Europe is the world's seconds-smallest continent by surface area10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sqmi) 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area
50 states Russia is the largest by both area and population (although the country has territory in both Europe and Asia)Vatican City is the smallest
Third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa Population of 733million or about 11% of the worlds populationAmong the continents, Europe has a relatively high population density, second only to Asia. The most densely populated country in Europe is the Netherlands, ranking third in the world Europe, in particular Ancient Greece, is the birthplace of Western Culture. It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of Colonialismthe economy of Europe is currently the largest on Earth and it is the richest region as measured by assets under management with over $32.7trillion. In 2009 Europe remained the wealthiest region. Its $37.1 trillion in assets under management represented one-third of the worlds wealth.Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Ocenia, and large portions of Asia. Guide for Oral PresentationAt a glance geography, demographics, population, etcRecent HistoryPolitical System/ElectionsPolitical PartiesBranches of Government: Executive, Legislative and JudiciaryCurrent Issues and Trends
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)
UKs four constituent countries:England,Northern Ireland,ScotlandandWales.
A satellite image of the British Isles, with Great Britain on the right (east) and Ireland on the left (west). Only Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The remainder of Ireland is an independent country.13England, Scotland and Wales together with the province of Northern Ireland, form the country officially known as "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" or simply theUnited Kingdom.Northern Ireland is a self-governing jurisdiction within the United Kingdom with its own parliament and prime minister.TheKingdom of Great Britain resulted from the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotlandwith theActs of Union 1707 under Queen Anne. In 1801, under a newAct of Union, this kingdom merged with the Kingdom of Irelandto create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After the Irish War of Independence, most of Ireland seceded from the Union, which then became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland-Great Britain as we know it today only exists since 1707 when England, Wales and Scotland were really united. In 1801 Ireland joined the union but in 1921 part of Ireland voted for independence and only Northern Ireland (north-eastern part) stayed within the United Kingdom.-Northern Irelandis the only part of the UK that shares aland borderwith another sovereign statetheRepublic of Ireland15GeographyLocation North West EuropeArea - 229,848km2(88,744.8sqmi)Area rank - 9th in the worldLargest in the European islandCapital - LondonPopulation - 60,003,000 (mid-2009 est.)3rd most populous island in the world Ethnic groups: British, Cornish, English, Scottish, Welsh Capital cities of Great Britain England: LondonScotland: EdinburghWales:CardiffOther largest cities by urban area population: Birmingham,Bristol,Glasgow,Leeds,Liverpool,Manchester,Newcastle,Nottinghamand Sheffield.Government and Politics of the United Kingdom
TheUnited Kingdomis aunitary stategoverned under aconstitutional monarchyand aparliamentary system, with itsseat of governmentin the capital cityofLondon
The Monarch is thehead of state
The Prime Ministeris thehead of government
The British (unwritten) Constitution: Its Main Principles1. Constitutional Monarchy2. The Supremacy of Parliament3. The Unitary State4. The Flexible ConstitutionThe British Constitution is not written in any single document (uncodified or unwritten constitution)
Sources: 1. written--statutes, court, judgments, treaties; 2. unwritten: parliamentary constitutional conventions, royal prerogatives
The bedrock of the British constitution has traditionally been the doctrine ofparliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK's supreme and final source of law.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_conventions_of_the_United_KingdomConstitutional conventions of the UK--While theUnited Kingdomdoes not have a written constitution that is a single document, the collection oflegal instrumentsthat have developed into a body of law known as constitutional law has existed for hundreds of years.As part of this uncodified Britishconstitution, constitutional conventions play a key role. They are rules that are observed by the various constituted parts though they are not written in any document having legal authority; there are often underlying enforcing principles that are themselves not formal and codified. Nonetheless it is very unlikely that there would be a departure of such conventions without good reason, even if an underlying enforcing principle has been overtaken by history, as these conventions also acquire the force of custom.
Royal prerogatives--Theroyal prerogativeis a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized incommon lawand, sometimes, incivil lawjurisdictions possessing a monarchy, as belonging to thesovereignalone.It is the means by which some of theexecutivepowers of government, possessed by and vested in a monarch with regard to the process of governance of the state, are carried out. Individual prerogatives can be abolished by Parliament, although in the United Kingdom special procedure applies.
21The MONARCHYThe Monarchy in Britain: What Powers do they have???to be consulted, to encourage and to warn the government Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II(reigned since 1953)
The Queen is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms. The elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Born in 1926 and became Queen at the age of 25, and has reigned through more than five decades of enormous social change and development. The Queen is married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and has four children and eight grandchildren.
-Had 8 PMs served under her-Head of the British state-Act as unifying national symbol
Pledge of Loyalty to the Queen"I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God."Members of Parliament are required to swear an oath of loyalty to the queen, not to the people who elected them and not to a constitution. Those who have refused have been barred from taking their seats in the legislature. Bishops of the Church of England also swear their allegiance to the monarch, rather than to their god or their church. Police officers and soldiers likewise swear loyalty to the Queen, not to the government or their country.26Government of UKThe UK has aparliamentary governmentbased on theWestminster system
TheHouses of Parliamentare situated within the Palace of Westminster, in London.TheWestminster systemis ademocraticparliamentary systemofgovernmentmodelled after thepolitics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of theParliament of the United Kingdom.27LegislativeLegislative Poweris vested in both the government and the two chambers (2-house system) of the Parliament of the United Kingdom: House of Commons(elected)House of Lords (appointed)
Note: Any bill passed requiresRoyal Assentto become law.Parliaments RoleExamining and challenging the work of the government (scrutiny)Debating and passing all laws (legislation)Enabling the government to raise taxes
*************Note: The UK is one of 27 member states of the European Union and is subject to European Union (EU) legislation.Law-makingA bill (a proposal of a new law) must pass through the Houses and then is sent to the Queen for Royal Assent
What is Royal Assent?the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law.
Once a bill is presented to the Sovereign or the Sovereign's representative, he or she has three formal options: Firstly, the Sovereign may grant the Royal Assent, thereby making the bill anAct of Parliament. Secondly, the Sovereign may withhold the Royal Assent, thereby vetoing the bill. Finally, the Sovereign may reserve the Royal Assent, that is to say, defer a decision on the bill until a later time.HOUSE OF COMMONSDemocratically elected house, makes laws and checks the work of Government 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) Propose new laws, and scrutinize government policies by asking ministers questions about current issues either in the Commons Chamber or in Committees
HOUSE OF LORDSPublic do not elect the Lords. Appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. A forum of expertise, making laws and providing scrutiny of Government830 Members, and there are three different types: life Peers, bishops and elected hereditary Peers.
Committee WorkMuch of the work of the House of Commons and the House of Lords takes place in committees, made up of around 10 to 50 MPs or Lords. These committees examine issues in detail, from government policy and proposed new laws, to wider topics like the economy.
Committee CalendarThis calendar provides advance information about all public committee meetings, publication dates of reports and debates on select committee reports in Westminster Hall.
UKs head of government:PRIME MINISTER