Portal:European Union

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The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 28 member states that are primarily located in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. 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, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.

The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by the Inner Six countries in 1951 and 1958, respectively. In the intervening years, the community and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.

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The economy of the European Union combines the economies of 28 member states and is generating an estimated nominal GDP of 12.8 trillion in 2012 according to the Eurostat. It accounts for about 31% of the world's total economic output. 18 member states adopted a single currency, the euro, managed by the European Central Bank. The EU economy consists of a single market and is represented as a unified entity in the WTO.

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London is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom. An important settlement for around two millennia, London is the largest financial centre in Europe and one of the largest in the world. A huge involvement in business, politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion and the arts contribute to its status as one of the world's global cities.

London is the largest and most populated city in the European Union. Its population is very cosmopolitan, drawing from a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, speaking over 300 different languages. Residents of London are referred to as Londoners.

The city is an international transport hub with the world's busiest international airport, Heathrow Airport and is a major tourist destination - counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions.

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Europa and the bull as seen in Nova et accurata totius Europæ descriptio by Fredericus de Wit (1700).

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