The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 447million. An internal single market has been established through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where the states have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market; enact legislation in justice and home affairs; and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Passport controls have been abolished for travel within the Schengen Area. A monetary union was established in 1999, coming into full force in 2002, and is composed of 19 member states which use the euro currency. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity (without precedent or comparison) with the characteristics of either a federation or confederation.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a member state of the United Nations, NATO, the G8 and the G4 nations, and is a founding member of the European Union. It has the largest population and largest economy of all European Union member states. Germany is both the world's third largest economy and its largest exporter of goods. Germany is facing major demographic change. Its fertility rate of 1.39 children per mother is one of the lowest in the world, and the federal statistics office estimates the population will shrink to approximately 75 million by 2050. Chemnitz is thought to be the city with the lowest birth rate in the world.
Valletta, population 6,444 (2014), is the capital city of Malta. The whole city was inscribed as a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1980. The official name the Order of Saint John gave to the city was Humilissima Civitas Valletta — a city bound to humility. However, with the building of bastions, curtains and ravelins, along with the beauty of the baroque buildings along its streets, it became known as Superbissima — 'Most Proud', amongst the ruling houses of Europe. In Maltese it is known as Il-Belt, simply meaning "The City".
The foundation stone of Valletta was laid by the Grandmaster of the Order of Saint John, Jean Parisot de Valette, on 28 March 1566; The Order decided to found a new city on the Xiberras peninsula just after the end of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, so as to fortify the Order's position in Malta, effectively binding the Knights to the island. The city was designed by Francesco Laparelli, while many of the most important buildings were built by Girolamo Cassar. Valletta, hence, is an urban area which boasts many buildings from the 16th century and onwards, but most of them were built during the time of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (the Knights Hospitaller, or Knights of Malta).
The following are images from various European Union-related articles on Wikipedia.
Image 1A cartogram depicting the population distribution between old EU-27 member states (including the UK and excluding Croatia). 58% of all citizens of the EU live in the four largest member states: Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. (from Demographics of the European Union)