European Union


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Name of Organization

The European Union (EU)

Part of / Sub-organizations

Focus Areas

Political, Economic

Geographic Scope





Organization Websites



The EU began in the 1950s as the ‘European Communities’. There were six member states: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. They were joined by Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom in 1973, Greece in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986. Reunification of Germany in 1990 brought in the East German Länder.

In 1992, a new treaty gave new powers and responsibilities to the Community institutions and introduced new forms of cooperation between the member state governments, thus creating the European Union as such. The EU was enlarged in 1995 to include Austria, Finland and Sweden.

The 2004 enlargement brought in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. Two more countries – Bulgaria and Romania – are expected to join in 2007. Two others, Croatia and Turkey, are also beginning negotiations for EU membership.

Europe has always been home to many different peoples and cultures. In every member state, a proportion of the population is made up of people from other countries – usually with close historical ties to the host country. The EU regards ethnic and cultural diversity as a great asset, and it promotes tolerance, respect and mutual understanding – values that Europe’s long history has taught us.

Key Resources

See also complete list of WaterWiki-documented European Union-Publications

Work on the Ground

See also complete list of WaterWiki-documented European Union-Projects


See also

European Union Water Framework Directive

External Resources


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