European Union

Article

May 19, 2022

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states located primarily in Europe. The Union has a total area of ​​4,233,255.3 km2 and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The internal single market has been established through a standardized system of law applicable in all Member States only in those matters in which the States have agreed to act as one. EU policy aims to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital through the internal market; enacts laws in the field of judiciary and internal affairs and maintains a unified policy on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Passport controls have been abolished for travel within the Schengen area. The Monetary Union, established in 1999, entered into force in 2002 and consists of 19 member states that use the euro. The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity (without precedent or comparison) with the characteristics of either a federation or a confederation. Union and EU citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty entered into force in 1993. The EU has its origins in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC); the first was established by the Treaty of Paris in 1951 and the second by the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The original member states of what became known as the European Communities were the internal six: Belgium, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands. Communities and their successors have grown in size by expanding to 21 member states and in power by adding policy areas to their jurisdiction. The last major amendment to the EU's constitutional basis, the Lisbon Treaty, entered into force in 2009. In 2020, the United Kingdom became the only member state to leave the EU. Earlier, four member states left the EU or its predecessors. There are several countries that are negotiating to join the European Union. With about 5.8 percent of the world's population, the EU achieved a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of about 17.1 trillion dollars in 2021, which is approximately 18 percent of the global nominal GDP. In addition, all EU member states have a very high human development index according to the United Nations Development Program. E�