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European Union

  • By: Sami Moisio
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The European Union (EU) was founded in 1992 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. It began functioning as a political organization in November 1993 and has gradually become one of the key actors in international affairs. In Europe, the EU has clearly become a political unit toward which the minor, small, and great powers tend to look before anything else and toward which regional, political, and economic activities increasingly tend to be geared. The EU currently includes 27 European states and is structured around three key institutions: the European Parliament (with 736 members), the European Commission (with 27 commissioners), and the European Council. It is through these political bodies that EU legislation—the driver of integration—is debated, passed, and implemented.

Evolution of the European Union

The EU is the ...

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