As of the time of writing, the UK is continuing to remove itself from the European Union via ‘Brexit’ – but how much do you actually know about the EU? This continental body sets currency and legislation for several member states – and while it may not cater to the whole of Europe, its influence can be felt across the continent.
Here’s a full fact file on the EU, and why it remains an important institution.
There are several countries which are not part of the EU yet are still thriving on the continent. One of the largest of these is Norway. Norway, in fact, offered its Nobel Peace Prize to the EU on the grounds of commitment to peace and human rights in 2012.
The UK, despite all the recent news over Brexit, actually tried applying for EU membership several times. They joined what was known as the EEC in 1973, however, it was French President Charles de Gaulle who rejected their previous membership applications.
The laws and legislation brought forward by the EU are interpreted and enacted by a Court of Justice. This board of 28 judges has final say on how EU law is enacted across the member states.
The color of your passport is likely to be different if you were born in an EU country. EU passports are red. Following Brexit, British passports are thought to turning back to their traditional blue color.
The EU has a number of rules which are fairly strict on how hot you can power up your oven, as well as how powerful vacuum cleaners can be.
The European Union as we know it has only been in place since 1992. This latest incarnation of the EEC emerged as a result of the Maastricht Treaty in the early 90s.
There are now 27 countries which are member states of the EU, following Brexit. This is a little over half of the countries on the continent, meaning the majority of European territories are members.
They are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
The UK is not the first country to leave the EU. In fact, the first nation to exit was Greenland, who left in 1985. It took them six years to complete the process following a referendum on the matter.
The biggest country in the EU by area is Germany, while the smallest is Malta. Until Brexit occurred, the largest city in the Union was London.
Believe it or not, the EU’s legislation for proper toilet roll material across member states is longer than its legislation for human rights.
The EU has strongly shown concerns that diabetic people should not be allowed to drive. The UK has dismissed such measures, even ahead of Brexit.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about the European Union that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!