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Introduction

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  Welcome to the European Union Portal!

The European Union (EU) is a supranational 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 447 million. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity (without precedent or comparison) combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation.

Containing 5.8 per cent of the world population in 2020, the EU generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$17.1 trillion in 2021, constituting approximately 18 per cent of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all EU states have a very high Human Development Index according to the United Nations Development Programme. Its cornerstone, the Customs Union, paved the way to establishing an internal single market based on standardised legal framework and legislation that applies 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. The eurozone is a group composed of the 19 EU member states that have fully implemented the economic and monetary union and use the euro currency. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the union has developed a role in external relations and defence. It maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Due to its global influence, the European Union has been described by some scholars as an emerging superpower.

Although the United Kingdom became the only member state to leave the EU in 2020, several other countries are aspiring or negotiating to join it. (Full article...)

Selected article

Schengen Agreement

The 1985 Schengen Agreement is an agreement among European states which allows for the abolition of systematic border controls between the participating countries. It also includes provisions on common policy on the temporary entry of persons, the harmonisation of external border controls and cross-border police co-operation. A total of 30 countries – including all European Union states and three non-EU members Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland – have signed the agreement and 26 have implemented it so far. The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom only take part in the police co-operation measures and not the common border control and visa provisions. Border posts and checks have been removed between Schengen countries and a common 'Schengen visa' allows tourist or visitor access to the area.

The agreement was originally signed on 14 June 1985, by five European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands). It was signed aboard the ship Princesse Marie-Astrid on the Moselle River, near Schengen, a small town in Luxembourg on the border with France and Germany.

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House of the Blackheads (Riga)
The House of the Blackheads is a building in the old town of Riga, Latvia. The original building was erected during the early 14th century for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, with major work completed in 1580 and 1886. In 1941, the original building was bombed by the Germans; the ruins were demolished by the Soviets seven years later. The current reconstruction was erected from 1995 to 1999.

Did you know?

...that Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City all mint their own euro coins, with their own national symbols on the back, despite not being EU members?

...that Slovenia joined the Euro on January 1, 2007?

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Zagreb

Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately 122 m above sea level. In the census of 2011 the population of the city was 790,017.

Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The oldest settlement in the urban area of the city is Andautonia, a Roman settlement in the place of today's Ščitarjevo. The name "Zagreb" is mentioned for the first time in 1094 at the founding of the Zagreb diocese of Kaptol, and Zagreb became a free royal town in 1242, whereas the origin of the name still remains a mystery in spite of several theories. In 1851 Zagreb had its first mayor, Janko Kamauf, and in 1945 it was made the capital of Croatia when the demographic boom and the urban sprawl made the city it's known nowadays.

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