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United Europe

The European Union has 28 member states, 17 of which are on the common currency. Founded through a string of treaties beginning in the 1950s, the EU has developed its own economic, political and legal policies. Taken as a whole, the EU is the world's largest economy.

Weapons Exports: EU Nations Sell the Most Arms to Saudi Arabia

Weapons Exports: EU Nations Sell the Most Arms to Saudi Arabia

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 19, 2012

European nations appear to be disregarding EU weapons export regulations by selling military equipment and technology licenses to Saudi Arabia, according to information obtained by SPIEGEL. Taken together, the controversial deals make the EU the world's biggest exporter of weapons to the country. more...

Discussing Europe's Future: EU Members Slam Westerwelle's Exclusive Meeting

Discussing Europe's Future: EU Members Slam Westerwelle's Exclusive Meeting

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 19, 2012

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has annoyed his European colleagues by planning a meeting on Europe's post-crisis future, but only inviting representatives from a select list of member states. The meeting's timing has also been described as inappropriate, given the challenges the EU currently faces. By Ralf Neukirch more...

New Role for German Finance Minister? Merkel Lobbies for Schäuble to Head Euro Group

New Role for German Finance Minister? Merkel Lobbies for Schäuble to Head Euro Group

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 16, 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly pushing for her finance minister to be the next head of the Euro Group, the informal body that governs Europe's common currency. But Wolfgang Schäuble could face resistance from France over fears that Germany is becoming too powerful. more...

State Challenge: Merkel May Have to Make Concessions for EU Fiscal Pact Support

State Challenge: Merkel May Have to Make Concessions for EU Fiscal Pact Support

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 15, 2012

To push through the fiscal pact she has envisioned for Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will require two-thirds majority support from Germany's states. But leaders in Baden-Württemberg have complicated approval by saying they will link backing for the pact to conditions that include a greater say over taxation decisions. more...

10,000 Job Applicants: Portuguese Seek Greener Pastures in German Town

10,000 Job Applicants: Portuguese Seek Greener Pastures in German Town

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 14, 2012

A mini job miracle has taken Schwäbisch Hall in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg by surprise. After a Portuguese journalist wrote a rosy report on the town and its efforts to seek skilled workers from crisis-plagued European countries, job applications have flooded in. More than 10,000 people have written in so far, but results have been mixed. By Maria Huber more... Comment ]

The World from Berlin: 'The Financial Transaction Tax is Overdue'

The World from Berlin: 'The Financial Transaction Tax is Overdue'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 14, 2012

European finance ministers have failed to reach an agreement on a proposed financial transaction tax. Now there is talk of watering down the measure to get something on the books. German commentators on Wednesday say that while it may be deferred for now, such a tax is inevitable. more... Comment ]

Fears of Competitive Disadvantage: Euro Zone Split over Financial Transaction Tax

Fears of Competitive Disadvantage: Euro Zone Split over Financial Transaction Tax

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 13, 2012

European finance ministers are discussing a proposed EU financial transaction tax on Tuesday, but the bloc is hopelessly divided on the issue. Not even Germany and France's plan B, to only introduce the tax in the euro zone, has much chance of success. Key euro-zone members such as Ireland and the Netherlands are afraid of losing out. By Carsten Volkery more... Comment ]

Fair Trial At Risk: Report Slams Hungary's New Constitution  

Fair Trial At Risk: Report Slams Hungary's New Constitution  

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 12, 2012

The new constitution introduced by right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been widely criticized as a means for the controversial leader to consolidate his power. A confidential Council of Europe report obtained by SPIEGEL declares that parts of the reform violate basic democratic rights. By Christoph Schult more... Comment ]

Playing for Time: Europeans Take Lead on Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Playing for Time: Europeans Take Lead on Iran Nuclear Negotiations

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 12, 2012

The Europeans want to play a key role in the ongoing conflict with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, jumpstarting stalled negotiations in a bid to prevent Israel from taking military action. But can the EU's hapless foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who will lead the talks, make a difference? By Juliane von Mittelstaedt, Ralf Neukirch and Christoph Schult more... Comment ]

'Rapid Outcome': Germany Wants Transaction Tax by Mid-2012

'Rapid Outcome': Germany Wants Transaction Tax by Mid-2012

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 12, 2012

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and eight of his European counterparts have called for an EU-wide financial transaction tax to be finalized by the middle of the year. The German opposition is threatening to put the brakes on the fiscal pact if the government doesn't commit to it. more... Comment ]

The World From Berlin: Fico's Huge Majority in Slovakia Vote is 'Dangerous'

The World From Berlin: Fico's Huge Majority in Slovakia Vote is 'Dangerous'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 12, 2012

German media commentators have their doubts about left-wing populist Robert Fico, who won Sunday's general election in Slovakia with an overwhelming majority, giving him the same degree of power as his controversial Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban. Editorialists warn Fico may undo reforms that have made Slovakia a success story. more...

French Presidential Candidate Hollande: 'They'll Have to Listen to Me'

French Presidential Candidate Hollande: 'They'll Have to Listen to Me'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 12, 2012

In a SPIEGEL interview, French Socialist Party presidential candidate François Hollande reacts to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's refusal to meet with him in the run-up to the election, explains how he would like to renegotiate the European fiscal pact if he is elected and shares why it is unlikely we will soon hear the term "Merlande" if he is elected. more... Comment ]