An economic and political union currently consisting of 27 European member states.
The EU's predecessor organisations were established in 1951 and 1957.
The current members of the EU are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Areas of work
The three areas which form the union are:
- The European Community
- Common Foreign and Security Policy
- Police and Judicial co-operation in Criminal Matters
The legislature of the EU includes the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission.
The EU's judicial bodies include the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which includes the General Court and the Court of Auditors.
The current legal basis of the EU is the Treaty of European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.
However, the UK continued to be subject to EU rules and remain a member of the European Single market and Customs union during the period ended 31 December 2020.
- Article 50
- Brexit transition period
- Council of the European Union
- Court of Justice of the European Union
- Customs union
- Direct effect
- Economic and Financial Affairs Council
- EU 27
- EU institutions
- euro zone
- European Central Bank
- European Commission
- European Community
- European Court of Auditors
- European Court of Justice
- European Council
- European Economic and Monetary Union
- European Economic Area
- European Investment Bank
- European Parliament
- General Court
- Member state
- Official Journal of the European Union
- Payment Services Directive
- Retained EU law
- Schengen Area
- Single Market
- Treaty on European Union (TEU)
- Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)