As the end of the year approaches, the 'Europe and you' booklet focuses on some of the EU's 2010 initiatives.
The problems in Greece and, more recently, Ireland shook the eurozone and the European economy. The EU responded by quickly providing financial aid, which has preserved the credibility of the single currency and restored market confidence. It also created a new financial stability package of up to €500 billion and set up supervisory bodies for financial institutions.
In the face of the economic crisis, the EU also acted to promote employment, dedicating €100 million to microcredit loans (i.e. of less than €25 000) for redundant workers wanting to start their own businesses.
In the spring, travellers stranded in airports by the volcanic ash cloud were able to get compensation and assistance thanks to EU legislation on air passenger rights. The same rights for people travelling by train or boat were introduced this year, meaning that passengers may be reimbursed up to 50% of the ticket price if a train is delayed.
As for fundamental rights, new EU legislation gives citizens involved in legal cases in another EU country access to free translation and interpretation.
The EU also worked to help consumers. Measures making it easier to recycle electrical and electronic equipment and the development of a single model for mobile phone chargers are some of the ways it has had an impact on citizens' daily lives.
Finally, regarding its work outside of Europe in 2010, the EU was again the world's biggest aid donor, providing support to numerous countries affected by natural or ecological disasters. Its central role in the provision of international aid to Haiti following the earthquake is one example.