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About Europe

European Union

The European Union has evolved from a concept after the second world war by several countries. In 1951 at the Treaty of Paris, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and West Germany, formed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The aim was to  unified countries with common interests, avoiding conflict that leads to war, yet letting countries operate autonomously. This unified the countries still allowing them their identity. In 1958 the European Economic Community (EEC) was formed between six countries Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Its aim was to create economic and trade cooperation while still being economically independent and avoiding conflicts. In 1967 it merged with the (ECSC) and the European Atomic Energy Commission (EURATOM). French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman believed in finding common areas of interests, as well as beneficial, made war more unthinkable and unnecessary. As this concept grew and more countries joined, more areas of interests, like banking and justice were agreed upon and added. Then in 1992 the Maastricht Treaty was signed by 12 member countries forming the now European Union. It has a governing body that each member country elects representatives to the European Parliament. From this has also came the Schengen Agreement. This was signed in 1985 by 5 EU states to create borderless areas between European countries allowing for freedom of movement. As of today 26 countries are members of the Schengen area, with 4 being non-members of the EU. That initial cooperative effort spread into other policy areas with the involvement of even more countries. Areas such as mobility, stability, common currency, human rights, aid assistance, environmental issues and government transparency. That growth led to the evolution of the European Union in 1993. As of today 28 countries are involved in the European Union.

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European Union

The Motto of the European Union is:
“Unity through Diversity”.

1952

🇧🇪 Belgium / 🇫🇷 France / 🇮🇹 Italy

1973

🇩🇰 Denmark / 🇮🇪 Ireland / 🇬🇧 United Kingdom

1981

🇬🇷 Greece

1986

🇵🇹 Portugal / 🇪🇸 Spain

1995

 🇦🇹 Austria / 🇫🇮 Finland / 🇸🇪 Sweden

2004

🇨🇾 Cyprus / 🇨🇿 Czechia / 🇪🇪 Estonia / 🇭🇺 Hungary / 🇱🇻 Latvia / 🇱🇹 Lithuania / 🇲🇹 Malta / 🇵🇱 Poland / 🇸🇰 Slovakia / 🇸🇮 Slovenia

2007

🇧🇬 Bulgaria / 🇷🇴 Romania

2013

🇭🇷 Croatia

2015

🇬🇧 United Kingdom – votes to withdraw from the European Union

For more information on the European Union go to:
Europe.eu
 

Schengen Agreement…

Freedom of Movement in Europe…

Traveling from one Schengen member country to another is like going from California to Arizona. No security border crossings or customs. For the traveler in Europe it is hassle free with no time consuming border entries. It has been a great benefit for the economies with the easy movement of goods and services. Its detractors are argue it is a security risk with recent terrorists attacks and need to be modified. Some far right groups want the borders closed to all and non-citizen travelers and emigrants. In addition to the European Union, European countries have agreed on certain polices for both EU and non-EU members.

They are; •

  • Removal of checks on persons at the internal borders
  • A common set of rules applying to people crossing the external borders of the EU Member States
  • Harmonization of the conditions of entry and of the rules on visas for short stays
  • Enhanced police cooperation (including rights of cross-border surveillance and hot pursuit)
  • Stronger judicial cooperation through a faster extradition system and transfer of enforcement of criminal judgments
  • Establishment and development of the Schengen Information System (SIS).

There are currently 26 countries that are on the Schengen Agreement.

1985

🇧🇪 Belgium / 🇫🇷 France / 🇩🇪 Germany / 🇱🇺 Luxembourg / 🇳🇱 Netherlands

1990

🇮🇹 Italy

1992

🇬🇷 Greece / 🇵🇹 Portugal / 🇪🇸 Spain

1995

🇦🇹 Austria

1996

🇩🇰 Denmark / 🇫🇮 Finland / 🇮🇸 Iceland / 🇳🇴 Norway / 🇸🇪 Sweden

2004

🇨🇿 Czechia / 🇪🇪 Estonia / 🇭🇺 Hungary / 🇱🇻 Latvia / 🇱🇹 Lithuania / 🇲🇹 Malta / 🇵🇱 Poland / 🇸🇰 Slovakia / 🇸🇮 Slovenia / 🇨🇭 Switzerland

2008

🇱🇮 Liechtenstein

Future

🇧🇬 Bulgaria / 🇷🇴 Romania

Schengen Member Countires

For more information on Schengen go to:
Schengen Visa Info      
Traveler Rights while in the European Union  

NATO…

The North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 brought nations together to cooperatively safeguard the security and freedom of its member countries through political and military means. Below are listed member countries and the year they joined ➾ NATO

1949

🇧🇪 Belgium / 🇨🇦 Canada / 🇩🇰 Denmark / 🇫🇷 France / 🇮🇸 Iceland / 🇮🇹 Italy / 🇱🇺 Luxembourg / 🇳🇱 Netherlands / 🇳🇴 Norway / 🇵🇹 Portugal / 🇬🇧 United Kingdom / 🇺🇸 United States

1952

🇬🇷 Greece / 🇹🇷 Turkey

1955

🇩🇪 West Germany

1982

🇪🇸 Spain

1999

🇨🇿 Czechia / 🇭🇺 Hungary / 🇵🇱 Poland

2004

🇧🇬 Bulgaria / 🇪🇪 Estonia / 🇱🇻 Latvia / 🇱🇹 Lithuania / 🇷🇴 Romania / 🇸🇰 Slovakia / 🇸🇮 Slovenia

2009

🇦🇱 Albania / 🇭🇷 Croatia

2017

🇲🇪 Montenegro

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Member Countries