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.

Selected article

The Mendip Hills are a range of limestone hills situated to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England, United Kingdom. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the Hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Avon valley to the north. The hills give their name to the local government district of Mendip, which covers most of the area.

The hills are largely carboniferous limestone, which is quarried at several sites. The higher western part of the Hills, have been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with an area of 200 km2 (80 sq mi), which gives it the same level of protection as a national park. The Mendip Hills AONB Service and Somerset County Council's outdoor education centre is at the Charterhouse Centre near Blagdon.

The Mendips are home to a wide range of outdoor sports and leisure activities many based on the particular geology of the area. It is recognised as a national centre for caving and cave diving. In addition to climbing and abseiling, the area is popular with hillwalkers and those interested in natural history.

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Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the country's largest city, with a population of some 450,000. Bratislava is the political, cultural and economic centre of Slovakia. It is the seat of the Slovak presidency, parliament and government as well as home to several universities, museums, theatres, galleries and other national economic, cultural and educational institutions. Most of Slovakia's large businesses and financial institutions have their headquarters in Bratislava. The city's past has been characterized by the strong influence of various peoples, including Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Austrians and Jews. Bratislava still retains its cosmopolitan spirit. It hosts many festivals and trade shows and it is famous for its night life and leisure facilities.

Selected picture


Photo credit: User:Nilington
The spire of Mont Saint-Michel is visible from the courtyard outside the abbey.

Did you know?

...that Romania and Bulgaria became full members of the European Union on January 1, 2007?

...that the European Union's member states combined represent the world's largest economy by GDP, larger than the United States, the People's Republic of China, and Japan, the seventh largest territory in the world by area and the third largest by population after China and India?

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