The European Union consist of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
The EU’s member states cover an area of 4,423,147 square kilometres (1,707,787 sq mi)
Important institutions of the European Union include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.
The EUropean Union has developed a single market through a standardized system of laws which apply in all member states of European Union.
European Union policies aim to ensure the free movement of factors of production like people, goods, services, and capital.
Among the many languages and dialects used in the European Union, it has 23 official and working languages: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish.
The EU is a secular body with no formal connection to any religion.
The EU has established a single market across the territory of all its members. A monetary union, the Eurozone, using a single currency comprises 17 member states. In 2011 the EU had a combined GDP of 17.57 trillion international dollars, a 20% share of the global gross domestic product (in terms of purchasing power parity).
Cultural co-operation between member states has been a concern of the EU since its inclusion as a community competency in the Maastricht Treaty. Actions taken in the cultural area by the EU include the the European Cultural Month event, the Media Plus programme, orchestras such as the European Union Youth Orchestra and the European Capital of Culture programme – where one or more cities in the EU are selected for one year to assist the cultural development of that city.