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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.

The Democratic Deficit: Europeans Vote, Merkel Decides

The Democratic Deficit: Europeans Vote, Merkel Decides

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 02, 2014

Before the European Parliament election last month, voters were told the poll would also determine the next Commission president. In a silent putsch against the electorate, Angela Merkel is now impeding the process. She fears a loss of power and Britain's EU exit. By SPIEGEL Staff more... Comment ]

Mr. Perfect from Warsaw: The Rise of Poland's Foreign Minister

Mr. Perfect from Warsaw: The Rise of Poland's Foreign Minister

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 30, 2014

The Ukraine crisis has thrust Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski into the limelight as he takes a leading role in formulating Europe's response to Russian aggression. Long a star in Warsaw politics, his stature is now growing internationally. By Jan Puhl more... Comment ]

Lurching Right: UKIP Win Creates Pressure for Cameron and Europe

Lurching Right: UKIP Win Creates Pressure for Cameron and Europe

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 27, 2014

With its clear election victory in Britain on Sunday, anti-EU UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage scored a historic triumph. The win could soon spell trouble for British Prime Minister David Cameron and his partners across the European Union. By Carsten Volkery in London more... Comment ]

A Real National Front: The French Far Right Aims High

A Real National Front: The French Far Right Aims High

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 27, 2014

After its triumph in European elections on Sunday, the French far-right Front National is hoping to increase its power back home, with Marine Le Pen aiming for the presidency in 2017. With François Hollande's popularity plummeting, it is not out of the question. By Stefan Simons in Paris more... Comment ]

German Finance Minister Schäuble: 'Europe Needs More Self-Confidence'

German Finance Minister Schäuble: 'Europe Needs More Self-Confidence'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 27, 2014

What does Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst have to do with the Ukraine conflict? More than you might think, explains German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in a SPIEGEL interview. It demonstrates the EU's greatest strengths. Interview Conducted By Nikolaus Blome and Ralf Neukirch more... Comment ]

Opinion: A Victory for European Democracy

Opinion: A Victory for European Democracy

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 26, 2014

Although voter turnout was down in many places and right-wing populists scored significant gains, this weekend's European Parliament election was historically important. It has shifted the balance of power in Europe in favor of voters. By Nikolaus Blome more... Comment ]

A Continent in Motion: What Conchita Wurst Tells Us About EU Identity

A Continent in Motion: What Conchita Wurst Tells Us About EU Identity

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 23, 2014

Europe has struggled for decades to forge a common identity -- and now the Continent's response to Putin, its battle against Google and the victory of drag queen Conchita Wurst at the Eurovision Song Contest all suggest that shared values are finally emerging. An Essay By Georg Diez more... Comment ]

Europe's New Status Quo: 'Ukraine Is Fighting Our Battle'

Europe's New Status Quo: 'Ukraine Is Fighting Our Battle'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 23, 2014

The crisis in Ukraine has ended Europe's long period of stability -- but what does that mean for its future? SPIEGEL speaks with three experts about Putin's plans for the region and why the EU needs to step up in order to survive. By Tobias Rapp and Gerhard Spörl more... Comment ]

Essay: We Ought To Be EU-Skeptic

Essay: We Ought To Be EU-Skeptic

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 23, 2014

In the run-up to the European election, we ought to be more skeptical of the EU. The union's fundamental design flaws could lead to its disintegration. An essay by former German President Roman Herzog. By Roman Herzog more... Comment ]

Polishing Its Image: Anti-Euro Party Courts Gays, Women and Immigrants

Polishing Its Image: Anti-Euro Party Courts Gays, Women and Immigrants

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 22, 2014

The anti-euro Alternative for Germany is expected to win seats in the European Parliament this weekend. Its leaders are known for their outspoken positions against gays, gender equality and immigrants. They're singing a new tune this week, but is it genuine? By Melanie Amann more... Comment ]

Flirting with Populism: Is Germany's AFD a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

Flirting with Populism: Is Germany's AFD a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 22, 2014

Bernd Lucke, the founder of the anti-euro Alternative for Germany party is often labelled as a dangerous right-wing populist. Now that the AFD is likely to win seats in the European Parliament on Sunday, he is trying to put on the friendliest face he can. By Barbara Supp more... Comment ]