The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent.
The EU is based on the rule of law: everything it does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by its member countries.
The EU is also governed by the principle of representative democracy, with citizens directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament and Member States represented in the European Council and the Council of the EU.
The EU has delivered more than half a century of peace, stability and prosperity, helped raise living standards and launched a single European currency: the euro.
Thanks to the abolition of border controls between EU countries, people can travel freely throughout most of the continent. And it has become much easier to live, work and travelabroad in Europe.
The single or internal market is the EUs main economic engine, enabling most goods, services, money and people to move freely. Another key objective is to develop this huge resource also in other areas like energy, knowledge and capital markets to ensure that Europeans can draw the maximum benefit from it.