Union (EU is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states
which are located primarily in Europe. The EU operates through a hybrid system
of supranational independent institutions and in governmentally made decisions negotiated
by the member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European
Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court
of Justice of the European Union and the European Central Bank. The European
Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens. The EU has developed a
single market through a standardized system of laws which apply in all member
states. Within the Schengen Area (which includes EU and non-EU states) passport
controls have been abolished, though, some of the EU member states still have
to use passports to travel abroad. A monetary union, the euro zone was
established in 1999 and is currently composed of 17 member states. The first
plans of using Euro in Hungary were told in 2005, but there are lots of
difficulties for Hungary to change the monetary system. Through the Common
Foreign and Security Policy the EU has developed a limited role in external
relations and defense.
The EU’S member
states cover an area of 4,4 million square kilometers, including the overseas
territories of member states. The EU experiences most types of climate from
Arctic to tropical, rendering metrological averages for the EU as a whole
meaningless. The European Union is composed of 27 sovereign member states.
The EU operates
solely within those competencies conferred on it upon the treaties and
according to the principle of subsidarity. Laws made by the EU institutions are
passed in a variety of forms. Generally speaking they can be classified into
two groups: those which come into force without the necessity for national
implementation measures, and those which specifically require national
Union has seven institutions: the European Parliament, the Council of the
European Union, the European Commission, the European Council, the European
Central Bank, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court
Council gives direction to the EU and convenes at least four times a year. The
European Council has been described by some as the Union’s „supreme political
authority” It is actively involved in the negotiation of the treaty changes and
defines the EU’s policy agenda and strategies. The European Council uses its
leadership role to sort out disputes between member states and the
institutions, and to resolve political crises and disagreements over
controversial issues and policies.
The Members of
the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by EU citizens every five
years on the basis of proportional representation to the share of votes
collected by each political party. Although, MEPs are elected on a national
basis, they sit according to political groups rather than their nationality.
Each country has a set number of seats and is divided into sub-national
constituencies where this does not affect the proportional nature of the voting
The EU is based
on a series of treaties. These first established the European Community and the
EU and then made amendments to those funding treaties. These are power-giving
treaties which set broad policy goals and establish institutions with the
necessary legal powers to implement those goals.
Commissions Humanitarian Aid Office or „ECHO” provides humanitarian aid from
the EU to developing countries.
The EU has
established a single market across the territory of all its members. A monetary
union, the euro zone, using a single currency comprises 17 member states.
The policy has
the objectives of increasing agricultural production, providing certainty in
food supplies, ensuring a high quality of life for farmers, establishing
markets, and ensuring reasonable prices for consumers.
There are now
similar programs for school pupils and teachers, for trainees in vocational
education and training, and for adult learners in the Lifelong Learning Program
2007-2013. These programs are designed to encourage a wider knowledge of other
countries and to spread good practices in the education and training fields
across the EU.
A high level of
human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation
of all Union policies and activities. 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.
is the responsibility of member states, but EU institutions promote the
learning of other languages. English is the most spoken language in the EU and
is spoken by 51% of the EU population counting both native and non-native
speakers. German is the most widely spoken mother tongue. In the most important
situations, for example in the sessions of the European Parliament, a team of
interpreters provides simultaneous translation of the proceedings into all the
official languages. Other meetings are hold in one of the main languages:
English, French or German. Official documents are translated into the official
languages. The objective is to ensure that no member state is disadvantaged
because its language is not a popular international language.