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Portal:European Union

Introduction

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  Welcome to the European Union Portal!

The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of 4,233,255.3 km2 (1,634,469.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity (without precedent or comparison) combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation.

Containing 5.8 per cent of the world population in 2020, the EU generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$17.1 trillion in 2021, constituting approximately 18 per cent of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all EU states but Bulgaria have a very high Human Development Index according to the United Nations Development Programme. Its cornerstone, the Customs Union, paved the way to establishing an internal single market based on standardised legal framework and legislation that applies in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where the states have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market; enact legislation in justice and home affairs; and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Passport controls have been abolished for travel within the Schengen Area. The eurozone is a group composed of the 20 EU member states that have fully implemented the economic and monetary union and use the euro currency. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the union has developed a role in external relations and defence. It maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Due to its global influence, the European Union has been described by some scholars as an emerging superpower.

After the creation by six states, 22 other states joined the union in 1973–2013. The United Kingdom became the only member state to leave the EU in 2020; ten countries are aspiring or negotiating to join it. (Full article...)

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Flag of Portugal.svg

The flag of Portugal consists of a rectangle vertically divided into green, at the hoist, and red, at the fly, with the minor version of the national coat of arms (armillary sphere and Portuguese shield) centered over the boundary between the colors. It was officially adopted on 30 June 1911, replacing the flag used under the constitutional monarchy, after it was chosen among several proposals by a special commission, whose members included Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, João Chagas and Abel Botelho.

The current flag represents a sweeping change in the evolution of the Portuguese flag, which was always intimately associated with the royal arms. Since the country's foundation, the national flag developed from King Afonso I's blue-cross-on-white armorial square banner to the liberal monarchy's royal arms over a blue-and-white rectangle. In between, major changes associated with important political events contributed to the evolution of the national shield into its current design.

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Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. Construction of the room began in 1678, lasting until 1684. It has since been used for various state functions, including the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

Did you know?

...that France possesses the largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world?

...that Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City all mint their own euro coins, with their own national symbols on the back?

...that Turkey's two most famous weightlifters, Naim Suleymanoglu and Halil Mutlu are only two of four weightlifters in the world to have won 3 gold medals in 3 olympics?

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Riga

Riga, the capital of Latvia, is situated on the Baltic Sea coast on the mouth of the River Daugava, at 56°58′N 24°8′E / 56.967°N 24.133°E / 56.967; 24.133. Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states. The Historic Centre of Riga has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is particularly notable for its extensive Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) architecture, comparable in significance only with Vienna, Saint Petersburg and Barcelona.

The modern founding of Riga is regarded by historians to have begun with the arrival in Latvia of German traders, mercenaries and religious crusaders in the second half of the 12th century, attracted by a sparsely populated region, potential new markets and by the missionary opportunities to convert the local population to Christianity. German merchants established an outpost for trading with the Balts near the Liv settlement at Riga in 1158. The Augustinian monk Meinhard built a monastery there circa 1190.

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