With 28 Member States and 500 million citizens, the European Union is a unique economic and political partnership. It has delivered half a century of peace, stability, and prosperity, helped raise living standards, launched a single European currency, and is progressively building a single Europe-wide market in which people, goods, services, and capital move among Member States as freely as within one country.
Find out here how the EU and its institutions work and learn more about the legal foundations and the finances of the Union.
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon amends the current EU and EC treaties, without replacing them. It provides the Union with the legal framework and tools necessary to meet future challenges and to respond to citizens' demands. The Treaty entered into force on 1 December 2009, following its ratification by all the Member States. Here you can find the full text of the current EU treaties and related information.
Europe 2020 is the EU's growth strategy for the coming decade. In a changing world, we want the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and the Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.
Concretely, the Union has set five ambitious objectives - on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy - to be reached by 2020. Each Member State has adopted its own national targets in each of these areas. Concrete actions at EU and national levels underpin the strategy. Here you can find how it works.
The EU is active in a wide range of policy areas, from human rights to transport and trade, where Member States have transferred some of their law-making authority to the Union. Here you can find out more about EU policies in various areas and further links to institutions and relevant legislation and other documents.
Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions. Go to the Eurostat site where you can find facts and figures on a vast array of demographic, economic and social issues.
What do people expect from politics on the European level? What are their concerns and hopes? The political pulse is taken regularly in the Eurobarometer polls and here you can find the results of the polls both at European and at national level.
If you are dealing with the EU and you are often met with seemingly complicated technical terms then visit the EU Glossary which will aid your understanding of the terms.