In 1957, at the initiative of France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany, the European Economic Community was established, later renamed the European Union (EU). Currently, the EU consists of 28 countries, which are united politically as well as economically. As many as 19 EU countries have adopted the same currency, the euro.
Europe is home to many nations that, though different in their traditions and their languages, are united by the values of democracy, freedom and social justice. The EU defends, protects and cherishes these values. This is reflected in the EU’s motto: ‘United in diversity’.
The standard of living in the EU is one of the world’s highest. The following factors have been crucial for achieving this: the customs union without borders, the free movement of capital, the free movement of labour and the stimuli to trade with countries outside the EU.
Europe is a union of democratic states where people and organisations can feel safe and rely on the means provided by law to solve all their problems.