European Union / Euratom
Field of Science:Political-science
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European Union (EU)
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC) formed by six countries in the 1950s. In the intervening years the EU has grown, in size, by the accession of new member states and, in power, by the addition of policy areas to its remit.
The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993. The last amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmentally made decisions negotiated by the member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.
Looking for more from the European Union? Visit: http://europa.eu/index_en.htm
|Energy policy of the European Union
Although the European Union has legislated in the area of energy policy for many years, and evolved out of the European Coal and Steel Community, the concept of introducing a mandatory and comprehensive European energy policy was only approved at the meeting of the European Council on October 27, 2005 in London. The EU currently imports 82% of its oil and 57% of its gas, making it the world's leading importer of these fuels. Only 3% of the uranium used in European nuclear reactors was mined in Europe. Russia, Canada, Australia and Niger were the largest suppliers of nuclear materials to the EU, supplying more than 75% of the total needs in 2007.
The possible principles of Energy Policy for Europe were elaborated at the Commission's green paper A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy on 8 March 2006. As a result of the decision to develop a common energy policy, the first proposals, Energy for a Changing World were published by the European Commission, following a consultation process, on 10 January 2007. It is claimed that they will lead to a 'post-industrial revolution', or a low-carbon economy, in the European Union, as well as increased competition in the energy markets, improved security of supply, and improved employment prospects. Although the proposals have been adopted by the European Commission, they require the approval of the European Parliament but were debated and approved at a meeting of the European Council on 8 and 9 March 2007.
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