Free Internet access should be a basic human right, study says

Free internet access must be considered as a human right, as people unable to get online—particularly in developing countries—lack meaningful ways to influence the global players shaping their everyday lives, according ...

More countries than ever hit by forest fires in 2018

Today, the JRC published the 2018 edition of its Annual Report on Forest Fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. According to the report, wildfires destroyed nearly 178,000 hectares (ha) of forests and land in ...

Climate engineering: International meeting reveals tensions

At this point, the greatest danger of climate engineering may be how little is known about where countries stand on these potentially planet-altering technologies. Who is moving forward? Who is funding research? And who is ...

Cryptocurrencies could eliminate banking's easiest moneymaker

If the measure of a currency's importance is how much it's used to actually buy and sell things, digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have barely gotten off the ground. And Facebook's proposed entry, Libra, has run ...

Oil, gas giants spend 250 mn on EU lobbying: green groups

The five biggest publicly listed oil and gas companies and trade groups representing them spent more than 250 million euros lobbying the European Union to influence climate action since 2010, environmental groups said Thursday.

First method to differentiate the four egg types

In the European Union, hen eggs are labeled with a code starting with numerals 0, 1, 2 or 3, depending on whether the hens are organically produced, free-range, floor-raised or caged, respectively. Now, researchers at the ...

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European Union

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe. Committed to regional integration, the EU was established by the Treaty of Maastricht on 1 November 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU combined generates an estimated 30% share (US$18.4 trillion in 2008) of the nominal gross world product.

The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, ensuring the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital. It maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. A common currency, the euro, has been adopted by sixteen member states that are thus known as the Eurozone. The EU has developed a limited role in foreign policy, having representation at the WTO, G8 summits, and at the UN. It enacts legislation in justice and home affairs, including the abolition of passport controls between many member states which form part of the Schengen Area. Twenty-one EU countries are also members of NATO.

An international organisation sui generis, the EU operates through a hybrid system of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism. In certain areas, it depends upon agreement between the member states; in others, supranational bodies are able to make decisions without unanimity. Important institutions and bodies of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the European Court of Justice, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by member states' citizens, to whom the citizenship of the European Union is guaranteed.

The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Since then the union has grown in size through the accession of new countries, and new policy areas have been added to the remit of the EU's institutions.

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