Monday, 25 August 2014

European Explanations 101


Being a born European and a pro-europeist people tend to talk with me about Europe and European issues. However in many situations there are still questions and mistakes being made.
What is the difference between Europe, EU, Eurozone, Schengen states, CERN, ESA and EBU? - These are some European explanations.

Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally divided from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet the borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic term "continent" can incorporate cultural and political elements.


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European Union
The European Union (EU) is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are primarily located in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. 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, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.


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European Free Trade Association
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates in parallel with – and is linked to – the European Union (EU). The EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable or unwilling to join the then-European Economic Community (EEC) which has now become the EU. The Stockholm Convention, establishing the EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital by seven countries (known as the "outer seven").
Today's EFTA members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, of which the latter two were founding members. The initial Stockholm Convention was superseded by the Vaduz Convention, which enabled greater liberalisation of trade among the member states.


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Central European Free Trade Agreement
The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a trade agreement between non-EU countries in Southeast Europe.As of 1 July 2013, the parties of the CEFTA agreement are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) on behalf of Kosovo.
Former parties are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Their CEFTA memberships ended when they became member states of the European Union (EU).


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Eurozone
The Eurozone, officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union (EMU) of 18 European Union (EU) member states that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender.
The Eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Other EU states (except for the United Kingdom and Denmark) are obliged to join once they meet the criteria to do so. No state has left and there are no provisions to do so or to be expelled. Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican City and Andorra have formal agreements with the EU to use the euro as their official currency and issue their own coins. Other states, like Kosovo and Montenegro, have adopted the euro unilaterally, but these countries do not formally form part of the Eurozone and do not have representation in the ECB or the Eurogroup.


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Schengen Area
The Schengen Area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their common borders, also referred to as internal borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The Area is named after the Schengen Agreement. Countries in the Schengen Area have eliminated internal border controls with the other Schengen members, and strengthened external border controls with non-Schengen states. The Schengen area encourages the free movement of goods, information, money and people.


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European Organization for Nuclear Research
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (French: Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire), known as CERN is a European research organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory. Established in 1954, the organization is based in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border, (46°14′3″N 6°3′19″E) and has 21 European member states. Israel is the first (and currently only) non-European country granted full membership.


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European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) (French: Agence spatiale européenne - ASE) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, with 20 member states. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €4.28 billion / US$5.51 billion (2013).
The national bodies responsible for space in these countries sit on ESA’s governing Council: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Canada also sits on the Council and takes part in some projects under a Cooperation Agreement. Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia are participating in the Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS), while other countries are in negotiation with ESA about joining this initiative.



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European Broadcasting Union
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU; French: Union européenne de radio-télévision (UER)) is an alliance of public service media entities, comprising 72 Active Members in 56 countries, and 37 Associate Members from a further 22 countries. It is unrelated to the European Union, but hosted debates between candidates for the European Commission presidency for the 2014 parliamentary elections. It is best known for producing the Eurovision Song Contest.


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The Relationships
A Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational European organisations and agreements.



 Source: Wikipedia

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Blog Editor and Owner: Luis Aparicio Fernandes (or Mikey) is a Business Expert and a Traveler based in Sydney, Australia. He is a member of The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma due to his achievements in business. You can follow Luis on Google+, and LinkedIn.