Member state of the European Union

The European Union consists of 27 member states. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby shares in the privileges and obligations of membership. Unlike members of most international organisations, the member states of the EU have agreed by treaty to shared sovereignty through the institutions of the European Union in some aspects of government. Member states must agree unanimously for the EU to adopt some policies. Subsidiarity, meaning that decisions are taking collectively if and only if they cannot realistically be taken individually, is a founding principle of the EU. In 1957, six core states founded the European Economic Community; the remaining states have acceded in subsequent enlargements. To accede, a state must fulfill the economic and political requirements known as the Copenhagen criteria, which require a candidate to have a democratic, free-market government together with the corresponding freedoms and institutions, respect for the rule of law.

Enlargement of the Union is contingent upon the consent of all existing members and the candidate's adoption of the existing body of EU law, known as the acquis communautaire. Until 2020, no member state had withdrawn or been suspended from the EU, though some dependent territories or semi-autonomous areas had left; the UK government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union on 29 March 2017 to formally initiate the Brexit process. Completion occurred on 31 January 2020, with all other arrangements remaining in place during a transition period while a free trade agreement is negotiated. According to the Copenhagen criteria, membership of the European Union is open to any European country, a stable, free-market liberal democracy that respects the rule of law and human rights. Furthermore, it has to be willing to accept all the obligations of membership, such as adopting all agreed law and switching to the euro. For a state to join the European Union, the prior approval of all current member states is required.

In addition to enlargement by adding new countries, the EU can expand by having territories of member states, which are outside the EU, integrate more or by a territory of a member state which had seceded and rejoined. Each state has representation in the institutions of the European Union. Full membership gives the government of a member state a seat in the Council of the European Union and European Council; when decisions are not being taken by consensus, qualified majority voting. The Presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates among each of the member states, allowing each state six months to help direct the agenda of the EU; each state is assigned seats in Parliament according to their population. The members of the European Parliament have been elected by universal suffrage since 1979; the national governments appoint one member each to the European Commission, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Auditors. Prospective Commissioners must be confirmed both by the President of the Commission and by the European Parliament.

Larger member states were granted an extra Commissioner. However, as the body grew, this right has been removed and each state is represented equally; the six largest states are granted an Advocates General in the Court of Justice. The Governing Council of the European Central Bank includes the governors of the national central banks of each euro area country; the larger states traditionally carry more weight in negotiations, however smaller states can be effective impartial mediators and citizens of smaller states are appointed to sensitive top posts to avoid competition between the larger states. This, together with the disproportionate representation of the smaller states in terms of votes and seats in parliament, gives the smaller EU states a greater power of influence than is attributed to a state of their size; however most negotiations are still dominated by the larger states. This has traditionally been through the "Franco-German motor" but Franco-German influence has diminished following the influx of new members in 2004.

While the member states are sovereign, the union follows a supranational system for those functions agreed by treaty to be shared.. Limited to European Community matters, the practice, known as the'community method', is used in many areas of policy. Combined sovereignty is delegated by each member to the institutions in return for representation within those institutions; this practice is referred to as'pooling of sovereignty'. Those institutions are empowered to make laws and execute them at a European level. If a state fails to comply with the law of the European Union, it may be fined or have funds withdrawn. In contrast to other organisations, the EU's style of integration has "become a developed system for mutual interference in each other's domestic affairs". However, on defenc

Benzodiazepine dependence

Benzodiazepine dependence is when one has developed one or more of either tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, drug seeking behaviors, such as continued use despite harmful effects, maladaptive pattern of substance use, according to the DSM-IV. In the case of benzodiazepine dependence, the continued use seems to be associated with the avoidance of unpleasant withdrawal reaction rather than from the pleasurable effects of the drug. Benzodiazepine dependence develops with long-term use at low therapeutic doses, without the described dependence behavior. Addiction, or what is sometimes referred to as psychological dependence, includes people misusing or craving the drug not to relieve withdrawal symptoms, but to experience its euphoric or intoxicating effects, it is necessary to distinguish between addiction and drug abuse of benzodiazepines and normal physical dependence on benzodiazepines. The increased GABAA inhibition caused by benzodiazepines is counteracted by the body's development of tolerance to the drug's effects.

When benzodiazepines are stopped, these neuroadaptations are "unmasked" leading to hyper-excitability of the nervous system and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms. Therapeutic dose dependence is the largest category of people dependent on benzodiazepines; these individuals do not escalate their doses to high levels or abuse their medication. Smaller groups include patients escalating their dosage to drug misusers as well, it is unclear how many people illicitly abuse benzodiazepines. Tolerance develops within days or weeks to the anticonvulsant, hypnotic muscle relaxant and after 4 months there is little evidence that benzodiazepines retain their anxiolytic properties; some authors, however and feel that benzodiazepines retain their anxiolytic properties. Long-term benzodiazepine treatment may remain necessary in certain clinical conditions. Numbers of benzodiazepine prescriptions have been declining, due to concerns of dependence. In the short term, benzodiazepines can be effective drugs for acute insomnia.

With longer-term use, other therapies, both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic, become more effective. This is in part due to the greater effectiveness over time of other forms of therapy, due to the eventual development of pharmacological benzodiazepine tolerance; the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine dependence include feeling unable to cope without the drug, unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop benzodiazepine use, tolerance to the effects of benzodiazepines, withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. Some withdrawal symptoms that may appear include anxiety, depressed mood, depersonalisation, sleep disturbance, hypersensitivity to touch and pain, shakiness, muscular aches, pains and headache. Benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal have been associated with suicide and self-harming behaviors in young people; the Department of Health substance misuse guidelines recommend monitoring for mood disorder in those dependent on or withdrawing from benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine dependence is a frequent complication for those prescribed for or using for longer than four weeks, with physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms being the most common problem, but occasionally drug-seeking behavior.

Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, perceptual disturbances, distortion of all the senses, and, in rare cases and epileptic seizures. Long-term use and benzodiazepine dependence is a serious problem in the elderly. Failure to treat benzodiazepine dependence in the elderly can cause serious medical complications; the elderly have less cognitive reserve and are more sensitive to the short and protracted withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines, as well as the side-effects both from short-term and long-term use. This can lead to excessive contact with their doctor. Research has found that withdrawing elderly people from benzodiazepines leads to a significant reduction in doctor visits per year, it is presumed, due to an elimination of drug side-effects and withdrawal effects. Tobacco and alcohol are the most common substances that elderly people get a dependence on or misuse; the next-most-common substance that elderly people develop a drug dependence to or misuse is benzodiazepines. Drug-induced cognitive problems can have serious consequences for elderly people and can lead to confusional states and "pseudo-dementia".

About 10% of elderly patients referred to memory clinics have a drug-induced cause that most is benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have been linked to an increased risk of road traffic accidents and falls in the elderly; the long-term effects of benzodiazepines are still not understood in the elderly or any age group. Long-term benzodiazepine use is associated with visuospatial functional impairments. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can lead to improved alertness and decreased forgetfulness in the elderly. Withdrawal led to statistical significant improvements in memory function and performance related skills in those having withdrawn from benzodiazepines, whereas those having remained on benzodiazepines experienced worsening symptoms. People having withdrawn from benzodiazepines felt their sleep was more refreshing, making statements such as "I feel sharper when I wake up" or "I feel better, more awake", or "It used to take me an hour to wake up." This suggests that benzodiazepines may actuall

Tom Thumb House (Norfolk, Connecticut)

The Tom Thumb House is a historic summer cottage on Windrow Road in Norfolk, Connecticut. Built in 1929, it is an unusual medieval-styled construction designed by New York architect Alfredo S. G. Taylor, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Tom Thumb House is located south of the village center of Norfolk, on the south side of Windrow Road, it is set on a hillside above the road, from which it and an adjacent house are screened by trees. It is a single-story structure, consisting of two square sections joined at a corner; the walls of each section are made of large boulders, are up to 2.5 feet thick. The pyramidal roofs of each section, framed with hand-hewn timbers recycled from old barns, are covered in thick slate. One of the squares has the main living space, while the other houses a kitchen area. Exposed framing and rough paneling recycled, are the principal exposed woodwork; the building was built in 1929 to a design by New York City architect Alfredo S. G. Taylor.

Taylor spent many summers in Norfolk, is credited with more than thirty commissions in the community. A number of them share the medieval features used in this building: the rough rustic stone and wood finishes, heavy slate roof. Details of the building were published in American Architect and Building News after its construction. Taylor's work for the Childs family included the Starling Childs Camp on Doolittle Lake, the Childs Sports Building; this house was referred to by the family as the "Teahouse". National Register of Historic Places listings in Litchfield County, Connecticut