What is the European Union?
A unique economic and political partnership between 27 democratic European countries.
What are its aims?
Peace, prosperity and freedom for its 495 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 and air travel, 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).
What about the future?
The EU is not perfect — it constantly has to be improved.
It’s up to you! What do you want the EU to do and not to do?
Discuss the issues with your friends, your family, your colleagues.
Then tell the policymakers what you think.
The EU’s future will be decided through dialogue, debate and democracy.
How can I have my say?
- Contact your local MP — EU policies are part of national politics.
- Contact your MEP — the European Parliament enacts EU laws.
- Contact the NGOs (consumer associations, environmental pressure groups, etc.) — they advise the EU on policy.
- Contact the European Commission — which proposes EU policies.