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""Flag of Europe.svg   Welcome to the European Union Portal!

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.

Main page "Institutions "Competences "Structural evolution "Member states "Categories

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The "European Parliament (Europarl or EP) is the directly elected parliamentary body of the "European Union. Together with the "Council of the European Union (the Council), it forms the "bicameral "legislative branch of the "Union's institutions and has been described by some one of the most powerful legislatures in the world. The Parliament, together with the Council, form the highest legislative body within the Union. This is only within the competencies of the "European Community being limited to specific policy areas, however "Union law does override national law. The Parliament is composed of 785 MEPs ("Member of the European Parliament) who serve the second largest democratic electorate in the world (after "India) and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world (492 million).

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"Athens is the "capital and largest city of "Greece. Named after goddess "Athena, Athens is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a population of 3.7 million people. The Athens metropolitan area constitutes the center of economic, financial, industrial, cultural and political life in Greece. The city is also rapidly becoming a business center in the "European Union.

Ancient "Athens was a powerful polis "city-state and a renowned center of learning, home of "Plato's "Academy and "Aristotle's "Lyceum. It is often referred to as the cradle of "Western civilization, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BCE on the rest of the then known European Continent. The classical era heritage is still evident in the city, portrayed through a number of ancient monuments and artworks, the most famous being the "Parthenon on the "Acropolis. Athens was the host city of the "first modern-day Olympic Games and, more recently, of the "2004 Summer Olympics.

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Photo credit: commons:User:Benh
"Mont Saint-Michel in "Normandy (Manche), "France at night.
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