Portal:European Union
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Portal:European Union

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Flag of Europe.svg Welcome to the European Union Portal!

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 28 member states that are primarily located in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. Institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.

The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by the Inner Six countries in 1951 and 1958, respectively. In the intervening years, the community and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.

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Paris Air Show 2007-06-24 n18.jpg

The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an inter-governmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 20 member states. Its headquarters are in Paris, France. ESA has a staff of about 2,000 with an annual budget of about EUR4 billion in 2013.

ESA's spaceport is the Centre Spatial Guyanais (Guyana Space Centre) in Kourou, French Guiana, a site chosen because it is close to the equator from which commercially important orbits are easier to access. During the 1990s ESA gained the position of market leader in commercial space launches and in recent years ESA has established itself as a major player in space exploration.

ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, and the European Astronauts Centre (PACI), that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany.

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Nicosia

Nicosia, known locally as Lefkosia is the capital and largest city of Cyprus. Nicosia is located at 35°10' north, 33°21' east (35.1667, 33.35). Located on the Pedieos river and situated roughly in the centre of the island, it is the seat of government as well as the main business centre. Nicosia is the center and capital of an administrative district (Nicosia District), and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is currently the only divided capital city in the world, with the northern (Turkish) and southern (Greek) portions divided by the "Green Line", a demilitarized zone maintained by the United Nations. The 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 36 percent of the island's territory literally cut the capital in half. The population of the part of the city under the control of the Republic of Cyprus is 206,200 (end of 2001).

Nicosia is a modern, dynamic capital with lots of shops, restaurants and entertainment.The city is a trade center and manufactures textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other products. Copper mines are nearby. Nicosia is the seat of the University of Cyprus (UCY) and of all the colleges and institutes of Republic of Cyprus.

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Did you know?

...that the President of Ireland, who serves as head of state, is elected for a seven year term and can be re-elected only once?

...that within the Eurozone the European Central Bank has the exclusive authority to set monetary policy?

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