European Union Culture

European Union Geography

The territory of the EU consists of all the territories of its 27 Member States with some exceptions that are set out below. The territory of the EU is not the same as that of Europe, as parts of the continent are outside the EU, such as Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Russia. Some parts of the Member States are not part of the EU, even though they are part of the European continent (eg the Channel Islands and the Faroe Islands). Several overseas territories associated with Member States that are outside geographic Europe are also not part of the EU (e.g. Greenland, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, and all non-European territories associated with the UK). Some overseas territories are part of the EU, even if they are not geographically part of Europe, such as the Azores, Canary Islands, Ceuta, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Madeira, Martinique, Melilla, San Bartolomé, San Martín, San Pedro and Miguelón and La Reunion.

The combined area of the EU Member States covers an area of ​​4,324,782 square kilometers. The EU’s landscape, climate, and economy are influenced by its coastline, which is 69,342 kilometers long. The EU has the second longest coastline in the world after Canada. The combined Member States share land borders with 21 non-Member States for a total of 12,441 kilometers, the fifth longest border in the world. [7] [8]

In Europe, the EU borders Norway, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City. Also with Turkey, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Croatia, although these five countries are in the process of joining the European Union. Finally, it has borders with: Saint Martin in the Caribbean; Brazil and Suriname in South America and with Morocco in Africa.


Including the overseas territories of the Member States, the European Union countries experience most types of climate, from arctic to tropical, so the weather averages for the EU as a whole are meaningless. In practice, the majority of the population lives either in areas with a Mediterranean climate (southern Europe), a temperate oceanic climate (Western Europe), or a warm continental summer (Eastern Europe). [9]

Thus, there are four important climates in the EU: the Mediterranean climate, the maritime climate (west coast), the dry climate (mid-latitudes), and the humid continental climate. We also find, in northern regions, the climate of the boreal forests and the climate of the tundra.

Although much of the EU is located in northern latitudes, the seas surrounding the territory and mild summers. In the Mediterranean, the summer months are usually hot.


The total population of the European Union (EU) in 2009 is approximately 499,747,211 people. Citizenship of the Union depends on the possession of the nationality of one of the Member States, in other words, whoever has the nationality of a Member State will be considered a citizen of the Union.

The number of residents of the Union should increase substantially in the next decade, partly due to immigration but mainly due to the enlargement process, which could accommodate the entry of Turkey and several states of the former Yugoslavia, with which the The total population of the Union will increase by more than 100 million residents.


The European Union (EU) economy is the largest in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), surpassing the United States. Since according to the IMF data for 2006, the (nominal) GDP of Europe is $ 13,926,873,000,000 (the United States is $ 13,228,391,000,000). This makes the (nominal) GDP per capita of the EU, in 2006, at $ 29,899 (in the US it is $ 44,168).

Economic and monetary union

The euro is the currency of the Eurozone or euro area, made up in 2009 by sixteen of the 27 EU Member States that share this single currency. The euro notes and coins were put into circulation the 1 of January of 2002, date in which 1 euro was exchanged for 0.9038 US dollars (USD). Other milestones of the European currency occurred in July 2002, when the euro surpassed the parity with the dollar in the foreign exchange market, and in July 2008 when the euro reached its maximum value so far, when 1 euro was exchanged for 1, $ 5,990.


The European Union treaty or Maastricht treaty gave official recognition to the cultural dimension of European integration, by attributing certain (quite limited) powers of cultural action to the European community, in article 128 (today 151) of the treaty. Accordingly, the European community must promote the cultures of the Member States, taking special care to preserve diversity, but also highlighting the “common cultural heritage”. On culture, the European Commission has a commissioner who groups education, training, culture and youth into a single portfolio, but not multilingualism.

One of the most important cultural projects of the year is the designation of the European capital of culture. This is a title conferred by the European commission and parliament to one or two European cities, which for a year have the opportunity to showcase their cultural development and life. Some European cities have taken advantage of this designation to completely transform their cultural structures and be recognized internationally. When a city is named the European capital of culture, all kinds of artistic manifestations take place there.


The European Union has, in all its institutions, 24 official and working languages. [10] However, in the European Commission, for example, the College of Commissioners negotiates on the basis of documents submitted in German, Spanish, French and English.

In the member states, in addition to the 24 languages mentioned, dozens of other languages are used, co-official only in part of the territory or unofficial. One of the key policies of the EU is to promote the learning by all citizens of at least two languages apart from their mother tongue. The aim is not only to facilitate communication between citizens, but also to foster greater tolerance towards others and respect for the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Union.

Various cooperation programs promote language learning and linguistic diversity through, for example, school exchanges, the development of new methods, or scholarships for language teachers. Somehow its motto “united in diversity” (Latin: “In varietate concordia”) speaks of this.

European Union Culture