A unique economic and political partnership between 27 democratic European countries.
What are its aims?
Peace, prosperity and freedom for its 498 million citizens in a fairer, safer world.
What results so far?
Frontier-free travel and trade, the euro (the single European currency), safer food and a greener environment, better living standards in poorer regions, joint action on crime and terror, cheaper phone calls, millions of opportunities to study abroad and much more besides.
How does it work?
To make these things happen, EU countries set up bodies to run the EU and adopt its legislation. The main ones are:
- the European Parliament (representing the people of Europe);
- the Council of the European Union (representing national governments);
- the European Commission (representing the common EU interest).
The EU is not perfect - it is an evolving project and constantly has to be improved.
What do you want the EU to do and not to do? Have your say!
- Contact your local MP – EU policies are part of national politics.
- Contact your MEP and cast your vote at the European Parliament elections – the European Parliament enacts EU laws: europarl.europa.eu
- Contact the NGOs (consumer associations, environmental pressure groups, etc.) – they work with the EU on shaping policies.
- Find out more about the EU on the europa.eu website and get the answers to your questions about the EU by calling the Europe Direct freephone: 00 88 6 7 8 9 10 11.