"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden"....Goethe
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|European Union||European integration has delivered
half a century of stability, peace and economic prosperity. It has helped
to raise standards of living, built an internal market, launched the euro
and strengthened the Union's voice in the world.
The European Union (EU) was set up after the 2nd World War. The process of European integration was launched on 9 May 1950 when France officially proposed to create 'the first concrete foundation of a European federation'. Six countries (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) joined from the very beginning. Today, after four waves of accessions (1973: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom; 1981: Greece; 1986: Spain and Portugal; 1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden) the EU has 15 Member States and is preparing for the accession of 13 eastern and southern European countries.
The European Union is based on the rule of law and democracy. It is neither a new State replacing existing ones nor is it comparable to other international organisations. Its Member States delegate sovereignty to common institutions representing the interests of the Union as a whole on questions of joint interest. All decisions and procedures are derived from the basic treaties ratified by the Member States.
Principal objectives of the Union are:
Establish European citizenship (Fundamental rights; Freedom of movement;
Civil and political rights);
European Parliament (elected by the peoples of the Member States);
This text and map is provided through the courtesy of European Commission.
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