The EU three, also known as EU big three, EU triumvirate or EU trio, refers to France, Germany and Italy, a group that consists of the three large founding members of the European Union; or France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, a group of countries of the European Union, especially during the negotiations with Iran.
Negotiations with Iran
In 2003, France, Germany and the UK launched negotiations attempting to limit the Iranian nuclear program, which led to the Tehran Declaration of 21 October 2003 and the voluntary Paris Agreement of 15 November 2004.
EU 3 + 3, more commonly referred to as the E3+3, refers to a grouping which includes the EU-3 and China, Russia, and the United States. It was coined when these states joined the EU diplomatic efforts with Iran in 2006. In the United States and Russia, it is more commonly known as P5+1, which refers to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
Italy was expected to be part of the group, but Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declined the offer due to the country's economic links with Iran. The following Government led by Romano Prodi changed the position of the previous administration and the Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema took part in the meetings between 2006 and 2007, when the group was known as P5+2. Berlusconi came back to power in 2008 and Italy left the group for a second time. In 2014, under the request of the Italian PM Matteo Renzi, Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini was named High Representative of the EU in order to have an informal return of Italy in the group as the negotiations approached a conclusion and the elaboration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Determined to keep the European project intact in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the European Union in 2016, France, Germany and Italy re-emerged as the "Big Three" and called for greater integration in various trilateral summits in Berlin, Paris and Ventotene. more recently the union of this new group formed by France, Germany and Italy have agreed a common position about the Paris climate agreement  they have led a draft EU law to restrain Chinese acquisitions of European firms and technologies and they lead the EU sanctions on North Korea.
|EU Big Three|
|Country||Population||Votes in the Council (pre-Brexit)||Contribution to EU budget in euro||MEPs||NATO Quint||G7/G8/G20||P5||G4 nations||Uniting for Consensus|
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- Big Four (Western Europe)
- European balance of power
- Inner Six
- Iran–European Union relations
- Visegrád Group
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