Member state of the European Union
The European Union consists of 28 member states. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the privileges and obligations of membership. Unlike members of most international organisations, the member states of the EU are subjected to binding laws in exchange for representation within the common legislative and judicial institutions. Member states must agree unanimously for the EU to adopt policies concerning defence and foreign policy. Subsidiarity 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. On 1 July 2013, Croatia became the newest member state of the EU. 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.
There is disparity in the size and political system of member states, but all have de jure equal rights. In practice, certain states are more influential than others. While in some areas majority voting takes place where larger states have more votes than smaller ones, smaller states have disproportional representation compared to their population. No member state has withdrawn or been suspended from the EU, though some dependent territories or semi-autonomous areas have left. In June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on membership of the EU, resulting in 51.89% of votes cast, being in favour of leaving. The United Kingdom government invoked Article 50 on 29 March 2017 to formally initiate the withdrawal process. Notes 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.
To join the European Union, it is required for all member states to agree. 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. Enlargement is, has been, a principal feature of the Union's political landscape; the EU's predecessors were founded by the "Inner Six", those countries willing to forge ahead with the Community while others remained skeptical. It was only a decade before the first countries changed their policy and attempted to join the Union, which led to the first skepticism of enlargement. French President Charles de Gaulle feared British membership would be an American Trojan horse and vetoed its application, it was only after de Gaulle left office and a 12-hour talk by British Prime Minister Edward Heath and French President Georges Pompidou took place that the United Kingdom's third application succeeded in 1970.
Applying in 1969 were the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway. Norway, declined to accept the invitation to become a member when the electorate voted against it, leaving just the UK, Denmark to join, but despite the setbacks, the withdrawal of Greenland from Denmark's membership in 1985, three more countries joined the Communities before the end of the Cold War. In 1987, the geographical extent of the project was tested when Morocco applied, was rejected as it was not considered a European country; the year 1990 saw the Cold War drawing to a close, East Germany was welcomed into the Community as part of a reunited Germany. Shortly thereafter, the neutral countries of Austria and Sweden acceded to the newly renamed European Union, though Switzerland, which applied in 1992, froze its application due to opposition from voters while Norway, which had applied once more, had its voters reject membership again in 1994. Meanwhile, the members of the former Eastern Bloc and Yugoslavia were all starting to move towards EU membership.
Eight of these, plus Cyprus and Malta, joined in a major enlargement on 1 May 2004 symbolising the unification of Eastern and Western Europe in the EU. They were followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 and Croatia in 2013; the EU has prioritised membership for the rest of the Western Balkans. Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey are all formally acknowledged as candidates, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidates. Turkish membership, pending since the 1980s, is a more contentious issue. Aside from the Cyprus dispute being a long-standing hurdle, relations between the EU and Turkey have become strained after several incidents concerning the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt, the Turkish referendum, the resulting 2016–17 purges in Turkey; this has led to the European Parliament calling for a suspension of membership talks. 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, votes are weighted so that a country with a greater population has more votes within the Coun
2008 Kosovo declaration of independence
The 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence was adopted on 17 February 2008 by the Assembly of Kosovo. In a meeting attended by 109 of the total 120 members, the assembly unanimously declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia, while all 11 representatives of the Serb minority boycotted the proceedings; this minority was found to be common in the northern District of Mitrovica. It was the second declaration of independence by Kosovo's Albanian-majority political institutions; the legality of the declaration has been disputed. Serbia sought international validation and support for its stance that the declaration was illegal, in October 2008 requested an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice; the Court determined. As a result of the ICJ decision, a joint Serbia-EU resolution was passed in the United Nations General Assembly which called for an EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia to "promote cooperation, achieve progress on the path to the European Union and improve the lives of the people."
The dialogue resulted in the 2013 Brussels deal between Serbia and Kosovo which abolished all of the Republic of Serbia's institutions in Kosovo. Dejan Pavićević is the official representative of Serbia to Kosovo. Valdet Sadiku is the official representative of Kosovo to Serbia; the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija took shape in 1945 as the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija within Socialist Yugoslavia, as an autonomous region within People's Republic of Serbia. A ceremonial entity, more power was devolved to Kosovan authorities with each constitutional reform. In 1968 it became the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo and in 1974 new constitution enabled the province to function at every administrative level independently of its host republic within Yugoslavia. Increasing ethnic tension throughout Yugoslavia in the late 1980s amid rising nationalism among its nations led to a decentralised state: this facilitated Serbian President Slobodan Milošević in terminating the privileges awarded to the Kosovar assembly in 1974.
The move attracted criticism from the leaderships of the other Yugoslav republics but no higher authority was in place to reverse the measure. In response to the action, the Kosovo Assembly voted on 2 July 1990 to declare Kosovo an independent state, this received recognition from Albania. A state of emergency and harsh security rules were subsequently imposed against Kosovo's Albanians following mass protests; the Albanians established a "parallel state" to provide education and social services while boycotting or being excluded from Yugoslav institutions. Kosovo remained quiet through the Yugoslav wars; the severity of the Yugoslav government in Kosovo was internationally criticised. In 1996, the Kosovo Liberation Army began attacking federal security forces; the conflict escalated until Kosovo was on the verge of all-out war by the end of 1998. In January 1999, NATO warned that it would intervene militarily against Yugoslavia if it did not agree to the introduction of an international peacekeeping force and the establishment of local government in Kosovo.
Subsequent peace talks failed and from 24 March to 11 June 1999, NATO carried out an extensive bombing campaign against FR Yugoslavia including targets in Kosovo itself. The war ended with Milošević agreeing to allow peacekeepers into Kosovo and withdrawing all security forces so as to transfer governance to the United Nations. A NATO-led Kosovo Force entered the province following the Kosovo War, tasked with providing security to the UN Mission in Kosovo. Before and during the handover of power, an estimated 100,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians Romani, fled the province for fear of reprisals. In the case of the non-Albanians, the Romani in particular were regarded by many Albanians as having assisted federal forces during the war. Many left along with the withdrawing security forces, expressing fears that they would be targeted by returning Albanian refugees and KLA fighters who blamed them for wartime acts of violence. Thousands more were driven out by attacks and a wave of crime after the war.
Large numbers of refugees from Kosovo still live in temporary shelters in Serbia proper. In 2002, Serbia and Montenegro reported hosting 277,000 internally displaced people, which included 201,641 persons displaced from Kosovo into Serbia proper, 29,451 displaced from Kosovo into Montenegro, about 46,000 displaced within Kosovo itself, including 16,000 returning refugees unable to inhabit their original homes; some sources put the figure far lower. In 2004 the European Stability Initiative estimated the number of displaced people as being only 65,000, with 130,000 Serbs remaining in Kosovo, though this would leave a significant proportion of the pre-1999 ethnic Serb population unaccounted-for; the largest concentration of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo is in the north of the province above the Ibar river, but an estimated two-thirds of the Serbian population in Kosovo continue to live in the Albanian-dominated south of the province. On 17 March 2004, serious unrest in Kosovo led to 19 deaths, the destruction of thirty-five Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries in the province, as Albanians started pogroms against the Serbs.
Several thousand more Kosovo Serbs have left their homes to seek refuge in Serbia proper or in the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo. Since the end of the war, Kosovo has been a major source and destination country in the trafficking of women, women forced into prostitution and sexual slavery; the growth in the sex trade industry was fuelled by NATO forces in Kosovo. Internatio
World Youth Day 2005
The 20th World Youth Day was a Catholic youth festival that started on August 16 and continued until August 21, 2005 in Cologne, Germany. It was the first World Youth Day and foreign trip of Pope Benedict XVI, who joined the festival on August 18; this meeting was decided by the previous pope, John Paul II, during the Toronto World Youth Day of 2002. The theme was "We have come to worship Him". About 400,000 young people from 200 countries attended during the week, more than 1,000,000 came for the weekend, they were joined by cardinals, as well as by 6,600 reporters. Pope John Paul II was to attend the World Youth Day in Cologne; as he died four months earlier, it was instead his successor Pope Benedict XVI's first apostolic journey. Most pilgrims to the World Youth Day made their plans to come while John Paul II was still Pope, had hoped to see him. Before Pope Benedict XVI led the central mass, he met with several others. 12:00 The Pope arrived at Köln-Bonn Airport 16:45–18:00 Journey on the Rhine, the Pope spoke in Köln-Poll 18:15 The Pope visited Cologne Cathedral 10:30 The Pope met with German President Horst Köhler at Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn 12:00 The Pope visited Roonstrasse Synagogue in Cologne.
The synagogue was rebuilt in the 1950s. 5:00 The Pope prayed vespers with seminarians from over 80 nations at St. Pantaleon. 10.00 The Pope met with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, president of the Federal Diet Wolfgang Thierse, Chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel and the minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia Jürgen RüttgersThe Pope issued a plenary indulgence for those attending World Youth Day, with a partial indulgence available to all who pray fervently, with a contrite heart, that Christian youth be strengthened in the profession of the Faith. An estimated 1,000,000 people, after camping outdoors all night, joined Pope Benedict XVI for the concluding Mass in the vast Marienfeld near the village of Kerpen. Participants too far away to see the pope in the vast field watched the services on more than 15 large television screens. Numerous interest groups attended World Youth Day: schools, church groups, new movements were all well represented by their attendance.
World Youth Day Current information on World Youth Day Documents of the Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Benedict XVI. from the Vatican Official Website of the XX World Youth Day 2005 Better World Links on the World Youth Day 2005 World Youth Day News and Background from the Deutsche Welle
The umbraculum is a historic piece of the papal regalia and insignia, once used on a daily basis to provide shade for the pope. Known as the pavilion, in modern usage the umbraculum is a symbol of the Catholic Church and the authority of the pope over it, it is found in the contemporary Church at all the basilicas throughout the world, placed prominently at the right of their main altars. Whenever the pope visits a basilica, its umbraculum is opened. Translated from the Latin language into the Italian language, it is known as an ombrellino or in the English language as an umbrella, it is shaped as a Baldachin-type canopy with broad alternating gold and red stripes, the traditional colors of the pontificate. It featured a staff with small bells, which chimed to announce the arrival of a pope travelling by horse and carriage; the controversial Borgia Pope Alexander VI was the first pope to use the umbraculum as a symbol of the temporal powers of the papacy. A member of the Papal Gentlemen would follow behind a pope with the umbraculum in hand.
The umbraculum is part of the coat of arms of the Holy See sede vacante, i.e. between the reigns of two popes. It was first used as an interregnal emblem in this way on coins minted in 1521; the coat of arms of the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, who exercises the temporal sovereignty of the Holy See during a sede vacante, is ornamented with a pair of gold and silver keys in saltire surmounted by an umbraculum. The umbraculum is one of the symbols bestowed by the pope when he elevates a church to the rank of a minor basilica; the umbraculum is represented behind the shield in the coat of arms of a basilica. But these symbols are not mentioned in the 1989 Vatican directives. Baldachin Royal Nine-Tiered Umbrella Galbreath, Donald Lindsay. Papal Heraldry. Heraldry Today. ISBN 0-900455-22-5. Noonan, Jr. James-Charles; the Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church. Viking. ISBN 0-670-86745-4. Media related to Umbraculum at Wikimedia Commons Procession with umbraculum by the collegiate chapter of the Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul in Gozo, Malta Vacancy of the Apostolic See, 2005
Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union; the official language is Hungarian, the most spoken Uralic language in the world, among the few non-Indo-European languages to be spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; the territory of modern Hungary was for centuries inhabited by a succession of peoples, including Celts, Germanic tribes, West Slavs and the Avars. The foundations of the Hungarian state were established in the late ninth century CE by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád following the conquest of the Carpathian Basin, his great-grandson Stephen I ascended the throne in 1000, converting his realm to a Christian kingdom. By the 12th century, Hungary became a regional power, reaching its cultural and political height in the 15th century.
Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Hungary was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. It came under Habsburg rule at the turn of the 18th century, joined Austria to form the Austro–Hungarian Empire, a major European power; the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I, the subsequent Treaty of Trianon established Hungary's current borders, resulting in the loss of 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the tumultuous interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a socialist republic spanning four decades; the country gained widespread international attention as a result of its 1956 revolution and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became a democratic parliamentary republic.
Hungary is an OECD high-income economy and has the world's 58th largest economy by PPP. It ranks 45th on the Human Development Index, owing in large part to its social security system, universal health care, tuition-free secondary education. Hungary's rich cultural history includes significant contributions to the arts, literature, sports and technology, it is the 13th most popular tourist destination in Europe, attracting 15.8 million international tourists in 2017, owing to attractions such as the largest thermal water cave system in the world, second largest thermal lake, the largest lake in Central Europe and the largest natural grasslands in Europe. Hungary's cultural and academic prominence classify it as a middle power in global affairs. Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007, it is a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe, the Visegrád Group.
The "H" in the name of Hungary is most due to early founded historical associations with the Huns, who had settled Hungary prior to the Avars. The rest of the word comes from the Latinized form of Byzantine Greek Oungroi. According to an explanation,the Greek name was borrowed from Old Bulgarian ągrinŭ, in turn borrowed from Oghur-Turkic Onogur. Onogur was the collective name for the tribes who joined the Bulgar tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars; the Hungarian endonym is Magyarország, composed of ország. The word magyar is taken from the name of one of the seven major semi-nomadic Hungarian tribes, magyeri; the first element magy is from Proto-Ugric *mäńć-'man, person' found in the name of the Mansi people. The second element eri,'man, lineage', survives in Hungarian férj'husband', is cognate with Mari erge'son', Finnish archaic yrkä'young man'; the Roman Empire conquered the territory west of the Danube between 35 and 9 BC. From 9 BC to the end of the 4th century, Pannonia was part of the Roman Empire, located within part of Hungary's territory.
Around AD 41–54, a 500-strong cavalry unit created the settlement of Aquincum and a Roman legion of 6,000 men was stationed here by AD 89. A civil city grew in the neighbourhood of the military settlement and in AD 106 Aquincum became the focal point of the commercial life of this area and the capital city of the province of Pannonia Inferior; this area now corresponds to the Óbuda district of Budapest, with the Roman ruins now forming part of the modern Aquincum museum. Came the Huns, a Central Asian tribe who built a powerful empire. After Hunnish rule, the Germanic Ostrogoths and Gepids, the Avar Khaganate, had a presence in the Carpathian Basin. In the 9th century, East Francia, the First Bulgarian Empire and Great Moravia ruled the territory of the Carpathian Basin; the freshly unified Hungarians led by Árpád, settled in the Carpathian Basin starting in 895. According to linguistic evidence, they originated from an ancient Uralic-speaking population that inhabited the forested area between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains.
As a federation of united tribes, Hungary was established in 895, some 50 years after the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun in 843, before the unification of the Anglo-Saxon king
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Moldova to the east, it has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres, Romania is the 12th largest country and the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having 20 million inhabitants, its capital and largest city is Bucharest, other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Brașov. The River Danube, Europe's second-longest river, rises in Germany's Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania's Danube Delta; the Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m. Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.
The new state named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. Following World War I, when Romania fought on the side of the Allied powers, Bessarabia, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, Maramureș became part of the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. In June–August 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Second Vienna Award, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, Northern Transylvania to Hungary. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war, under the occupation of the Red Army's forces, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards a market economy; the sovereign state of Romania is a developing country and ranks 52nd in the Human Development Index.
It has the world's 47th largest economy by nominal GDP and an annual economic growth rate of 7%, the highest in the EU at the time. Following rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on services, is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom, it has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, part of NATO since 2004, part of the European Union since 2007. An overwhelming majority of the population identifies themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language. Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome"; the first known use of the appellation was attested to in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania and Wallachia. The oldest known surviving document written in Romanian, a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung", is notable for including the first documented occurrence of the country's name: Wallachia is mentioned as Țeara Rumânească.
Two spelling forms: român and rumân were used interchangeably until sociolinguistic developments in the late 17th century led to semantic differentiation of the two forms: rumân came to mean "bondsman", while român retained the original ethnolinguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the word rumân fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the form român. Tudor Vladimirescu, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the term Rumânia to refer to the principality of Wallachia."The use of the name Romania to refer to the common homeland of all Romanians—its modern-day meaning—was first documented in the early 19th century. The name has been in use since 11 December 1861. In English, the name of the country was spelt Rumania or Roumania. Romania became the predominant spelling around 1975. Romania is the official English-language spelling used by the Romanian government. A handful of other languages have switched to "o" like English, but most languages continue to prefer forms with u, e.g. French Roumanie and Swedish Rumänien, Spanish Rumania, Polish Rumunia, Russian Румыния, Japanese ルーマニア.
1859–1862: United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia 1862–1866: Romanian United Principalities or Romania 1866–1881: Romania or Principality of Romania 1881–1947: Kingdom of Romania or Romania 1947–1965: Romanian People's Republic or Romania 1965–December, 1989: Socialist Republic of Romania or Romania December, 1989–present: Romania Human remains found in Peștera cu Oase, radiocarbon dated as being from circa 40,000 years ago, represent the oldest known Homo sapiens in Europe. Neolithic techniques and agriculture spread after the arrival of a mixed group of people from Thessaly in the 6th millenium BC. Excavations near a salt spring at Lunca yielded the earliest evidence for salt exploitation in Europe; the first permanent settlements appeared in the Neolithic. Some of them developed into "proto-cities"; the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture—the best known archaeological culture of Old Europe—flourished in Muntenia, southeastern Transylvania and northeastern Moldavia in the 3rd m
Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State
The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State is responsible for issuing Vatican postal stamps and Vatican coins. While Vatican stamps may only be used within the Vatican City State and the quantity of euro coins is limited by treaty with Italy, Vatican coins and stamps serve as an important sign of Vatican sovereignty, their scarcity and design makes them popular with collectors. Indeed, public interest in Vatican currency and stamps was considered sufficient to justify a Philatelic and Numismatic Museum, opened as part of the Vatican Museums in 2007. Two special stamps about the museum were issued at the museum opening. Euro coins issued by the Vatican are minted by Italy's Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato. Postage stamps and postal history of Vatican City Poste Vaticane Vatican euro coins Vatican lira List of mints Index of Vatican City-related articles Outline of Vatican City Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office Vatican Philatelic Society Map of the location of the Philatelic and Numismatic Museum