Glossary & Sources

* European Union (EU)
The European Union is composed of 28 member states, please find below basic information on the country’s political system, history, economy, geography and the year of entry: Austria (1995),  Belgium (1952), Bulgaria (2007), Croatia (2013), Cyprus (2004), Czech Republic (2004), Denmark (1973), Estonia (2004), Finland (1995), France (1952), Germany (1952), Greece (1981), Hungary (2004), Ireland (1973), Italy (1952), Latvia (2004), Lithuania (2004), Luxembourg (1952), Malta (2004), Netherlands (1952), Poland (2004), Portugal (1986), Romania (2007), Slovakia (2004), Slovenia (2004), Spain (1986), Sweden (1995) and United Kingdom (1973).
On the road to EU membership:
– Candidate Countries: Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey
– Potential candidates: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* (* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence).
The political centers of the European Union are in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.
The European Union has several institutions:
* European Parliament
* European Council
* Council of the European Union
* European Commission
* Court of Justice of the European Union
* European Court of Auditors
* European Economic and Social Committee
* Committee of the Regions
* European Central Bank
* European Investment Bank
* European Investment Fund
* European Ombudsman
* European Data Protection Supervisor
* Inter-institutional bodies:
– Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)
– European School of Administration
– European Personnel Selection Office
– Publications Office
* Agencies and other EU bodies:
Three agencies operate within the framework of European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy:
More about the EU’s institutions and other bodies here.
Simple explanation of EU – with map pdf  
A very interesting information visualization web site that provides the reader with valuable statistics: Atlas of European Values.
* The European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) include: Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
Governing Body of EFTA:
– EFTA Council: This body regulates the different activities of EFTA.
– EFTA Court: This body supervises the activities of the member countries of EFTA with regard to its responsibilities in the European Economic Area (EEA). Switzerland is not a member of EEA and so it does not take part in the EFTA Court activities.
– EFTA Surveillance Authority: This body acts as the “ Guardian of Treaties” for the member countries of EFTA. In its formative years EEA did not have the EFTA Court or the EFTA Surveillance Authority. The roles assigned to these bodies were carried out by the European – Court of Justice and the European Commission.
Headquarters of the Governing Bodies:
– EFTA Secretariat: Geneva, Switzerland
– EFTA Surveillance Authority: Brussels, Belgium
– EFTA Court: Luxembourg
* The European Economic Area (EEA)
The European Economic Area (EEA) is an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), excepting Switzerland, and the European Union (EU) established on 1 January 1994.
* The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an trade bloc agreement signed by United States,  Canada and Mexico and came into force on 1 January 1994.
* Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC or EurAsEC)
The Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC or EurAsEC) originated from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia on 29 March 1996. The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed on 10 October 2000.
* The Latin America
The Latin America knows several forms of ambitious economic and political integration blocs in recent years, from which we count:
Latin American Integration Association (known as ALADI or, occasionally, by the English acronym LAIA)
Central American Integration System (Spanish: Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana SICA)
Mercosur or Mercosul (Spanish: Mercado Común del Sur, Portuguese: Mercado Comum do Sul, Guaraní: Ñemby Ñemuha, English: Common Southern Market)
– The Union of South American Nations (Dutch: Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse NatiesUZAN, Portuguese: União de Nações Sul-AmericanasUNASUL, Spanish: Unión de Naciones SuramericanasUNASUR)
– The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, CELAC, Portuguese: Comunidade de Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos, French: Communauté des États Latino-Américains et Caribéens)
– The Andean Community (Spanish: Comunidad AndinaCAN)
– The Pacific Alliance. The Pacific Alliance (Spanish: Alianza del Pacífico) is a Latin American trade bloc, with some features of further integration. Its current member states are Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Costa Rica began the process of joining the Alliance on 10 February 2014.

* The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
The Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS) is a regional organization created in December 1991 and whose participating countries are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
* The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG‎), also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and located on or near the Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
* South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an organisation of South Asian nations, which was established on 8 December 1985 when the government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka formally adopted its charter providing for the promotion of economic and social progress, cu ltural development within the South Asia region and also for friendship and co-operation with other developing countries.
* Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC)
The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported initiative which was established in 1997 to encourage economic cooperation among countries in the Central Asian region. In particular, cooperation among the ADB member states of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
* The Southern African Development Community  (SADC)
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization of 15 southern African states and its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation.
* Southern African Customs Union (SACU)
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is a customs union among five countries of Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.
* The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) brings together 15 states in the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Lucia, Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
* The East African Community (EAC)
The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Burundi with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
* The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
* The United Nations System
The United Nations System consists of the United Nations (UN), its subsidiary organs (including the separately-administered funds and programmes), the specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations.
The United Nations System is based on five principal organs:  the General Assembly, the Security Council (UNSC), the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice. Regional commissions: Europe (ECE),  Africa (ECA), Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Western Asia (ESCWA)
Specialized Agencies:
 – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development(IBRD)
International Development Association (IDA)
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
Funds & Programmes:
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
Research & Training Institutes:
Secretariats of Conventions:
            – ISA – International Seabed Authority
            – ITLOS – International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
Other Entities:
BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. (BRIICS + Indonesia)
* The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 countries from six regions: Africa (19); Asia (8); the Americas (3); the Caribbean (10); Europe (3); and the South Pacific (11).There are three intergovernmental organisations:
  • Commonwealth Secretariat – executes plans agreed by Commonwealth Heads of Government through technical assistance, advice and policy development;
  • Commonwealth Foundation – helps civil society organisations promote democracy, development and cultural understanding;
  • Commonwealth of Learning – encourages the development and sharing of open learning and distance education.
The member countries are:  Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St Lucia, Australia, Kenya, St Vincent and the Grenadines, The Bahamas, Kiribati, Samoa, Bangladesh, Lesotho, Seychelles, Barbados, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Belize, Malaysia, Singapore, Botswana, Maldives, Solomon Islands, Brunei, Darussalam, Malta, South Africa, Cameroon, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Canada, Mozambique, Swaziland, Cyprus, Namibia, Tonga, Dominica Nauru, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji*, New Zealand, Tuvalu, The Gambia, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, United Republic of Tanzania, Guyana, Rwanda, Vanuatu, India, St Kitts and Nevis Zambia.
*Following the decisions taken by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on 31 July 2009, Fiji was suspended from membership of the Commonwealth on 1 September 2009
* The ACP Group
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is an organisation created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. It is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all of them, save Cuba, signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, also known as the “ACP-EC Partnership Agreement” which binds them to the European Union. There are 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.
* The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries (formally Member Economies) established in 1989 that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Members:  Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, Vietnam.
* The World Trade Organization (WTO)
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an organization with 155 member states that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade.
The WTO deals with the global rules of trade and its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.
* The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
Current membership:
Australia                                 France                                       Korea                                    Slovenia
Austria                                    Germany                                   Luxembourg                       Spain
Belgium                                  Greece                                        Mexico                                 Sweden
Canada                                   Hungary                                   Netherlands                        Switzerland
Chile                                        Iceland                                      New Zealand                      Turkey
Czech Republic                     Ireland                                       Norway                               United Kingdom
Denmark                               Israel                                          Poland                                  United States
Estonia                                  Italy                                            Portugal
Finland                                   Japan                                         Slovak Republic
In May 2007 the OECD decided to open accession negotiations with Russia.
Special bodies:
–          Africa Partnership Forum
–          Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC)
–          Development Assistance Committee
–          OECD Development Centre
–          International Transport Forum (ITF)
–          International Energy Agency
–          Nuclear Energy Agency Partnership for Democratic Governance (PDG)
–          Sahel and West Africa Club
–          Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC)
* The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
* The World Bank (WB)
The World Bank (WB) is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs and the official goal is the reduction of poverty.
The World Bank Group consists of five organizations:
– The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lends to governments of middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries.
– The International Development Association (IDA) provides interest-free loans—called credits— and grants to governments of the poorest countries.
– The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides loans, equity and technical assistance to stimulate private sector investment in developing countries.
– The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) provides guarantees against losses caused by non-commercial risks to investors in developing countries.
– The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) provides international facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes.
* The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the largest, most representative business organization in the world.
Governing bodies –  ICC is governed by its Executive Board, World Council, Chairmanship and Secretary General.
International Court of Arbitration
The International Court of Arbitration is an institution for the resolution of international commercial disputes.
World Chambers Federation
The World Chambers Federation represents ICC’s chamber of commerce members worldwide.
ICC Commercial Crime Services
ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS) provides the world business community with a centralized crime-fighting body.
The specialized divisions of CCS are:
– International Maritime Bureau
– Financial Investigation Bureau
– Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau
– FraudNet
* The International Trade Centre (ITC)
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is a joint agency of the United Nation (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The ITC’s mission is to enable small business export success in developing and transition-economy countries, by providing, with partners, sustainable and inclusive development solutions to the private sector, trade support institutions and policymakers.
* The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard developer composed of representatives from various national standards organizations and was founded on 1947.


* Financial Stability Board (FSB)
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) is an international entity that makes recommendations to improve the global financial system.
It was established in April 2009 as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) and includes all G-20 major economies, FSF members, and the European Commission.
* The World Economic Forum (WEF)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
* Union of International Associations (UIA)
The  Union of International Associations (UIA) is a non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental organization in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges.
Publicly the UIA is best known for the Yearbook of International Organizations; the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential; the International Congress Calendar; and its former journal Transnational Associations.
Bibliography: the official webpages of the above mention organisms, organizations etc and Wikipedia.
  1. #1 by klfirlik on February 2, 2013 - 12:47 PM

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  2. #3 by keithadams60 on February 26, 2013 - 2:22 AM

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. Also, thanks for this gem of international trade info, I am sure I will be back often.


    • #4 by Bogdan Marius Beleuz on March 15, 2013 - 2:22 PM

      Thank you very much for your comment!
      I’m looking forward to seeing you around soon!


  3. #5 by leah j. wolfe on March 16, 2013 - 10:40 PM

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  4. #7 by jridirectmarketing on April 22, 2013 - 4:59 PM

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    • #8 by Bogdan Marius Beleuz on April 28, 2013 - 10:09 AM


      Thank you very much for your kind words. It’s very kind of you, it’s very encouragement.

      Looking forward to seeing you again!


  5. #9 by twv2 on July 5, 2013 - 8:50 PM

    Amazing source of information – wish I had found this when I was researching info for my Univ essay on the role of France within the EU. How do you keep it up-to-date? Fabulous, thanks for your hard work on this.


    • #10 by Bogdan Marius Beleuz on July 25, 2013 - 6:36 PM

      Hi, thank you for stepping by and comment. Well, I have saved various sites and I check them like twice a week. Not easy.


  6. #11 by philrydman on September 2, 2013 - 6:56 PM

    Thank’s for visiting our website!

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  7. #13 by kaymetviner on February 7, 2014 - 6:09 AM

    I never thought I would find information on all of these institutions in one place – thank you for compiling and updating!


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