Representation in Cyprus

About the EU

Background

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).

EU policy fields

Institutions

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:

For the General Report on the Activities of the European Union in 2018 click here. The Highlights of the report can be found here.

The EU also has a diplomatic arm – the European External Action Service.

More on the EU institutions

Countries

The EU reached its current size of 28 member countries when Croatia joined in July 2013.

Read more about the current & aspiring EU countries

EU in facts and figures