Which countries feature women on banknotes?
Who are the Member States of Europe?
With Ukraine’s recent application to join the European Union (EU), the current status of Europe’s member states is in question.
European Member States are countries primarily within Europe, and three outside, that are part of one or more of the four main treaty groups, namely the European Union (EU), NATO, Schengen and the eurozone.
Each of these institutions governs a different aspect of the region’s infrastructure.
Let’s take a look at each of them.
the European Union (EU) is a unique economic and political union between 27 European countries.
First established as the European Economic Community in the aftermath of World War II, the organization’s main purpose was to foster economic cooperation. The idea was simple: countries that trade with each other and become economically interdependent are more likely to avoid conflict.
Starting with six countries in 1958, the European Economic Community has since added 21 more countries (the UK left the EU in 2020), with a main focus on one or domestic markets.
The countries that make up the European Union are:
|6||🇨🇿 Czech Republic||2004|
|12||🇬🇷 Greece||nineteen eighty one|
What started as a purely economic union has grown into a pioneering organization in the development of many different policy areas. A name change from the European Economic Community to the European Union in 1993 reflected this.
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exists for the sole purpose of facilitating a political and military alliance between its 30 member countries.
Created in 1949 in response to Soviet aggression after World War II, NATO exists for the collective defense and security of the group. Members share few laws and regulations. An attack on one is an attack on all, and Member States are obliged to defend each other.
The chronology of NATO’s expansion since its inception paints a fascinating picture.
As of 2021, NATO officially recognizes three aspiring NATO members: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine. Ukraine expressed its desire to join NATO since 2014 but did not fulfill its political and military criteria.
the eurozone is a geographical and economic region made up of countries that have adopted the euro as their national currency. Approximately 340 million people live in the eurozone.
Today, the euro zone consists of 19 countries of the European Union. Here they are:
European Union countries that decide to participate in the Eurozone must meet a multitude of financial requirements. They include price stability, sound public finances, sustainability of convergence and exchange rate stability.
However, not all countries have to adopt the currency. For example, Denmark has a special opt-out to use its own currency and maintain financial independence.
the Schengen area includes 26 European countries that have agreed to create common entry and exit requirements to remove the need for internal borders. This allows travelers up to 90 days to travel without a visa to one of the countries of the Schengen area.
The borderless Schengen area guarantees free movement to more than 400 million EU citizens, as well as third-country nationals living in the EU or visiting as tourists, exchange students or for business purposes.
Here is a list of the 26 countries that are part of the Schengen area:
|Number||Countries||Year of implementation|
|3||🇨🇿 Czech Republic||2007|
Monaco, Vatican City and San Marino also have open borders with the countries of the Schengen area even if they are not part of the treaty.