的に超国家的および部分的に政府間の性質を反映しています。
欧州政治共同体(EPC)を設立する計画は、フランスが欧州防衛共同体(EDC)を設立する条約を批准しなかったために棚上げされましたEPCは、ECSCとEDCを組み合わせたものです。

バックグラウンド

フランク帝国の大部分は、およそ。西暦814年。

続く世紀の間に、ローマの秋を476に、いくつかのヨーロッパ諸国のように自分自身を見たtranslatio imperii故人となったの(「ルールの転送」)ローマ帝国フランク王国(481から843)と神聖ローマ帝国(962から1806 )それによって西のローマを復活させる試みでした。[E]大陸を超える超国家規則のこの政治哲学、古代ローマ帝国の例と同様に、というコンセプトで中世初期の結果RENOVATIO imperii、(「帝国の復元」)[27 ]ライヒサイドの形で(「帝国の考え」)[28]または宗教的に触発されたImperiumChristianum(「キリスト教帝国」)。 [29] [30]中世キリスト教世界との政治権力教皇は、ヨーロッパの統合と団結を助長するとして引用されています。 [31] [32] [33] [34] [関連性がありますか? ]

大陸の東部では、ロシアツァーリ国、そして最終的には帝国(1547–1917)が、1453年にコンスタンティノープル陥落後、モスクワを第3ローマであり、東方の伝統を受け継い宣言しました。[35]ギリシャ東部のギャップラテン西はすでに4世紀のローマ帝国との政治的切断によって広がっていた1054年の大分裂[36] [37] [38] 最終的により再び広げることでしょう鉄のカーテン(1945年から1991年) 2004年以降、東ヨーロッパに向けて欧州連合が拡大する前。[39] [40] [関連する? ]

ナポレオン帝国の崩壊(1804〜 1815年)後のフランスアメリカの独立革命のリベラルな考えに触発されて、汎ヨーロッパの政治思想は19世紀に真に現れましたウィーン会議の結果に続く数十年[41]、特にWojciechJastrzębowski(1799–1882)[42]またはGiuseppe Mazzini(1805–1872)の著作において、ヨーロッパの統一の理想が大陸全体で栄えました[43]当時、ヨーロッパ合衆国フランス語États-Unisd'Europeという用語はヴィクトル・ユーゴーによって使用されていました。(1802–1885)1849年にパリで開催された国際平和会議での演説中

私たちの大陸のすべての国がヨーロッパの同胞団を形成する日が来る...私たちが見る日が来る...アメリカ合衆国とヨーロッパ合衆国は向かい合って、向かい合って手を差し伸べる海。[44]

中に戦間期、対立かかわらずヨーロッパの国家市場は、海の反対側に大きく、成長している米国市場の観測とともに、相互に依存していることを意識が大陸の経済統合のための衝動を養わ。[45] 1920年、欧州経済共同体の創設を提唱し、英国の経済学者ジョン・メイナード・ケインズは、「自由労働組合を設立すべきである...他の組合員の生産物に対して保護貿易主義の関税を課すべきではない」と書いた。[46]同じ10年の間に、ヨーロッパの現代の政治連合を最初に想像した人の1人であるリヒャルトフォンクーデンホーブカレルギ汎ヨーロッパ運動[47]彼の考えは彼の同時代人に影響を与え、その中には当時のフランスの アリスティード・ブリアン首相がいた1929年、後者は、組立の前に、欧州連合(EU)の賛成でスピーチをした国際連盟の前駆国連[48] 1943年3月のラジオ演説で、戦争は依然として激しさを増しており、英国の指導者であるウィンストン・チャーチルは、勝利が達成された後、「ヨーロッパの真の偉大さを回復する」と温かく語り、戦後の「評議会」の創設について熟考した。平和を構築するためにヨーロッパ諸国を結集するだろう」。[49] [50]

暫定版(1945–1957)

中会議騎士のホールでのハーグ会議(1948年5月9日)の間に、

第二次世界大戦後、ヨーロッパ統合は、大陸の一部を荒廃させた極端なナショナリズムへの解毒剤と見なされていました。[51] 1946年9月19日にスイスのチューリッヒ大学で行われた演説でウィンストン・チャーチルはさらに進んで、アメリカ合衆国の出現を提唱した[52] 1948年のハーグ会議は、欧州運動インターナショナルヨーロッパの将来の指導者が一緒に住み、勉強するヨーロッパ大学の創設につながったため、ヨーロッパ連邦の歴史において極めて重要な瞬間でした[53]

それはまた、1949年に欧州評議会の設立に直接つながりました。これは、ヨーロッパの国々、最初は10か国をまとめるための最初の大きな努力でした。評議会は、経済や貿易の問題ではなく、主に価値観(人権と民主主義)に焦点を当て、主権政府が超国家的な権威なしに協力することを選択できるフォーラムとして常に構想されていました。それはさらなるヨーロッパ統合への大きな期待を引き起こし、これをどのように達成できるかについてその後の2年間で熱狂的な議論がありました。

しかし、1952年、欧州評議会内で進展が見られなかったことに失望し、6か国がさらに進んで、「欧州連合の第一歩」と宣言された欧州石炭鉄鋼共同体を創設することを決定しました。 。[54]このコミュニティは、米国からの多数のマーシャルプラン基金を経済的に統合および調整するのに役立ちました[55]ヨーロッパの指導者、イタリアのアルチーデ・デ・ガスペリ、フランスのジャン・モネロベール・シューマンポール・アンリ・スパークベルギーの出身者は、石炭と鉄鋼が戦争を行うために不可欠な2つの産業であることを理解し、両国の産業を結びつけることにより、両国間の将来の戦争の可能性がはるかに低くなると信じていました。[56]これらの男性およびその他の人々は、欧州連合の創設者として公式に認められています。

ローマ条約(1957–1992)

欧州連合の加盟国(1993年以前の欧州共同体)の大陸地域。加盟順に色分けされています。

1957年、ベルギー、フランス、イタリア、ルクセンブルグ、オランダ、西ドイツがローマ条約に署名し欧州経済共同体(EEC)が創設され、関税同盟が設立されました。彼らはまた、作成し、別の協定調印欧州原子力共同体の開発に協力するために(ユーラトム)原子力エネルギーを。両方の条約は1958年に発効した。[56]

EECとユーラトムはECSCとは別に作成され、同じ裁判所と共通議会を共有していました。 EECが率いるたヴァルター・ハルシュタインハルシュタイン委員会)とユーラトムが率いるれたルイ・アルマンアルマン委員会)、その後、エティエンヌハーシュ。 Euratomは、EECが加盟国間の関税同盟を発展させる一方で、セクターを原子力エネルギーに統合することでした。[57] [58]

1960年代に緊張が高まり始め、フランスは超国家的な権力を制限しようとしました。それにもかかわらず、1965年に合意に達し、1967年7月1日に、合併条約は3つのコミュニティのための単一の機関セットを作成しました。これらはまとめて欧州共同体と呼ばれていました[59] [60] ジャン・レイ は最初の合併委員会(レイ委員会)を主宰し[61]

1973年には、コミュニティは(を含むデンマーク含まれるように拡大されたグリーンランド後で、コミュニティを残した漁業権をめぐる争い以下、1985年)、アイルランド、イギリス[62]ノルウェーは同時に参加することを交渉していたが、ノルウェーの有権者は国民投票への参加を拒否した。 1979年、欧州議会へ最初の直接選挙が行われました。[63]

ギリシャは1981年に加盟し、ポルトガルとスペインは1986年に続いた。[64] 1985年、シェンゲン協定は、ほとんどの加盟国と一部の非加盟国との間にパスポート管理なしの国境開放の創設への道を開いた。[65] 1986年に、欧州旗がEEC [66]によって使用され始め単一欧州法が署名されました。

1990年に、後に東側の秋、旧東ドイツの一環として、地域社会の一部となった統一ドイツ[67]

マーストリヒト条約(1992–2007)

欧州連合は、1993年11月1日にマーストリヒト条約(主な建築家はヘルムートコールフランソワミッテラン)発効したときに正式に設立されました[17] [68]条約は、たとえそれがあったとしても、EECに欧州共同体という名前を付けました。条約の前にそのように呼ばれました。中央および東ヨーロッパの旧共産主義国キプロスおよびマルタを含むようにさらに拡大することが計画されており、候補メンバーがEUに参加するためコペンハーゲン基準は1993年6月に合意されました。EUの拡大は新しいレベルの複雑さと不和。[69] 1995年、オーストリア、フィンランド、スウェーデンEUに加盟しました。

ユーロは12件の国家の通貨を交換する、2002年に導入されました。それ以来、7カ国が参加しています。

2002年には、12の加盟国でユーロ紙幣と硬貨が自国通貨に取って代わりました。それ以来、ユーロ圏は19か国を含むように拡大しました。ユーロ通貨は世界で2番目に大きい準備通貨になりました。2004年、キプロス、チェコ共和国、エストニア、ハンガリー、ラトビア、リトアニア、マルタ、ポーランド、スロバキア、スロベニアがEUに加盟したとき、EUはこれまでで最大の拡大を遂げました。[70]

リスボン条約(2007年〜現在)

2007年、ブルガリアとルーマニアはEU加盟国になりました。その年の後半、スロベニアはユーロを採用し[70]、2008年にキプロスとマルタ、2009年にスロバキア、2011年にエストニア、2014年にラトビア、2015年にリトアニアが続いた。

古代ローマのアゴラは、2021年6月16日にギリシャのアテネで開催された次世代EUイベント中に照らされました。

2009年12月1日、リスボン条約が発効し、EUの多くの側面が改革されました。特に、マージ、欧州連合の法的構造を変えEU三本柱のでプロビジョニング単一の法人にシステムを法的人格永久作成し、欧州理事会の会長を、そのうちの最初でしたヘルマン・ファン・ロンパウ、および強化します外務・安全保障政策に関する連合の最高代表の地位[71] [72]

2012年、EUは「ヨーロッパの平和と和解、民主主義、人権の進歩に貢献した」ことでノーベル平和賞受賞しました。[73] [74] 2013年、クロアチアは28番目のEU加盟国になりました。[75]

2010年代の初めからは、欧州連合の結束は、以下を含むいくつかの問題によってテストされているユーロ圏諸国の一部の債務危機アフリカやアジアからの移住が増加し、EUからのイギリスの撤退[76]欧州連合(EU)の加盟に英国の投票を残すように投票者の51.9パーセントで、2016年に開催されました。[77]英国は、2017年3月29日に離脱する決定を欧州理事会に正式に通知し、EU離脱正式な撤退手続きを開始した。; プロセスの延長に続いて、英国は2020年1月31日に欧州連合を去りましたが、EU法のほとんどの分野は、2020年12月31日の23:00GMTまで続く移行期間の間英国に適用され続けました。[78]

人口統計

人口

2020年2月1日の時点で、欧州連合の人口は約4億4700万人(世界人口の5.8パーセント)でした。[79] [80] 2015年、 EU-28で510万人の子供が生まれました。これは、1,000人あたり10人の出生率に相当し、世界平均を8人下回っています。[81]比較のために、EU-28の出生率は2000年に10.6、1985年に12.8、1970年に16.3であった。[82]その人口増加率は2016年に推定0.23パーセントで正であった。[83]

2010年に は、EUに住む4,730万人が居住国以外で生まれました。これは、EUの総人口の9.4パーセントに相当します。これらのうち、3,140 万人(6.3%)はEU域外で生まれ、 1,600万人(3.2%)は別のEU加盟国で生まれました。 EU域外で生まれた人の絶対数が最も多いのは、ドイツ(640 万人)、フランス(510 万人)、イギリス(470 万人)、スペイン(410 万人)、イタリア(320 万人)、オランダ(140 人)でした。)。[84] 2017年には、約825,000人が欧州連合加盟国の市民権取得しました最大のグループモロッコ、アルバニア、インド、トルコ、パキスタンの国民でした。[85]非EU諸国からの240 人の移民が2017年にEUに入った。[86] [87]

都市化

EUには、人口 100万人を超える約40の都市部があります。 1300万の人口を持つ[88] パリは最大の大都市圏のみである大都市EUインチ[89]パリに続いて、マドリッドバルセロナベルリンルール地方ミラノローマがあり、すべて400 人を超える大都市圏の人口を抱えています。[90]

EUにはライン・ルーアケルンドルトムントデュッセルドルフ他)、ランドスタッドアムステルダムロッテルダムハーグユトレヒト他)、フランクフルト・ライン・マインフランクフルトヴィースバーデンマインツなどの多中心都市化地域も数多くあります。。)、フランダースダイヤモンドアントワープブリュッセルルーヴェンゲント他)およびアッパーシレジア地域KatowiceOstrava et al。)。[89]


言語

話者の割合による公用語(2020年2月現在[92]、2012年の調査[93]に基づく
言語 ネイティブスピーカー[f] [94] 合計[g] [95]
ドイツ人 18% 32%
フランス語 13% 26%
イタリアの 12% 16%
スペイン語 8% 15%
研磨 8% 9%
ルーマニア語 5% 5%
オランダの 4% 5%
ギリシャ語 3% 4%
ハンガリー語 3% 3%
ポルトガル語 2% 3%
チェコ語 2% 3%
スウェーデンの 2% 3%
ブルガリア語 2% 2%
英語 1% 51%
スロバキア 1% 2%
デンマーク語 1% 1%
フィンランド語 1% 1%
リトアニア語 1% 1%
クロアチア語 1% 1%
スロベニア <1% <1%
エストニア語 <1% <1%
アイルランド語 <1% <1%
ラトビア語 <1% <1%
マルタ語 <1% <1%

欧州連合には24の公用語があります:ブルガリア語クロアチア語チェコ語デンマーク語オランダ語英語エストニア語フィンランド語フランス語ドイツ語ギリシャ語ハンガリー語イタリア語アイルランド語ラトビア語リトアニア語マルタ語ポーランド語ポルトガル語ルーマニア語スロベニア語スロベニア語スペイン語、およびスウェーデン語法律などの重要な文書はすべての公用語に翻訳されており、欧州議会は文書と本会議の翻訳を提供しています。[96] [97]

公用語の数が多いため、ほとんどの教育機関はほんの一握りの作業言語しか使用していません。欧州委員会は、英語、フランス語、ドイツ語の3つの手続き型言語で社内業務を行っています。[1]同様に、欧州連合司法裁判所はフランス語を作業言語として使用し[98]欧州中央銀行は主に英語で事業を行っています。[99] [100]

にもかかわらず、言語政策は、加盟国の責任であり、EUの機関は、市民の間で多言語主義を推進しています。[h] [101] 2012年、英語はEUで最も広く話されている言語であり、ネイティブスピーカーと非ネイティブスピーカーの両方を数えると、EU人口の51%に理解されていました。しかし、2020年初頭に英国がブロックから脱退した後、母国語として英語を話すEU人口の割合は13%から1%に減少しました。[102]ドイツ語は最も広く話されている母国語(EU人口の18%)であり、2番目に広く理解されている外国語であり、フランス語(EU人口の13%)がそれに続きます。さらに、どちらもいくつかのEU加盟国の公用語です。 EU市民の半数以上(56%)が、母国語以外の言語で会話をすることができます。[103]

属しEUの20の公用語の合計インド・ヨーロッパ 語族に代表される、バルト・スラヴ[I]斜体[J]ゲルマン[K]ギリシャ[L]ケルト[ m]枝。インド・ヨーロッパ語族ではないのはハンガリー語フィンランド語エストニア語(3つすべてのウラル語)、マルタ語セム語)の4つの言語だけです。[104]欧州連合の3つの公式アルファベット(キリル文字ラテン文字、および現代ギリシャ語)はすべて、アルカイック期のギリシャ語の文字から派生しています。[2] [105]

ルクセンブルク語(ルクセンブルク語)とトルコ語(キプロス語)は、EUの公式言語ではない唯一の2つの国語です。2016年2月26日、キプロスがトルコ語をEUの公式言語にするよう要請したことが公表されました。これは、国の分裂を解決するのに役立つ可能性のある「ジェスチャー」です[106]すでに2004年に、キプロスが再会したときにトルコ語が公用語になることが計画されていた。[107]

24の公用語に加えて、最大5,000万人が話す、約150の地域および少数民族の言語があります。[104] カタロニア語ガリシア語バスク語は欧州連合の公用語として認められていませんが、1つの加盟国(スペイン)で公式の地位を持っています。したがって、条約の公式翻訳が行われ、市民は機関と連絡を取る権利があります。これらの言語で。[108] [109]ヨーロッパ地方言語・少数言語憲章最もEUによって批准は国が彼らの言語的遺産を保護するために従うことができるという一般的なガイドラインを提供して述べています。 NSヨーロッパ言語の日は毎年9月26日に開催され、ヨーロッパ全体で言語学習を奨励することを目的としています。[110]

宗教

欧州連合における宗教的所属(2015)[3]
所属 EU人口のパーセント
キリスト教徒 71.6 71.6
 
カトリック 45.3 45.3
 
プロテスタント 11.1 11.1
 
東方正教会 9.6 9.6
 
他のクリスチャン 5.6 5.6
 
イスラム教徒 1.8 1.8
 
他の信仰 2.62.6 2.6
 
無宗教 24.0 24
 
非信者/不可知論者 13.6 13.6
 
無神論者 10.4 10.4
 

The EU has no formal connection to any religion. Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union[111] recognises the "status under national law of churches and religious associations" as well as that of "philosophical and non-confessional organisations".[112]

The preamble to the Treaty on European Union mentions the "cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe".[112] Discussion over the draft texts of the European Constitution and later the Treaty of Lisbon included proposals to mention Christianity or a god, or both, in the preamble of the text, but the idea faced opposition and was dropped.[113]

Christians in the European Union are divided among members of Catholicism (both Roman and Eastern Rite), numerous Protestant denominations (Anglicans, Lutherans, and Reformed forming the bulk of this category), and the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 2009, the EU had an estimated Muslim population of 13 million,[114] and an estimated Jewish population of over a million.[115] The other world religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism are also represented in the EU population.

According to new polls about religiosity in the European Union in 2015 by Eurobarometer, Christianity is the largest religion in the European Union, accounting for 71.6 per cent of the EU population. Catholics are the largest Christian group, accounting for 45.3 per cent of the EU population, while Protestants make up 11.1 per cent, Eastern Orthodox make up 9.6 per cent, and other Christians make up 5.6 per cent.[3]

Eurostat's Eurobarometer opinion polls showed in 2005 that 52 per cent of EU citizens believed in a god, 27 per cent in "some sort of spirit or life force", and 18 per cent had no form of belief.[116] Many countries have experienced falling church attendance and membership in recent years.[117] The countries where the fewest people reported a religious belief were Estonia (16 per cent) and the Czech Republic (19 per cent).[116] The most religious countries were Malta (95 per cent, predominantly Catholic) as well as Cyprus and Romania (both predominantly Orthodox) each with about 90 per cent of citizens professing a belief in their respective god. Across the EU, belief was higher among women, older people, those with religious upbringing, those who left school at 15 or 16, and those "positioning themselves on the right of the political scale".[116]

Member states

CroatiaFinlandSwedenEstoniaLatviaLithuaniaPolandSlovakiaHungaryRomaniaBulgariaGreeceCyprusCzech RepublicAustriaSloveniaItalyMaltaPortugalSpainFranceGermanyLuxembourgBelgiumNetherlandsDenmarkIreland
Map showing the member states of the European Union (clickable)

Through successive enlargements, the European Union has grown from the six founding states (Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) to 27 members. Countries accede to the union by becoming party to the founding treaties, thereby subjecting themselves to the privileges and obligations of EU membership. This entails a partial delegation of sovereignty to the institutions in return for representation within those institutions, a practice often referred to as "pooling of sovereignty".[118][119]

To become a member, a country must meet the Copenhagen criteria, defined at the 1993 meeting of the European Council in Copenhagen. These require a stable democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law; a functioning market economy; and the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including EU law. Evaluation of a country's fulfilment of the criteria is the responsibility of the European Council.[120] Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty provides the basis for a member to leave the EU. Two territories have left the union: Greenland (an autonomous province of Denmark) withdrew in 1985;[121] the United Kingdom formally invoked Article 50 of the Consolidated Treaty on European Union in 2017, and became the only sovereign state to leave when it withdrew from the EU in 2020.

There are six countries that are recognised as candidates for membership: Albania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey,[122] though Iceland suspended negotiations in 2013.[123] Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are officially recognised as potential candidates,[122] with Bosnia and Herzegovina having submitted a membership application. Georgia and Ukraine are preparing to formally apply for EU membership in 2024, in order to join the European Union in the 2030s.[124][125][126]

The four countries forming the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are not EU members, but have partly committed to the EU's economy and regulations: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, which are a part of the single market through the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, which has similar ties through bilateral treaties.[127][128] The relationships of the European microstates, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City include the use of the euro and other areas of co-operation.[129]

List of member states
State Capital Accession Population (2019)[79] Area Population density MEPs
 Austria Vienna 199501011 January 1995 8,858,775 83,855 km2
(32,377 sq mi)
106/km2
(270/sq mi)
19
 Belgium Brussels 19570325Founder 11,467,923 30,528 km2
(11,787 sq mi)
376/km2
(970/sq mi)
21
 Bulgaria Sofia 200701011 January 2007 7,000,039 110,994 km2
(42,855 sq mi)
63/km2
(160/sq mi)
17
 Croatia Zagreb 201307011 July 2013 4,076,246 56,594 km2
(21,851 sq mi)
72/km2
(190/sq mi)
12
 Cyprus Nicosia 200405011 May 2004 875,898 9,251 km2
(3,572 sq mi)
95/km2
(250/sq mi)
6
 Czech Republic Prague 200405011 May 2004 10,649,800 78,866 km2
(30,450 sq mi)
135/km2
(350/sq mi)
21
 Denmark Copenhagen 197301011 January 1973 5,806,081 43,075 km2
(16,631 sq mi)
135/km2
(350/sq mi)
14
 Estonia Tallinn 200405011 May 2004 1,324,820 45,227 km2
(17,462 sq mi)
29/km2
(75/sq mi)
7
 Finland Helsinki 199501011 January 1995 5,517,919 338,424 km2
(130,666 sq mi)
16/km2
(41/sq mi)
14
 France Paris 19570325Founder 67,028,048 640,679 km2
(247,368 sq mi)
105/km2
(270/sq mi)
79
 Germany Berlin 19570325Founder[n] 83,019,214 357,021 km2
(137,847 sq mi)
233/km2
(600/sq mi)
96
 Greece Athens 198101011 January 1981 10,722,287 131,990 km2
(50,960 sq mi)
81/km2
(210/sq mi)
21
 Hungary Budapest 200401011 May 2004 9,797,561 93,030 km2
(35,920 sq mi)
105/km2
(270/sq mi)
21
 Ireland Dublin 197301011 January 1973 4,904,226 70,273 km2
(27,133 sq mi)
70/km2
(180/sq mi)
13
 Italy Rome 19570325Founder 60,359,546 301,338 km2
(116,347 sq mi)
200/km2
(520/sq mi)
76
 Latvia Riga 200405011 May 2004 1,919,968 64,589 km2
(24,938 sq mi)
30/km2
(78/sq mi)
8
 Lithuania Vilnius 200405011 May 2004 2,794,184 65,200 km2
(25,200 sq mi)
43/km2
(110/sq mi)
11
 Luxembourg Luxembourg City 19570325Founder 613,894 2,586 km2
(998 sq mi)
237/km2
(610/sq mi)
6
 Malta Valletta 200405011 May 2004 493,559 316 km2
(122 sq mi)
1,562/km2
(4,050/sq mi)
6
 Netherlands Amsterdam 19570325Founder 17,282,163 41,543 km2
(16,040 sq mi)
416/km2
(1,080/sq mi)
29
 Poland Warsaw 200405011 May 2004 37,972,812 312,685 km2
(120,728 sq mi)
121/km2
(310/sq mi)
52
 Portugal Lisbon 198601011 January 1986 10,276,617 92,390 km2
(35,670 sq mi)
111/km2
(290/sq mi)
21
 Romania Bucharest 200701011 January 2007 19,401,658 238,391 km2
(92,043 sq mi)
81/km2
(210/sq mi)
33
 Slovakia Bratislava 200405011 May 2004 5,450,421 49,035 km2
(18,933 sq mi)
111/km2
(290/sq mi)
14
 Slovenia Ljubljana 200405011 May 2004 2,080,908 20,273 km2
(7,827 sq mi)
103/km2
(270/sq mi)
8
 Spain Madrid 198601011 January 1986 46,934,632 504,030 km2
(194,610 sq mi)
93/km2
(240/sq mi)
59
 Sweden Stockholm 199501011 January 1995 10,230,185 449,964 km2
(173,732 sq mi)
23/km2
(60/sq mi)
21
27 total 446,834,579 4,233,262 km2
(1,634,472 sq mi)
106/km2
(270/sq mi)
705

Geography

Topographic map of the European Union

The European Union's member states cover an area of 4,233,262 square kilometres (1,634,472 sq mi).[o] The EU's highest peak is Mont Blanc in the Graian Alps, 4,810.45 metres (15,782 ft) above sea level.[130] The lowest points in the EU are Lammefjorden, Denmark and Zuidplaspolder, Netherlands, at 7 m (23 ft) below sea level.[131] The landscape, climate, and economy of the EU are influenced by its coastline, which is 65,993 kilometres (41,006 mi) long.

Including the overseas territories of France which are located outside the continent of Europe, but which are members of the union, the EU experiences most types of climate from Arctic (north-east Europe) to tropical (French Guiana), rendering meteorological averages for the EU as a whole meaningless. 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).[132]

The EU's population is highly urbanised, with some 75 per cent of inhabitants living in urban areas as of 2006. Cities are largely spread out across the EU with a large grouping in and around the Benelux.[133]

Several overseas territories and dependencies of various member states are also formally part of the EU.[134]

Politics

Organigram of the political system with the seven institutions of the Union in blue, national / intergovernmental elements in orange

The European Union operates through a hybrid system of supranational and intergovernmental decision-making,[135][136] and according to the principles of conferral (which says that it should act only within the limits of the competences conferred on it by the treaties) and of subsidiarity (which says that it should act only where an objective cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states acting alone). Laws made by the EU institutions are passed in a variety of forms.[137] Generally speaking, they can be classified into two groups: those which come into force without the necessity for national implementation measures (regulations) and those which specifically require national implementation measures (directives).[138]

Constitutionally, the EU bears some resemblance to both a confederation and a federation,[139][140] but has not formally defined itself as either. (It does not have a formal constitution: its status is defined by the Treaty of European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). It is more integrated than a traditional confederation of states because the general level of government widely employs qualified majority voting in some decision-making among the member states, rather than relying exclusively on unanimity.[141][142] 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. This is reflected in the fact that the member states remain the 'masters of the Treaties', retaining control over the allocation of competences to the union through constitutional change (thus retaining so-called Kompetenz-kompetenz); in that they retain control of the use of armed force; they retain control of taxation; and in that they retain a right of unilateral withdrawal under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. In addition, the principle of subsidiarity requires that only those matters that need to be determined collectively are so determined.

The European Union has seven principal decision-making bodies, its institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the European Court of Auditors. Competence in scrutinising and amending legislation is shared between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, while executive tasks are performed by the European Commission and in a limited capacity by the European Council (not to be confused with the aforementioned Council of the European Union). The monetary policy of the eurozone is determined by the European Central Bank. The interpretation and the application of EU law and the treaties are ensured by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The EU budget is scrutinised by the European Court of Auditors. There are also a number of ancillary bodies which advise the EU or operate in a specific area.

EU policy is in general promulgated by EU directives, which are then implemented in the domestic legislation of its member states, and EU regulations, which are immediately enforceable in all member states. Lobbying at EU level by special interest groups is regulated to try to balance the aspirations of private initiatives with public interest decision-making process.[143]

Institutions

Council of the EU and European Council.svg Council of the EU and European Council.svg European Parliament logo.svg European Commission.svg
European Council Council of the European Union European Parliament European Commission
Provides impetus and direction Legislative Legislative Executive
Based in Brussels,  Belgium Based in Brussels,  Belgium. Meets in Luxembourg,  Luxembourg for the months of April, June and October. Meets in Strasbourg,  France and Brussels,  Belgium. Secretariat based in Luxembourg,  Luxembourg. Based in Brussels,  Belgium. Various departments and services hosted in Luxembourg,  Luxembourg.
Sets the general political directions and priorities of the Union by gathering together its member states' heads of state/government (elected chief executives). The conclusions of its summits (held at least quarterly) are adopted by consensus. Brings together ministers of member states governments' departments. It serves to represent the various governments directly and its approval is required for any proposal to enter into law. Consists of 705 directly elected representatives. It shares with the Council of the EU equal legislative powers to amend, approve or reject Commission proposals for most areas of EU legislation. Its powers are limited in areas where member states' view sovereignty to be of primary concern (i.e. defence). It elects the commission's president, must approve the College of Commissioners, and may vote to remove them collectively from office. The only institution empowered to propose legislation, serves as the "Guardian of the Treaties". It consists of an executive cabinet of public officials, led by an indirectly elected President. This College of Commissioners manages and directs the commission's permanent civil service. It turns the consensus objectives of the European Council into legislative proposals.

European Council

The European Council gives political direction to the EU. It convenes at least four times a year and comprises the president of the European Council (presently Charles Michel), the president of the European Commission and one representative per member state (either its head of state or head of government). The high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy (presently Josep Borrell) also takes part in its meetings. It has been described by some as the union's "supreme political authority".[144] It is actively involved in the negotiation of treaty changes and defines the EU's policy agenda and strategies.

The European Council uses its leadership role to sort out disputes between member states and the institutions, and to resolve political crises and disagreements over controversial issues and policies. It acts externally as a "collective head of state" and ratifies important documents (for example, international agreements and treaties).[145]

Tasks for the president of the European Council are ensuring the external representation of the EU,[146] driving consensus and resolving divergences among member states, both during meetings of the European Council and over the periods between them.

The European Council should not be mistaken for the Council of Europe, an international organisation independent of the EU based in Strasbourg.

European Commission

The European Commission acts both as the EU's executive arm, responsible for the day-to-day running of the EU, and also the legislative initiator, with the sole power to propose laws for debate.[147][148][149] The commission is 'guardian of the Treaties' and is responsible for their efficient operation and policing.[150] It operates de facto as a cabinet government,[citation needed] with 27 European commissioners for different areas of policy, one from each member state, though commissioners are bound to represent the interests of the EU as a whole rather than their home state.

One of the 27 is the president of the European Commission (presently Ursula von der Leyen for 2019–2024), appointed by the European Council, subject to the Parliament's approval. After the President, the most prominent commissioner is the high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy, who is ex-officio a vice-president of the European Commission and is also chosen by the European Council.[151] The other 26 commissioners are subsequently appointed by the Council of the European Union in agreement with the nominated president. The 27 commissioners as a single body are subject to approval (or otherwise) by vote of the European Parliament.

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union (also called the Council[152] and the "Council of Ministers", its former title)[153] forms one half of the EU's legislature. It consists of a representative from each member state's government and meets in different compositions depending on the policy area being addressed. Notwithstanding its different configurations, it is considered to be one single body. In addition to the legislative functions, members of the council also have executive responsibilities, such as the development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy and the coordination of broad economic policies within the Union.[154] The Presidency of the council rotates between member states, with each holding it for six months. Beginning on 1 July 2021, the position is held by Slovenia.[155]

In some policies, there are several member states that ally with strategic partners within the union. Examples of such alliances include the Visegrad Group, Benelux, the Baltic Assembly, the New Hanseatic League, the Weimar Triangle, the Lublin Triangle, EU Med Group, the Craiova Group and Bucharest Nine.

European Parliament

The 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. 705 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by EU citizens every five years on the basis of proportional representation. MEPs are elected on a national basis and they sit according to political groups rather than their nationality. Each country has a set number of seats and is divided into sub-national constituencies where this does not affect the proportional nature of the voting system.[156]

In the ordinary legislative procedure, the European Commission proposes legislation, which requires the joint approval of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to pass. This process applies to nearly all areas, including the EU budget. The parliament is the final body to approve or reject the proposed membership of the commission, and can attempt motions of censure on the commission by appeal to the Court of Justice. The president of the European Parliament (presently David Sassoli) carries out the role of speaker in Parliament and represents it externally. The president and vice-presidents are elected by MEPs every two and a half years.[157]

Budget

European Union 2014–2020 Multiannual Financial Framework
European Union 2014–2020 Multiannual Financial Framework[158]

The European Union had an agreed budget of €120.7 billion for the year 2007 and €864.3 billion for the period 2007–2013,[159] representing 1.10 per cent and 1.05 per cent of the EU-27's GNI forecast for the respective periods. In 1960, the budget of the then European Economic Community was 0.03 per cent of GDP.[160]

In the 2010 budget of €141.5 billion, the largest single expenditure item is "cohesion & competitiveness" with around 45 per cent of the total budget.[161] Next comes "agriculture" with approximately 31 per cent of the total.[161] "Rural development, environment and fisheries" takes up around 11 per cent.[161] "Administration" accounts for around 6 per cent.[161] The "EU as a global partner" and "citizenship, freedom, security and justice" bring up the rear with approximately 6 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.[161]

The Court of Auditors is legally obliged to provide the parliament and the council (specifically, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council) with "a statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions".[162] The Court also gives opinions and proposals on financial legislation and anti-fraud actions.[163] The parliament uses this to decide whether to approve the commission's handling of the budget.

The European Court of Auditors has signed off the European Union accounts every year since 2007 and, while making it clear that the European Commission has more work to do, has highlighted that most of the errors take place at national level.[164][165] In their report on 2009 the auditors found that five areas of Union expenditure, agriculture and the cohesion fund, were materially affected by error.[166] The European Commission estimated in 2009 that the financial effect of irregularities was €1,863 million.[167]

In November 2020, members of the union, Hungary and Poland, blocked approval to the EU's budget at a meeting in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper), citing a proposal that linked funding with adherence to the rule of law. The budget included a COVID-19 recovery fund of €750 billion. The budget may still be approved if Hungary and Poland withdraw their vetoes after further negotiations in the council and the European Council.[168][169]

Competences

Member states retain all powers not explicitly handed to the European Union. In some areas the EU enjoys exclusive competence. These are areas in which member states have renounced any capacity to enact legislation. In other areas the EU and its member states share the competence to legislate. While both can legislate, member states can only legislate to the extent to which the EU has not. In other policy areas the EU can only co-ordinate, support and supplement member state action but cannot enact legislation with the aim of harmonising national laws.[170]

That a particular policy area falls into a certain category of competence is not necessarily indicative of what legislative procedure is used for enacting legislation within that policy area. Different legislative procedures are used within the same category of competence, and even with the same policy area.

The distribution of competences in various policy areas between member states and the union is divided in the following three categories:


Competences of the European Union in relation to those of its member states[171]
Exclusive competence
Shared competence
Supporting competence
The Union has exclusive competence to make directives and conclude international agreements when provided for in a Union legislative act as to …
Member States cannot exercise competence in areas where the Union has done so, that is …
Union exercise of competence shall not result in Member States being prevented from exercising theirs in …
  • research, technological development and (outer) space
  • development cooperation, humanitarian aid
The Union coordinates Member States policies or implements supplemental to their common policies not covered elsewhere in …
The Union can carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement Member States' actions in …
  • the protection and improvement of human health
  • industry
  • culture
  • tourism
  • education, youth, sport and vocational training
  • civil protection (disaster prevention)
  • administrative cooperation

Legal system and justice

The European Union is based on a series of treaties. These first established the European Community and the EU, and then made amendments to those founding treaties.[172] These are power-giving treaties which set broad policy goals and establish institutions with the necessary legal powers to implement those goals. These legal powers include the ability to enact legislation[p] which can directly affect all member states and their inhabitants.[q] The EU has legal personality, with the right to sign agreements and international treaties.[173]

Under the principle of supremacy, national courts are required to enforce the treaties that their member states have ratified, and thus the laws enacted under them, even if doing so requires them to ignore conflicting national law, and (within limits) even constitutional provisions.[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[174]

Court of Justice of the European Union

The 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.[175] The Court of Justice primarily deals with cases taken by member states, the institutions, and cases referred to it by the courts of member states.[176] Because of the doctrines of direct effect and supremacy, many judgments of the Court of Justice are automatically applicable within the internal legal orders of the member states.

The General Court mainly deals with cases taken by individuals and companies directly before the EU's courts,[177] and the European Union Civil Service Tribunal adjudicates in disputes between the European Union and its civil service.[178] Decisions from the General Court can be appealed to the Court of Justice but only on a point of law.[179]

Fundamental rights

The treaties declare that the European Union itself is "founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities ... in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail."[180]

In 2009, the Lisbon Treaty gave legal effect to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The charter is a codified catalogue of fundamental rights against which the EU's legal acts can be judged. It consolidates many rights which were previously recognised by the Court of Justice and derived from the "constitutional traditions common to the member states."[181] The Court of Justice has long recognised fundamental rights and has, on occasion, invalidated EU legislation based on its failure to adhere to those fundamental rights.[182]

Warsaw Pride 2018. Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights asserts that "any discrimination based on any ground such as [...] sexual orientation shall be prohibited."

Signing the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is a condition for EU membership.[s] Previously, the EU itself could not accede to the convention as it is neither a state[t] nor had the competence to accede.[u] The Lisbon Treaty and Protocol 14 to the ECHR have changed this: the former binds the EU to accede to the convention while the latter formally permits it.

The EU is independent from the Council of Europe, although they share purpose and ideas, especially on the rule of law, human rights and democracy. Furthermore, the European Convention on Human Rights and European Social Charter, as well as the source of law for the Charter of Fundamental Rights are created by the Council of Europe. The EU has also promoted human rights issues in the wider world. The EU opposes the death penalty and has proposed its worldwide abolition. Abolition of the death penalty is a condition for EU membership.[183]

On 19 October 2020, the European Union revealed new plans to create a legal structure to act against human rights violations worldwide. The new plan was expected to provide the European Union with greater flexibility to target and sanction those responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses around the world.[184]

Acts

The main legal acts of the European Union come in three forms: regulations, directives, and decisions. Regulations become law in all member states the moment they come into force, without the requirement for any implementing measures,[v] and automatically override conflicting domestic provisions.[p] Directives require member states to achieve a certain result while leaving them discretion as to how to achieve the result. The details of how they are to be implemented are left to member states.[w] When the time limit for implementing directives passes, they may, under certain conditions, have direct effect in national law against member states.

Decisions offer an alternative to the two above modes of legislation. They are legal acts which only apply to specified individuals, companies or a particular member state. They are most often used in competition law, or on rulings on State Aid, but are also frequently used for procedural or administrative matters within the institutions. Regulations, directives, and decisions are of equal legal value and apply without any formal hierarchy.[185]

European Ombudsman

The European Ombudsman was established by the Maastricht Treaty. The ombudsman is elected by the European Parliament for the length of the parliament's term, and the position is renewable.[186] Any EU citizen or entity may appeal to the ombudsman to investigate an EU institution on the grounds of maladministration (administrative irregularities, unfairness, discrimination, abuse of power, failure to reply, refusal of information or unnecessary delay).[187] Emily O'Reilly has been the ombudsman since 2013.[188]

Home affairs and migration

Since the creation of the European Union in 1993, it has developed its competencies in the area of justice and home affairs; initially at an intergovernmental level and later by supranationalism. Accordingly, the union has legislated in areas such as extradition,[189] family law,[190] asylum law,[191] and criminal justice.[192] Prohibitions against sexual and nationality discrimination have a long standing in the treaties.[x] In more recent years, these have been supplemented by powers to legislate against discrimination based on race, religion, disability, age, and sexual orientation.[y] By virtue of these powers, the EU has enacted legislation on sexual discrimination in the work-place, age discrimination, and racial discrimination.[z]

The EU has also established agencies to co-ordinate police, prosecutorial and immigrations controls across the member states: Europol for co-operation of police forces,[193] Eurojust for co-operation between prosecutors,[194] and Frontex for co-operation between border control authorities.[195] The EU also operates the Schengen Information System[14] which provides a common database for police and immigration authorities. This co-operation had to particularly be developed with the advent of open borders through the Schengen Agreement and the associated cross border crime.

Foreign relations

Council of EuropeSchengen AreaEuropean Free Trade AssociationEuropean Economic AreaEurozoneEuropean UnionEuropean Union Customs UnionAgreement with EU to mint eurosGUAMCentral European Free Trade AgreementNordic CouncilBaltic AssemblyBeneluxVisegrád GroupCommon Travel AreaOrganization of the Black Sea Economic CooperationUnion StateSwitzerlandIcelandNorwayLiechtensteinSwedenDenmarkFinlandPolandCzech RepublicHungarySlovakiaGreeceEstoniaLatviaLithuaniaBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourgItalyFranceSpainAustriaGermanyPortugalSloveniaMaltaCyprusIrelandUnited KingdomCroatiaRomaniaBulgariaTurkeyMonacoAndorraSan MarinoVatican CityGeorgiaUkraineAzerbaijanMoldovaArmeniaRussiaBelarusSerbiaAlbaniaMontenegroNorth MacedoniaBosnia and HerzegovinaKosovo (UNMIK)
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational European organisations and agreements.

Foreign policy co-operation between member states dates from the establishment of the community in 1957, when member states negotiated as a bloc in international trade negotiations under the EU's common commercial policy.[196] Steps for a more wide-ranging co-ordination in foreign relations began in 1970 with the establishment of European Political Cooperation which created an informal consultation process between member states with the aim of forming common foreign policies. In 1987 the European Political Cooperation was introduced on a formal basis by the Single European Act. EPC was renamed as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) by the Maastricht Treaty.[197]

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.[198] The CFSP requires unanimity among the member states on the appropriate policy to follow on any particular issue. The unanimity and difficult issues treated under the CFSP sometimes lead to disagreements, such as those which occurred over the war in Iraq.[199] The coordinator and representative of the CFSP within the EU is the high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy who speaks on behalf of the EU in foreign policy and defence matters, and has the task of articulating the positions expressed by the member states on these fields of policy into a common alignment. The high representative heads up the European External Action Service (EEAS), a unique EU department[200] that has been officially implemented and operational since 1 December 2010 on the occasion of the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.[201] The EEAS will serve as a foreign ministry and diplomatic corps for the European Union.[202]

The EU participates in all G7 and G20 summits. (G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, 2019).

Besides the emerging international policy of the European Union, the international influence of the EU is also felt through enlargement. The perceived benefits of becoming a member of the EU act as an incentive for both political and economic reform in states wishing to fulfil the EU's accession criteria, and are considered an important factor contributing to the reform of European formerly Communist countries.[203]: 762  This influence on the internal affairs of other countries is generally referred to as "soft power", as opposed to military "hard power".[204]

Switzerland was called to vote on whether to end the agreement with European Union on the free movement of people, in September 2020.[205] The demand of Swiss People's Party (SPP) was, however, turned down, as the voters rejected SPP's demand for taking back immigration control.[206]

Security and defence

Out of the 27 EU member states, 21 are also members of NATO. Another four NATO members are EU applicants – Albania, Montenegro, Turkey and North Macedonia.

The predecessors of the European Union were not devised as a military alliance because NATO was largely seen as appropriate and sufficient for defence purposes.[207] 21 EU members are members of NATO[208] while the remaining member states follow policies of neutrality.[209] The Western European Union, a military alliance with a mutual defence clause, was disbanded in 2010 as its role had been transferred to the EU.[210]

Since the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, France is the only member officially recognised as a nuclear weapon state and the sole holder of a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. France and Italy are also the only EU countries that have power projection capabilities outside of Europe.[211] Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium participate in NATO nuclear sharing.[212]

Most EU member states opposed the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty.[213]

Following the Kosovo War in 1999, the European Council agreed that "the Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and the readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO". To that end, a number of efforts were made to increase the EU's military capability, notably the Helsinki Headline Goal process. After much discussion, the most concrete result was the EU Battlegroups initiative, each of which is planned to be able to deploy quickly about 1500 personnel.[214]

EU forces have been deployed on peacekeeping missions from middle and northern Africa to the western Balkans and western Asia.[215] EU military operations are supported by a number of bodies, including the European Defence Agency, European Union Satellite Centre and the European Union Military Staff.[216] Frontex is an agency of the EU established to manage the cooperation between national border guards securing its external borders. It aims to detect and stop illegal immigration, human trafficking and terrorist infiltration. In 2015 the European Commission presented its proposal for a new European Border and Coast Guard Agency having a stronger role and mandate along with national authorities for border management. In an EU consisting of 27 members, substantial security and defence co-operation is increasingly relying on collaboration among all member states.[217]

Humanitarian aid

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, or "ECHO", provides humanitarian aid from the EU to developing countries. In 2012, its budget amounted to €874 million, 51 per cent of the budget went to Africa and 20 per cent to Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Pacific, and 20 per cent to the Middle East and Mediterranean.[218]

Humanitarian aid is financed directly by the budget (70 per cent) as part of the financial instruments for external action and also by the European Development Fund (30 per cent).[219] The EU's external action financing is divided into 'geographic' instruments and 'thematic' instruments.[219] The 'geographic' instruments provide aid through the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI, €16.9 billion, 2007–2013), which must spend 95 per cent of its budget on official development assistance (ODA), and from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which contains some relevant programmes.[219] The European Development Fund (EDF, €22.7 billion for the period 2008–2013 and €30.5 billion for the period 2014–2020) is made up of voluntary contributions by member states, but there is pressure to merge the EDF into the budget-financed instruments to encourage increased contributions to match the 0.7 per cent target and allow the European Parliament greater oversight.[219][220]

In 2016, the average among EU countries was 0.4 per cent and five had met or exceeded the 0.7 per cent target: Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden and the United Kingdom.[221] If considered collectively, EU member states are the largest contributor of foreign aid in the world.[222][223]

International cooperation and development partnerships

Eastern Partnership Summit 2015, Riga.

The 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. These countries, primarily developing countries, include some who seek to one day become either a member state of the European Union, or more closely integrated with the European Union. The EU offers financial assistance to countries within the European Neighbourhood, so long as they meet the strict conditions of government reform, economic reform and other issues surrounding positive transformation. This process is normally underpinned by an Action Plan, as agreed by both Brussels and the target country.

Union for the Mediterranean meeting in Barcelona.

International recognition of sustainable development as a key element is growing steadily. Its role was recognized in three major UN summits on sustainable development: the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa; and the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro. Other key global agreements are the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2015). The SDGs recognize that all countries must stimulate action in the following key areas – people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership – in order to tackle the global challenges that are crucial for the survival of humanity.

EU development action is based on the European Consensus on Development, which was endorsed on 20 December 2005 by EU Member States, the council, the European Parliament and the commission.[224] It is applied from the principles of Capability approach and Rights-based approach to development.

Partnership and cooperation agreements are bilateral agreements with non-member nations.[225]

Partnership and Cooperation Agreements
Non-EU Member state PCA Name Date Signed Agreement Supersedes (if any)
Armenia EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement[226] 2018 EU-Armenia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement,[227] 1999
Kyrgyz Republic EU and Kyrgyz Republic Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement[228] 2019

Trade

President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, President of Moldova Maia Sandu, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of the European Council Charles Michel during the 2021 Batumi International Conference. In 2014, the EU signed Association Agreements with all the three states.

The European Union is the largest exporter in the world[229] and as of 2008 the largest importer of goods and services.[230][231] Internal trade between the member states is aided by the removal of barriers to trade such as tariffs and border controls. In the eurozone, trade is helped by not having any currency differences to deal with amongst most members.[232]

The European Union Association Agreement does something similar for a much larger range of countries, partly as a so-called soft approach ('a carrot instead of a stick') to influence the politics in those countries. The European Union represents all its members at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and acts on behalf of member states in any disputes. When the EU negotiates trade related agreement outside the WTO framework, the subsequent agreement must be approved by each individual EU member state government.[232]

The European Union has concluded free trade agreements (FTAs)[233] and other agreements with a trade component with many countries worldwide and is negotiating with many others.[234]

The European Union's services trade surplus rose from $16 billion in 2000 to more than $250 billion in 2018.[235]

In 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China became the EU's largest trading partner, displacing the United States.[236]

Economy

As a political entity the European Union is represented in the World Trade Organization (WTO). EU member states own the estimated second largest after the United States (US$105 trillion) net wealth in the world, equal to around 20 per cent (~€60 trillion) of the US$36 trillion (~€300 trillion)[237] global wealth.[238]

19 member states have joined a monetary union known as the eurozone, which uses the euro as a single currency. The currency union represents 342 million EU citizens.[239] The euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.[240][241][242]

Of the top 500 largest corporations in the world measured by revenue in 2010, 161 had their headquarters in the EU.[243] In 2016, unemployment in the EU stood at 8.9 per cent[244] while inflation was at 2.2 per cent, and the account balance at −0.9 per cent of GDP. The average annual net earnings in the European Union was around €24,000 (US$30,000)[245] in 2015.

There is a significant variation in nominal GDP per capita within individual EU states. The difference between the richest and poorest regions (281 NUTS-2 regions of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) ranged, in 2017, from 31 per cent (Severozapaden, Bulgaria) of the EU28 average (€30,000) to 253 per cent (Luxembourg), or from €4,600 to €92,600.[246]

Internal market

Two of the original core objectives of the European Economic Community were the development of a common market, subsequently becoming a single market, and a customs union between its member states. The single market involves the free circulation of goods, capital, people, and services within the EU,[239] and the customs union involves the application of a common external tariff on all goods entering the market. Once goods have been admitted into the market they cannot be subjected to customs duties, discriminatory taxes or import quotas, as they travel internally. The non-EU member states of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland participate in the single market but not in the customs union.[127] Half the trade in the EU is covered by legislation harmonised by the EU.[247]

Free movement of capital is intended to permit movement of investments such as property purchases and buying of shares between countries.[248] Until the drive towards economic and monetary union the development of the capital provisions had been slow. Post-Maastricht there has been a rapidly developing corpus of ECJ judgements regarding this initially neglected freedom. The free movement of capital is unique insofar as it is granted equally to non-member states.

The free movement of persons means that EU citizens can move freely between member states to live, work, study or retire in another country. This required the lowering of administrative formalities and recognition of professional qualifications of other states.[249]

The free movement of services and of establishment allows self-employed persons to move between member states to provide services on a temporary or permanent basis. While services account for 60 per cent to 70 per cent of GDP, legislation in the area is not as developed as in other areas. This lacuna has been addressed by the Services in the Internal Market Directive 2006 which aims to liberalise the cross border provision of services.[250] According to the treaty the provision of services is a residual freedom that only applies if no other freedom is being exercised.

Monetary union and financial services

Left: The seat of the European Central Bank in Ostend, Frankfurt. Right: 19 of the 27 EU member states have adopted the euro as their legal tender. The eurozone (dark blue) represents 340 million people.

The creation of a European single currency became an official objective of the European Economic Community in 1969. In 1992, having negotiated the structure and procedures of a currency union, the member states signed the Maastricht Treaty and were legally bound to fulfil the agreed-on rules including the convergence criteria if they wanted to join the monetary union. The states wanting to participate had first to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

In 1999, the currency union started, first as an accounting currency with eleven member states joining. In 2002, the currency was fully put into place, when euro notes and coins were issued and national currencies began to phase out in the eurozone, which by then consisted of 12 member states. The eurozone (constituted by the EU member states which have adopted the euro) has since grown to 19 countries.[251][aa]

The euro, and the monetary policies of those who have adopted it in agreement with the EU, are under the control of the European Central Bank (ECB).[252] The ECB is the central bank for the eurozone, and thus controls monetary policy in that area with an agenda to maintain price stability. It is at the centre of the European System of Central Banks, which comprehends all EU national central banks and is controlled by its General Council, consisting of the President of the ECB, who is appointed by the European Council, the vice-president of the ECB, and the governors of the national central banks of all 27 EU member states.[253]

The European System of Financial Supervision is an institutional architecture of the EU's framework of financial supervision composed by three authorities: the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority. To complement this framework, there is also a European Systemic Risk Board under the responsibility of the central bank. The aim of this financial control system is to ensure the economic stability of the EU.[254]

To prevent the joining states from getting into financial trouble or crisis after entering the monetary union, they were obliged in the Maastricht treaty to fulfil important financial obligations and procedures, especially to show budgetary discipline and a high degree of sustainable economic convergence, as well as to avoid excessive government deficits and limit the government debt to a sustainable level.

Industry and digital economy

The European Commission working sectors are: aeronautics, automotive, biotechnology, chemicals, construction, cosmetics, defense, electronics, firearms, food and drink, gambling, healthcare, maritime, mechanics, medical, postal, raw materials, space, textile, tourism, toys and social economy (Societas cooperativa Europaea).

Energy

Consumed energy (2012)
Energy source Origin Percents
Oil Imported
  
33%
Domestic
  
6%
Gas Imported
  
14%
Domestic
  
9%
Nuclear[ab] Imported
  
0%
Domestic
  
13%
Coal/Lignite Imported
  
0%
Domestic
  
10%
Renewable Imported
  
0%
Domestic
  
7%
Other Imported
  
7%
Domestic
  
1%
In 2020, renewables overtook fossil fuels as the European Union's main source of electricity for the first time.[255]

In 2006, the EU-27 had a gross inland energy consumption of 1,825 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe).[256] Around 46 per cent of the energy consumed was produced within the member states while 54 per cent was imported.[256] In these statistics, nuclear energy is treated as primary energy produced in the EU, regardless of the source of the uranium, of which less than 3 per cent is produced in the EU.[257]

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. The introduction of a mandatory and comprehensive European energy policy was approved at the meeting of the European Council in October 2005, and the first draft policy was published in January 2007.[258]

The EU has five key points in its energy policy: increase competition in the internal market, encourage investment and boost interconnections between electricity grids; diversify energy resources with better systems to respond to a crisis; establish a new treaty framework for energy co-operation with Russia while improving relations with energy-rich states in Central Asia[259] and North Africa; use existing energy supplies more efficiently while increasing renewable energy commercialisation; and finally increase funding for new energy technologies.[258]

In 2007, EU countries as a whole imported 82 per cent of their oil, 57 per cent of their natural gas[260] and 97.48 per cent of their uranium[257] demands. The three largest suppliers of natural gas to the European Union are Russia, Norway and Algeria, that amounted for about three quarters of the imports in 2019.[261] There is a strong dependence on Russian energy that the EU has been attempting to reduce.[262]

Infrastructure

The Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden is part of the Trans-European Networks.

The European Union is working to improve cross-border infrastructure, for example through the Trans-European Networks (TEN). Projects under TEN include the Channel Tunnel, LGV Est, the Fréjus Rail Tunnel, the Öresund Bridge, the Brenner Base Tunnel and the Strait of Messina Bridge. In 2010 the estimated network covers: 75,200 kilometres (46,700 mi) of roads; 78,000 kilometres (48,000 mi) of railways; 330 airports; 270 maritime harbours; and 210 internal harbours.[263][264]

Rail transport in Europe is being synchronised with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), an initiative to greatly enhance safety, increase efficiency of trains and enhance cross-border interoperability of rail transport in Europe by replacing signalling equipment with digitised mostly wireless versions and by creating a single Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems.

The developing European transport policies will increase the pressure on the environment in many regions by the increased transport network. In the pre-2004 EU members, the major problem in transport deals with congestion and pollution. After the recent enlargement, the new states that joined since 2004 added the problem of solving accessibility to the transport agenda.[265] The Polish road network was upgraded such as the A4 autostrada.[266]

Telecommunications and space

European Space Agency Mission Control at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany

The Galileo positioning system is another EU infrastructure project. Galileo is a proposed Satellite navigation system, to be built by the EU and launched by the European Space Agency (ESA). The Galileo project was launched partly to reduce the EU's dependency on the US-operated Global Positioning System, but also to give more complete global coverage and allow for greater accuracy, given the aged nature of the GPS system.[267]

Agriculture and fisheries

Vineyards in Romania; EU farms are supported by the Common Agricultural Policy, the largest budgetary expenditure.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one of the long lasting policies of the European Community.[268] The policy has the objectives of increasing agricultural production, providing certainty in food supplies, ensuring a high quality of life for farmers, stabilising markets, and ensuring reasonable prices for consumers.[ac] It was, until recently, operated by a system of subsidies and market intervention. Until the 1990s, the policy accounted for over 60 per cent of the then European Community's annual budget, and as of 2013 accounts for around 34 per cent.[269]

The policy's price controls and market interventions led to considerable overproduction. These were intervention stores of products bought up by the community to maintain minimum price levels. To dispose of surplus stores, they were often sold on the world market at prices considerably below Community guaranteed prices, or farmers were offered subsidies (amounting to the difference between the community and world prices) to export their products outside the community. This system has been criticised for under-cutting farmers outside Europe, especially those in the developing world.[270] Supporters of CAP argue that the economic support which it gives to farmers provides them with a reasonable standard of living.[270]

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the CAP has been subject to a series of reforms. 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). Agriculture expenditure will move away from subsidy payments linked to specific produce, toward direct payments based on farm size. This is intended to allow the market to dictate production levels.[268] One of these reforms entailed the modification of the EU's sugar regime, which previously divided the sugar market between member states and certain African-Caribbean nations with a privileged relationship with the EU.[271]

Competition

The EU operates a competition policy intended to ensure undistorted competition within the single market.[ad]

The European commissioner for competition (presently Margrethe Vestager) is one of the most powerful positions in the commission, notable for the ability to affect the commercial interests of trans-national corporations.[citation needed] For example, in 2001 the commission for the first time prevented a merger between two companies based in the United States (General Electric and Honeywell) which had already been approved by their national authority.[272] Another high-profile case against Microsoft, resulted in the commission fining Microsoft over €777 million following nine years of legal action.[273]

Labour market

The EU seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent in September 2018.[274] The euro area unemployment rate was 8.1 per cent.[274] Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.3 per cent), Germany and Poland (both 3.4 per cent), and the highest in Spain (14.9 per cent) and Greece (19.0 in July 2018).[274]

Social policy and equality

EU member states by social expenditure[clarification needed] in 2019[275]
Nation Social expenditure
( per cent of GDP)
 France 31.0
 Finland 29.1
 Belgium 28.9
 Denmark 28.3
 Italy 28.2
 Austria 26.9
 Germany 25.9
 Sweden 25.5
 Spain 24.7
 Greece 24.0
 Portugal 22.6
 Luxembourg 21.6
 Poland 21.3
 Slovenia 21.1
 Czech Republic 19.2
 Hungary 18.1
 Slovakia 17.7
 Estonia 17.7
 Lithuania 16.7
 Latvia 16.4
 Netherlands 16.1
 Ireland 13.4

The European Union has long sought to mitigate the effects of free markets by protecting workers rights and preventing social and environmental dumping. To this end it has adopted laws establishing minimum employment and environmental standards. These included the Working Time Directive and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

The EU has also sought to coordinate the social security and health systems of member states to facilitate individuals exercising free movement rights and to ensure they maintain their ability to access social security and health services in other member states. Social security main legislation is found in the Equal Treatment in Occupational Social Security Directive 86/378, the Equal Treatment in Social Security Directive 79/7/EEC, the Social Security Regulation 1408/71/EC and 883/2004/EC and the Directive 2005/36/EC

The European Social Charter is the main body that recognizes the social rights of European citizens.

A European unemployment insurance has been proposed among others by the commissioner of Jobs Nicolas Schmit.[276] A European Directive about Minimum Wage has also been discussed[277]

Since 2019 there has been a European commissioner for equality and the European Institute for Gender Equality has existed since 2007.

In 2020, the first ever European Union Strategy on LGBTIQ equality was approved under Helena Dalli mandate.[278]

Housing, youth, childhood, Functional diversity or elderly care are supportive competencies of the European Union and can be financed by the European Social Fund.

Regional and local policy

Classification of regions from 2014 to 2020.

Structural Funds and Cohesion Funds are supporting the development of underdeveloped regions of the EU. Such regions are primarily located in the states of central and southern Europe.[279][280] Several funds provide emergency aid, support for candidate members to transform their country to conform to the EU's standard (Phare, ISPA, and SAPARD), and support to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS). TACIS has now become part of the worldwide EuropeAid programme.

Demographic transition to a society of aging population, low fertility-rates and depopulation of non-metropolitan regions is tackled within this policies.

Environment and climate

Biogeographic regions of the continental European Union, according to the European Environmental Agency

In 1957, when the European Economic Community was founded, it had no environmental policy.[281] Over the past 50 years, an increasingly dense network of legislation has been created, extending to all areas of environmental protection, including air pollution, water quality, waste management, nature conservation, and the control of chemicals, industrial hazards, and biotechnology.[281] According to the Institute for European Environmental Policy, environmental law comprises over 500 Directives, Regulations and Decisions, making environmental policy a core area of European politics.[282]

European policy-makers originally increased the EU's capacity to act on environmental issues by defining it as a trade problem.[281] Trade barriers and competitive distortions in the Common Market could emerge due to the different environmental standards in each member state.[283] In subsequent years, the environment became a formal policy area, with its own policy actors, principles and procedures. The legal basis for EU environmental policy was established with the introduction of the Single European Act in 1987.[282]

Initially, EU environmental policy focused on Europe. More recently, the EU has demonstrated leadership in global environmental governance, e.g. the role of the EU in securing the ratification and coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol despite opposition from the United States. This international dimension is reflected in the EU's Sixth Environmental Action Programme,[284] which recognises that its objectives can only be achieved if key international agreements are actively supported and properly implemented both at EU level and worldwide. The Lisbon Treaty further strengthened the leadership ambitions.[281] EU law has played a significant role in improving habitat and species protection in Europe, as well as contributing to improvements in air and water quality and waste management.[282]

Mitigating climate change is one of the top priorities of EU environmental policy. In 2007, member states agreed that, in the future, 20 per cent of the energy used across the EU must be renewable, and carbon dioxide emissions have to be lower in 2020 by at least 20 per cent compared to 1990 levels.[285] The European Union claims that already in 2018, its GHG emissions were 23% lower that in 1990.[286]

The EU has adopted an emissions trading system to incorporate carbon emissions into the economy.[287] The European 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.

In the 2019 elections to the European Parliament, the green parties increased their power, possibly because of the rise of post materialist values.[288]

Proposals to reach a zero carbon economy in the European Union by 2050 were suggested in 2018 – 2019. Almost all member states supported that goal at an EU summit in June 2019. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, and Poland disagreed.[289]

In June 2021 the European Union passed a European Climate Law with targets of 55% GHG emissions reduction by the year 2030 and carbon neutrality by the year 2050.[290]

In 2021 the European Union and the United States pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% by the year 2030. The pledge is considered as a big achievement for climate change mitigation.[291]

In 2017, the EU emitted 9.1 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions.[292]

Education and research

Basic education is an area where the EU's role is limited to supporting national governments. In higher education, the policy was developed in the 1980s in programmes supporting exchanges and mobility. The most visible of these has been the Erasmus Programme, a university exchange programme which began in 1987. In its first 20 years, it supported international exchange opportunities for well over 1.5 million university and college students and became a symbol of European student life.[293]

There are similar programmes for school pupils and teachers, for trainees in vocational education and training, and for adult learners in the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013. These programmes are designed to encourage a wider knowledge of other countries and to spread good practices in the education and training fields across the EU.[294][295] Through its support of the Bologna Process, the EU is supporting comparable standards and compatible degrees across Europe.

Scientific development is facilitated through the EU's Framework Programmes, the first of which started in 1984. The aims of EU policy in this area are to co-ordinate and stimulate research. The independent European Research Council allocates EU funds to European or national research projects.[296] 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.[297]

Health care and food safety

European Health Insurance Card (Slovenian version pictured)

The EU has no major competences in the field of health care and Article 35 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union affirms that "A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities". The European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers seeks to align national laws on the protection of people's health, on the consumers' rights, on the safety of food and other products.[298][299][300]

All EU and many other European countries offer their citizens a free European Health Insurance Card which, on a reciprocal basis, provides insurance for emergency medical treatment insurance when visiting other participating European countries.[301] A directive on cross-border healthcare aims at promoting co-operation on health care between member states and facilitating access to safe and high-quality cross-border healthcare for European patients.[302][303][304]

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.[305] In general, life expectancy is lower in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe.[306] In 2018, the EU region with the highest life expectancy was Madrid, Spain at 85.2 years, followed by the Spanish regions of La Rioja and Castilla y León both at 84.3 years, Trentino in Italy at 84.3 years and Île-de-France in France at 84.2 years. The overall life expectancy in the EU in 2018 was 81.0 years, higher than the World average of 72.6 years.[307]

Culture

Cultural co-operation between member states has been an interest of the European Union since its inclusion as a community competency in the Maastricht Treaty.[308] Actions taken in the cultural area by the EU include the Culture 2000 seven-year programme,[308] the European Cultural Month event,[309] and orchestras such as the European Union Youth Orchestra.[310] The European Capital of Culture programme selects one or more cities in every year to assist the cultural development of that city.[311]

Sport

Football fans before a match (San Siro stadium in Milan)

Association football is by far the most popular sport in the European Union by the number of registered players. The other sports with the most participants in clubs are tennis, basketball, swimming, athletics, golf, gymnastics, equestrian sports, handball, volleyball and sailing.[312]

Sport is mainly the responsibility of the member states or other international organisations, rather than of the EU. There are some EU policies that have affected sport, such as the free movement of workers, which was at the core of the Bosman ruling that prohibited national football leagues from imposing quotas on foreign players with European citizenship.[313]

The Treaty of Lisbon requires any application of economic rules to take into account the specific nature of sport and its structures based on voluntary activity.[314] This followed lobbying by governing organisations such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, due to objections over the application of free market principles to sport, which led to an increasing gap between rich and poor clubs.[315] The EU does fund a programme for Israeli, Jordanian, Irish, and British football coaches, as part of the Football 4 Peace project.[316]

Symbols

The flag of Europe consists of a circle of 12 golden stars on a blue background. Originally designed in 1955 for the Council of Europe, the flag was adopted by the European Communities, the predecessors of the present European Union, in 1986. The Council of Europe gave the flag a symbolic description in the following terms,[317] though the official symbolic description adopted by the EU omits the reference to the "Western world":[318]

Against the blue sky of the Western world, the stars symbolise the peoples of Europe in a form of a circle, the sign of union. The number of stars is invariably twelve, the figure twelve being the symbol of perfection and entirety.

— Council of Europe. Paris, 7–9 December 1955.
Europa and the Bull on a Greek vase, circa 480 BC. Tarquinia National Museum, Italy

United in Diversity was adopted as the motto of the union in 2000, having been selected from proposals submitted by school pupils.[319] Since 1985, the flag day of the union has been Europe Day, on 9 May (the date of the 1950 Schuman declaration). The anthem of the EU is an instrumental version of the prelude to the Ode to Joy, the 4th movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's ninth symphony. The anthem was adopted by European Community leaders in 1985 and has since been played on official occasions.[320] Besides naming the continent, the Greek mythological figure of Europa has frequently been employed as a personification of Europe. Known from the myth in which Zeus seduces her in the guise of a white bull, Europa has also been referred to in relation to the present union. Statues of Europa and the bull decorate several of the EU's institutions and a portrait of her is seen on the 2013 series of euro banknotes. The bull is, for its part, depicted on all residence permit cards.[321]

Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne (Latin: Carolus Magnus) and later recognised as Pater Europae ("Father of Europe"),[322][323][324] has a symbolic relevance to Europe. The commission has named one of its central buildings in Brussels after Charlemagne and the city of Aachen has since 1949 awarded the Charlemagne Prize to champions of European unification.[325] Since 2008, the organisers of this prize, in conjunction with the European Parliament, have awarded the Charlemagne Youth Prize in recognition of similar efforts led by young people.[326]

Media

Euronews headquarters in Lyon, France

Media freedom is a fundamental right that applies to all member states of the European Union and its citizens, as defined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as the European Convention on Human Rights.[327]: 1  Within the EU enlargement process, guaranteeing media freedom is named a "key indicator of a country's readiness to become part of the EU".[328]

The majority of media in the European Union are national-oriented, although some EU-wide media focusing on European affairs have emerged since the early 1990s, such as Euronews, Eurosport, EUobserver, EURACTIV or Politico Europe.[329][330] ARTE is a public Franco-German TV network that promotes programming in the areas of culture and the arts. 80 per cent of its programming are provided in equal proportion by the two member companies, while the remainder is being provided by the European Economic Interest Grouping ARTE GEIE and the channel's European partners.[331]

The MEDIA Programme of the European Union has supported the European popular film and audiovisual industries since 1991. It provides support for the development, promotion and distribution of European works within Europe and beyond.[332]

Impact

The European emblem emblazoned on the Eiffel Tower

The European Union has had a significant positive economic impact on most member states.[333] According to a 2019 study of the member states who joined from 1973 to 2004, "without European integration, per capita incomes would have been, on average, approximately 10 per cent lower in the first ten years after joining the EU."[333] Greece was the exception reported by the study, which analysed up to 2008, "to avoid confounding effects from the global financial crisis".[333]

The European Union has contributed to peace in Europe, in particular by pacifying border disputes,[334][335] and to the spread of democracy, especially by encouraging democratic reforms in aspiring Eastern European member states after the collapse of the USSR.[336][337] 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."[337] However, R. Daniel Kelemen argues that the EU has proved beneficial to leaders who are overseeing democratic backsliding, as the EU is reluctant to intervene in domestic politics, gives authoritarian governments funds which they can use to strengthen their regimes, and because freedom of movement within the EU allows dissenting citizens to leave their backsliding countries. At the same time, the union provides an external constraint that prevents soft authoritarian regimes from progressing into hard dictatorships.[338]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The 24 languages are equally official and accepted as working languages. Three of them – English, French and German – have the higher status of procedural languages and are used in the day-to-day workings of the European institutions.[1]
  2. ^ With the exception of the Canary Islands and Madeira, the outermost regions observe different time zones not shown: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin (UTC−4); French Guiana (UTC−3); Azores (UTC−1 / UTC); Mayotte (UTC+3); and La Réunion (UTC+4); which, other than the Azores, do not observe DST.
  3. ^ .eu is representative of the whole of the EU; member states also have their own TLDs.
  4. ^ This figure is from February 2020, and takes account of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The population of the UK is roughly 0.9% of the world's population.[19]
  5. ^ The Frankish Empire has had a symbolic relevance for the building of Europe since the 20th century: Charlemagne is often regarded as the "Father of Europe" and a similarity between the borders of Charlemagne's Empire and that of the European Economic Community was made explicit during the 1965 Aachen exhibition sponsored by the Council of Europe.[25] Kikuchi Yoshio (菊池良生) of Meiji University suggested that the notion of Holy Roman Empire as a federal political entity influenced the later structural ideas of the European Union.[26]
  6. ^ Native language
  7. ^ EU citizens able to hold a conversation in this language
  8. ^ See Articles 165 and 166 (ex Articles 149 and 150) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
  9. ^ Slavic: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Polish, Slovak and Slovene. Baltic: Latvian and Lithuanian.
  10. ^ French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.
  11. ^ Danish, Dutch, English, German and Swedish.
  12. ^ Greek
  13. ^ Irish
  14. ^ On 3 October 1990, the constituent states of the former German Democratic Republic acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany, automatically becoming part of the EU.
  15. ^ This figure includes the extra-European territories of member states which are part of the European Union, and excludes the European territories of member states which are not part of the Union. For more information see Special member state territories and the European Union.
  16. ^ a b See Article 288 (ex Article 249 TEC) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
  17. ^ According to the principle of Direct Effect first invoked in the Court of Justice's decision in Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen, Eur-Lex (European Court of Justice 1963). See: Craig and de Búrca, ch. 5.
  18. ^ According to the principle of Supremacy as established by the ECJ in Case 6/64, Falminio Costa v. ENEL [1964] ECR 585. See Craig and de Búrca, ch. 7. See also: Factortame litigation: Factortame Ltd. v. Secretary of State for Transport (No. 2) [1991] 1 AC 603, Solange II (Re Wuensche Handelsgesellschaft, BVerfG decision of 22 October 1986 [1987] 3 CMLR 225,265) and Frontini v. Ministero delle Finanze [1974] 2 CMLR 372; Raoul George Nicolo [1990] 1 CMLR 173.
  19. ^ and is effectively treated as one of the Copenhagen criteria.Assembly.coe.int. This is a political and not a legal requirement for membership. Archived 26 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ The European Convention on Human Rights was previously only open to members of the Council of Europe (Article 59.1 of the Convention), and even now only states may become member of the Council of Europe (Article 4 of the Statute of the Council of Europe).
  21. ^ Opinion (2/92) of the European Court of Justice on "Accession by the Community to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms" 1996 E.C.R. I-1759 (in French), ruled that the European Community did not have the competence to accede to the ECHR.
  22. ^ See: Case 34/73, Variola v. Amministrazione delle Finanze [1973] ECR 981.
  23. ^ To do otherwise would require the drafting of legislation which would have to cope with the frequently divergent legal systems and administrative systems of all of the now 28 member states. See Craig and de Búrca, p. 115
  24. ^ See Articles 157 (ex Article 141) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
  25. ^ See Article 2(7) of the Amsterdam Treaty on eur-lex.europa.eu Archived 17 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (OJ L 180, 19 July 2000, pp. 22–26); Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (OJ L 303, 2 December 2000, pp. 16–22).
  27. ^ "ERM II". Danish Finance Ministry. 20 March 2009. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  28. ^ Almost all uranium is imported and nuclear power is considered primary energy produced in the EU.
  29. ^ Article 39 (ex Article 33) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on eur-lex.europa.eu
  30. ^ Article 3(1)(g) of the Treaty of Rome

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