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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which countries are members of the European Union?
2. What are the official languages of the European Union?

3. If there are 28 Member States, why are there only 12 stars on the EU flag?

4. Will the EU expand further? Which countries have applied to join?

5. What is the difference between the European Union and the European Commission?

6. What is the euro?

7. How does the EU matter to Japan?

8. What is the role of the Delegation of the European Union to Japan?

9. What help can the Delegation give a journalist researching or writing on the EU?

10. Is there a single visa for travelling to the EU countries? Can the Delegation provide a visa?

11. EU Emblem use by third parties

12. Whom should I contact for further information on the work of the Delegation?


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which countries are members of the European Union?

The 28 Member States are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The Member States are usually listed in this order as it corresponds to the alphabetical order of the indigenous name for each country. For more information, click here.

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2. What are the official languages of the European Union?

There are 24 official languages of the European Union. They are Bulgarian, Spanish, Czech, Danish, German, Estonian, Greek, English, French, Irish, Croatian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Maltese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Finnish and Swedish.

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3. If there are 28 Member States, why are there only 12 stars on the EU flag?

The 12 stars don't represent the number of Member States but rather the perfection and plenitude of a circle. This emblem was adopted by the Council of Europe as long ago as 1955. It was officially chosen as the flag of the European Union in 1986.

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4. Will the EU expand further? Which countries have applied to join?

These are the current candidate countries: Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

For more information on EU Enlargement, click here.

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5. What is the difference between the European Union and the European Commission?

The European Commission is part of the EU and it is the executive body of the European Union. Read more here.

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6. What is the euro?

The euro is the EU's currency, used by 19 Member States. It was first introduced in 2002 when it became the sole legal tender in twelve Member States  and since then the number of Eurozone Member States has increased to 19: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia Slovenia, and Spain.

For more information on the euro, click here.

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7. How does the EU matter to Japan?

Japan and the EU are not only two of the world's biggest economies, but our two countries also share common attachment to freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Our traditional bilateral partnership was based on trade, but we now work together more broadly on areas spanning everything from security cooperation to climate change.

For more information on EU-Japan Relations, click here

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8. What is the role of the Delegation of the European Union to Japan?

The Delegation represents the European Union in Japan. It also enjoys the full status of a diplomatic mission and the Head of the Delegation is accorded the title of Ambassador. The Delegation's mission is to strengthen bilateral relations, promote the EU's interests in Japan and to increase mutual understanding between Japan and the EU.

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9. What help can the Delegation give a journalist researching or writing on the EU?

The Delegation is always ready to help members of the press who are interested in learning more about the European Union. Specific enquiries should be addressed to the Delegation by the contact form. Information about the EU is also available at European Info (EU i) centres across Japan or via our digital magazine EUMAG (in Japanese)

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10. Is there a single visa for travelling to the EU countries? Can the Delegation provide a visa?

Japanese on short stays in Europe don't usually require a visa. However the Delegation is not responsible for visas and applicants should consult Member States' Embassies.

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11. EU emblem use by third parties

For usage of the European emblem (flag) please see here

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12. Whom should I contact for further information on the work of the Delegation?

Please send us your enquiry using this form: Contact Form

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Updated 2015.07.09