European integration

European integration

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European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic
Economic integration
Economic integration refers to trade unification between different states by the partial or full abolishing of customs tariffs on trade taking place within the borders of each state...

 (and in some cases social and cultural) integration
Regional integration
Regional integration is a process in which states enter into a regional agreement in order to enhance regional cooperation through regional institutions and rules...

 of states wholly or partially in Europe. European integration has primarily come about through the European Union and the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

.

History


One of the first to conceive of a union of European nations was Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi, who wrote the Pan-Europa manifesto in 1923. His ideas influenced Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand was a French statesman who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France during the French Third Republic and received the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize.- Early life :...

, who gave a speech in favour of a European Union in the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 on 8 September 1929, and who in 1930 wrote a "Memorandum on the Organization of a Regime of European Federal Union" for the Government of France, which became the first European government formally to adopt the principle.
At the end of World War II, the continental political climate favoured unity in Western Europe, seen by many as an escape from the extreme forms of nationalism which had devastated the continent. In a speech delivered on 19 September 1946 at the University of Zürich
University of Zurich
The University of Zurich , located in the city of Zurich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 25,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy....

, Switzerland, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 postulated a United States of Europe
United States of Europe
Since the 1950s, European integration has seen the development of a supranational system of governance, as its institutions move further from the concept of simple intergovernmentalism. However, with the Maastricht Treaty of 1993, new intergovernmental elements have been introduced alongside the...

. The same speech however contains remarks, less often quoted, which make it clear that Churchill did not see Britain as being part of this United States of Europe: We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations ... And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent and why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings in shaping the destinies of men? ... France and Germany must take the lead together. Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America and I trust Soviet Russia-for then indeed all would be well-must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.

Council of Europe


Against the background of the devastation and human suffering during the Second World War as well as the need for reconciliation after the war, the idea of European integration led to the creation of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 in Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 in 1949.

The most important achievement of the Council of Europe is the European Convention on Human Rights
European Convention on Human Rights
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953...

 of 1950 with its European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 in Strasbourg, which serves as a de facto supreme court for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Europe. Human rights are also protected by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture
Committee for the Prevention of Torture
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment or shortly Committee for the Prevention of Torture is the anti-torture committee of the Council of Europe...

 and the European Social Charter
European Social Charter
The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe treaty which was adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996. The Revised Charter came into force in 1999 and is gradually replacing the initial 1961 treaty...

.

Most conventions of the Council of Europe pursue the aim of greater legal integration, such as the conventions on legal assistance, against corruption, against money laundering
Money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...

, against doping in sport, or internet crime.

Cultural co-operation is based on the Cultural Convention of 1954
Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict is an international treaty that requires its signatories to protect cultural property in war. It was signed at The Hague, Netherlands, on May 14, 1954, and entered into force August 7, 1956...

 and subsequent conventions on the recognition of university studies and diplomas as well as on the protection of minority languages.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, former communist countries in central and eastern Europe were able to accede to the Council of Europe, which now comprises 47 states in Europe with the exception of Belarus due to its still non-democratic government. Therefore, European integration has practically succeeded at the level of the Council of Europe, encompassing the whole European continent.

European integration at the level of the Council of Europe functions through the accession of member states to its conventions as well as through political coordination at the level of ministerial conferences and inter-parliamentary sessions. In accordance with its Statute of 1949, the Council of Europe works to achieve greater unity among its members based on common values, such as human rights and democracy.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe



The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 (OSCE) is a trans-Atlantic intergovernmental organisation whose aim is to secure stability in Europe. It was established as the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) in July 1973, and was subsequently transformed into its current form in January 1995. The OSCE currently has 56 member states, covering most of the northern hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

.

The OSCE develops 3 lines of activities, namely the Politico-Military Dimension, the Economic and Environmental Dimension and the Human Dimension. These respectively promote (i) mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution; (ii) the monitoring, alerting and assistance in case of economic and environmental threats; and (iii) full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Regional integration


Several Regional integration
Regional integration
Regional integration is a process in which states enter into a regional agreement in order to enhance regional cooperation through regional institutions and rules...

 efforts have effectively promoted intergovernmental cooperation and reduced the possibility of regional armed conflict. Other initiatives have removed barriers to free trade in European regions, and increased the free movement of people, labour, goods, and capital across national borders.

Baltic region


The following political and/or economic organisations have been created in the Baltic region
Baltic region
The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and Baltic Rim refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.- Etymology :...

 in the post-modern era
Postmodernity
Postmodernity is generally used to describe the economic or cultural state or condition of society which is said to exist after modernity...

:

The Baltic Assembly
Baltic Assembly
The Baltic Assembly is an international organisation which aims to promote co-operation between the parliaments of the Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It attempts to find a common position in relation to many international issues, including economic, political and cultural issues...

 aims to promote co-operation between the parliaments of the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, namely the Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The organisation was planned in Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

 on 1 December 1990, and the three nations agreed to its structure and rules on 13 June 1994.

The Baltic Free Trade Area (BAFTA) was a trade agreement between Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. It was signed on 13 September 1993 and came into force on 1 April 1994. The agreement was later extended to apply also to agricultural products, effective from 1 January 1997. BAFTA ceased to exist when its members joined the EU on 1 May 2004.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States
Council of the Baltic Sea States
The Council of the Baltic Sea States is an overall political forum for regional intergovernmental cooperation which addresses the five priority areas of the environment, economic development, energy, education and culture, civil security and human dimension, including trafficking in human...

 (CBSS) was founded in 1992 to promote intergovernmental cooperation among Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 countries in questions concerning economy, civil society development, human rights issues, and nuclear and radiation safety. It has 12 members including Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 (since 1995), Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

.

Low Countries region


Since the end of the First World War the following unions have been set in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 region:

The Benelux
Benelux
The Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These countries are located in northwestern Europe between France and Germany...

 is an economic and political union between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On 5 September 1944, a treaty establishing the Benelux Customs Union was signed. It entered into force in 1948, and ceased to exist on 1 November 1960, when it was replaced by the Benelux Economic Union after a treaty signed in The Hague on 3 February 1958. A Benelux Parliament
Benelux Parliament
The Benelux Parliament, formally the Benelux Interparliamentary Consultative Council, is one of the institutions of the Benelux Economic Union, more commonly referred to as the "Benelux"...

 was created in 1955.

The Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union
Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union
The Belgium–Luxembourg Economic Union , abbreviated to BLEU or UEBL, is an economic and monetary union between Belgium and Luxembourg, two countries in the Benelux economic union....

 (BLEU) can be seen as the Benelux forerunner. BLEU was created by the treaty signed on 25 July 1921. It established a single market
Single market
A single market is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with common policies on product regulation, and freedom of movement of the factors of production and of enterprise and services. The goal is that the movement of capital, labour, goods, and services between the members...

 between both countries, while setting the Belgian franc
Belgian franc
The franc was the currency of Belgium until 2002 when the euro was introduced into circulation. It was subdivided into centimes , 100 centiem or Centime .-History:...

 and Luxembourgian franc at a fixed parity.

Black Sea region


Several regional organisations have been founded in the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 region since the fall of the Soviet Union, such as:

The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
On 25 June 1992, the Heads of State and Government of eleven countries signed in Istanbul the Summit Declaration and the Bosporus Statement giving birth to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation ...

 (BSEC) aims to ensure peace, stability and prosperity by encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations among the 12 state members, located mainly in the Black Sea region. It was created on 25 June 1992 in Istanbul, and entered into force on 1 May 1999. The 11 founding members were Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Serbia (then Serbia and Montenegro) joined in April 2004.

The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova....

 is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states, which aims to promote cooperation and democratic values, ensure stable development, enhance international and regional security, and stepping up European integration. Current members include the four founding ones, namely, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. Uzbekistan joined in 1999, and left in 2005.

British Isles


Since the end of the First World War, the following agreements have been signed in the British Isles region:

The British-Irish Council
British-Irish Council
The British–Irish Council is an international organisation established under the Belfast Agreement in 1998, and formally established on 2 December 1999 on the entry into force of the consequent legislation...

 was created by the Belfast Agreement
Belfast Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement , sometimes called the Stormont Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process...

 in 1998 to "promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands". It was formally established on 2 December 1999. Its membership comprises Ireland, the United Kingdom, three of the constituent countries of the UK (Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, Scotland and Wales), and three British Crown dependencies (Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

, the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

 and Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

). Because England does not have a devolved government
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

, it is not represented on the Council as a separate entity.

The Common Travel Area
Common Travel Area
The Common Travel Area is a passport-free zone that comprises the islands of Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The area's internal borders are subject to minimal or non-existent border controls and can normally be crossed by Irish and British citizens with only...

 is a passport-free zone established in 1922 that comprises Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

Central Europe


The following cooperation agreements have been signed in Central Europe:

The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a trade agreement between countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe, which works as a preparation for full European Union membership. It currently has 8 members: Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK-administered Kosovo province.

It was established in 1992 by Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, Hungary and Poland, but came into force only in 1994. Czechoslovakia had in the meantime split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Slovenia joined in 1996, while Romania did the same in 1997, Bulgaria in 1999, and Croatia in 2003. In 2004, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia left the CEFTA to join the EU. Romania and Bulgaria left it in 2007 for the same reason. Subsequently, Macedonia joined it in 2006, and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK (on behalf of Kosovo) in 2007.

The Visegrad Group
Visegrád Group
The Visegrád Group, also called the Visegrád Four or V4, is an alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of cooperation and furthering their European integration...

 is a Central-European alliance for cooperation and European integration. The Group originated in a summit meeting of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, Hungary and Poland held in the Hungarian castle town of Visegrád
Visegrád
Visegrád is a small castle town in Pest County, Hungary.Situated north of Budapest on the right bank of the Danube in the Danube Bend, Visegrád has a population 1,654 as of 2001...

 on 15 February 1991. The Czech Republic and Slovakia became members after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia
Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
The dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined separation of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities which had arisen in 1969 within the framework of Czechoslovak federalisation, became...

 in 1993.

Switzerland and Liechtenstein participate in a customs union
Customs union
A customs union is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff. The participant countries set up common external trade policy, but in some cases they use different import quotas...

 since 1924, and both employ the Swiss franc
Swiss franc
The franc is the currency and legal tender of Switzerland and Liechtenstein; it is also legal tender in the Italian exclave Campione d'Italia. Although not formally legal tender in the German exclave Büsingen , it is in wide daily use there...

 as national currency.

Nordic region


Since the end of the Second World War, the following organisations have been established in the Nordic region:

The Nordic Council
Nordic Council
The Nordic Council is a geo-political, inter-parliamentary forum for co-operation between the Nordic countries. It was established following World War II and its first concrete result was the introduction in 1952 of a common labour market and free movement across borders without passports for the...

 and the Nordic Council of Ministers is a co-operation forum for the parliaments and governments of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 created in February 1953. It includes the states of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and their autonomous territories (Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, Greenland and Åland).

The Nordic Passport Union
Nordic Passport Union
The Nordic Passport Union allows citizens of the Nordic countries: Denmark , Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland to travel and reside in other Nordic countries without a passport or a residence permit.- Establishment :...

, created in 1954 but implemented on 1 May 1958, establishes free movement across borders without passports for the countries' citizens. It comprises Denmark, Sweden and Norway as foundational states; further, it includes Finland and Iceland since 24 September 1965, and the Danish autonomous territories of Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 since 1 January 1966.

European Free Trade Association


The European Free Trade Association
European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association or EFTA is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union . EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to,...

 (EFTA) is a European trade bloc
Trade bloc
A trade bloc is a type of intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where regional barriers to trade, are reduced or eliminated among the participating states.-Description:...

 which was established on 3 May 1960 as an alternative for European states who didn't join the EEC
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

. EFTA currently has four member states: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein; just Norway and Switzerland are founding members.

The EFTA Convention was signed on 4 January 1960 in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 by 7 states: Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Finland became an associate member in 1961 and a full member in 1986; Iceland joined in 1970 and Liechtenstein did the same in 1991.

The United Kingdom and Denmark left in 1973, when they joined the European Community (EC). Portugal left EFTA in 1986, when it also joined the EC. Austria, Finland and Sweden ceased to be EFTA members in 1995 by joining the European Union, which superseded the EC in 1993.

Commonwealth of Independent States


The Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

 (CIS) is a loose organization in which most former Soviet republics participate. A visa-free regime operates among members and a free-trade area is planned for the beginning of 2011. Ukraine is not an official member, but does participate in the organization.

European Communities


In 1951, a few Western European states agreed to confer powers over their steel and coal production to the European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
The European Coal and Steel Community was a six-nation international organisation serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War and create the foundation for the modern-day developments of the European Union...

 (ECSC) in the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1951)
The Treaty of Paris was signed on 18 April 1951 between France, West Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries , establishing the European Coal and Steel Community , which subsequently became part of the European Union...

, which came into force on 23 July 1952.

Coal and steel production was essential for the reconstruction of countries in Europe after the Second World War and this sector of the national economy had been important for warfare in the First and Second World Wars. Therefore, France had originally maintained its occupation of the Saarland
Saarland
Saarland is one of the sixteen states of Germany. The capital is Saarbrücken. It has an area of 2570 km² and 1,045,000 inhabitants. In both area and population, it is the smallest state in Germany other than the city-states...

 with its steel companies after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1949. By transferring national powers over the coal and steel production to a newly created ECSC Commission, the member states of the ECSC were able to provide for greater transparency and trust among themselves.

This transfer of national powers to a "Community" to be exercised by its Commission was paralled under the 1957 Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Rome
The Treaty of Rome, officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, was an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany...

 establishing the European Atomic Energy Community
European Atomic Energy Community
The European Atomic Energy Community is an international organisation which is legally distinct from the European Union , but has the same membership, and is governed by the EU's institutions....

 (or Euroatom) and the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (EEC) in Brussels.

In 1967, the Merger Treaty
Merger Treaty
The Merger Treaty was a European treaty which combined the executive bodies of the European Coal and Steel Community , European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community into a single institutional structure.The treaty was signed in Brussels on 8 April 1965 and came into force...

 (or Brussels Treaty) combine the institutions of the ECSC and Euratom into that of the EEC. They already shared a Parliamentary Assembly
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 and Courts
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

. Collectively they were known as the European Communities
European Communities
The European Communities were three international organisations that were governed by the same set of institutions...

. In 1987, the Single European Act
Single European Act
The Single European Act was the first major revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. The Act set the European Community an objective of establishing a Single Market by 31 December 1992, and codified European Political Cooperation, the forerunner of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy...

 (SEA) was the first major revision of the Treaty of Rome that formally established the single European market and the European Political Cooperation. The Communities originally had independent personalities although they were increasingly integrated, and over the years were transformed into what is now called the European Union.

The six states that founded the three Communities were known as the "inner six
Inner Six
The Inner Six, or simply The Six, are the six founding member states of the European Communities. This was in contrast to the outer seven who formed the European Free Trade Association rather than be involved in supranational European integration .-History:The inner six are those who responded to...

" (the "outer seven" were those countries who formed the European Free Trade Association
European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association or EFTA is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union . EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to,...

). These were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The first enlargement was in 1973, with the accession of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Greece joined in 1981, and Portugal and Spain in 1986. On 3 October 1990 East Germany and West Germany were reunified, hence East Germany became part of the Community in the new reunified Germany (not increasing the number of states).

A key person in the Community creation process was Jean Monnet
Jean Monnet
Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet was a French political economist and diplomat. He is regarded by many as a chief architect of European Unity and is regarded as one of its founding fathers...

, regarded as the "founding father" of the European Union, which is seen as the dominant force in European integration.

European Union



The European Union (EU) is an association of twenty-seven sovereign member states, that by treaty have delegated certain of their competences to common institutions, in order to coordinate their policies in a number of areas, without however constituting a new state on top of the member states. Officially established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

.

Thus, 12 states are founding members, namely, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden entered the EU. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined in 2004. Finally, Bulgaria and Romania gained access in 2007. Official candidate states include Croatia, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey. Applications have been submitted by Albania and Serbia. Morocco's application was rejected by the EEC and Switzerland's is frozen. Norway rejected membership in two referendums.

The institutions of the European Union, its parliamentarians, judges, commissioners and secretariat, the governments of its member states as well as their people, all play a role in European Integration. Nevertheless, the question of who plays the key role is disputed as there are different theories on European Integration focusing on different actors and agency.

The European Union has a number of relationships with nations that are not formally part of the Union. According to the European Union's official site, and a statement by Commissioner Günter Verheugen, the aim is to have a ring of countries, sharing EU's democratic ideals and joining them in further integration without necessarily becoming full member states.

Competences



Whilst most responsibilities ('competences') are retained by the member states, some competences are conferred exclusively on the Union for collective decision, some are shared pending Union action and some receive Union support. hese are shown are shown on this table:

Economic integration


The European Union operates a single economic market across the territory of all its members, and uses a single currency between the Eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

 members. Further, the EU has a number of economic relationships with nations that are not formally part of the Union through the European Economic Area
European Economic Area
The European Economic Area was established on 1 January 1994 following an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association and the European Community, later the European Union . Specifically, it allows Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU's Internal...

 and custom union agreements.

Free Trade Area



The creation of the EEC eliminated tariffs, quotas and preferences on goods among member states, which are the requisites to define a Free Trade Area
Free trade area
A free trade area is a trade bloc whose member countries have signed a free trade agreement , which eliminates tariffs, import quotas, and preferences on most goods and services traded between them. If people are also free to move between the countries, in addition to FTA, it would also be...

 (FTA).

Numerous countries have signed a European Union Association Agreement
European Union Association Agreement
A European Union Association Agreement is a treaty between the European Union and a non-EU country that creates a framework for co-operation between them. Areas frequently covered by such agreements include the development of political, trade, social, cultural and security links...

 (AA) with FTA provisions. These mainly include Mediterranean countries (Algeria in 2005, Egypt in 2004, Israel in 2000, Jordan in 2002, Lebanon in 2006, Morocco in 2000, Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 in 1997, and Tunisia in 1998), albeit some countries from other trade blocs have also signed one (such as Chile in 2003, Mexico in 2000, and South Africa in 2000).

Further, many Balkan states have signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement
Stabilisation and Association process
In talks with countries who have expressed a wish to join the European Union, the EU typically concludes Association Agreements in exchange for commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in that country...

 (SAA) with FTA provisions (such as Albania (signed 2006), Croatia (2005), Montenegro (2007), Macedonia (2004), Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia (both 2008, entry-into-force pending).

In 2008, Poland and Sweden proposed the Eastern Partnership
Eastern Partnership
The Eastern Partnership is a project which was initiated by the European Union . It was presented by the foreign minister of Poland with assistance from Sweden at a the EU's General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 26 May 2008...

 which would include setting a FTA between the EU and eastern countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Customs Union


The European Customs Union
European Union Customs Union
The European Union Customs Union is a customs union which consists of all the Member States of the European Union and a number of surrounding countries....

 defines an area where no customs are levied on goods travelling within it. It includes all European Union member states. The abolition of internal tariff barriers between EEC
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 member states was achieved in 1968.

Andorra and San Marino belong to the EU customs unions with third states. Turkey is linked by the European Union-Turkey Customs Union
European Union-Turkey Customs Union
On 31 December 1995 the customs union between Turkey and the European Union came into effect. Goods can travel between the two entities without any customs restrictions. The Customs Union does not cover essential economic areas, such as agriculture, to which bilateral trade concessions apply,...

.

Single Market


A prominent goal of the EU since its creation by the Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty...

 in 1992 is establishing and maintaining a single market
Single market
A single market is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with common policies on product regulation, and freedom of movement of the factors of production and of enterprise and services. The goal is that the movement of capital, labour, goods, and services between the members...

. This seeks to guarantee the four basic freedoms
Four Freedoms (European Union)
The European Union's Internal Market seeks to guarantee the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people – the EU's four freedoms – within the EU's 27 member states.The Internal Market is intended to be conducive to increased competition, increased specialisation, larger...

, which are related to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and people around the EU's internal market.

The European Economic Area (EEA) agreement allows Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to participate in the European Single Market without joining the EU. The four basic freedoms apply. However, some restrictions on fisheries and agriculture take place. Switzerland is linked to the European Union by Swiss-EU bilateral agreements
Switzerland and the European Union
Relations between Switzerland and the European Union are framed by a series of bilateral treaties whereby Switzerland adopts EU law in order to participate in the EU's single market.-Trade:...

, with a different content from that of the EEA agreement.

Eurozone


The Eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

 refers to the European Union member states that have adopted the euro currency union
Currency union
A currency union is where two or more states share the same currency, though without there necessarily having any further integration such as an Economic and Monetary Union, which has in addition a customs union and a single market.There are three types of currency unions:#Informal - unilateral...

 as the third stage of the European Economic and Monetary Union
Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union
The Economic and Monetary Union is an umbrella term for the group of policies aimed at converging the economies of members of the European Union in three stages so as to allow them to adopt a single currency, the euro. As such, it is largely synonymous with the eurozone.All member states of the...

 (EMU). Further, certain states outside the EU have adopted the euro as their currency, despite not belonging to the EMU. Thus, a total of 23 states, including 17 European Union states and six non-EU members, currently use the euro.

The Eurozone came into existence with the official launch of the euro on 1 January 1999. Physical coins
Euro coins
There are eight euro coin denominations, ranging from one cent to two euros . The coins first came into use in 2002. They have a common reverse, portraying a map of Europe, but each country in the eurozone has its own design on the obverse, which means that each coin has a variety of different...

 and banknotes
Euro banknotes
Euro banknotes are the banknotes of the euro, the currency of the eurozone and have been in circulation since 2002. They are issued by the national central banks of the euro area or the European Central Bank...

 were introduced on 1 January 2002.

The original members were Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Greece adopted the euro on 1 January 2001. Slovenia joined on 1 January 2007, Cyprus and Malta were admitted on 1 January 2008, Slovakia joined on 1 January 2009 and Estonia on 1 January 2011.

Outside the EU, agreements have been concluded with Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City for formal adoption, including the right to mint their own coins. Andorra, Montenegro and Kosovo have also used the euro since its launch.

Fiscal Union


There has long been speculation about the possibility of the European Union eventually becoming a fiscal union
Fiscal union
Fiscal union is the integration of the fiscal policy of nations or states. Under fiscal union decisions about the collection and expenditure of taxes are taken by common institutions, shared by the participating governments...

. In the wake of the European sovereign debt crisis
2010 European sovereign debt crisis
From late 2009, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed among investors concerning some European states, intensifying in early 2010 and thereafter.....

, calls for closer fiscal ties, possibly leading to some sort of fiscal union have increased; though it is generally regarded as implausible in the short term, some analysts regard fiscal union as a long-term necessity. While stressing the need for coordination, governments have rejected talk of fiscal union or harmonization.

Education


The ERASMUS programme
Erasmus programme
The Erasmus Programme , a.k.a. Erasmus Project is a European Union student exchange programme established in 1987...

 (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) seeks to encourage and support free movement of the academic community. It was established in 1987.

A total of 31 states (including all European Union states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Turkey) are involved. Switzerland is again eligible for membership as from 2007, after a period of absence following the rejection by that country of closer links with the European Union.
The European Higher Education Area
European Higher Education Area
The European Higher Education Area was launched along with the Bologna Process' decade anniversary, in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference....

 (EHEA) aims to integrate education systems in Europe. Thus, degrees and study periods are recognised mutually. This is done by following the Bologna process
Bologna process
The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

, and under the Lisbon Recognition Convention
Lisbon Recognition Convention
The Lisbon Recognition Convention is an international convention of the Council of Europe elaborated together with the UNESCO. The Convention has been signed by all 47 member states of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg except for Greece, Monaco, and San Marino. It has been signed, but not...

 of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

.

The Bologna declaration was signed in 1999 by 29 countries, all EU members or candidates at the moment (except Cyprus which joined later) and three out of four EFTA countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. Croatia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, and Turkey joined in 2001. In 2003, Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 (a Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 permanent observer), Macedonia, Russia, and Serbia signed the convention. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine followed in 2005. Montenegro joined in 2007. Finally, Kazakhstan (not a member of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

) joined in 2010. This makes a total of 47 member states. Monaco and San Marino are the only members of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 which have not adopted the convention. The other European nation that is eligible to join, but has not, is Belarus.

Health



The SOS project, also known as Smart Open Services, aims to promote free movement of patients. It will allow health professionals to electronically access the data from patients from another country, to electronically process prescriptions in all involved countries, or to provide treatment in another EU state to a patient on a waiting list.

The project has been launched by 12 EU states, including Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Charter of Fundamental Rights


The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for European Union citizens and residents, into EU law. It was drafted by the European Convention and solemnly proclaimed on 7 December 2000 by the European Parliament, the Council of...

 is a document enshrining certain fundamental rights
Fundamental rights
Fundamental rights are a generally-regarded set of entitlements in the context of a legal system, wherein such system is itself said to be based upon this same set of basic, fundamental, or inalienable entitlements or "rights." Such rights thus belong without presumption or cost of privilege to all...

. The wording of the document has been agreed at ministerial level and has been incorporated into the Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

. The Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom have negotiated an opt out from this Charter.

Right to vote


The European integration process have extended the right of foreigners to vote
Right of foreigners to vote
Suffrage, the right to vote in a particular country, generally derives from citizenship. In most countries, the right to vote is reserved to those who possess the citizenship of the country in question. Some countries, however, have extended suffrage rights to non-citizens...

. Thus, European Union citizens were given voting rights in local election
Local election
Local elections vary widely across jurisdictions. In electoral systems that roughly follow the Westminster model, a terminology has evolved with roles such as Mayor or Warden to describe the executive of a city, town or region, although the actual means of elections vary...

s by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty...

. Several members states (Belgium, Luxembourg, Lithuania, and Slovenia) have extended since then the right to vote to all foreign residents. This was already the case in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. Further, voting and eligibility rights are granted among citizens of the Nordic Passport Union
Nordic Passport Union
The Nordic Passport Union allows citizens of the Nordic countries: Denmark , Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland to travel and reside in other Nordic countries without a passport or a residence permit.- Establishment :...

, and between numerous countries through bilateral treaties (i.e. between Norway and Spain, or between Portugal and Brazil, Cape Verde, Iceland, Norway, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina), or without them (i.e. United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland). Finally, within the EEA
European Economic Area
The European Economic Area was established on 1 January 1994 following an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association and the European Community, later the European Union . Specifically, it allows Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU's Internal...

, Iceland and Norway also grant the right to vote to all foreign residents.

Visa policy in EU


European Union has visa-free regime agreements with some European countries outside EU and discussing such agreements with others; Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova. Matters concerning Turkey have also been debated. Ireland and the United Kingdom maintain independent visa policies in the EU.

Schengen zone


The main purpose of the establishment of the Schengen Agreement
Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...

 is the abolition of physical borders among European countries. A total of 29 states, including 25 European Union states (all except Ireland and United Kingdom) and four non-EU members (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), are subject to the Schengen rules. Its provisions have already been implemented by 26 states, leaving just Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania to do so among signatory states. Liechtenstein still has to fully implement the rules.

Further, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are de-facto members.

Military



There are a number of multi-national military and peacekeeping forces which are ultimately under the command of the EU, and therefore can be seen as the core for a future European Union army. These corps include forces from 25 EU states – all except Denmark, which has an opt-out clause in its accession treaty and is not obliged to participate in the common defence policy; and Malta, which currently does not participate in any battlegroup –, Norway and Turkey. Further, the Western European Union (WEU) capabilities and functions have been transferred to the European Union, under its developing Common Foreign and Security Policy
Common Foreign and Security Policy
The Common Foreign and Security Policy is the organised, agreed foreign policy of the European Union for mainly security and defence diplomacy and actions. CFSP deals only with a specific part of the EU's external relations, which domains include mainly Trade and Commercial Policy and other areas...

 (CFSP) and European Security and Defence Policy
European Security and Defence Policy
The Common Security and Defence Policy , formerly known as the European Security and Defence Policy , is a major element of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and is the domain of EU policy covering defence and military aspects...

 (ESDP).

The EU also has close ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to the Berlin Plus agreement
Berlin Plus agreement
The Berlin Plus agreement is the short title of a comprehensive package of agreements made between NATO and the EU on 16 December 2002. These agreements were based on conclusions of NATO's 1999 Washington summit, sometimes referred to as the CJTF mechanism, and allowed the EU to draw on some of...

. This is a comprehensive package of agreements made between NATO and the EU on 16 December 2002. With this agreement the EU is given the possibility to use NATO assets in case it wanted to act independently in an international crisis, on the condition that NATO does not want to act itself – the so-called "right of first refusal".

In fact, many EU member states are among the 28 NATO members. The Treaty of Brussels
Treaty of Brussels
The Treaty of Brussels was signed on 17 March 1948 between Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as an expansion to the preceding year's defence pledge, the Dunkirk Treaty signed between Britain and France...

 is considered the precursor to NATO. The North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
The North Atlantic Treaty is the treaty that brought NATO into existence, signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. The original twelve nations that signed it and thus became the founding members of NATO were:...

 was signed in Washington, D.C. in 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states, as well as the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Greece and Turkey joined the alliance in 1952, and West Germany did the same in 1955. Spain entered in 1982. In 1999, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland became NATO members. Finally, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia joined in 2004. In 2009, Croatia and Albania joined. Ukraine and Georgia were told that they will also eventually become members in 2008. The Republic of Macedonia's application process is finished, but it is blocked by Greece. Thus, 21 out of 28 NATO states are among the 27 EU members, another two are members of the EEA, and two more are EU candidates (one of those is a member of the EU customs space).

Space


On 22 May 2007, the member states of the European Union have agreed to create a common political framework for space activities in Europe by unifying the approach of the European Space Agency
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 (ESA) with those of the individual European Union member states.

However, ESA is an intergovernmental organisation with no formal organic link to the EU; indeed the two institutions have different member states and are governed by different rules and procedures. ESA was created in 1975 by the merger of the two pre-existing European organisations engaged in space activities, ELDO and ESRO
ESRO
The European Space Research Organization was an international organisation founded by 10 European nations with the intention of jointly pursuing scientific research in space. It was founded in 1964...

. The 10 founding members were Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland joined on 31 December 1975. In 1987, Austria and Norway became member states. Finland joined in 1995, Portugal in 2000, Greece and Luxembourg in 2005, and the Czech Republic in 2008. Currently, it has 18 member states: all the EU member states before 2004, plus Czech Republic, Norway and Switzerland. In addition, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State under a series of cooperation agreements dating since 1979.

The political perspective of the European Union is to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014. ESA is likely to expand in the coming years with the countries which joined the EU in both 2004 and 2007. Currently, almost all EU member states are in different stages of affiliation with ESA. Romania signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention on 20 January 2011 and will become the 19th member of ESA once it deposits its instrument of ratification with the government of France. This is due to happen later in 2011. Hungary, Poland and Slovenia have started to implement a Plan for European Cooperating State (PECS) Charter. Estonia has signed a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia have signed Cooperation Agreements with ESA. Finally, Bulgaria and Malta have also announced their intention to join ESA.

Membership in European Union agreements


For participation of non-EU countries in EU integration initiatives see also Multi-speed Europe


A small group of EU member states have joined all European treaties, instead of opting out on some. They drive the development of a federal model for the European integration. This is linked to the concept of Multi-speed Europe
Multi-speed Europe
Multi-speed Europe or two-speed Europe is the idea that different parts of the European Union should integrate at different levels and pace depending on the political situation in each individual country...

 where some countries would create a core union; and goes back to the Inner Six
Inner Six
The Inner Six, or simply The Six, are the six founding member states of the European Communities. This was in contrast to the outer seven who formed the European Free Trade Association rather than be involved in supranational European integration .-History:The inner six are those who responded to...

 references to the founding member states of the European Communities
European Communities
The European Communities were three international organisations that were governed by the same set of institutions...

.

At present the formation of a formal Core Europe Federation ("a federation within the confederation") had been held off at every occasion that such a federation treaty had been discussed. Instead supranational institutions are created that govern more areas in "Inner Europe" than the existing European integration provides for.

Among the 27 EU state members, eleven states have signed all integration agreements. These are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

The agreements considered include the fifth stage of economic integration or EMU
Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union
The Economic and Monetary Union is an umbrella term for the group of policies aimed at converging the economies of members of the European Union in three stages so as to allow them to adopt a single currency, the euro. As such, it is largely synonymous with the eurozone.All member states of the...

, the Schengen agreement
Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...

, the Common Security and Defence Policy,the European Space Agency
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

, and education initiatives such as the ERASMUS programme
Erasmus programme
The Erasmus Programme , a.k.a. Erasmus Project is a European Union student exchange programme established in 1987...

 or the European Higher Education Area
European Higher Education Area
The European Higher Education Area was launched along with the Bologna Process' decade anniversary, in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference....

.

Thus, among the 27 EU countries, 17 have joined the Eurozone, 22 have joined Schengen, and 26 compose the European Military.

Further, some countries which do not belong to the EU have joined several of these initiatives, albeit sometimes at a lower stage such as the Customs Union
European Union Customs Union
The European Union Customs Union is a customs union which consists of all the Member States of the European Union and a number of surrounding countries....

, the Common Market (EEA)
European Economic Area
The European Economic Area was established on 1 January 1994 following an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association and the European Community, later the European Union . Specifically, it allows Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU's Internal...

, or even unilaterally adopting the euro; by taking part in Schengen
Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...

, either as a signatory state, or de-facto; or by joining some common military forces.

Thus, six non-EU countries have adopted the euro unilaterally, three by joining the Schengen agreement officially and another three de-facto, and other countries have joined common military corps.

The following table shows the status of each state membership to the different agreements promoted by the EU. It lists 43 countries, including the 27 EU member states, 5 candidate states, members of EEA (2 countries plus one EU candidate), 4 countries with some soft ties to the EU, such as a SAA or participation agreements, as well as the 4 remaining Microstates (Liechtenstein is an EEA member) and Switzerland which has multiple bilateral treaties with the EU.

Hence, this table summarises some components of EU laws applied in the European states. Some territories of EU member states also have a special status in regard to EU laws applied. Some territories of EFTA member states also have a special status in regard to EU laws applied as is the case with some European microstates. For member states that do not have special-status territories the EU law applies fully with the exception of the Opt-outs in the European Union
Opt-outs in the European Union
In general, the law of the European Union is valid in all of the twenty-seven European Union member states. However, occasionally member states negotiate certain opt-outs from legislation or treaties of the European Union, meaning they do not have to participate in certain policy areas...

 and states under a safeguard clause
Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification
The Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification is safeguard measure invoked by the European Commission in case some new member or acceding state of the European Union has failed to implement commitments undertaken in the context of the accession negotiations in the fields of the Area of freedom,...

 or alternatively some states participate in Enhanced co-operation
Enhanced co-operation
In the European Union , enhanced cooperation is a procedure where a minimum of nine EU member states are allowed to establish advanced integration or cooperation in an area within EU structures but without the other members being involved...

 between a subset of the EU members. Additionally there are various examples of non-participation by some EU members and non-EU states participation in particular Agencies of the European Union
Agencies of the European Union
An agency of the European Union is a decentralised body of the European Union , which are distinct from the institutions. Agencies are established to accomplish specific tasks. Each agency has its own legal personality...

, the programmes for European Higher Education Area
European Higher Education Area
The European Higher Education Area was launched along with the Bologna Process' decade anniversary, in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference....

, European Research Area
European Research Area
The European Research Area is a system of scientific research programmes integrating the scientific resources of the European Union . Since its inception in 2000, the structure has been concentrated on multi-national co-operation in the fields of medical, environmental, industrial and...

 and Erasmus Mundus
Erasmus Mundus
The European Union's Erasmus Mundus programme aims to enhance quality in higher educationthrough scholarships and academic co-operation between Europe and the rest of the world.Erasmus Mundus comprises three Actions:-Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes:...

.
style="font-size: 130%;" | European Union Agreements
State Map EU EEA
European Economic Area
The European Economic Area was established on 1 January 1994 following an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association and the European Community, later the European Union . Specifically, it allows Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU's Internal...

Customs Union
European Union Customs Union
The European Union Customs Union is a customs union which consists of all the Member States of the European Union and a number of surrounding countries....

EMU (Euro)
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

Schengen
Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...

CSDP ESA
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

  Austria Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Belgium Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps
Eurocorps
Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

, EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Finland Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  France Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps
Eurocorps
Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

, Eurofor
Eurofor
European Rapid Operational Force is a multinational rapid reaction force composed of forces from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It has a permanent staff capable of commanding operations, involving commitments of up to a Light Division in size. Eurofor was formed in 1995, and was answerable to...

, EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

, EGF
European Gendarmerie Force
The European Gendarmerie Force was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five members of the European Union : France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009...

Yes
  Germany Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps
Eurocorps
Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

, EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Greece Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Italy Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurofor
Eurofor
European Rapid Operational Force is a multinational rapid reaction force composed of forces from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It has a permanent staff capable of commanding operations, involving commitments of up to a Light Division in size. Eurofor was formed in 1995, and was answerable to...

, EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

, EGF
European Gendarmerie Force
The European Gendarmerie Force was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five members of the European Union : France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009...

Yes
  Luxembourg Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps
Eurocorps
Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

, EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Netherlands Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

, EGF
European Gendarmerie Force
The European Gendarmerie Force was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five members of the European Union : France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009...

Yes
  Portugal Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurofor
Eurofor
European Rapid Operational Force is a multinational rapid reaction force composed of forces from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It has a permanent staff capable of commanding operations, involving commitments of up to a Light Division in size. Eurofor was formed in 1995, and was answerable to...

, EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

, EGF
European Gendarmerie Force
The European Gendarmerie Force was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five members of the European Union : France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009...

Yes
  Spain Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps
Eurocorps
Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

, Eurofor
Eurofor
European Rapid Operational Force is a multinational rapid reaction force composed of forces from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It has a permanent staff capable of commanding operations, involving commitments of up to a Light Division in size. Eurofor was formed in 1995, and was answerable to...

, EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

, EGF
European Gendarmerie Force
The European Gendarmerie Force was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five members of the European Union : France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009...

Yes
  Estonia Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

ECS
  Malta Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
  Slovakia Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

CA
  Slovenia Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

ECS
  Ireland Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes No, Visa Free EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Cyprus Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Yes Not yet implemented EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

CA
  Czech Republic Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Obliged to join Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Sweden Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Obliged to join Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Hungary Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Obliged to join Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

ECS
  Latvia Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes ERM II Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

CA
  Lithuania Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes ERM II Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

CA
  Poland Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Obliged to join Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

ECS
  Denmark Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes ERM II Yes No Yes
  United Kingdom Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes No No, Visa Free EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Bulgaria Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Obliged to join Not yet implemented EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

No
  Romania Yes
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

Yes Yes Obliged to join Not yet implemented EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

, EGF
European Gendarmerie Force
The European Gendarmerie Force was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five members of the European Union : France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009...

ECS
  Norway No Yes No No Yes EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

Yes
  Croatia Candidate
Accession of Croatia to the European Union
Croatia applied for European Union membership in 2003, and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate in early 2004. Candidate country status was granted to Croatia by the European Council in mid-2004...

No No No No, Visa Free No No
  Iceland Candidate Yes No No Yes No No
  Macedonia Candidate No No No No, Visa Free No No
  Montenegro Candidate
Accession of Montenegro to the European Union
The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro started the process of Accession to the European Union in November 2005, when negotiations over a Stabilisation and Association Agreement began. In May 2006, Montenegro voted for independence in a referendum and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was...

No No Unilaterally adopted
Montenegro and the euro
Montenegro has no currency of its own. Prior to the introduction of the euro in 2002, the Deutsche Mark was the de facto currency in all private and banking transactions...

No, Visa Free No No
  Turkey Candidate
Accession of Turkey to the European Union
Turkey's application to accede to the European Union was made on 14 April 1987. Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union and its predecessors since 1963...

No Partial No No EU BGs
European Union Battlegroups
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union . Often based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements...

CA
  Andorra No No Partial Unilaterally adopted
Andorran euro coins
Andorran–European relations are based on a customs union between the Andorra and the European Union .-Customs Union:The "Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Principality of Andorra" establishes a customs union with most favoured nation status between the EU...

No, Visa Free No No
  Liechtenstein No Yes No No Not yet implemented No No
  Monaco No No de facto, with France Yes Yes, via France No No
  San Marino No No Yes Yes Open border No No
  Vatican City No No No Yes Open border No No
  Switzerland Application frozen Bilateral treaties
Switzerland and the European Union
Relations between Switzerland and the European Union are framed by a series of bilateral treaties whereby Switzerland adopts EU law in order to participate in the EU's single market.-Trade:...

No No Yes No Yes
  Albania SAA, EU application submitted
Accession of Albania to the European Union
Albania applied for European Union membership on 28 April 2009 and is expected to join in 2015. Officially recognized by the EU as a "potential candidate country", Albania started negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement in 2003...

No No No No, Visa Free No No
  Bosnia and Herzegovina SAA
Accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the European Union
The accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the European Union is the aim of the present relations between the two entities. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been recognised by the EU as a "potential candidate country" for accession since the decision of the European Council in Thessaloniki in 2003...

No No No No, Visa Free No No
  Serbia SAA, EU application submitted
Accession of Serbia to the European Union
The accession of Serbia to the European Union is the process of the Republic of Serbia being admitted into the framework of the European Union as a full-fledged member state.Serbia officially applied for European Union membership on 22 December 2009...

No No No No, Visa Free No No
  Kosovo under UNSCR 1244
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, adopted on June 10, 1999, after recalling resolutions 1160 , 1199 , 1203 and 1239 , authorised an international civil and military presence in Kosovo ) and established the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo .Resolution...

Early talks No No Unilaterally adopted
Kosovo and the euro
Kosovo unilaterally adopted the Euro as its currency in 2002; however, it is not an official Eurozone member.-Background:During the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990’s Kosovo unsuccessfully attempted to gain independence, and in 1998-1999 the situation escalated with the Kosovo War...

No No No

Euro-Mediterranean Partnership


The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership or Barcelona Process was organised by the European Union to strengthen its relations with the countries in the Mashriq
Mashriq
Mashriq or Mashreq is derived from the Arabic consonantal root sh-r-q relating to the east or the sunrise, and essentially means "east"...

 and Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 regions. It started in 1995 with the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Conference, and it has been developed in successive annual meetings.

The European Union enlargement of 2004 brought two more Mediterranean countries (Cyprus and Malta) into the Union, while adding a total of 10 to the number of Member States. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership today comprises 43 members: 27 European Union member states, and 16 partner countries (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia, as well as the Palestinian Territories). Libya has had observer status since 1999.

The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area
Euro-Mediterranean free trade area
The European Union-Mediterranean Free Trade Area , also called the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area or Euromed FTA, is based on the Barcelona Process and European Neighbourhood Policy...

 (EU-MEFTA) is based on the Barcelona Process and European Neighbourhood Policy
European Neighbourhood Policy
The European Neighbourhood Policy is a foreign relations instrument of the European Union which seeks to tie those countries to the east and south of the EU into the EU...

 (ENP). It will cover the EU, the EFTA
European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association or EFTA is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union . EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to,...

, the EU customs unions with third states
European Union Customs Union
The European Union Customs Union is a customs union which consists of all the Member States of the European Union and a number of surrounding countries....

 (Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey), the EU candidate states
Enlargement of the European Union
The Enlargement of the European Union is the process of expanding the European Union through the accession of new member states. This process began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952...

, and the partners of the Barcelona Process.

The Union for the Mediterranean
Union for the Mediterranean
The Union for the Mediterranean is a multilateral partnership that encompasses 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 27 member states of the European Union and 16 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans...

 is a community of countries, mostly bordering the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, established in July 2008.

Ties with Partners


Morocco has already a number of close ties with the EU, including an Association Agreement with FTA provisions, air transport integration, or the participation in military operations such as ALTHEA in Bosnia.

Further, it will be the first partner to go beyond association by enhancing political and economic ties, entering the Single Market, and participating in some EU agencies.

Theories of Integration


The question of how to avoid wars between the nation-states was essential for the first theories. Federalism
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 and Functionalism
Functionalism in international relations
Functionalism is a theory of international relations that arose during the inter-War period principally from the strong concern about the obsolescence of the State as a form of social organization...

 proposed the containment of the nation-state, while Transactionalism sought to theorize the conditions for the stabilization of the nation-state system. One of the most influential theories of European integration is Neo-functionalism, developed by Ernst B. Haas
Ernst B. Haas
Ernst Bernard Haas was a German-American political scientist who made numerous contributions to theoretical discussions in the field of international relations....

 (1958) and further investigated by Leon Lindberg (1963). The important debate between neofunctionalism and (liberal) intergovernmentalism
Intergovernmentalism
-A theory of regional integration:The theory is not applied on European integration which rejects the idea of neofunctionalism. The theory, initially proposed by Stanley Hoffmann suggests that national governments control the level and speed of European integration. Any increase in power at...

 still remains central in understanding the development and set-backs of the European Union. But as the empirical world has changed, so have the theories and thus the understanding of European Integration. Today there is a relatively new focus on the complex policy making in the EU and Multi-level governance
Multi-level governance
Multi-level governance is a public administration theory that originated from studies on European integration. The authors Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks were the first to develop the concept of multi-level governance in the early 1990s. Their theory resulted from the study of the new structures...

 (MLG) trying to produce a theory of the workings and development of the EU.

Future of European Integration



There is no fixed end result of the process of integration. Integration and enlargement of the European Union
Enlargement of the European Union
The Enlargement of the European Union is the process of expanding the European Union through the accession of new member states. This process began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952...

 are major issues in the politics of Europe, each at European, national and local level. Integration may conflict with national sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 and cultural identity
Cultural identity
Cultural identity is the identity of a group or culture, or of an individual as far as one is influenced by one's belonging to a group or culture. Cultural identity is similar to and has overlaps with, but is not synonymous with, identity politics....

, and is opposed by eurosceptics
Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism is a general term used to describe criticism of the European Union , and opposition to the process of European integration, existing throughout the political spectrum. Traditionally, the main source of euroscepticism has been the notion that integration weakens the nation state...

.

Common space from Lisbon to Vladivostok



Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 in German newspaper in 2010 called for common economic space, free-trade area or more advanced economic integration, stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok. He also said it is quite possible Russia could join the eurozone one day. French president Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 in 2010 said he believes in 10 or 15 years there will be common economic space between EU and Russia with visa-free regime and general concept of security.

European Security Treaty


In 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the third President of the Russian Federation.Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint...

 announced new concept for Russian foreign politics and called for creation of common space in Euro-Atlantic and Eurasia area "from Vancouver to Vladivostok", and on 5 June 2009 in Berlin he proposed new all-European pact for security that would include all Euopean, CIS
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

 countries and United States On 29 November 2009 draft version of European Security Treaty appeared. French president Sarkozy spoke positively about Medvedev's ideas and called for closer security and economic relation between Europe and Russia. Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych
Viktor Yanukovych
Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych is a Ukrainian politician who has been the President of Ukraine since February 2010.Yanukovych served as the Governor of Donetsk Oblast from 1997 to 2002...

 also called for stronger integration of Europe, Ukraine and Russia. On the other hand, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said such new agreement is unnecessary.

Concept of a Single Legal Space for the CIS and Europe


Russian legal scholar Oleg Kutafin and economist Alexander Zakharov produced a Concept of a Single Legal Space for the CIS
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

 and Europe in 2002. This idea was fully incorporated in the resolution of the 2003 Moscow Legal Forum. The Forum gathered representatives of more than 20 countries including 10 CIS countries. In 2007 both the International Union of Jurists of the CIS and the International Union (Commonwealth) of Advocates passed resolutions that strongly support the Concept of a Single Legal Space for Europe and post-Soviet Countries.
The concept said: "Obviously, to improve its legislation Russia and other countries of CIS should be oriented toward the continental legal family of European law. The civil law system is much closer to the Russian and other CIS countries will be instrumental in harmonizing legislation of CIS countries and the European Community but all values of common law should be also investigated on the subject of possible implementation in some laws and norms.
It is suggested that the introduction of the concept of a Single legal space and a single Rule of Law space for Europe and CIS be implemented in four steps:

1.Development plans at the national level regarding adoption of selected EC legal standards in the legislation of CIS countries;

2.Promotion of measures for harmonization of law with the goal of developing a single legal space for Europe and CIS countries in the area of commercial and corporate law;

3.Making the harmonization of judicial practice of CIS countries compatible with Rule of Law principles and coordination of the basic requirements of the Rule of Law in CIS countries with the EU legal standards.

4.Development of ideas the Roerich Pact (International Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institution and Historic Monuments initiated by Russian thinker Nicholas Roerich and signed in 1935 by 40 percent of sovereign states in Washington D.C.) into the law of CIS countries and European law.
The only from good will of European legal community will depends where the “Legal Europe” will situated in 20–40 years: at the Pacific Ocean or on the western border of Russia.”

See also

  • Enlargement of the European Union
    Enlargement of the European Union
    The Enlargement of the European Union is the process of expanding the European Union through the accession of new member states. This process began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952...

  • European Coal and Steel Community
    European Coal and Steel Community
    The European Coal and Steel Community was a six-nation international organisation serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War and create the foundation for the modern-day developments of the European Union...

  • European Foreign Policy
  • Pan-European identity
    Pan-European identity
    Pan-European identity refers to the sense of personal identification with Europe. The most concrete examples of pan-europeanism are the European Union and the older Council of Europe...

  • Federalism
    Federalism
    Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

  • Federal Europe
  • Multi-speed Europe
    Multi-speed Europe
    Multi-speed Europe or two-speed Europe is the idea that different parts of the European Union should integrate at different levels and pace depending on the political situation in each individual country...

  • Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification
    Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification
    The Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification is safeguard measure invoked by the European Commission in case some new member or acceding state of the European Union has failed to implement commitments undertaken in the context of the accession negotiations in the fields of the Area of freedom,...

  • Pro-European
    Pro-European
    Pro-European is a subjective term applied to a person who supports the idea of European unification and generally supports further 'deepening' of European integration, specifically in the context of political argument over the current and future status of the EU and its policies.-The Pro-European...

  • Euroscepticism
    Euroscepticism
    Euroscepticism is a general term used to describe criticism of the European Union , and opposition to the process of European integration, existing throughout the political spectrum. Traditionally, the main source of euroscepticism has been the notion that integration weakens the nation state...

  • Intergovernmentalism
    Intergovernmentalism
    -A theory of regional integration:The theory is not applied on European integration which rejects the idea of neofunctionalism. The theory, initially proposed by Stanley Hoffmann suggests that national governments control the level and speed of European integration. Any increase in power at...

  • Multi-level governance
    Multi-level governance
    Multi-level governance is a public administration theory that originated from studies on European integration. The authors Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks were the first to develop the concept of multi-level governance in the early 1990s. Their theory resulted from the study of the new structures...

  • Neofunctionalism
    Neofunctionalism
    Neofunctionalism is a theory of regional integration, building on the work of Ernst B. Haas, an American political scientist and also Leon Lindberg, an American political scientist...

  • CIS
    CIS
    CIS usually refers to the Commonwealth of Independent States, a modern political entity consisting of eleven former Soviet Union republics.The acronym CIS may also refer to:-Organizations:...

  • Supranationalism
  • United States of Europe
    United States of Europe
    Since the 1950s, European integration has seen the development of a supranational system of governance, as its institutions move further from the concept of simple intergovernmentalism. However, with the Maastricht Treaty of 1993, new intergovernmental elements have been introduced alongside the...

  • Roman Empire
    Roman Empire
    The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

  • International organisations in Europe
    International organisations in Europe
    The following table lists the independent European states, and their memberships in selected organisations and treaties.1 These countries are currently not participating in the EU's single market , but the EU has common external Customs Union agreements with Turkey , Andorra and San Marino...