Since then, 22 more countries joined (and the United Kingdom left the EU in 2020) and a huge single market (also known as the âinternalâ market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential. .eu is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the European Union (EU). Almost all enforcement of EU legislation occurs within the Member States. Since it was founded in 1957 the EU has grown from six countries to 27. With a total budget of â¬14.7 billion, it will help over 4 million (mostly young) people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer in another country. To counter these threats, the European Anti-Fraud Office (also known as OLAF) investigates fraud, corruption and other illegal activities involving EU funds, along with serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU institutions, and helps the institutions formulate and implement policies to prevent and detect fraud. There are several types of legal acts, which are applied in different ways. The European Commission has offices (representations) in all the Member States of the European Union: https://ec.europa.eu/info/about-european-commission/contact/local-offices-eu-member-countries_en, The European Parliament has a liaison office in every Member State of the European Union: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/at-your-service/en/stay-informed/liaison-offices-in-your-country, The European Union also has delegations in other parts of the world: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/area/geo_en, European CommissionDirectorate-General for CommunicationEditorial Service & Targeted Outreach1049 BrusselsBELGIUM. There is not as yet a fully integrated EU single market for consumer financial services, which still operate largely on a national basis. Around 850 000 small and medium-sized companies are set to benefit from improved access to finance. Safety and security are paramount. Over 200 different unsafe products are notified via the EUâs Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products each year. A failure of the financial system can have wide-ranging consequences. boost excellent science, including through the, promote industrial leadership in areas such as nanotechnologies, biotechnology and information and communications technology, and through support for companies and entrepreneurs; and. For example, it has taken measures to guarantee an EU-wide right of access to basic bank accounts. The Parliament also shares with the Council equal responsibility for adopting the EU budget (proposed by the European Commission). The European Commission, together with the European Investment Bank, launched the Investment Plan for Europe. More powers have been given to the directly elected European Parliament, while national parliaments play a greater role, working alongside the European institutions. The European Union is the largest trade block in the world. The solutions range from ending âgeo-blockingâ, removing mobile phone roaming charges and addressing the lack of internet access or digital skills, to new portability rules so people can access their online subscriptions for TV, games and music when travelling in the EU in the same way as they do at home. If we do … protect and ensure the future of children caught up in man-made or natural disasters. It comprises 47 European countries, including the Member States of the EU. All EU Member States have their own research policies and funding schemes, but many important issues can be best tackled by helping researchers and innovators in different countries to work together. The European Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by the President of the European Council. negotiates and adopts EU laws, together with the European Parliament, based on proposals from the European Commission; develops the EUâs foreign and security policy, based on European Council guidelines; concludes agreements between the EU and other countries or international organisations; adopts the annual EU budget jointly with the European Parliament. More action is needed to ensure that air, oceans and other water resources are kept clean, that land and ecosystems are used sustainably and that climate change is kept to manageable levels. David Conn. European countries, trade unions and employers cooperate to improve vocational and educational training through the Copenhagen process. Through this initiative, the EU helps Member States to give people a second chance to build their skills. How does Europe affect our everyday lives? Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, checks at many EU internal borders have been progressively abolished. The current EU long-term budget covers 2014-2020 and allows the EU to invest around â¬1 trillion over that period. Decisions require unanimity among Member States in the Council of the European Union, but once agreed, certain aspects can be further decided by qualified majority voting. Its budget of â¬449 million funds cooperation projects at EU level and joint actions by national health authorities, and supports non-governmental bodies and cooperation with international organisations. Launched on 7 December 2005, the domain is available for any person, company or organization based in the European Union. Since 2016 new EU rules on mortgage credits have ensured clear information in advertisements and timely information to consumers before signing a contract. The political guidelines presented by President von der Leyen in July 2019 set six headline ambitions for Europe. It has also imposed over 30 trade defence measures, protecting over 350 000 jobs. The customs services also prevent illegal exports of waste, since protecting the environment is one of their key tasks. These cover the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, the right to the protection of your personal data, and the right to get access to justice. Based on a European Commission proposal, Member States agreed to relocate asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU countries. OLAF will also coordinate inspections by Member State anti-fraud agencies involved in the case. Corruption and fraud can seriously harm the economy and undermine the trust of citizens in democratic institutions and processes. Not addressing climate change could be very costly for the EU and the rest of the world. This means not just helping to provide decent access to food, clean water, healthcare, education and land; not just developing vital transport and energy infrastructure and a clean environment. The agreement reached in 2015 on the Iranian nuclear programme demonstrated the EUâs role in leading peace talks on behalf of the international community. Air, rail, ship or bus passengers travelling in the EU have rights when they experience delays or cancellations. Sport and exercise are an integral part of life for millions of Europeans. It is the world's biggest exporter of manufactured goods and services, and the biggest import market for over 100 countries. Europe Direct is a service that answers your questions about the European Union. EU Member States applying for European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund grants are encouraged to include projects that promote social inclusion through sport. In bringing other countries into the EU, one of the aims is to deepen the solidarity between the people of Europe and increase their prosperity and opportunities while respecting and preserving diversity. The common foreign and security policy is the organised, agreed foreign policy of the EU, mainly for security and defence diplomacy and actions. It also seeks to further harness the potential of digitalisation and technological developments to improve consumer access to financial services. National parliaments send reasoned opinions to the Commission when they see a draft legislative act breaching the principle of subsidiarity. The EUâs common migration and asylum policy helps Europe deal with migration challenges in an effective manner. It is now not possible to fit a new number plate displaying the Euro symbol. Development lies at the heart of the EUâs foreign policy, with the EU providing over half the worldâs cooperation funding. Countries can only become a member of the EU if they fulfil the conditions for accession. More information on the outcome of the 2019 European Elections and the forming of the new Parliament can be found on the European Parliament's website. Plant health rules protect crops, fruit, vegetables and forests from harmful pests and disease from being transported across the EU or imported from abroad. One example is the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed that helps ensure that food that does not comply with European rules is removed from the shelves. Q: Can the EU do without them? First the European Commission proposes a draft budget. It tries to make it easier for Europeans to buy and sell things to each other. Following the White Paper, the Commission contributed to the debate with a series of thematic reflection papers offering different options for the EU in certain policy areas: the social dimension of Europe; harnessing globalisation; the deepening of economic and monetary union; the future of European defence; and the future of EU finances. The Commission fined the six companies a total of â¬3.8 billion. To ensure that EU action meets its objectives in the most efficient way, the European Commission assesses the expected and actual impacts of policies, legislation, and other important measures. The treaties are negotiated and agreed by all the EU Member States and then ratified by their parliaments or by a referendum. As the worldâs population continues to grow, the EU is playing a leading role in international efforts to promote sustainable development. It maintains a balance between being open and ensuring that rules are respected and that EU industries are protected against unfair trade and unjustified barriers. The potential economic, social and environmental consequences of proposed measures are analysed and reported in impact assessments that accompany legislative proposals. In 2017 EU aid of â¬2.2 billion helped more than 120 million people in over 80 countries. In the wake of the crisis the EU carried out ambitious reforms to strengthen the financial system and the EUâs ability to deal with future financial and economic shocks. Does your business have any European trade union obligations? The treaties lay down the objectives of the European Union, and set out the rules for how the EU institutions operate, on how decisions are made and on the relationship between the EU and its Member States. Higher average temperatures have many consequences, including stronger and more frequent extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and storms. They are at the heart of European efforts to create quality jobs and to boost growth and investment. Once a final text is agreed, and all translations have been done, the legislation is passed to the Parliament and the Council again so that they can adopt it as a legal act. The Commission is also in constant political dialogue with national parliaments, which send their opinions on any legislative or political initiative of the Commission or on any political subject on their own initiative. As enshrined in the Treaty on European Union, âthe Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. The result was the European Economic Community, created in 1958 with the initial aim of increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The production of energy in the EU is spread across a range of different energy sources: solid fossil fuels, natural gas, crude oil, nuclear energy and renewable energy (such as hydro, wind and solar energy).. Renewable energy (34 % of total EU energy production) was the largest contributing source to energy production in the EU in 2018. For 40 years, the institutions of Europe have grown around the Commission, which plays a leading role in policy making and in administration. The EUâs foreign policy at ministerial level is represented by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, currently Josep Borrell Fontelles, who also chairs meetings of foreign ministers. 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