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What is the European Union

What is the European Union?

What is the European Union : What is the European Union?
The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent.

The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries who trade with each other become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict. The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and start increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Since then, a huge single market has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.

The EU has delivered half a century of peace, stability and prosperity, helped raise living standards and initiated a single European currency, the EURO. Thanks to the eliminations of border controls between EU countries, people can travel freely in the field of the continent. It's become much easier to live and work abroad in Europe. Another key objective is to develop this huge resource to ensure that Europeans can draw the maximum benefit from it.

One of the EU's main goals is to promote human rights internally and around the world.Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human right are the core values of the EU.

The creation of single market and corresponding on the increase in trade and general economic activity transformed the EU into a major trading power. The EU is trying to sustain economic growth by investing in transport, energy and research, while also seeking to minimize the environmental impact of further economic development.

In the EU's unique institutional set-up: the EU's broad priorities are set by the European Council, which brings together national and EU-level leaders directly elected MEPs represent European citizens in the European Parliament. The interests of the EU as a whole are promoted by the European Commission, whose members are appointed by national governments defend their own country's national interests in the Council of the European Union. The European Council sets the EU's overall political direction – but has no powers to pass laws.


There are 3 main institutions involved in EU legislation:

  • The European Parliament, which represents the EU's citizens and is directly elected by them;
  • The Council of the European Union, which represents the governments of the individual member countries. The Presidency of the Council is shared by the member states on a rotating basis.
  • The European Commission, which represents the interests of the Union as a whole.

Together, these three institutions produce through the "Ordinary Legislative Procedure" the policies and laws that apply throughout the EU. In principle, the Commission proposes new laws, and the Parliament and Council adopt them. The Commission and the member countries then implement them, and the Commission ensures that the laws are properly applied and implemented.


Other EU institutions

Two other institutions play vital roles:


The powers and responsibilities of all of these institutions are laid down in the Treaties, which are the foundation of everything the EU does. They also lay down the rules and procedures that the EU institutions must follow. The Treaties are agreed by the presidents and/or prime ministers of all the EU countries, and ratified by their parliaments.