There are seven continents globally, and Europe is one of them. There is something that makes Europe different from the other continents, and their unity is. It should be understood that Europe and the European Union are two different things altogether. Europe is a continent located North of Africa and West of Asia, and it has 44 countries (sovereign states) today, according to the United Nations. The European Union is a union of 27 countries mainly for political and economic interests.
Interesting facts about European Union
Number and Name of member states-There are 27 member states in the European Union. They are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Total Population– The total population of the European Union is 447 million.
Chocolate Museum- There is a chocolate Museum in Brussels. In that museum, you will find all the facts and histories related to chocolates, like how the Mayans first and then the Aztecs grew cocoa trees, How cocoa beans conquered Europe and how cocoa is made into chocolate. Brussels is where the world’s highest chocolate sale is made every day.
Same passports for all – All European Union countries have a red passport with ‘European Union’ written on top followed by the name of the country that person is a citizen of.
The largest parliament- The European Union parliament is the largest and the only-directly elected international body globally. It has more than 700 members representing over 450 million people from 27 countries.
How did the idea of a European Union come up? It is not an easy question to answer because of many reasons for forming a European Union. One of the primary reasons for developing a European Union was to end the centuries-old war and conflicts between the countries. The formation of the European Union could potentially end the thought of war between the countries. This is the aftermath of World War II. In 1946, at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, Winston Churchill advocated forming the United states of Europe. Robert Schuman introduced the idea to develop a common union. He was a foreign minister of France.
How did coal unite Europe? Under the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community was founded. The goal was to free trade of coal and steel among the European countries. Six countries, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, are the original countries that first renounced their sovereignty to ensure proper transport and marketing of coal and steel production.
The most important cities of the European Union- Four cities are most important for the European Union. These are Brussels in Belgium, because of the EU Headquarter, Strasbourg in France, the European parliament, Frankfurt/Main in Germany, European Central Bank, and Luxembourg City in Luxembourg because of the seat of parliament and the European Court of Justice. The EU capital city is Brussels which is also the capital of Belgium.
Presidency of the council- The presidency of the council of the European Union rotates every six months. In 2021, the presiding countries were Portugal and Slovenia, and in 2022, the presidency will go to France and the Czech Republic.
Three Leaders- There are three leaders of the European Union. The EU Commission President, The EU council President and the EU parliament president.
European Atomic Energy Community –A treaty was signed in 1957, under which it was proposed to create a unique market for nuclear power in Europe. The goal was to develop nuclear energy and distribute it among the fellow member states of the European Union, and the surplus was intended to be sold to the non-member states.
Treaty of Rome and the Economic community- A treaty was signed in Rome, which is called the treaty of Rome in 1957, which aimed at economic integration of the European Union state members (The original six countries) and creating a common market.
No passport required- If a person wants to travel from one country to another, they do not require a passport within the European Union. This was ensured in the Schengen Agreement, which was signed in 1985.
Do all members of the European Union use the same currency? There are 27 members in the European Union, but 19 use the currency Euro whereas the other eight countries do not use the currency Euro. Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.
Nobel Peace Prize to a union- In 2012, the European Union was awarded to the European Union because it has contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The European Union is committed to helping the victims of disasters worldwide, whether natural or man-made. It supports over 120 million people, and the European Union and its constituent member countries are some of the world’s leading donors of humanitarian aid.
Flag of the Union- The European Union has its flag and its motto, and its anthem. The flag is blue with 12 stars forming a circle symbolizing the unity of the member states. The motto of the EU is ‘Unity in Diversity. Since there are different languages spoken in European countries, the anthem of the European Union does not consist of any song of any language. It consists of only music. This anthem was composed by a German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven. The Anthem is named ‘Ode to Joy
Is it all so goody-goody? Due to opening borders for markets, some of the countries’ locally manufactured products took a heavy toll. Countries like Greece were hit by the financial crisis so bad that it was predicted that Greece might leave the European Union for a long time. In some countries, t5he labor charge is cheaper, so there is a rapid migration of jobs to those places, which severely creates a financial gap between the countries. It is a huge problem, and the European Union is expected to develop a solution.
Any possibility of breaking the European Union? While it is not easy to make an opinion, some trends are happening lately that hint towards a possible break in the European Union. Europe seems to be experiencing a possible renaissance of national sovereignty, which is supported by the nationalistic turn of public opinion to the point the United Kingdom that, was a member of the European Union, voted to exit from the EU, which is famously called ‘The Bruit’, made from the words ‘British Exit.’ The reasons given by the UK were that it is their best chance to regain control over the borders and control the immigration issue. The economic and migration crises are enormous issues that may become the reason for a possible European Break.
There are so many things to learn from the European Union. It still stands as the greatest experiment on human unity, and it is still the largest group of humanity that can be addressed in terms of political and economic interaction. This conveys to the general public of all the nations that it is very much possible to keep aside the tiny identities of race, religion, caste, creed and nationality and embrace all humans. The European Union is, in a way, a blueprint for how to create a global union.
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