European Union

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An economic and political union currently consisting of 27 European member states.

The current members 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

EU law

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 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.

See also