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Portal:European Union

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Introduction

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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 447 million. 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. The eurozone is a monetary union established in 1999, coming into full force in 2002, that is composed of the 19 EU member states that 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 union and EU citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), established, respectively, by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome. The original member states of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The communities and their successors have grown in size by the accession of 21 new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to their remit. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. In 2020, the United Kingdom became the only member state to leave the EU. Before this, four territories of current member states had left the EU or its forerunners. There are several other countries that are negotiating to join the European Union. (Full article...)

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European flag outside the Commission.jpg

The Flag of Europe is the flag and emblem of the European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE). It consists of a circle of 12 golden (yellow) stars on a blue background. It was created in 1955 by the CoE and adopted by the EU, then the European Communities, in the 1980s.

The CoE and EU are distinct in membership and nature. The CoE is a 47-member international organisation dealing with human rights and rule of law, while the EU is a quasi-federal union of 28 states focused on economic integration and political cooperation. Today, the flag is mostly associated with the latter.

It was the intention of the CoE that the flag should come to represent Europe as a whole, and since its adoption the membership of the CoE covers nearly the entire continent. This is why the EU adopted the same flag. The flag has been used to represent Europe in sporting events and as a pro-democracy banner outside the Union.

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Trinity College Library
Trinity College Library is a library serving Trinity College Dublin as well as the wider University of Dublin. It is a legal deposit or copyright library, which means that publishers in Ireland must deposit a copy of all their publications in the library, free of charge. It is also the only Irish library to hold such rights for publications in the United Kingdom. Founded at the same time as the college, in 1592, it received its most famous manuscript, the Book of Kells, from Henry Jones in 1661. Pictured is the Long Room, which is situated in the Old Library building. It was built between 1712 and 1732, has a length of 65 metres (213 ft), and houses 200,000 of the Library's oldest books.

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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Prague

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated on the Vltava river in central Bohemia, it is home to approximately 1.2 million people. Since 1992, the historic center of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. According to Guinness World Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world.

The land where Prague was to be built has been settled since the Paleolithic Age. Several thousands of years ago, there were trade routes connecting southern parts of Europe to northern Europe which passed through this area, following the course of the river. From around 500 BC the Celtic tribe known as the Boii, were the first known inhabitants of this region known by name. The Boii named the region Bohemia and the river Vltava. In between the 6th and 9th centuries AD the Germanic tribe Marcomanni migrated to Bohemia and other Germanic tribes followed during the 5th century AD, but in the 6th century their elites and majority of inhabitants moved to the Danubian area which enabled a Slavic tribe invading from the West, to settle this area. The Czech Slavic tribe came to Bohemia in the 6th century and Forefather Czech became the founder of the Czech nation.

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