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World > > European Union

   flag of European Union
   European Union

Introduction:
Following the two devastating World Wars of the first half of the 20th century, a number of European leaders in the late 1940s became convinced that the only way to establish a lasting peace was to unite the two chief belligerent nations - France and Germany - both economically and politically. In 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert SCHUMAN proposed an eventual union of all Europe, the first step of which would be the integration of the coal and steel industries of Western Europe. The following year the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was set up when six members, Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, signed the Treaty of Paris.


Official name:
Capital: name: Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Luxembourg
geographic coordinates: 50 50 N, 4 20 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in
Government type:
Population: 490,426,060 (July 2007 est.)
Languages: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish; note - only official languages are listed
Official Currency:
Currency code:
Area: total: 4,324,782 sq km
Climate: cold temperate; potentially subarctic in the north to temperate; mild wet winters; hot dry summers in the south


Map of European Union
map of European Union


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