What’s new at the EU?

The current debt crisis in Greece has brought the eyes of the world, once again, to the eurozone and to the European Union. With its roots in the years immediately following World War II, the European Union (EU) has had profound effects on life, business, and travel in Europe and elsewhere. In the last twenty years alone, the EU has introduced the euro currency, eliminated travel controls on many interior borders, introduced strong environmental protection policies, and expanded from 15 to 28 member states.

The EU’s online portal, EUROPA, leads to information about all of its committees, resolutions, studies, publications, initiatives, activities, and more. While EUROPA offers a wealth of information, here are five EUROPA subsites that are particularly useful:

European Union Newsroom

This subsite offers up-to-date news articles about the European Union, as well as press releases and videos. Users can keyword or topic search to find information. They can also visit the “Highlights” area for special coverage in particular areas of interest, such as Europe 2020.

European Union Open Data Portal: Applications

The European Union Open Data Portal is a single point of access to raw data from institutions and other bodies of the EU. The applications available on this page provide users with means to view smaller groups of data in curated ways. For example, the Eurostat Country Profile application generates color-coded maps based on datatypes. Another application, offered by the Gender Equality Index, collects data in six core areas to measure achievement levels in gender equality by EU country.

Consular Protection

EU citizens traveling abroad will find this subsite of particular use. If a user enters his or her member state and a host country anywhere in the world, the site provides customized travel alerts. Using the same information, the Consular Protection subsite can also provide custom contact information for consulates and embassies.

National Contacts

If you select an EU country on this subsite, you will access a directory of addresses, telephone numbers and websites for national agencies. Agency areas include travel, vehicles, health, family, consumer affairs, and education.

Europe Direct

Do you have questions about the European Union? Europe Direct has answers. Not only does Europe Direct offer email and chat-based assistance, it also provides telephone and texting support — including a callback service. If you wish to speak to someone in person or obtain EU publications, you can search for a local information or documentation center. You will be provided with an interactive map and addresses, telephone numbers, and websites.

By Erin Fitzgerald, International Product Manager