About the EU
The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries. It was first created in 1958 as the European Economic Community (EEC) by 6 countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The EU is based on the rule of law – everything it does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by all member countries.
In 1993 its name was changed to the European Union (EU).
The EU has a unique institutional set-up. Broad priorities are set by the member governments in regular summits, and decision-making involves a range of institutions, although the 3 main ones are:
The EU also has a diplomatic arm – the European External Action Service.
The EU reached its current size of 28 member countries when Croatia joined in July 2013.
Read more about the current & aspiring EU countries