What is the European Union?

EU flag

The EU is unlike anything else—it isn’t a government, an association of states, or an international organization. Rather, the 28 Member States have relinquished part of their sovereignty to EU institutions, with many decisions made at the European level.

The European Union has delivered more than 60 years of peace, stability, and prosperity in Europe, helped raise our citizens’ living standards, launched a single European currency (the euro), and is progressively building a single Europe-wide free market for goods, services, people, and capital.

We are engaged in rebuilding lives and communities in areas of conflict such as Afghanistan. We support efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East, promote sound environmental practices, and contribute to global efforts to control nuclear proliferation.  European judicial, law enforcement, and security officials cooperate with the US and other partners to combat terrorism and transnational crime.

The EU and our Member States are the largest providers of official development assistance around the world, and we are involved in other areas that support development and reduce poverty, such as peacekeeping, election observing, and providing humanitarian and reconstruction aid in the wake of natural disasters and conflict.