Health

EU earmarks 30 billion euros for health crisis agency

The European Union said Thursday that it will fund its new health preparedness and rapid response agency to the tune of 30 billion euros ($35 billion) over the next six years, even pushing it higher if individual efforts ...

Vaccination

EU agency says to focus on vaccines first not booster shots

The European Union's infectious diseases agency on Thursday urged countries to push ahead with their primary coronavirus vaccination programs and played down the need for booster shoots to ward off the delta variant among ...

Vaccination

Spain says 70% of population fully vaccinated

One of the global frontrunners in vaccination against the coronavirus, Spain on Wednesday it had fully vaccinated just over 70 percent of its 47 million residents.

Vaccination

EU chief says 70% of adults in the bloc fully vaccinated

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday 70 percent of adults in the European Union were now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, hitting an end-of-summer target the bloc set for itself in January.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Italy reimposes coronavirus measures in Sicily

Italy on Friday announced a return of some coronavirus restrictions to Sicily, the first time such measures have been reimposed on a regional level since the start of summer.

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European Union

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe. Committed to regional integration, the EU was established by the Treaty of Maastricht on 1 November 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU combined generates an estimated 30% share (US$18.4 trillion in 2008) of the nominal gross world product.

The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, ensuring the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital. It maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. A common currency, the euro, has been adopted by sixteen member states that are thus known as the Eurozone. The EU has developed a limited role in foreign policy, having representation at the WTO, G8 summits, and at the UN. It enacts legislation in justice and home affairs, including the abolition of passport controls between many member states which form part of the Schengen Area. Twenty-one EU countries are also members of NATO.

An international organisation sui generis, the EU operates through a hybrid system of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism. In certain areas, it depends upon agreement between the member states; in others, supranational bodies are able to make decisions without unanimity. Important institutions and bodies of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the European Court of Justice, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by member states' citizens, to whom the citizenship of the European Union is guaranteed.

The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Since then the union has grown in size through the accession of new countries, and new policy areas have been added to the remit of the EU's institutions.

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