European Union (EU)

The European Union (EU) is a partnership of 28 democratic countries,working together for the benefit of all their citizens.It aims to promote social and economic progress, common foreign and security positions,police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters, and European citizenship.

On the 23rd June 2016, the United Kingdom voted in a national referendum to leave the European Union. Currently the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Union as article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which enables countries to leave the E.U has yet to be triggered. The timeframe for the UK's withdrawal from the E.U remains uncertain. 

The European Parliament sits in both Strasbourg and Brussels.

The European Parliament makes decisions on new European laws jointly with the Council of the European Union.The Parliament is the only directly elected body of the European Union.

It has 751 Members(MEPs), including 73 from the UK who represent people in different areas of the country.

Where EU member states have agreed to act together, all laws passed at the European level are considered legally superior to domestic law – in these circumstances,should European Community (EC) law and UK law conflict, EC law prevails, as was the case with the Working Time Directive.


Six countries made up the EU when it was first established on the 23rd July 1952 – Belgium, France, Italy,the Netherlands,West Germany and Luxembourg.

Around 507 million people live in the EU – the largest population is Germany,with 80.7 million people, and the smallest is Malta,with 0.4 million people.

23 official languages are spoken in the EU.

751 Members sit in the European Parliament.

€161.8 billion was the EU budget for 2015.

4,422,773 km2 is the total land mass of the EU.

One motto for the EU – ‘United in Diversity’.

9th May is the official ‘Europe Day’ each year.

Two main bases for the European Parliament – Committee meetings are held in Brussels and plenary sessions in Brussels and Strasbourg. Additional administration is located in Luxembourg.

19 out of the 28 member countries make up the Eurozone and use the Euro as their official currency.

Explore Europa,the official website for the European Union:


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