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The economy of the European Union generates a GDP of over €12.894 trillion (US$16.566 trillion in 2012)[1] according to Eurostat, which makes it the largest economy in the world. The European Union (EU) economy consists of an Internal Market and the EU is represented as a unified entity in the World Trade Organization (WTO). FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

The official currency of the European Union is the euro used in all its documents and policies. The Stability and Growth Pact sets out the fiscal criteria to maintain for stability and (economic) convergence. The euro is also the most widely used currency in the EU, which is in use in 17 member states known as the Eurozone. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

All other member states, apart from Denmark and the United Kingdom, which have special opt-outs, have committed to changing over to the euro once they have fulfilled the requirements needed to do so. Also, Sweden can effectively opt out by choosing when or whether to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, which is the preliminary step towards joining. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

The remaining states are committed to join the Euro through their Treaties of Accession.

Below is a table showing, respectively, the GDP and the GDP (PPP) per capita for the European Union and for each of its member states, sorted by GDP (PPP). This can be used as a rough gauge to the relative standards of living among member states, with Luxembourg the highest and Bulgaria the lowest. ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

Eurostat, based in Luxembourg, is the Official Statistical Office of the European Communities releasing yearly GDP figures for the member states as well as the EU as a whole, which are regularly updated, supporting this way a measure of wealth and a base for the European Union's budgetary and economic policies. Figures are stated in euro. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Economic performance varies from state to state. The Growth and Stability Pact governs fiscal policy with the European Union. It applies to all member states, with specific rules which apply to the eurozone members that stipulate that each state's deficit must not exceed 3% of GDP and its public debt must not exceed 60% of GDP. HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

However, many larger members have consistently run deficits substantially in excess of 3%, and the eurozone as a whole has a debt percentage exceeding 60% (see below).

The following table shows information relating to the member states of the European Union, ordered according to the 'Size' of their economies. FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

(NB: Were the table ordered according to 'GDP per capita' this would perhaps better reflect the strength of an individual economy. But this is not how such tables are commonly structured.) The colours denote how a member state is performing relative to the rest of the European Union, above average (green) or below average (red). DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

The smallest and greatest values in each column are emphasised.

The data for GDP and GDP per capita (PPP) are based on the World Economic Outlook, October 2013 (International Monetary Fund).

The EU's share of Gross world product (GWP) is stable at around one fifth.[15] Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

The twelve new member states of the European Union have enjoyed a higher average percentage growth rate than their elder members of the EU. Slovakia has the highest GDP growth in the period 2005–2011 among all countries of the European Union (See Tatra Tiger). Notably the Baltic states have achieved massive GDP growth, with Latviatopping 11%, close to China, HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

the world leader at 9% on average for the past 25 years (though these gains have been in great part cancelled by the late-2000's recession).

Reasons for this massive growth include government commitments to stable monetary policy, export-oriented trade policies, low flat-tax rates and the utilisation of relatively cheap labour. Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

For the last year (2011), Estoniahad the highest GDP growth from all the states in EU (7,6%). The current map of EU growth is one of huge regional variation, with the larger economies suffering from stagnant growth and the new nations enjoying sustained, robust economic growth. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

Although EU27 GDP is on the increase, the percentage of Gross world product is decreasing due to the emergence of economic powers such as China, India and Brazil. In the medium to long term, the EU will be looking forward to increase GDP growth in Italy and the UK to stabilise growth in European Union states. This is to ensure sustained economic prosperity. HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

The European Union has large coal, oil, and natural gas reserves. There are six oil producers in the European Union, primarily in North Sea oilfields. The United Kingdom by far is the largest producer, however Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania and the Netherlands all produce oil. If it is treated as a single unit, which is not conventional in the oil markets, Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

the European Union is the seventh largest producer of oil in the world, producing 3,424,000 (2001)barrels a day.

It is also the world's second largest consumer of oil, consuming much more than it can produce, at 14,590,000 (2001) barrels a day. Much of the difference comes from Russia and the Caspian Sea basin. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

All countries in the EU have committed to the Kyoto Protocol, and the European Union is one of its biggest proponents. The European Commission published proposals for the first comprehensive EU energy policy on 10 January 2007.

The European Union is the largest exporter in the world[18] and as of 2008 the largest importer of goods and services.[19]  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

Internal trade between the member states is aided by the removal of barriers to trade such as tariffs and border controls. In the eurozone, trade is helped by not having any currency differences to deal with amongst most members.[20]

The European Union Association Agreement does something similar for a much larger range of countries, Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

partly as a so-called soft approach ('a carrot instead of a stick') to influence the politics in those countries. The European Union represents all its members at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and acts on behalf of member states in any disputes. When the EU negotiates trade related agreement outside the WTO framework, the subsequent agreement must be approved by each individual EU member. SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the European Union (EU27) in March 2009 was 8.3% compared to 6.7% in March 2008. The Eurozone (EA16) unemployment figure for January 2009 was 8.2% compared to 7.3% in January 2008.[23] The unemployment rate (EU25) had previously declined in prior years from 8.9% in March 2005 to 8.4% in March 2006 to 7.3% in March 2007.[24] HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan

The rate varies widely by member state. There has been a steep upturn in the unemployment rate since 2008 due to the worldwide credit crunch and following recession. The countries within the EU which were most affected were Spain, Ireland and the Baltic countries with the unemployment rate doubling or in case of the Baltic countries nearly tripling. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

By comparison in March 2009 the United States had an unemployment rate of 8.6% (2008: 5.1; 2007: 4.4; 2006: 4.7) which was higher than the EU-27's unemployment rate but lower than the EU-16 Eurozone rate of 8.9%. Japan's unemployment rate remained comparatively steady at 4.4% (2008: 3.9; 2007: 4.0; 2006: 4.1).[ HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

The following tables show the current unemployment rate of all Member States for March 2009 with comparisons to March 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 and comparisons to the United States and Japan:

The agricultural sector is supported by subsidies from the European Union in the form of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

This currently represents 40–50% of the EU's total spending. It used to guarantee a minimum price for farmers in the EU. This is criticised as a form of protectionism, inhibiting trade, and damaging developing countries; one of the most vocal opponents is the UK, the third largest economy within the bloc, HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

which has repeatedly refused to give up the annual UK rebateunless the CAP undergoes significant reform; France, the biggest beneficiary of the CAP and the bloc's second largest economy, is its most vocal proponent.

The European Union is a major tourist destination, attracting visitors from outside of the Union and citizens travelling inside it. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Internal tourism is made more convenient for the citizens of some EU member states by the Schengen treaty and the Euro. All citizens of the European Union are entitled to travel to any member state without the need of a visa.

France is the world's number one tourist destination for international visitors, followed by Spain, HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

Italy and the United Kingdom at 2nd, fifth and sixth spots respectively. It is worth noting however a significant proportion of international visitors to EU countries are from other member states.

London, the capital of the United Kingdom is also the world's most visited city and the highest in tourism receipts, before Paris. HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

The European Union's member states are the birthplace of many of the world's largest leading multinational companies, and home to its global headquarters. Among these are distinguished companies ranked first in the world within their industry/sector, like Allianz, which is the largest financial service provider in the world by revenue; ACER Aspire 4743 CPU Fan

WPP plc which is the world's largest advertising agency by revenue; Airbus, which is the world's largest aircraft manufacturer;[28]Air France-KLM, which is the largest airline company in the world in terms of total operating revenues; Amorim, which is the world's largest cork-processing and cork producer company; ArcelorMittal, HP Pavilion dv6-2170us CPU Fan

which is the largest steel company in the world; Inditex which is the biggest fashion group in the world; Groupe Danone, which has the world leadership in the dairy products market.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is the largest beer company in the world; L'Oréal Group, which is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company; Toshiba Satellite L675-S7018 CPU Fan

LVMH, which is the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate; Nokia Corporation, which is the world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones; Royal Dutch Shell, which is one of the largest energy corporations in the world; and Stora Enso, which is the world's largest pulp and paper manufacturer in terms of production capacity, ASUS F80Q CPU Fan

in terms of banking and finance the EU has some of the worlds largest notably HSBC and Grupo Santander, the largest bank in Europe in terms of Market Capitalisation.

Many other European companies rank among the world's largest companies in terms of turnover, profit, market share, number of employees or other major indicators. ACER TravelMate 4200 CPU Fan

A considerable number of EU-based companies are ranked among the worlds' top-ten within their sector of activity. Europe is also home to many prestigious car companies such as Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, BMW group as well as volume manufacturers such as Fiat, PSA group and Renault. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

To date, one of the most commonly used measures of income inequality is the Gini index. The Gini coefficient measures income inequality on a scale from 0 to 1. On this scale 0 represents perfect equality with everyone having exactly the same income and 1 represents perfect inequality with one person having all income. HP G70-120EA CPU Fan

According to the UN (UN), Gini index ratings for countries range from 0.247 in Denmark to 0.743 in Namibia. Most post-industrial nations had a Gini coefficient in the range 0.25 to 0.40. In 2005 the Gini index for the EU was estimated at 0.31[29] and as a comparison the USA had 0.463.

Comparing the richest areas of the EU can be a difficult task. Toshiba Satellite A300-034 CPU Fan

This is because the NUTS 1 & 2 regions are not homogenous, some of them being very large regions, such as NUTS-1 Hesse (21,100 km²) or NUTS-1 Île-de-France (12,011 km²), whilst other NUTS regions are much smaller, for example NUTS-1 Hamburg(755 km²) or NUTS-1 Greater London (1,580 km²).HP 606609-001 CPU Fan

An extreme example is Finland, which is divided for historical reasons into mainland Finland with 5.3 million inhabitants and Åland, an autonomous archipelago with a population of 27,000, or about the population of a small Finnish city.

One problem with this data is that some areas, including Greater London, Compaq Presario CQ60-301sl CPU Fan

are subject to a large number of commuters coming into the area, thereby artificially inflating the figures. It has the effect of raising GDP but not altering the number of people living in the area, inflating the GDP per capita figure. Similar problems can be produced by a large number of tourists visiting the area. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

The data is used to define regions that are supported with financial aid in programs such as the European Regional Development Fund. The decision to delineate a Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) region is to a large extent arbitrary (i.e. not based on objective and uniform criteria across Europe), and is decided at European level (See also: Regions of the European Union). ASUS Eee PC 701 CPU Fan

The 10 NUTS-1 and NUTS-2 regions with the highest GDP per capita are almost all, except two, in the first fifteen member states: Prague and Bratislava are the only ones in the 12 new member states that joined in May 2004 and January 2007.[31] The leading regions in the ranking of NUTS-2 regional GDP per inhabitant in 2008 were Inner London in the United Kingdom (343% of the average), Compaq Presario CQ60-305sa CPU Fan

the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (279%) and Bruxelles/Brussels in Belgium (216%). Figures for these three regions, however, are artificially inflated by the commuters who do not reside in these regions ("Net commuter inflows in these regions push up production to a level that could not be achieved by the resident active population on its own. HP 637607-001 CPU Fan

The result is that GDP per inhabitant appears to be overestimated in these regions and underestimated in regions with commuter outflows."[32]).

Another example of artificial inflation is Groningen. The calculated GDP per capita is very high due to the large natural gas reserves in this region. However, Groningen is in fact one of the poorest parts in the Netherlands. HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

Among the 40 NUTS-2 regions exceeding the 125% level, ten were in Germany, five in the Netherlands, four each in Austria and United Kingdom, three each in Spain and Italy, two each in Belgium and Finland, one each in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, France, Slovakia and Sweden, as well as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. HP Pavilion dv5-1210ez CPU Fan

The NUTS Regulation lays down a minimum population size of 3 million and a maximum size of 7 million for the average NUTS-1 region, whereas a minimum of 800,000 and a maximum of 3 million for NUTS-2 regions ¹ [23]. This definition, however, is not respected by Eurostat. E.g.: the région of Île-de-France, Compaq Presario CQ50-211nr CPU Fan

with 11.6 million inhabitants, is treated as a NUTS-2 region, while thestate Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, with only 664,000 inhabitants, is treated as a NUTS-1 region.

The twenty lowest regions in the ranking in 2008 were all in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Hungary, with the lowest figures recorded in Severozapaden in Bulgaria (27% of the average), HP G56-114SA CPU Fan

followed by Nord-Est (29%) in Romania, Severen tsentralen in Bulgaria (29%) and Yuzhen tsentralen in Bulgaria (31%). Among the 64 regions below the 75% level, fifteen were in Poland, seven each in the Czech republic and Romania, six each in Bulgaria and Hungary, four each in Italy and Portugal, three each in Greece, SONY Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N CPU Fan

France (all overseas departments) and Slovakia, two in the United Kingdom, one in Spain, as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The European Union has a budget to pay for policies carried out at European level (such as agriculture, assistance to poorer regions, trans-European networks, research, HP Pavilion dv7-4060eo CPU Fan

some overseas development aid) and for its administration, including a parliament,executive branch, and judiciary that are distinct from those of the member states. These arms administer the application of treaties, laws and agreements between the member states and their expenditure on common policies throughout the Union. Some 5% of expenditure is on administration, 95% on policies. Toshiba Satellite M70-252 CPU Fan

To pay for this, the EU had an agreed budget of €120.7 billion for the year 2007 and €864.3 billion for the period 2007–2013,[1]representing 1.10% and 1.05% of the EU-27's GNI forecast for the respective periods.

The three core European Union institutions that are officially designated with responsibility for setting a budget are: Toshiba Satellite A100-455 CPU Fan

the Council of the European Union, with ministers from each Member State; the European Commission, as the EU's day-to-day executive and administration; and the European Parliament directly elected by citizens. In practice, negotiations tend to be dominated by national interests, which is evident in the Council, where unanimous agreement of all member states is required. HP Pavilion dv5-2112br CPU Fan

The annual budget is adopted by a procedure involving a proposal from the European Commission, which must be adopted (usually after amendment) by the European Parliament and the Council. It must remain within ceilings determined in advance by the Multiannual Financial Framework, laid down for a seven-year period by the Council (requiring the unanimous approval of every Member State) with the assent of the Parliament. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

The budget for a year is determined in advance, but final calculations of payments required from each member state are not completed until after the budget year is over and information about revenue and expenditure is available. The UK rebate is one of the last elements of the budget to be calculated (though it is estimated in advance) as it depends upon the balance of all EU revenue to and from the UK. HP Pavilion dv6-3299en CPU Fan

The European Court of Auditors is the fifth institution of the European Union (EU). It was established in 1975 in Luxembourg to audit the accounts of EU institutions.

Despite its name, the court has no judicial functions. It is rather a professional external investigatory audit agency. SONY Vaio VGN-NW11Z/T CPU Fan

The primary role of the court is to externally check if the budget of the European Union has been implemented correctly, in that EU funds have been spent legally and with sound management. In doing so, the court checks the paperwork of all persons handling any income or expenditure of the union and carries out spot checks. Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan

The court is bound to report any problems in the court's reports for the attention of other states and institutions, these reports include its general annual report as well as specific and special reports on certain bodies and issues.[2] The court's decision is the basis for the European Commission decisions, for example: HP Pavilion dv7-4183sf CPU Fan

when the court found problems in the management of EU funds in the regions of England, the commission suspended funds to those regions and prepared to fine those who did not come back up to acceptable standards.[3]

In this role the court has to remain independent yet remain in touch with the other institutions, HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

for example a key role is the presentation of the court's annual report to the European Parliament. It is based on this report that the parliament makes its decision on whether or not to sign off the European Commission's handling of the budget for that year. The court, if satisfied, HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

also sends assurances to the council and parliament that the taxpayers money is being properly used and the court must be consulted before the adoption of any legislation with financial implications but the opinion is never binding.

Traditional own resources[5] are taxes raised on behalf of the EU as a whole, HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

principally import duties on goods brought into the EU. These are collected by the state where import occurs and passed on to the EU. States are allowed to keep a proportion of the revenue to cover administration (25%). The European Commission operates a system of inspectors to investigate the collection of these taxes in member states and ensure compliance with the rules. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ei CPU Fan

The effect of a state failing to collect these taxes is that other states will have to contribute more to the budget, so there is a potential conflict of interest on the part of the collecting authorities. Countries are liable to make good any loss of revenue due to their own administrative failure. HP G62-244CA CPU Fan

VAT based own resources[5] are taxes on EU citizens derived as a proportion of VAT levied in each member country. VAT rates and exemptions vary in different countries, so a formula is used to create the 'harmonised tax base', upon which the EU charge is levied. The starting point for calculations is the total VAT raised in a country. ASUS A6000R CPU Fan

This is then adjusted using a weighted average of VAT rates applying in that country, producing the intermediate tax base. Further adjustments are made where there is a derogation from the VAT directive allowing certain goods to be zero-rated. The tax base is capped, such that it may not be greater than 50% of a country's Gross national income (GNI). HP Pavilion dv7-6011sg CPU Fan

The EU applies a call-up rate to the tax base, generally of 0.33%, but this is varied for some countries. For 2007–2013 the rate proposed for Austria is 0.225%, and Germany 0.15%, the Netherlands and Sweden 0.1%. Countries are required to make an account of VAT revenues to the EU before July after the end of the budget year. Toshiba Satellite L300D-01P CPU Fan

The EU examines the submission for accuracy, including control visits by officials from the Directorate-General for Budget and Directorate-General for Taxation, and reports back to the country concerned.

The country may then respond to any issues raised in the report, and negotiations continue until both sides are satisfied, Compaq Presario CQ60-409CA CPU Fan

or the matter may be referred to theEuropean Court of Justice for a final ruling. The Advisory committee on own resources, which has representatives from each member state, also receives and discusses the reports. In 2006, nine countries were inspected by controllers, including 5 new member states who were participating in the procedure for the first time. HP Mini 110-3010sf CPU Fan

It is anticipated that 11 countries will be visited in 2007. The EU may be working on figures for three years at any one time.GNI based own resources[5] currently forms the largest contribution to EU funding. A simple multiplier is applied to the calculated GNI for the country concerned. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

This is the last recourse for raising funding for a budget year, so the actual figure is adjusted within predetermined limits to obtain the budget total required. Revenue is currently capped at 1.23% of Gross national income in the European Union as a whole.[6]

GNI for own resource purposes is calculated by national accountants according to Toshiba Satellite M70-142 CPU Fan

European law governing the sources and methods to compile GNI and the transmission of GNI data and related methodological information to the Commission (Eurostat). Basic information must be provided by the countries concerned toEurostat before 22 September following the budget year concerned. DELL Inspiron E1505 CPU Fan

Eurostat carries out information visits to the National Statistical Institutes forming part of the European Statistical System. Based on assessment reports by Eurostat, the Directorate-General for Budget (DG BUDG) of the Commission may notify to the Permanent HP 532613-001 CPU Fan

Representative of the Member State concerned required corrections and improvements in the form of reservations on the country's GNI data. Payments are made monthly by member states to the commission. Own resources payments are made monthly as they are collected, but monthly instalments of VAT and GNI based returns are based upon the budget estimates made for that year, subject to later correction. HP Envy 14-1080eo CPU Fan

Most of the EU budget is used for agricultural and regional support, while the administration only accounts for 6–7%.

In the 2006 budget, the largest single expenditure item was due to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with its direct aid, export refunds, storage and rural development and support and subsidies, ACER TravelMate 5230 CPU Fan

which accounted for around 46.7% of the total budget. By 2013, the share of traditional CAP spending is projected to decrease significantly to 32%.

Next in 2006 came the EU's structural funds, which are used to support specific regions in the EU, as part of EU's regional policy, which aims to reduce regional disparities in terms of income, wealth and opportunities. Lenovo 3000 G430 CPU Fan

Europe's poorer regions receive most of the support, but all European regions are eligible for funding under the policy's various funds and programmes. In 2006 approximately 30.4% of the EU budget was used for such support. While the CAP spending is going down, the regional support is increasing, and is expected to reach almost 36% in 2013.[7] ASUS EEE PC 1215N CPU Fan

Internal policies (training, youth, culture, audiovisual, media, information, energy, Euratom nuclear safeguards and environment, consumer protection, internal market, industry and Trans-European networks, research and technological development, other internal policies) took up around 8.5% in the 2006 budget. Dell Vostro 3750 CPU Fan

Administration, i.e. the actual running of the EU institutions, including salaries and property costs, accounted for around 6.3% in 2006.

External actions, i.e. EU's international activities outside the EU (development aid, peace keeping and security work, election observers etc.) accounted for 4.9% in 2006. Toshiba Satellite L500-018 CPU Fan

Finally, the pre-accession strategy, compensations and reserves brought up the rear of the budget, with approximately 2.1%, 1% and 0.1% respectively in 2006.

Net receipts or contributions vary over time, and there are various ways of calculating net contributions to the EU budget, depending, for instance, on whether countries' administrative expenditure is included. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-116TU CPU Fan

Also, one can use either absolute figures (which indicate that Germany is the largest contributor), the proportion of GDP (which show that Denmark is the largest contributor), or per capita amounts (which show that Denmark is the largest contributor). Different countries may tend to favour different methods, to present their country in a more favourable light. HP Pavilion dv6-2115eg CPU Fan

The table shows the traditional calculation (with own resources), based on research by Deutsche BankResearch (net contributors are shown in blue).[8]

As a proportion of GDP, net contributors pay from 0.09 percent (Ireland) to 0.53 percent (Denmark), and net recipients receive from 0.04 percent (Spain) to 5.33 percent (Lithuania). Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

On 29 June 2011, the European Commission presented the Communication 'A budget for Europe 2020' to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.[9]Due to the tough economic times, seven member states (Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

argued during the 26 March 2012 General Affairs Council meeting that the EC's proposed overall amount for the seven-year EU budget plan should be reduced by €100 billion, or in the case of Sweden, by more than €100 billion.[10]

On 8 February 2013, European Union leaders agreed to cut the budget by 3.3%; SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan

the agreement on the proposed budget by the European Council has yet to be approved by the European Parliament, adopted unanimously by the Council of the European Union and ratified by the national parliaments of all member states; if adopted, it will be the first cut in its 56-year history.[11][12][13] Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 CPU Fan

The Budget was finally approved by the European Parliament Tuesday 19th November 2013 by overwhelming majority. MEPs voted 537 in favour, 126 against and with 19 abstentions.

Although the European Union has legislated in the area of energy policy for many years, and evolved out of the European Coal and Steel Community,  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

the concept of introducing a mandatory and comprehensive European energy policy was only approved at the meeting of the informal European Council on 27 October 2005 at Hampton Court. The EU Treaty of Lisbon of 2007 legally includes solidarity in matters of energy supply and changes to the energy policy within the EU. HP Pavilion dv7-3020es CPU Fan

Prior to the Treaty of Lisbon, EU energy legislation has been based on the EU authority in the area of the common market and environment. However, in practice many policy competencies in relation to energy remain at national member state level, and progress in policy at European level requires voluntary cooperation by members states.[1] HP G62-369TX CPU Fan

In 2007, the EU was importing 82% of its oil and 57% of its gas, which then made it the world's leading importer of these fuels.[2]Only 3% of the uranium used in European nuclear reactors was mined in Europe. Russia, Canada, Australia, Niger and Kazakhstan were the five largest suppliers of nuclear materials to the EU, supplying more than 75% of the total needs in 2009. HP 13.V1.BJ195.F.GN CPU Fan

The possible principles of Energy Policy for Europe were elaborated at the Commission's green paper A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy on 8 March 2006.[4] As a result of the decision to develop a common energy policy, the first proposals, Energy for a Changing World were published by theEuropean Commission, following a consultation process, on 10 January 2007. Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan

It is claimed that they will lead to a 'post-industrial revolution', or a low-carbon economy, in the European Union, as well as increased competition in the energy markets, improved security of supply, and improved employment prospects. The Commission's proposals have been approved at a meeting of the European Council on 8 and 9 March 2007. HP Pavilion dv7-1451nr CPU Fan

Underlying many of the proposals are to designed to limit global temperature changes to no more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels,[7] of which 0.8 °C has already taken place and another 0.5–0.7 °C is already committed.[8] 2 °C is usually seen as the upper temperature limit to avoid 'dangerous global warming'.[9] HP G62-a57SG CPU Fan

Due to only minor efforts in global Climate change mitigation it is highly likely that the world will not be able to reach this particular target. The EU might then not only be forced to accept a less ambitious global target. Because the planned emissions reductions in the European energy sector (95% by 2050) are derived directly from the 2 °C target since 2007, the EU will have to revise its energy policy paradigm. SONY Vaio VGN-NR31S/S CPU Fan

The FP7 research program only reserved a moderate amount of funding for energy research, although energy has recently emerged as one of the key issues of the European Union. A large part of FP7 energy funding is also devoted to fusion research, a technology that will not be able to help meet European climate and energy objectives until beyond 2050.[11] IBM 91P9252 CPU Fan

The European Commission tried to redress this shortfall with the SET plan.[12]

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