European Union

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Following the two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century, a number of far-sighted European leaders in the late 1940s sought a response to the overwhelming desire for peace and reconciliation on the continent. In 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert SCHUMAN proposed pooling the production of coal and steel in Western Europe and setting up an organization for that purpose that would bring France and the Federal Republic of Germany together and would be open to other countries as well. 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.

The ECSC was so successful that within a few years the decision was made to integrate other elements of the countries' economies. In 1957, envisioning an "ever closer union," the Treaties of Rome created the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), and the six member states undertook to eliminate trade barriers among themselves by forming a common market. In 1967, the institutions of all three communities were formally merged into the European Community (EC), creating a single Commission, a single Council of Ministers, and the body known today as the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament were initially selected by national parliaments, but in 1979 the first direct elections were undertaken and have been held every five years since.

In 1973, the first enlargement of the EC took place with the addition of Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The 1980s saw further membership expansion with Greece joining in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986. The 1992 Treaty of Maastricht laid the basis for further forms of cooperation in foreign and defense policy, in judicial and internal affairs, and in the creation of an economic and monetary union - including a common currency. This further integration created the European Union (EU), at the time standing alongside the European Community. In 1995, Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the EU/EC, raising the membership total to 15.

A new currency, the euro, was launched in world money markets on 1 January 1999; it became the unit of exchange for all EU member states except Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In 2002, citizens of those 12 countries began using euro banknotes and coins. Ten new countries joined the EU in 2004 - Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007 and Croatia in 2013, bringing the current membership to 28. (Seven of these new countries - Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia - have now adopted the euro bringing total euro zone membership to 19.)

In an effort to ensure that the EU could function efficiently with an expanded membership, the Treaty of Nice (signed in 2000) set forth rules to streamline the size and procedures of EU institutions. An effort to establish a "Constitution for Europe," growing out of a Convention held in 2002-2003, foundered when it was rejected in referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005. A subsequent effort in 2007 incorporated many of the features of the rejected draft Constitutional Treaty while also making a number of substantive and symbolic changes. The new treaty, referred to as the Treaty of Lisbon, sought to amend existing treaties rather than replace them. The treaty was approved at the EU intergovernmental conference of the then 27 member states held in Lisbon in December 2007, after which the process of national ratifications began. In October 2009, an Irish referendum approved the Lisbon Treaty (overturning a previous rejection) and cleared the way for an ultimate unanimous endorsement. Poland and the Czech Republic signed on soon after. The Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009 and the EU officially replaced and succeeded the EC. The Treaty's provisions are part of the basic consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union (TUE) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE) now governing what remains a very specific integration project.

Geography

Location

Europe between the North Atlantic Ocean in the west and Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine to the east

Area

total: 4,324,782 sq km

Area - comparative

less than one-half the size of the US

Land boundaries

total: 13,271 km

border countries (17): Albania 212 km, Andorra 118 km, Belarus 1,176 km, Bosnia and Herzegovina 956 km, Holy See 3 km, Liechtenstein 34 km, Macedonia 396 km, Moldova 683 km, Monaco 6 km, Montenegro 19 km, Norway 2,375 km, Russia 2,435 km, San Marino 37 km, Serbia 1,353 km, Switzerland 1,729 km, Turkey 415 km, Ukraine 1,324 km

note: data for European continent only

Coastline

65,992.9 km

Maritime claims

NA

Climate

cold temperate; potentially subarctic in the north to temperate; mild wet winters; hot dry summers in the south

Terrain

fairly flat along Baltic and Atlantic coasts; mountainous in the central and southern areas

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Lammefjord, Denmark -7 m; Zuidplaspolder, Netherlands -7 m

highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m; note - situated on the border between France and Italy

Natural resources

iron ore, natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, lead, zinc, bauxite, uranium, potash, salt, hydropower, arable land, timber, fish

Irrigated land

154,539.82 sq km (2011 est.)

Total renewable water resources

2,057.76 cu km (2011)

Natural hazards

flooding along coasts; avalanches in mountainous area; earthquakes in the south; volcanic eruptions in Italy; periodic droughts in Spain; ice floes in the Baltic

Environment - current issues

various forms of air, soil, and water pollution; see individual country entries

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94

signed but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds

People and Society

Languages

Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish

note: only the 24 official languages are listed; German, the major language of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, is the most widely spoken mother tongue - about 18% of the EU population; English is the most widely spoken foreign language - about 38% of the EU population is conversant with it (2013)

Religions

Roman Catholic 48%, Protestant 12%, Orthodox 8%, other Christian 4%, Muslim 2%, other 1% (includes Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu), atheist 7%, non-believer/agnostic 16%, unspecified 2% (2012 est.)

Population 3/238

513,949,445 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 15.5% (male 40,819,985/female 38,752,319)

15-24 years: 11% (male 29,022,494/female 27,724,216)

25-54 years: 41.9% (male 108,625,856/female 106,777,338)

55-64 years: 12.8% (male 31,915,689/female 33,797,415)

65 years and over: 18.8% (male 41,266,149/female 55,247,984) (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 42.5 years

male: 41 years

female: 43.9 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate

.25% (2015 est.)

Birth rate

10.2 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate

10.2 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate

2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 193/224

total: 4 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 38/224

total population: 80.2 years

male: 77.4 years

female: 83.2 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.61 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Hospital bed density

5.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

note - see individual entries of member states

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

note - see individual entries of member states

HIV/AIDS - deaths

note - see individual entries of member states

Government

Capital

name: Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Luxembourg; note - the European Council, a gathering of the EU heads of state and/or government, and the Council of the European Union, a ministerial-level body of ten formations, meet in Brussels, Belgium, except for Council meetings held in Luxembourg in April, June, and October; the European Parliament meets in Brussels and Strasbourg, France, and has administrative offices in Luxembourg; the Court of Justice of the European Union is located in Luxembourg; and the European Central Bank is located in Frankfurt, Germany

geographic coordinates: (Brussels) 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 October

Independence

7 February 1992 (Maastricht Treaty signed establishing the European Union); 1 November 1993 (Maastricht Treaty entered into force)

note: the Treaties of Rome, signed on 25 March 1957 and subsequently entered into force on 1 January 1958, created the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community; a series of subsequent treaties have been adopted to increase efficiency and transparency, to prepare for new member states, and to introduce new areas of cooperation - such as a single currency; the Treaty of Lisbon, signed on 13 December 2007 and entered into force on 1 December 2009 is the most recent of these treaties and is intended to make the EU more democratic, more efficient, and better able to address global problems with one voice

National holiday

Europe Day (also known as Schuman Day) 9 May (1950); note - the day in 1950 that Robert SCHUMAN proposed the creation of what became the European Coal and Steel Community, the progenitor of today's European Union, with the aim of achieving a united Europe

Constitution

none; note - the EU legal order relies primarily on two consolidated texts encompassing all provisions as amended from a series of past treaties: the Treaty on European Union (TEU), as modified by the Lisbon Treaty, states in Article 1 that "the HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES establish among themselves a EUROPEAN UNION ... on which the Member States confer competences to attain objectives they have in common"; Article 1 of the TEU states further that the EU is "founded on the present Treaty and on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (hereinafter referred to as 'the Treaties')," both possessing the same legal value; Article 6 of the TEU provides that a separately adopted Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union "shall have the same legal value as the Treaties (2015)

Legal system

unique supranational law system in which, according to an interpretive declaration of member-state governments appended to the Treaty of Lisbon, "the Treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Treaties have primacy over the law of Member States" under conditions laid down in the case law of the Court of Justice; key principles of EU law include fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and as resulting from constitutional traditions common to the EU's states; EU law is divided into 'primary' and 'secondary' legislation; the treaties (primary legislation) are the basis for all EU action; secondary legislation - which includes directives, regulations, and decisions - are derived from the principles and objectives set out in the treaties

Suffrage

18 years of age (16 years in Austria); universal; voting for the European Parliament is permitted in each member state

Executive branch

note: the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is the EC's external representation and foreign policy making body; Frederica MOGHERINI (since 1 November 2014), is the current High Representative; the High Representative helps develop and implement the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defense Policy, chairs the Foreign Affairs Council, represents and acts for the Union in many international contexts, and oversees the European External Action Service, the diplomatic corps of the EU; Frederica MOGHERINI nominated by the Italian prime minister and approved by the European Council to serve a 5-year term

Legislative branch

description: two legislative bodies consisting of the Council of the European Union (28 seats; ministers representing the 28 member states and the European Parliament (751 seats; seats allocated among member states roughly in proportion to population size; members elected by proportional representation to serve 5-year terms); note - the European Parliament President, currently Martin SCHULZ (German Socialist) is elected by a majority of fellow members (MEPs) of the European Parliament and represents the Parliament within the EU and internationally; the Council of the EU and the MEPs share responsibilities for adopting the bulk of EU legislation, acting on Commission proposals

elections: last held on 22-25 May 2014 (next to be held May-June 2019)

election results: percent of vote - EPP 29.4%, S&D 25.4%, ECR 9.3%, ALDE 8.9%, GUE/NGL 6.9%, Greens/EFA 6.7%, EFD 6.4%, independent 6.9%; seats by party - EPP 221, S&D 191, ECR 70, ALDE 67, GUE/NGL 52, Greens/EFA 50, EFD 48, independent 52

Judicial branch

note: the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ensures that EU law is interpreted and applied uniformly throughout the EU, resolves disputed isssues among the EU institutions and with member states, issues opinions on questions of EU law referred by member state courts

highest court(s): ECJ (consists of 28 judges - 1 from each member state); the court may sit as a full court, in a "Grand Chamber" of 13 judges in special cases but usually in chambers of 3 to 5 judges

judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the common consent of the member states to serve 6-year renewable terms

subordinate courts: General Court; Civil Service Tribunal

Political parties and leaders

European United Left-Nordic Green Left or GUE/NGL [Gabriele ZIMMER]

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy or EFD [Nigel FARAGE and David BORRELLI]

Europe of Nations and Freedom or ENL [Marine LE PEN and Marcel DE GRAFF]

European Conservatives and Reformists or ECR [Syed KAMALL]

The Greens/European Free Alliance or Greens/EFA [Rebecca HARMS and Philippe LAMBERTS]

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe or ALDE [Guy VERHOFSTADT]

European People's Party or EPP [Manfred WEBER]

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats or S&D [Gianni PITELLA]

International organization participation

ARF, ASEAN (dialogue member), Australian Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CERN, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-8, G-10, G-20, IDA, IEA, IGAD (partners), LAIA (observer), NSG (observer), OAS (observer), OECD, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SICA (observer), UN (observer), UNRWA (observer), WCO, WTO, ZC (observer)

Flag description

a blue field with 12 five-pointed gold stars arranged in a circle in the center; blue represents the sky of the Western world, the stars are the peoples of Europe in a circle, a symbol of unity; the number of stars is fixed

National symbol(s)

a circle of 12, five-pointed, golden yellow stars on a blue field; union colors: blue, yellow

National anthem

name: "Ode to Joy""

lyrics/music: no lyrics/Ludwig VON BEETHOVEN, arranged by Herbert VON KARAJAN

note: adopted 1972; official EU anthem since 1985; the song is meant to represent all of Europe rather than just the organization, conveying ideas of peace, freedom, and unity; the song also serves as the anthem for the Council of Europe

Economy

Economy - overview

Internally, the 28 EU member states have adopted the framework of a single market with free movement of goods, services and capital. Internationally, the EU aims to bolster Europe's trade position and its political and economic weight.

Despite great differences in per capita income among member states (from $13,000 to $82,000) and in national attitudes toward issues like inflation, debt, and foreign trade, the EU has achieved a high degree of coordination of monetary and fiscal policies. A common currency – the euro – circulates among 19 of the member states, under the auspices of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Eleven member states introduced the euro as their common currency on 1 January 1999 (Greece did so two years later). Since 2004, 13 states acceded to the EU. Of the 13, Slovenia (2007), Cyprus and Malta (2008), Slovakia (2009), Estonia (2011), Latvia (2014), and Lithuania (2015) have adopted the euro; 7 other member states - not including the UK and Denmark, which have formal opt-outs - are required by EU treaties to adopt the common currency upon meeting fiscal and monetary convergence criteria.

The EU economy is slowly recovering from the 2008-09 global economic crisis and the ensuing sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone in 2011. The bloc posted moderate GDP growth in 2014 and 2015, but the recovery has been uneven. Some EU member states (Czech Republic, Ireland and Spain) have recorded strong growth while others (Finland, Greece) are struggling to shake off recession. The recovery has been buoyed by lower commodities prices and accommodative monetary policy, which has lowered interest rates and the euro’s foreign exchange value. Despite EU/IMF rescue programs in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus, significant drags on growth remain, including high public and private debt loads, low domestic demand that discourages investment, aging populations, onerous regulations, and high unemployment. These factors - in combination with low oil prices - have subdued inflation in the euro zone despite the European Central Bank’s (ECB) efforts to spur more lending and investment through its asset-buying program and negative interest rates. The ECB in December 2015 stated it would widen its asset-buying program and extend it until March 2017 to fend off deflation and improve borrowing conditions in the euro zone.

Beyond the risk of deflation, the EU economy is vulnerable to a slowdown of global trade that would shrink the EU’s ample external trade surplus. Another round of financial market turmoil because of disagreements between bailed-out Greece and its euro-zone creditor could also be detrimental to a stronger EU recovery if it hurts consumer and investor confidence. To bolster economic growth and create jobs EU leaders have moved forward with plans to use $28 (€21) billion in public money as seed capital to attract private investors to fund $421 [€315] billion in infrastructure projects from 2015 to 2017, focusing on energy, broadband, transport, education, and research and innovation. They also are forging ahead on creating a capital markets union to ease the burdens of cross-border investment in the bloc. Externally, the EU continues to negotiate an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement with the United States, the goal of which is to expand already large trade and investment flows.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 2/230

$19.18 trillion (2015 est.)

$18.64 trillion (2014 est.)

$18.08 trillion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$16.27 trillion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 150/225

1.8% (2015 est.)

1.4% (2013 est.)

0.2% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 44/230

$37,800 (2015 est.)

$36,900 (2014 est.)

$35,900 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 78/179

21.4% of GDP (2013 est.)

21.1% of GDP (2012 est.)

21% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 56.7%

government consumption: 21.6%

investment in fixed capital: 17.3%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 44.9%

imports of goods and services: -42.1%

(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.6%

industry: 24.3%

services: 71.2% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

wheat, barley, oilseeds, sugar beets, wine, grapes; dairy products, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry; fish

Industries

among the world's largest and most technologically advanced regions, the EU industrial base includes: ferrous and non-ferrous metal production and processing, metal products, petroleum, coal, cement, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, rail transportation equipment, passenger and commercial vehicles, construction equipment, industrial equipment, shipbuilding, electrical power equipment, machine tools and automated manufacturing systems, electronics and telecommunications equipment, fishing, food and beverages, furniture, paper, textiles

Industrial production growth rate 135/202

1.5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 3/233

231.9 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 5%

industry: 21.9%

services: 73.1% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate 111/207

9.5% (2015 est.)

9.8% (2014)

Population below poverty line

9.8% note - see individual country entries of member states

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 23.9% (2012 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 115/144

30.9 (2012 est.)

30.5 (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 24/219

45.2% of GDP

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 114/220

-3% of GDP

Public debt 28/176

86.8% of GDP

85.5% of GDP

Fiscal year

NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 40/226

0.1% (2013 est.)

0.5% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate 148/156

0.05% (31 December 2013)

0.3% (31 December 2012)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate 184/184

0.32% (31 December 2010 est.)

0.56% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of narrow money 1/192

$7.165 trillion (31 December 2013)

$7.422 trillion (31 December 2012)

note: this is the quantity of money, M1, for the euro area, converted into US dollars at the exchange rate for the date indicated; it excludes the stock of money carried by non-euro-area members of the European Union, e.g., UK pounds, Danish kroner, and Czech koruny

Stock of broad money 2/193

$12.49 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

$12.29 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)

note: this is the quantity of broad money for the euro area, converted into US dollars at the exchange rate for the date indicated; it excludes the stock of broad money carried by non-euro-area members of the European Union

Stock of domestic credit 1/191

$21.71 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

$21.29 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)

note: this figure refers to the euro area only; it excludes credit data for non-euro-area members of the EU

Market value of publicly traded shares 2/121

$10.4 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

$9.36 trillion (31 December 2011)

$10.56 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 1/197

$351.9 billion (2011 est.)

$88.12 billion (2010 est.)

Exports 2/224

$2.259 trillion (2012 est.)

$2.306 trillion (2011 est.)

note: external exports, excluding intra-EU trade

Exports - commodities

machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, fuels, aircraft, plastics, iron and steel, wood pulp and paper products, alcoholic beverages, furniture

Exports - partners

United States 17.1%, China 8.5%, Switzerland 7.8%, Russia 7.2%, Turkey 4.4% (2013 est.)

Imports 2/223

$2.244 trillion (2012 est.)

$2.238 trillion (2011 est.)

note: external imports, excluding intra-EU trade

Imports - commodities

fuels and crude oil, machinery, vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, precious gemstones, textiles, aircraft, plastics, metals, ships

Imports - partners

China 16.1%, United States 11.4%, Russia 11%, Switzerland 5.9%, Norway 4.3% (2013 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 3/170

$740.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

note: $746.9 billion (31 December 2013)

Debt - external 2/206

$13.05 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

$14.14 trillion (31 December 2013)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 1/120

$NA $5.148 trillion

$4.828 trillion

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 1/105

$9.121 trillion

$8.721 trillion

Exchange rates

euros per US dollar -

0.89 (2015 est.)

0.75 (2014 est.)

0.76 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.72 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 3/220

3.166 trillion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - consumption 3/219

2.771 trillion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 1/218

336.2 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 1/219

349.5 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 3/214

947 million kW (2011 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 151/214

49% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 15/214

12.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 115/214

10.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 12/212

22.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Crude oil - production 19/214

1.411 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 21/215

5.789 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 2/214

11.12 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 2/212

12.53 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 3/214

2.196 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 1/213

8.613 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production 6/216

132.3 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 3/215

386.9 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 4/215

93.75 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - imports 1/214

420.6 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 100/212

1.492 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 3/212

3.705 billion Mt (2013 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 2/219

total: 213.8 million (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 3/217

total: 632.5 million (2014 est.)

Telephone system

note - see individual country entries of member states

Radio broadcast stations

AM 930, FM 13,655, shortwave 71 (1998); note - sum of individual country radio broadcast stations; there is also a European-wide station (Euroradio)

Television broadcast stations

2,700 (1995); note - sum of individual country television broadcast stations excluding repeaters; there is also a European-wide station (Eurovision)

Internet country code

.eu; note - see country entries of member states for individual country codes

Internet hosts

201,116; note - this sum reflects the number of Internet hosts assigned the .eu Internet country code (2012)

Internet users 2/217

total: 398.1 million (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports

3,102 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1,882

over 3,047 m: 120

2,438 to 3,047 m: 341

1,524 to 2,437 m: 507

914 to 1,523 m: 425

under 914 m: 489 (2015)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1,244

over 3,047 m: 1

2,437 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 15

914 to 1,523 m: 245

under 914 m: 982 (2013)

Heliports

90 (2013)

Railways

total: 230,548 km (2013)

Roadways

total: 10,582,653 km (2013)

Waterways

53,384 km (2013)

Ports and terminals

major port(s): Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain), Braila (Romania), Bremen (Germany), Burgas (Bulgaria), Constanta (Romania), Copenhagen (Denmark), Galati (Romania), Gdansk (Poland), Hamburg (Germany), Helsinki (Finland), Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain), Le Havre (France), Lisbon (Portugal), London (UK), Marseille (France), Naples (Italy), Peiraiefs or Piraeus (Greece), Riga (Latvia), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Split (Croatia), Stockholm (Sweden), Talinn (Estonia), Tulcea (Romania), Varna (Bulgaria)

Military and Security

Military expenditures 56/132

1.65% of GDP (2012)

1.66% of GDP (2011)

1.65% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

as a political union, the EU has no border disputes with neighboring countries, but Estonia has no land boundary agreements with Russia, Slovenia disputes its land and maritime boundaries with Croatia, and Spain has territorial and maritime disputes with Morocco and with the UK over Gibraltar; the EU has set up a Schengen area - consisting of 22 EU member states that have signed the convention implementing the Schengen agreements or "acquis" (1985 and 1990) on the free movement of persons and the harmonization of border controls in Europe; these agreements became incorporated into EU law with the implementation of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam on 1 May 1999; in addition, non-EU states Iceland and Norway (as part of the Nordic Union) have been included in the Schengen area since 1996 (full members in 2001), Switzerland since 2008, and Liechtenstein since 2011 bringing the total current membership to 26; the UK (since 2000) and Ireland (since 2002) take part in only some aspects of the Schengen area, especially with respect to police and criminal matters; nine of the 13 new member states that joined the EU since 2004 joined Schengen on 21 December 2007; of the four remaining EU states, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia are obligated to eventually join, while Cyprus' entry is held up by the ongoing Cyprus dispute