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Portal:European Union

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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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The Treaties of Rome are two of the treaties of the European Union signed on March 25, 1957. Both treaties were signed by The Six: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.

The first established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the second established the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom). They were the first international organisations to be based on supranationalism, after the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) established a few years prior.

The treaties came into force on 1 January 1958 and the EEC treaty has been amended on numerous occasions (see Treaties of the European Union); It has since been renamed from The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community to the The Treaty establishing the European Community. However the Euratom treaty has seen very little amendment due to the later sensitivity surrounding atomic energy amongst the European electorate.

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Insigne Holmiae.svg

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, and consequently the site of its Government and Parliament as well as the residence of the Swedish head of state, King Carl XVI Gustaf. Stockholm has been Sweden's political and economic center since the 13th century. Today it is the largest municipality of Sweden, with a population of 776,000, while the populations of the Stockholm urban area and Metropolitan Stockholm are roughly 1.2 and 1.9 million, respectively. With its location on the east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, it is widely renowned for its beauty.

The city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl in order to protect Sweden from a sea invasion by foreign navies, and to stop the pillage of towns such as Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren. It is also said that the name derives from the spot where a log (stock) pushed into the waters, and following its currents, drifted upon an islet (holm). This location would thus constitute the best location for a harbour for returning ships.

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Brandenburg Gate Quadriga at Night.jpg
Photo credit: א (Aleph)
Close-up of the quadriga (four-horse chariot) atop the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (Germany) at night.
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