União Européia

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União Européia
Circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background
Lema:  " In Varietate Concordia "  (latim)
"Unidos na Diversidade"
Hino:  " Anthem of Europe " (instrumental)
Global European Union.svg
Special member state territories and the European Union.svg
Assentos institucionaisBruxelas

Frankfurt

Cidade de luxemburgo

Estrasburgo

  • Parlamento (assento oficial)
Maior metrópoleParis
Línguas oficiais
Scripts oficiais
Religião
(2015) [3]
Demônimo (s)europeu
ModeloSindicato supranacional
Estados membros
GovernoIntergovernamental
Ursula von der Leyen
David Sassoli
Charles Michel
 Eslovênia
Formação [4]
18 de abril de 1951
1 de janeiro de 1958
1 de julho de 1987
1 de novembro de 1993
1 de dezembro de 2009
1 de julho de 2013 ( Croácia )
31 de janeiro de 2020 ( Reino Unido )
Área
• Total
4.233.262 km 2 (1.634.472 MI quadrado)
• Água (%)
3,08
População
• estimativa para 2020
Decrease447.706.209 [5]
• Densidade
106 / km 2 (274,5 / sq mi)
PIB  ( PPP )Estimativa de 2021
• Total
Increase$ 20,918  trilhões [6]
• per capita
$ 46.888
PIB  (nominal)Estimativa de 2021
• Total
Increase$ 17,128  trilhões [6]
• per capita
$ 38.256
Gini  (2019)Positive decrease 30,2 [7]
meio
HDI  (2019)Increase 0,911 [8]
muito alto  ·  14º
MoedaEuro ( EUR ; ; na zona do euro ) e
9 outros
Fuso horárioUTC  para UTC + 2 ( WET , CET , EET )
• Verão ( DST )
UTC +1 a UTC + 3 ( WEST , CEST , EEST )
(veja também o horário de verão na Europa ) [b]
Internet TLD.eu [c]

A União Europeia ( UE ) é uma união política e econômica de 27 estados membros localizados principalmente na Europa . [9] A união tem uma área total de 4.233.255,3 km 2 (1.634.469,0 mi quadrados) e uma população total estimada em cerca de 447  milhões. Um mercado interno único foi estabelecido por meio de um sistema padronizado de leis que se aplicam a todos os Estados membros nessas matérias, e somente naquelas matérias, em que os Estados concordaram em agir como um só. As políticas da UE visam garantir a livre circulação de pessoas, bens, serviços e capitais no mercado interno; [10]promulgar legislação em matéria de justiça e assuntos internos; e manter políticas comuns de comércio , [11] agricultura , [12] pescas e desenvolvimento regional . [13] Os controlos de passaportes foram abolidos para viagens dentro do espaço Schengen . [14] A união monetária foi criada em 1999, entrando em vigor em 2002, e é composta por 19 Estados-Membros que utilizam a moeda euro . A UE tem sido frequentemente descrita como uma entidade política sui generis (sem precedente ou comparação) com as características de uma federação ou confederação. [15][16]

A união e a cidadania da UE foram estabelecidas quando o Tratado de Maastricht entrou em vigor em 1993. [17] As origens da UE remontam à Comunidade Europeia do Carvão e do Aço (CECA) e à Comunidade Económica Europeia (CEE), estabelecidas, respetivamente, pela Tratado de Paris de 1951 e Tratado de Roma de 1957 . Os Estados membros originais do que veio a ser conhecido como Comunidades Européias eram os Inner Six : Bélgica, França, Itália, Luxemburgo, Holanda e Alemanha Ocidental . As comunidades e seus sucessores aumentaram de tamanho com a adesão de novos Estados membrose no poder pelo acréscimo de áreas de política às suas atribuições. O Reino Unido se tornou o primeiro Estado-Membro a deixar a UE [18] em 31 de janeiro de 2020. Antes disso, três territórios de Estados-Membros haviam deixado a UE ou seus antecessores. A última grande alteração à base constitucional da UE, o Tratado de Lisboa , entrou em vigor em 2009.

Contendo cerca de 5,8 por cento da população mundial em 2020, [d] a UE gerou um produto interno bruto nominal (PIB) de cerca de US $ 17,1  trilhões em 2021, [6] constituindo aproximadamente 18 por cento do PIB nominal global . [20] [ melhor fonte necessária ] Além disso, todos os países da UE têm um Índice de Desenvolvimento Humano muito alto de acordo com o Programa de Desenvolvimento das Nações Unidas . Em 2012, a UE recebeu o Prêmio Nobel da Paz . [21] Através da Política Externa e de Segurança Comum, o sindicato desenvolveu um papel nas relações externas e na defesa . Mantém missões diplomáticas permanentes em todo o mundo e representa-se nas Nações Unidas , na Organização Mundial do Comércio , no G7 e no G20 . Devido à sua influência global, a União Europeia foi descrita por alguns estudiosos como uma superpotência emergente . [22] [23] [24]

História

Desde o final da Segunda Guerra Mundial , países europeus soberanos celebraram tratados e, assim, cooperaram e harmonizaram políticas (ou soberania conjunta ) em um número crescente de áreas, no chamado projeto de integração europeia ou na construção da Europa ( francês : la construction européenne ). O cronograma a seguir descreve o início legal da União Europeia (UE) - a estrutura principal para essa unificação. A UE herdou muitas das suas responsabilidades actuais das Comunidades Europeias (CE), que foram fundadas na década de 1950 no espírito doDeclaração de Schuman .

Legenda:
   S: assinatura
  F: entrada em vigor
  T: rescisão
  E: expiração de fato substituição Rel. w / EC / EU framework:
   
  
   de fato dentro
   lado de fora
                  Flag of Europe.svg União Europeia (UE) [ Cont. ]  
Flag of Europe.svg Comunidades Européias (CE) (Pilar I)
Comunidade Europeia da Energia Atômica (CEEA ou Euratom) [ Cont. ]      
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/ Comunidade Europeia do Carvão e do Aço (CECA)Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community 12 Star Version.svg  
    Comunidade Econômica Européia (CEE)    
            Regras de Schengen Comunidade Européia (CE)
'TREVI' Justiça e Assuntos Internos (JAI, pilar II)  
  Flag of NATO.svg Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte (OTAN) [ Cont. ] Cooperação Policial e Judiciária em Matéria Penal (PJCC, pilar II )
Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Aliança anglo-francesa
[ Braço de defesa entregue à OTAN ] Cooperação Política Europeia  (EPC)   Política Externa e de Segurança Comum
(PESC, pilar III )
Flag of the Western Union.svg Western Union (WU) Flag of the Western European Union (1993-1995).svg/ União da Europa Ocidental (WEU) Flag of the Western European Union.svg [ Tarefas definidas após a reativação da WEU em 1984 entregue à UE ]
     
[Tarefas sociais e culturais entregues ao CoE ] [ Cont. ]                
    Flag of Europe.svg Conselho da Europa (CoE)
Tratado de Dunquerque ¹
S: 4 de março de 1947
F: 8 de setembro de 1947
E: 8 de setembro de 1997
Tratado de Bruxelas ¹
S: 17 de março de 1948
F: 25 de agosto de 1948
T: 30 de junho de 2011
Tratados de Londres e Washington¹
S: 5 de maio / 4 de abril de 1949
F: 3 de agosto / 24 de agosto de 1949
Tratados de Paris: CECA e EDC
S: 18 de abril de 1951/27 de maio de 1952
F: 23 de julho de 1952 / -
E: 23 de julho de 2002 / -
Protocolo que modifica e
completa o Tratado de Bruxelas
¹
S: 23 de outubro de 1954
F: 6 de maio de 1955
Tratados de Roma: CEE ² e CEEA
S: 25 de março de 1957
F: 1 de janeiro de 1958
Acordo WEU-CoE ¹
S: 21 de outubro de 1959
F: 1 de janeiro de 1960
Tratado de Bruxelas (Fusão) ³
S: 8 de abril de 1965
F: 1 de julho de 1967
Relatório Davignon
S: 27 de outubro de 1970
Conclusões do Conselho Europeu
S: 2 de dezembro de 1975
Ato Único Europeu (SEA)
S: 17/28 de fevereiro de 1986
F: 1 de julho de 1987
Tratado e Convenção de Schengen
S: 14 de junho de 1985/19 de junho de 1990
F: 26 de março de 1995
Tratado de Maastricht ² ,
S: 7 de fevereiro de 1992
F: 1 de novembro de 1993
Tratado de Amsterdã
S: 2 de outubro de 1997
F: 1 de maio de 1999
Tratado de Nice
S: 26 de fevereiro de 2001
F: 1 de fevereiro de 2003
Tratado de Lisboa
S: 13 de dezembro de 2007
F: 1 de dezembro de 2009
¹Embora não sejam tratados da UE em si , esses tratados afetaram o desenvolvimento do braço de defesa da UE , uma parte principal da PESC. A aliança franco-britânica estabelecida pelo Tratado de Dunquerque foi de facto substituída pela WU. O pilar da PESC foi apoiado por algumas das estruturas de segurança que foram estabelecidas no âmbito do Tratado de Bruxelas Modificado de 1955 (MBT). O Tratado de Bruxelas foi rescindido em 2011, consequentemente dissolvendo a WEU, uma vez que a cláusula de defesa mútua que o Tratado de Lisboa previa para a UE foi considerada para tornar a WEU supérflua. A UE, assim, de facto substituiu a UEO.
²Os Tratados de Maastricht e de Roma constituem a base jurídica da UE e são também designados por Tratado da União Europeia (TUE) e Tratado sobre o Funcionamento da União Europeia (TFUE), respetivamente. Eles são emendados por tratados secundários.
³As Comunidades Européias obtiveram instituições comuns e uma personalidade jurídica compartilhada (isto é, capacidade de, por exemplo, assinar tratados por si próprios).
⁴Entre a fundação da UE em 1993 e a consolidação em 2009, a união consistia em três pilares , o primeiro dos quais eram as Comunidades Europeias. Os outros dois pilares consistiam em áreas adicionais de cooperação que haviam sido acrescentadas ao mandato da UE.
⁵A consolidação significou que a UE herdou a personalidade jurídica das Comunidades Europeias e que o sistema de pilares foi abolido , resultando no quadro da UE enquanto tal abrangendo todas as áreas políticas. Em vez disso, o poder executivo / legislativo em cada área era determinado por uma distribuição de competências entre as instituições da UE e os Estados-Membros . Esta distribuição, bem como as disposições do tratado para áreas políticas em que a unanimidade é exigida e a votação por maioria qualificada é possível, reflete a profundidade da integração da UE, bem como a natureza parcialmente supranacional e parcialmente intergovernamental da UE .
⁶Os planos para estabelecer uma Comunidade Política Europeia (EPC) foram arquivados após a não ratificação do Tratado que institui a Comunidade Europeia de Defesa (EDC) pela França . O EPC teria combinado o ECSC e o EDC.

Fundo

O Império Franco em sua maior extensão, ca. 814 AD.

Durante os séculos que se seguiram à queda de Roma em 476, vários estados europeus se viam como translatio imperii ("transferência de governo") do extinto Império Romano : o Império Franco (481–843) e o Sacro Império Romano (962–1806) ) foram, portanto, tentativas de ressuscitar Roma no Ocidente . [e] Essa filosofia política de um domínio supranacional sobre o continente, semelhante ao exemplo do antigo Império Romano, resultou no início da Idade Média no conceito de uma renovatio imperii ("restauração do império"), [27 ] seja nas formas do Reichsidee ("ideia imperial")[28] ou o Imperium Christianum de inspiração religiosa("império cristão"). [29] [30] A cristandade medievale o poder político do papado foram citados como propícios à integração e unidade europeias. [31] [32] [33] [34] [ relevante? ]

Nas partes orientais do continente, o czarismo russo e, finalmente, o Império (1547-1917), declararam Moscou como a Terceira Roma e herdeira da tradição oriental após a queda de Constantinopla em 1453. [35] A lacuna entre o Oriente grego e o oeste latino já havia sido alargado pela cisão política do Império Romano no século 4 e o Grande Cisma de 1054 , [36] [37] [38] e seria eventualmente alargado novamente pela Cortina de Ferro (1945-1991) antes do alargamento da União Europeia à Europa de Leste, a partir de 2004.[39] [40] [ relevante? ]

O pensamento político pan-europeu emergiu verdadeiramente durante o século 19, inspirado pelas ideias liberais das Revoluções Francesa e Americana após o fim do Império de Napoleão (1804–1815). Nas décadas que se seguiram aos resultados do Congresso de Viena , [41] ideais de unidade europeia floresceram em todo o continente, especialmente nos escritos de Wojciech Jastrzębowski (1799-1882) [42] ou Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872). [43] O termo Estados Unidos da Europa ( francês : États-Unis d'Europe ) foi usado na época por Victor Hugo(1802-1885) durante um discurso no Congresso Internacional da Paz realizado em Paris em 1849:

Chegará o dia em que todas as nações do nosso continente formarão uma fraternidade europeia ... Chegará o dia em que veremos ... os Estados Unidos da América e os Estados Unidos da Europa frente a frente, estendendo-se uns para os outros através os mares. [44]

Durante o período entre guerras , a consciência de que os mercados nacionais na Europa eram interdependentes embora conflituosos, juntamente com a observação de um mercado americano maior e crescente do outro lado do oceano, alimentou o desejo de integração econômica do continente. [45] Em 1920, defendendo a criação de uma união econômica europeia , o economista britânico John Maynard Keynes escreveu que "um Sindicato Livre deveria ser estabelecido ... para não impor tarifas protecionistas contra a produção de outros membros da União". [46] Durante a mesma década, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi , um dos primeiros a imaginar uma união política moderna da Europa, fundou oMovimento Pan-Europa . [47] Suas idéias influenciaram seus contemporâneos, entre os quais estava o então primeiro-ministro da França, Aristide Briand . Em 1929, este último fez um discurso a favor da União Europeia perante a assembleia da Liga das Nações , precursora das Nações Unidas . [48] Em um discurso de rádio em março de 1943, com a guerra ainda travando, o líder da Grã-Bretanha, Sir Winston Churchill, falou calorosamente sobre "restaurar a verdadeira grandeza da Europa" uma vez que a vitória fosse alcançada, e refletiu sobre a criação de um "Conselho no pós-guerra da Europa ", que uniria as nações europeias para construir a paz. [49] [50]

Preliminar (1945-1957)

Encontro no Hall of cavaleiros em Haia , durante o congresso (9 de maio 1948)

Após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, a integração europeia era vista como um antídoto para o nacionalismo extremo que havia devastado partes do continente. [51] Em um discurso proferido em 19 de setembro de 1946 na Universidade de Zurique , na Suíça, Winston Churchill foi mais longe e defendeu o surgimento dos Estados Unidos da Europa . [52] O Congresso de Haia de 1948 foi um momento crucial na história federal europeia, pois levou à criação do Movimento Internacional Europeu e do Colégio da Europa , onde os futuros líderes europeus viveriam e estudariam juntos. [53]

Também levou diretamente à fundação do Conselho da Europa em 1949, o primeiro grande esforço para reunir as nações da Europa, inicialmente dez delas. O conselho se concentrou principalmente em valores - direitos humanos e democracia - ao invés de questões econômicas ou comerciais, e sempre foi concebido como um fórum onde governos soberanos podiam escolher trabalhar juntos, sem nenhuma autoridade supranacional. Isso suscitou grandes esperanças de uma maior integração europeia, e houve debates fervorosos nos dois anos que se seguiram sobre como isso poderia ser alcançado.

Mas em 1952, decepcionados com o que consideravam falta de progresso no Conselho da Europa, seis nações decidiram ir mais longe e criaram a Comunidade Europeia do Carvão e do Aço , que foi declarada "um primeiro passo na federação da Europa" . [54] Esta comunidade ajudou a integrar e coordenar economicamente o grande número de fundos do Plano Marshall dos Estados Unidos. [55] Líderes europeus Alcide De Gasperi da Itália, Jean Monnet e Robert Schuman da França, e Paul-Henri Spaakda Bélgica entendia que carvão e aço eram as duas indústrias essenciais para travar a guerra e acreditava que, ao unir suas indústrias nacionais, uma guerra futura entre suas nações se tornaria muito menos provável. [56] Esses homens e outros são oficialmente considerados os pais fundadores da União Europeia .

Tratado de Roma (1957-1992)

Os territórios continentais dos estados membros da União Europeia (Comunidades Europeias pré-1993), coloridos por ordem de adesão

Em 1957, Bélgica, França, Itália, Luxemburgo, Holanda e Alemanha Ocidental assinaram o Tratado de Roma , que criou a Comunidade Econômica Europeia (CEE) e estabeleceu uma união aduaneira . Eles também assinaram outro pacto criando a Comunidade Europeia da Energia Atômica (Euratom) para cooperação no desenvolvimento da energia nuclear . Ambos os tratados entraram em vigor em 1958. [56]

A CEE e a Euratom foram criadas separadamente da CECA e partilhavam os mesmos tribunais e a Assembleia Comum. A CEE era chefiada por Walter Hallstein ( Comissão Hallstein ) e a Euratom era chefiada por Louis Armand ( Comissão Armand ) e depois por Étienne Hirsch . A Euratom deveria integrar setores da energia nuclear, enquanto a CEE desenvolveria uma união aduaneira entre seus membros. [57] [58]

Durante a década de 1960, as tensões começaram a aparecer, com a França buscando limitar o poder supranacional. Não obstante, em 1965 foi alcançado um acordo e em 1 de julho de 1967 o Tratado de Fusão criou um único conjunto de instituições para as três comunidades, que foram coletivamente denominadas Comunidades Européias . [59] [60] Jean Rey presidiu a primeira comissão resultante da fusão ( Comissão Rey ). [61]

Em 1973, as comunidades foram ampliadas para incluir a Dinamarca (incluindo a Groenlândia , que mais tarde deixou as Comunidades em 1985, após uma disputa sobre direitos de pesca), Irlanda e Reino Unido . [62] A Noruega negociou a adesão ao mesmo tempo, mas os eleitores noruegueses rejeitaram a adesão a um referendo . Em 1979, foram realizadas as primeiras eleições diretas para o Parlamento Europeu. [63]

A Grécia aderiu em 1981, Portugal e Espanha em 1986. [64] Em 1985, o Acordo de Schengen pavimentou o caminho para a criação de fronteiras abertas sem controle de passaportes entre a maioria dos Estados membros e alguns Estados não membros. [65] Em 1986, a bandeira europeia começou a ser usada pela CEE [66] e o Acto Único Europeu foi assinado.

Em 1990, após a queda do Bloco de Leste , a antiga Alemanha Oriental tornou-se parte das comunidades como parte de uma Alemanha reunificada . [67]

Tratado de Maastricht (1992–2007)

A União Europeia foi formalmente estabelecida quando o Tratado de Maastricht - cujos principais arquitetos foram Helmut Kohl e François Mitterrand - entrou em vigor em 1 de novembro de 1993. [17] [68] O tratado também deu o nome de Comunidade Europeia à CEE, mesmo que isso foi referido como tal antes do tratado. Com o novo alargamento planejado para incluir os antigos estados comunistas da Europa Central e Oriental, bem como Chipre e Malta , os critérios de Copenhague para os membros candidatos à adesão à UE foram acordados em junho de 1993. A expansão da UE introduziu um novo nível de complexidade e discórdia.[69] Em 1995, Áustria, Finlândia e Suécia aderiram à UE.

O euro foi introduzido em 2002, substituindo 12 moedas nacionais. Desde então, sete países aderiram.

Em 2002, as notas e moedas de euro substituíram as moedas nacionais em 12 dos Estados-Membros. Desde então, a zona do euro aumentou para abranger 19 países. A moeda euro tornou-se a segunda maior moeda de reserva do mundo. Em 2004, a UE viu seu maior alargamento até o momento, quando Chipre, República Tcheca, Estônia, Hungria, Letônia, Lituânia, Malta, Polônia, Eslováquia e Eslovênia aderiram à união. [70]

Tratado de Lisboa (2007-presente)

Em 2007, a Bulgária e a Romênia tornaram-se membros da UE. Mais tarde naquele ano, a Eslovênia adotou o euro [70], seguida por Chipre e Malta em 2008, Eslováquia em 2009, Estônia em 2011, Letônia em 2014 e Lituânia em 2015.

A antiga Ágora Romana é iluminada durante o evento Next Generation EU, em Atenas, Grécia, em 16 de junho de 2021

Em 1 de dezembro de 2009, o Tratado de Lisboa entrou em vigor e reformou muitos aspectos da UE. Em particular, mudou a estrutura jurídica da União Europeia, fundindo o sistema de três pilares da UE em uma única entidade jurídica dotada de personalidade jurídica , criou um presidente permanente do Conselho Europeu , o primeiro dos quais foi Herman Van Rompuy , e reforçou o cargo de alto representante do sindicato para os negócios estrangeiros e a política de segurança . [71] [72]

Em 2012, a UE recebeu o Prêmio Nobel da Paz por ter "contribuído para o avanço da paz e reconciliação, democracia e direitos humanos na Europa". [73] [74] Em 2013, a Croácia tornou-se o 28º membro da UE. [75]

Desde o início da década de 2010, a coesão da União Europeia foi testada por vários problemas, incluindo uma crise da dívida em alguns dos países da zona do euro , o aumento da migração da África e da Ásia e a retirada do Reino Unido da UE . [76] Um referendo no Reino Unido sobre a sua adesão à União Europeia foi realizado em 2016, com 51,9 por cento dos participantes votando para sair. [77] O Reino Unido notificou formalmente o Conselho Europeu da sua decisão de sair em 29 de março de 2017, dando início ao procedimento formal de rescisão para deixar a UE.; após extensões do processo, o Reino Unido deixou a União Europeia em 31 de janeiro de 2020, embora a maioria das áreas da legislação da UE continuasse a se aplicar ao Reino Unido por um período de transição que durou até 23:00 GMT em 31 de dezembro de 2020. [78]

Demografia

População

Em 1 de fevereiro de 2020 , a população da União Europeia era de cerca de 447 milhões de pessoas (5,8 por cento da população mundial). [79] [80] Em 2015,  nasceram 5,1 milhões de crianças na UE-28, o que corresponde a uma taxa de natalidade de 10 por 1.000, o que é 8 nascimentos abaixo da média mundial. [81] Para efeito de comparação, a taxa de natalidade da UE-28 foi de 10,6 em 2000, 12,8 em 1985 e 16,3 em 1970. [82] A sua taxa de crescimento populacional foi positiva em cerca de 0,23 por cento em 2016. [83]

Em 2010, 47,3  milhões de pessoas que viviam na UE nasceram fora do seu país de residência. Isto corresponde a 9,4 por cento da população total da UE. Destes, 31,4  milhões (6,3 por cento) nasceram fora da UE e 16,0  milhões (3,2 por cento) nasceram noutro Estado-Membro da UE. Os maiores números absolutos de pessoas nascidas fora da UE estavam na Alemanha (6,4  milhões), França (5,1  milhões), Reino Unido (4,7  milhões), Espanha (4,1  milhões), Itália (3,2  milhões) e Holanda (1,4  milhões ) [84] Em 2017, aproximadamente 825.000 pessoas adquiriram a cidadania de um estado membro da União Europeia. Os maiores gruposeram cidadãos de Marrocos, Albânia, Índia, Turquia e Paquistão. [85] 2,4  milhões de imigrantes de países terceiros entraram na UE em 2017. [86] [87]

Urbanização

A UE contém cerca de 40 áreas urbanas com populações de mais de 1  milhão. Com uma população de mais de 13 milhões, [88] Paris é a maior área metropolitana e a única megacidade na UE. [89] Paris é seguida por Madrid , Barcelona , Berlim , Ruhr , Roma e Milão , todos com uma população metropolitana de mais de 4  milhões. [90]

A UE também tem várias regiões urbanizadas policêntricas como Reno-Ruhr ( Colônia , Dortmund , Düsseldorf et al.), Randstad ( Amsterdam , Rotterdam , Haia , Utrecht et al.), Frankfurt Rhine-Main ( Frankfurt , Wiesbaden , Mainz et al. .), o Diamante Flamengo ( Antuérpia , Bruxelas , Leuven , Ghent et al.) e a área da Alta Silésia (Katowice , Ostrava et al.). [89]


línguas

Línguas oficiais por porcentagem de falantes (em fevereiro de 2020, [92] com base na pesquisa de 2012 [93] )
Língua Falantes nativos [f] [94] Total [g] [95]
alemão 18% 32%
francês 13% 26%
italiano 12% 16%
espanhol 8% 15%
polonês 8% 9%
romena 5% 5%
holandês 4% 5%
grego 3% 4%
húngaro 3% 3%
português 2% 3%
Tcheco 2% 3%
sueco 2% 3%
búlgaro 2% 2%
inglês 1% 51%
Eslovaco 1% 2%
dinamarquês 1% 1%
finlandês 1% 1%
lituano 1% 1%
croata 1% 1%
Esloveno <1% <1%
estoniano <1% <1%
irlandês <1% <1%
letão <1% <1%
maltês <1% <1%

A União Europeia tem 24 línguas oficiais: búlgaro , croata , tcheco , dinamarquês , holandês , inglês , estoniano , finlandês , francês , alemão , grego , húngaro , italiano , irlandês , letão , lituano , maltês , polonês , português , romeno , eslovaco , Esloveno , espanhole sueco . Documentos importantes, como legislação, são traduzidos para todas as línguas oficiais e o Parlamento Europeu fornece a tradução de documentos e sessões plenárias. [96] [97]

Devido ao grande número de línguas oficiais, a maioria das instituições usa apenas algumas línguas de trabalho. A Comissão Europeia conduz seus negócios internos em três idiomas de procedimento : inglês, francês e alemão. [1] Da mesma forma, o Tribunal de Justiça da União Europeia usa o francês como língua de trabalho, [98] enquanto o Banco Central Europeu conduz os seus negócios principalmente em inglês. [99] [100]

Embora a política linguística seja da responsabilidade dos Estados-Membros, as instituições da UE promovem o multilinguismo entre os seus cidadãos. [h] [101] Em 2012, o inglês era a língua mais falada na UE, sendo entendida por 51 por cento da população da UE quando contados os falantes nativos e não nativos. No entanto, após a saída do Reino Unido do bloco no início de 2020, a porcentagem da população da UE que falava inglês como língua nativa caiu de 13 por cento para 1 por cento. [102]O alemão é a língua materna mais falada (18 por cento da população da UE) e a segunda língua estrangeira mais amplamente entendida, seguida pelo francês (13 por cento da população da UE). Além disso, ambas são línguas oficiais de vários estados membros da UE. Mais de metade (56 por cento) dos cidadãos da UE conseguem conversar numa língua diferente da sua língua materna. [103]

Um total de vinte línguas oficiais da UE pertencem ao Indo-Europeu família de línguas , representada pela Balto-eslavo , [i] o Itálico , [j] a germânica , [k] a Hellenic , [l] eo Celtic [ m] ramos. Apenas quatro línguas, a saber, húngaro , finlandês , estoniano (todos os três uralico ) e maltês ( semítico ), não são línguas indo-europeias. [104]Os três alfabetos oficiais da União Europeia ( cirílico , latino e grego moderno ) derivam todos dos escritos do grego arcaico . [2] [105]

O luxemburguês (no Luxemburgo) e o turco (no Chipre) são as únicas duas línguas nacionais que não são línguas oficiais da UE. Em 26 de fevereiro de 2016 foi tornado público que Chipre pediu para tornar o turco uma língua oficial da UE, num "gesto" que poderia ajudar a resolver a divisão do país . [106] Já em 2004, estava planejado que o turco se tornaria uma língua oficial quando Chipre se reunisse. [107]

Além das 24 línguas oficiais, existem cerca de 150 línguas regionais e minoritárias , faladas por até 50 milhões de pessoas. [104] Catalão , galego e basco não são línguas oficiais reconhecidas da União Europeia, mas têm status oficial em um Estado membro (Espanha): portanto, as traduções oficiais dos tratados são feitas neles e os cidadãos têm o direito de se corresponder com as instituições nessas línguas. [108] [109] A Carta Europeia para Línguas Regionais ou Minoritárias ratificada pela maioria dos estados da UE fornece orientações gerais que os estados podem seguir para proteger o seu património linguístico. oO Dia Europeu das Línguas realiza-se anualmente a 26 de setembro e tem como objetivo incentivar a aprendizagem de línguas em toda a Europa. [110]

Religião

Filiação religiosa na União Europeia (2015) [3]
Afiliação por cento da população da UE
cristão 71,6 71.6
 
católico 45,3 45.3
 
protestante 11,1 11.1
 
Ortodoxa oriental 9,6 9.6
 
Outro cristão 5,6 5.6
 
muçulmano 1,8 1.8
 
Outras religiões 2,6 2.6
 
Irreligioso 24,0 24
 
Não crente / agnóstico 13,6 13.6
 
Ateu 10,4 10.4
 

A UE não tem ligação formal com nenhuma religião. O artigo 17.º do Tratado sobre o Funcionamento da União Europeia [111] reconhece o "estatuto de igrejas e associações religiosas ao abrigo da legislação nacional", bem como de "organizações filosóficas e não confessionais". [112]

O preâmbulo do Tratado da União Europeia menciona a "herança cultural, religiosa e humanista da Europa". [112] A discussão sobre os projetos de texto da Constituição Europeia e posteriormente do Tratado de Lisboa incluiu propostas para mencionar o Cristianismo ou um deus , ou ambos, no preâmbulo do texto, mas a ideia enfrentou oposição e foi abandonada. [113]

Os cristãos na União Europeia estão divididos entre os membros do catolicismo (de rito romano e oriental ), numerosas denominações protestantes ( anglicanos , luteranos e reformados formando o grosso desta categoria) e a Igreja Ortodoxa Oriental . Em 2009, a UE tinha uma população muçulmana estimada em 13 milhões, [114] e uma população judia estimada em mais de um milhão. [115] As outras religiões mundiais do budismo , hinduísmo e sikhismo também estão representadas na população da UE.

De acordo com novas pesquisas sobre religiosidade na União Europeia em 2015 pelo Eurobarômetro , o Cristianismo é a maior religião da União Europeia, representando 71,6 por cento da população da UE. Os católicos são o maior grupo cristão, representando 45,3 por cento da população da UE, enquanto os protestantes constituem 11,1 por cento, os ortodoxos orientais constituem 9,6 por cento e outros cristãos constituem 5,6 por cento. [3]

As pesquisas de opinião Eurobarômetro do Eurostat mostraram em 2005 que 52 por cento dos cidadãos da UE acreditavam em um deus, 27 por cento em "algum tipo de espírito ou força vital" e 18 por cento não tinham nenhuma forma de crença. [116] Muitos países experimentaram queda na freqüência e no número de membros da igreja nos últimos anos. [117] Os países onde o menor número de pessoas relatou uma crença religiosa foram a Estônia (16 por cento) e a República Tcheca (19 por cento). [116]Os países mais religiosos foram Malta (95 por cento, predominantemente católico), bem como Chipre e Romênia (ambos predominantemente ortodoxos), cada um com cerca de 90 por cento dos cidadãos professando uma crença em seu respectivo deus. Em toda a UE, a crença era maior entre mulheres, pessoas mais velhas, aqueles com educação religiosa, aqueles que abandonaram a escola aos 15 ou 16 anos e aqueles que "se posicionaram à direita na escala política". [116]

Estados membros

CroatiaFinlandSwedenEstoniaLatviaLithuaniaPolandSlovakiaHungaryRomaniaBulgariaGreeceCyprusCzech RepublicAustriaSloveniaItalyMaltaPortugalSpainFranceGermanyLuxembourgBelgiumNetherlandsDenmarkIreland
Mapa mostrando os estados membros da União Europeia (clicável)

Através de sucessivos alargamentos , a União Europeia cresceu dos seis Estados fundadores (Bélgica, França, Alemanha Ocidental, Itália, Luxemburgo e Holanda) para 27 membros. Os países aderem à união tornando-se parte dos tratados fundadores , sujeitando-se assim aos privilégios e obrigações de pertencer à UE. Isso implica uma delegação parcial de soberania às instituições em troca de representação dentro dessas instituições, uma prática muitas vezes referida como "união de soberania". [118] [119]

Para se tornar membro, um país deve cumprir os critérios de Copenhague , definidos na reunião de 1993 do Conselho Europeu em Copenhague. Isso requer uma democracia estável que respeite os direitos humanos e o Estado de Direito ; uma economia de mercado funcional ; e a aceitação das obrigações de adesão, incluindo a legislação da UE. A avaliação do cumprimento dos critérios por um país é da responsabilidade do Conselho Europeu. [120] O Artigo 50 do Tratado de Lisboa fornece a base para um membro deixar a UE . Dois territórios deixaram a união: a Groenlândia (uma província autônoma da Dinamarca) retirou-se em 1985; [121]o Reino Unido invocou formalmente o Artigo 50 do Tratado Consolidado da União Europeia em 2017 e tornou-se o único estado soberano a sair quando se retirou da UE em 2020.

Há seis países reconhecidos como candidatos à adesão : Albânia , Islândia , Macedônia do Norte , Montenegro , Sérvia e Turquia , [122] embora a Islândia tenha suspendido as negociações em 2013. [123] Bósnia e Herzegovina e Kosovo são oficialmente reconhecidos como candidatos potenciais , [122] com a Bósnia e Herzegovina tendo apresentado um pedido de adesão. A Geórgia e a Ucrânia estão se preparando para se candidatar formalmente à adesão à UE em 2024, a fim de aderir à União Europeia em 2030.[124] [125] [126]

Os quatro países que formam a Associação Européia de Livre Comércio (EFTA) não são membros da UE, mas se comprometeram parcialmente com a economia e os regulamentos da UE: Islândia, Liechtenstein e Noruega , que fazem parte do mercado único por meio do Espaço Econômico Europeu , e Suíça , que tem laços semelhantes por meio de tratados bilaterais . [127] [128] As relações dos microestados europeus , Andorra , Mônaco , San Marino e Cidade do Vaticano incluem o uso do euro e outras áreas de cooperação.[129]

Lista de estados membros
Estado Capital Adesão População (2019) [79] Área Densidade populacional MEPs
 Áustria Viena 199501011 de janeiro de 1995 8.858.775 83.855 km 2
(32.377 sq mi)
106 / km 2
(270 / sq mi)
19
 Bélgica Bruxelas 19570325Fundador 11.467.923 30.528 km 2
(11.787 mi quadradas)
376 / km 2
(970 / sq mi)
21
 Bulgária Sofia 200701011 de janeiro de 2007 7.000.039 110.994 km 2
(42.855 sq mi)
63 / km 2
(160 / sq mi)
17
 Croácia Zagreb 201307011 de julho de 2013 4.076.246 56.594 km 2
(21.851 sq mi)
72 / km 2
(190 / sq mi)
12
 Chipre Nicósia 200405011 de maio de 2004 875.898 9.251 km 2
(3.572 sq mi)
95 / km 2
(250 / sq mi)
6
 República Checa Praga 200405011 de maio de 2004 10.649.800 78.866 km 2
(30.450 sq mi)
135 / km 2
(350 / sq mi)
21
 Dinamarca Copenhague 197301011 de janeiro de 1973 5.806.081 43.075 km 2
(16.631 sq mi)
135 / km 2
(350 / sq mi)
14
 Estônia Tallinn 200405011 de maio de 2004 1.324.820 45.227 km 2
(17.462 MI quadrado)
29 / km 2
(75 / sq mi)
7
 Finlândia Helsinque 199501011 de janeiro de 1995 5.517.919 338.424 km 2
(130.666 sq mi)
16 / km 2
(41 / sq mi)
14
 França Paris 19570325Fundador 67.028.048 640.679 km 2
(247.368 sq mi)
105 / km 2
(270 / sq mi)
79
 Alemanha Berlim 19570325Fundador [n] 83.019.214 357.021 km 2
(137.847 sq mi)
233 / km 2
(600 / sq mi)
96
 Grécia Atenas 198101011 de janeiro de 1981 10.722.287 131.990 km 2
(50.960 sq mi)
81 / km 2
(210 / sq mi)
21
 Hungria Budapeste 200401011 de maio de 2004 9.797.561 93.030 km 2
(35.920 sq mi)
105 / km 2
(270 / sq mi)
21
 Irlanda Dublin 197301011 de janeiro de 1973 4.904.226 70.273 km 2
(27.133 sq mi)
70 / km 2
(180 / sq mi)
13
 Itália Roma 19570325Fundador 60.359.546 301.338 km 2
(116.347 sq mi)
200 / km 2
(520 / sq mi)
76
 Letônia Riga 200405011 de maio de 2004 1.919.968 64.589 km 2
(24.938 sq mi)
30 / km 2
(78 / sq mi)
8
 Lituânia Vilnius 200405011 de maio de 2004 2.794.184 65.200 km 2
(25.200 sq mi)
43 / km 2
(110 / sq mi)
11
 Luxemburgo Cidade de luxemburgo 19570325Fundador 613.894 2.586 km 2
(998 sq mi)
237 / km 2
(610 / sq mi)
6
 Malta Valletta 200405011 de maio de 2004 493.559 316 km 2
(122 sq mi)
1.562 / km 2
(4.050 / sq mi)
6
 Holanda Amsterdam 19570325Fundador 17.282.163 41.543 km 2
(16.040 sq mi)
416 / km 2
(1.080 / sq mi)
29
 Polônia Varsóvia 200405011 de maio de 2004 37.972.812 312.685 km 2
(120.728 sq mi)
121 / km 2
(310 / sq mi)
52
 Portugal Lisboa 198601011 de janeiro de 1986 10.276.617 92.390 km 2
(35.670 sq mi)
111 / km 2
(290 / sq mi)
21
 Romênia Bucareste 200701011 de janeiro de 2007 19.401.658 238.391 km 2
(92.043 sq mi)
81 / km 2
(210 / sq mi)
33
 Eslováquia Bratislava 200405011 de maio de 2004 5.450.421 49.035 km 2
(18.933 sq mi)
111 / km 2
(290 / sq mi)
14
 Eslovênia Liubliana 200405011 de maio de 2004 2.080.908 20.273 km 2
(7.827 MI quadrado)
103 / km 2
(270 / sq mi)
8
 Espanha Madrid 198601011 de janeiro de 1986 46.934.632 504.030 km 2
(194.610 sq mi)
93 / km 2
(240 / sq mi)
59
 Suécia Estocolmo 199501011 de janeiro de 1995 10.230.185 449.964 km 2
(173.732 sq mi)
23 / km 2
(60 / sq mi)
21
27 no total 446.834.579 4.233.262 km 2
(1.634.472 MI quadrado)
106 / km 2
(270 / sq mi)
705

Geografia

Mapa topográfico da União Europeia

Os estados membros da União Europeia cobrem uma área de 4.233.262 quilômetros quadrados (1.634.472 milhas quadradas). [o] O pico mais alto da UE é o Monte Branco, nos Alpes Graian , 4.810,45 metros (15.782 pés) acima do nível do mar . [130] Os pontos mais baixos da UE são Lammefjorden , Dinamarca e Zuidplaspolder , Holanda, a 7 m abaixo do nível do mar. [131] A paisagem, o clima e a economia da UE são influenciados por seu litoral, que tem 65.993 quilômetros (41.006 milhas) de comprimento.

Incluindo os territórios ultramarinos da França que estão localizados fora do continente europeu, mas que são membros da união, a UE experimenta a maioria dos tipos de clima do Ártico (nordeste da Europa) ao tropical ( Guiana Francesa ), gerando médias meteorológicas para o UE como um todo sem sentido. A maioria da população vive em áreas com clima marítimo temperado (noroeste da Europa e Europa Central), clima mediterrâneo (sul da Europa) ou clima quente de verão continental ou hemiboreal (Norte dos Balcãs e Europa Central). [132]

A população da UE é altamente urbanizada, com cerca de 75 por cento dos habitantes vivendo em áreas urbanas em 2006. As cidades estão amplamente distribuídas por toda a UE, com um grande agrupamento dentro e ao redor do Benelux . [133]

Vários territórios ultramarinos e dependências de vários estados membros também fazem parte formalmente da UE. [134]

Política

Organigrama do sistema político com as sete instituições da União em azul, elementos nacionais / intergovernamentais em laranja

A União Europeia opera através de um sistema híbrido de tomada de decisão supranacional e intergovernamental , [135] [136] e de acordo com os princípios de atribuição (que diz que deve agir apenas dentro dos limites das competências que lhe são conferidas pelos tratados ) e da subsidiariedade (que diz que só deve agir quando um objetivo não pode ser suficientemente alcançado pelos Estados-Membros agindo isoladamente). As leis elaboradas pelas instituições da UE são aprovadas de várias formas. [137]De um modo geral, podem ser classificados em dois grupos: os que entram em vigor sem necessidade de medidas nacionais de implementação (regulamentos) e os que requerem especificamente medidas nacionais de implementação (directivas). [138]

Constitucionalmente, a UE tem algumas semelhanças tanto com uma confederação quanto com uma federação , [139] [140] mas não se definiu formalmente como nenhuma das duas. (Não tem uma constituição formal: o seu estatuto é definido pelo Tratado da União Europeia e pelo Tratado sobre o Funcionamento da União Europeia ). É mais integrado do que uma confederação tradicional de estados porque o nível geral de governo emprega amplamente a votação por maioria qualificada em algumas tomadas de decisão entre os estados membros, em vez de depender exclusivamente da unanimidade. [141] [142]É menos integrado do que um estado federal porque não é um estado por direito próprio: a soberania continua a fluir “de baixo para cima”, dos vários povos dos estados membros separados, em vez de um único todo indiferenciado. Isso se reflete no fato de que os Estados-Membros permanecem os 'mestres dos Tratados', mantendo o controle sobre a atribuição de competências ao sindicato por meio de mudanças constitucionais (mantendo assim o chamado Kompetenz-kompetenz ); na medida em que retêm o controle do uso da força armada; eles mantêm o controle da tributação; e na medida em que conservam o direito de rescisão unilateral nos termos do artigo 50.º do Tratado da União Europeia. Além disso, o princípio da subsidiariedadeexige que apenas as questões que precisam ser determinadas coletivamente sejam determinadas dessa forma.

A União Europeia tem sete órgãos principais de decisão, as suas instituições : o Parlamento Europeu , o Conselho Europeu , o Conselho da União Europeia , a Comissão Europeia , o Tribunal de Justiça da União Europeia , o Banco Central Europeu e o Tribunal Europeu de auditores . A competência de fiscalização e alteração da legislação é partilhada entre o Conselho da União Europeia e o Parlamento Europeu, enquanto as tarefas executivas são desempenhadas pela Comissão Europeia e em capacidade limitada pelo Conselho Europeu (não deve ser confundido com o referido Conselho da Europa União). oa política monetária da zona do euro é determinada pelo Banco Central Europeu. A interpretação e a aplicação do direito da UE e dos tratados são asseguradas pelo Tribunal de Justiça da União Europeia. O orçamento da UE é fiscalizado pelo Tribunal de Contas Europeu. Existem também vários órgãos auxiliares que aconselham a UE ou operam numa área específica.

A política da UE é, em geral, promulgada por diretivas da UE , que são então implementadas na legislação doméstica de seus estados membros , e regulamentos da UE , que são imediatamente aplicáveis ​​em todos os estados membros. O lobby a nível da UE por grupos de interesses especiais é regulamentado para tentar equilibrar as aspirações das iniciativas privadas com o processo de tomada de decisão de interesse público. [143]

Instituições

Council of the EU and European Council.svg Council of the EU and European Council.svg European Parliament logo.svg European Commission.svg
Conselho Europeu Conselho da União Européia Parlamento Europeu Comissão Europeia
Fornece ímpeto e direção Legislativo Legislativo Executivo
Com sede em Bruxelas , Bélgica  Com sede em Bruxelas , Bélgica . Reúne-se em Luxemburgo , Luxemburgo nos meses de abril, junho e outubro.    Reúne-se em Estrasburgo , França e Bruxelas , Bélgica . Secretariado com sede em Luxemburgo , Luxemburgo .     Com sede em Bruxelas , Bélgica . Vários departamentos e serviços sediados em Luxemburgo , Luxemburgo .   
Define as orientações e prioridades políticas gerais da União, reunindo os chefes de estado / governo dos seus estados membros (chefes executivos eleitos). As conclusões das cimeiras (realizadas pelo menos trimestralmente) são aprovadas por consenso. Reúne ministros dos departamentos dos governos dos Estados membros. Ele serve para representar os vários governos diretamente e sua aprovação é necessária para qualquer proposta entrar em lei. É composto por 705 representantes eleitos diretamente. Partilha com o Conselho da UE poderes legislativos iguais para alterar, aprovar ou rejeitar as propostas da Comissão para a maioria das áreas da legislação da UE. Seus poderes são limitados em áreas nas quais os Estados membros consideram a soberania como a principal preocupação (ou seja, defesa). Ele elege o presidente da comissão, deve aprovar o Colégio de Comissários e pode votar para removê-los coletivamente do cargo. A única instituição com poderes para propor legislação, funciona como "Guardiã dos Tratados". Consiste em um gabinete executivo de funcionários públicos, liderado por um presidente eleito indiretamente . Este Colégio de Comissários gere e dirige a função pública permanente da comissão. Transforma os objetivos consensuais do Conselho Europeu em propostas legislativas .

Conselho Europeu

O Conselho Europeu dá orientações políticas à UE. Reúne-se pelo menos quatro vezes por ano e inclui o presidente do Conselho Europeu (atualmente Charles Michel ), o presidente da Comissão Europeia e um representante por Estado-Membro (quer seja o seu chefe de estado ou de governo ). O Alto Representante do Sindicato para Assuntos Exteriores e Política de Segurança (atual Josep Borrell ) também participa de suas reuniões. Foi descrito por alguns como a "autoridade política suprema" do sindicato. [144] Está ativamente envolvido na negociação de mudanças no tratado e define a agenda política e as estratégias da UE.

O Conselho Europeu usa o seu papel de liderança para resolver disputas entre os Estados-Membros e as instituições e para resolver crises políticas e desacordos sobre questões e políticas controversas. Atua externamente como um " chefe de estado coletivo " e ratifica documentos importantes (por exemplo, acordos e tratados internacionais). [145]

As tarefas do presidente do Conselho Europeu são garantir a representação externa da UE, [146] gerar consensos e resolver divergências entre os Estados-Membros, tanto durante as reuniões do Conselho Europeu como nos períodos entre elas.

O Conselho Europeu não deve ser confundido com o Conselho da Europa , uma organização internacional independente da UE com sede em Estrasburgo.

Comissão Europeia

A Comissão Europeia atua como braço executivo da UE , responsável pela gestão quotidiana da UE, e também como iniciador legislativo , com competência exclusiva para propor leis para debate. [147] [148] [149] A comissão é 'guardiã dos Tratados' e é responsável pelo seu funcionamento e policiamento eficientes. [150] Ele opera de fato como um governo de gabinete , [ carece de fontes? ] Com 27 comissários europeus para diferentes áreas de política, um de cada estado membro, embora os comissários sejam obrigados a representar os interesses da UE como um todo, em vez de sua casa Estado.

Um dos 27 é o presidente da Comissão Europeia (atualmente Ursula von der Leyen para 2019-2024), nomeado pelo Conselho Europeu , sujeito à aprovação do Parlamento. Após o Presidente, o comissário mais proeminente é o Alto Representante da União para os Negócios Estrangeiros e a Política de Segurança , que é ex-officio um vice-presidente da Comissão Europeia e também é escolhido pelo Conselho Europeu. [151] Os outros 26 comissários são posteriormente nomeados pelo Conselho da União Europeia de acordo com o presidente nomeado. Os 27 comissários como um único órgão estão sujeitos à aprovação (ou não) pelo voto doParlamento Europeu .

Conselho da União Européia

O Conselho da União Europeia (também denominado Conselho [152] e "Conselho de Ministros", o seu antigo título) [153] constitui metade da legislatura da UE. É composto por um representante do governo de cada estado membro e se reúne em diferentes composições, dependendo da área de política abordada . Apesar de suas diferentes configurações, é considerado um único corpo. Para além das funções legislativas, os membros do conselho também têm responsabilidades executivas , como o desenvolvimento de uma Política Externa e de Segurança Comum e a coordenação de políticas económicas gerais na União. [154] A Presidência do conselhoalterna entre os Estados-Membros, cada um detendo-o durante seis meses. A partir de 1º de julho de 2021, o cargo passou a ser ocupado pela Eslovênia . [155]

Em algumas políticas, existem vários estados membros que se aliam a parceiros estratégicos dentro do sindicato. Exemplos de tais alianças incluem o Grupo Visegrad , Benelux , a Assembleia Báltica , a Nova Liga Hanseática , o Triângulo de Weimar , o Triângulo de Lublin , o Grupo EU Med , o Grupo Craiova e Bucharest Nine .

Parlamento Europeu

O Parlamento Europeu é uma das três instituições legislativas da UE que, juntamente com o Conselho da União Europeia, é responsável por alterar e aprovar as propostas da Comissão Europeia. 705 membros do Parlamento Europeu (MPE) são eleitos diretamente pelos cidadãos da UE de cinco em cinco anos com base na representação proporcional . Os eurodeputados são eleitos a nível nacional e sentam-se de acordo com grupos políticos e não de acordo com a sua nacionalidade. Cada país tem um determinado número de cadeiras e é dividido em constituintes subnacionais, onde isso não afeta a natureza proporcional do sistema de votação. [156]

No processo legislativo ordinário , a Comissão Europeia propõe legislação, que requer a aprovação conjunta do Parlamento Europeu e do Conselho da União Europeia para ser aprovada. Este processo aplica-se a quase todas as áreas, incluindo o orçamento da UE . O parlamento é o órgão final a aprovar ou rejeitar a proposta de adesão à comissão e pode apresentar moções de censura à comissão recorrendo ao Tribunal de Justiça . O presidente do Parlamento Europeu (atualmente David Sassoli ) exerce as funções de presidente do Parlamento e representa-o externamente. O presidente e os vice-presidentes são eleitos pelos eurodeputados a cada dois anos e meio. [157]

Despesas

European Union 2014–2020 Multiannual Financial Framework
Quadro Financeiro Plurianual da União Europeia 2014-2020 [158]

A União Europeia tinha um orçamento acordado de € 120,7 bilhões para o ano de 2007 e € 864,3 bilhões para o período 2007-2013, [159] representando 1,10 por cento e 1,05 por cento da previsão do RNB da UE-27 para os respectivos períodos. Em 1960, o orçamento da então Comunidade Econômica Européia era de 0,03% do PIB. [160]

No orçamento de 2010 de 141,5 mil milhões de euros, a maior rubrica de despesa individual é " coesão e competitividade " com cerca de 45 por cento do orçamento total. [161] Em seguida, vem a " agricultura " com aproximadamente 31 por cento do total. [161] " Desenvolvimento rural, meio ambiente e pescas " ocupa cerca de 11 por cento. [161] " Administração " representa cerca de 6 por cento. [161] A " UE como parceiro global " e a " cidadania, liberdade, segurança e justiça " aparecem na retaguarda com cerca de 6 por cento e 1 por cento, respetivamente. [161]

O Tribunal de Contas é legalmente obrigado a fornecer ao parlamento e ao conselho (especificamente, o Conselho dos Assuntos Económicos e Financeiros ) "uma declaração sobre a fiabilidade das contas e a legalidade e regularidade das operações subjacentes". [162] O Tribunal também emite pareceres e propostas sobre legislação financeira e ações antifraude. [163] O parlamento usa isso para decidir se aprova a gestão do orçamento pela comissão.

O Tribunal de Contas Europeu tem assinado as contas da União Europeia todos os anos desde 2007 e, embora tenha deixado claro que a Comissão Europeia tem mais trabalho a fazer, sublinhou que a maioria dos erros ocorrem a nível nacional. [164] [165] No seu relatório de 2009, os auditores constataram que cinco domínios das despesas da União, a agricultura e o fundo de coesão , estavam materialmente afetados por erros. [166] A Comissão Europeia estimou em 2009 que o efeito financeiro das irregularidades foi de 1.863 milhões de euros. [167]

Em novembro de 2020, membros do sindicato, Hungria e Polônia , bloquearam a aprovação do orçamento da UE em uma reunião no Comitê de Representantes Permanentes (Coreper), citando uma proposta que vinculava o financiamento à adesão ao Estado de Direito. O orçamento incluiu um fundo de recuperação COVID-19 de € 750  bilhões. O orçamento ainda pode ser aprovado se a Hungria e a Polônia retirarem seus vetos após novas negociações no Conselho e no Conselho Europeu . [168] [169]

Competências

Os Estados-Membros mantêm todos os poderes não explicitamente atribuídos à União Europeia. Em algumas áreas, a UE goza de competência exclusiva. Essas são áreas nas quais os Estados membros renunciaram a qualquer capacidade de promulgar legislação. Noutras áreas, a UE e os seus Estados-Membros partilham a competência de legislar. Embora ambos possam legislar, os Estados-Membros só podem legislar na medida em que a UE não o fez. Noutras áreas políticas, a UE apenas pode coordenar, apoiar e complementar a acção dos Estados-Membros, mas não pode aprovar legislação com o objectivo de harmonizar as leis nacionais. [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.
The EU participates in all G7 and G20 summits. (G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, 2019).

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]

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. Possessing the EU's largest armed forces and the largest national defence budget of the bloc,[211] France is also the only EU country that has power projection capabilities outside of Europe.[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

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 EU has adopted an emissions trading system to incorporate carbon emissions into the economy.[286] 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.[287]

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.[288]

In 2017, the EU emitted 9.1 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions.[289] The EU has a target of zero GHG emission by 2050.[290]

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.[291]

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.[292][293] 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.[294] 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.[295]

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.[296][297][298]

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.[299] 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.[300][301][302]

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.[303] In general, life expectancy is lower in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe.[304] 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.[305]

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.[306] Actions taken in the cultural area by the EU include the Culture 2000 seven-year programme,[306] the European Cultural Month event,[307] and orchestras such as the European Union Youth Orchestra.[308] The European Capital of Culture programme selects one or more cities in every year to assist the cultural development of that city.[309]

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.[310]

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.[311]

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.[312] 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.[313] The EU does fund a programme for Israeli, Jordanian, Irish, and British football coaches, as part of the Football 4 Peace project.[314]

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,[315] though the official symbolic description adopted by the EU omits the reference to the "Western world":[316]

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.[317] 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.[318] 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.[319]

Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne (Latin: Carolus Magnus) and later recognised as Pater Europae ("Father of Europe"),[320][321][322] 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.[323] 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.[324]

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.[325]: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".[326]

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.[327][328] 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.[329]

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.[330]

Impact

The European emblem emblazoned on the Eiffel Tower

The European Union has had a significant positive economic impact on most member states.[331] 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."[331] Greece was the exception reported by the study, which analysed up to 2008, "to avoid confounding effects from the global financial crisis".[331]

The European Union has contributed to peace in Europe, in particular by pacifying border disputes,[332][333] and to the spread of democracy, especially by encouraging democratic reforms in aspiring Eastern European member states after the collapse of the USSR.[334][335] 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."[335] 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.[336]

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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