Background information

The European Union (EU) is a treaty-based community of originally six and currently twenty-eight Member States which is the result of many decades of European integration policy. The EU has the aim of establishing a lasting and structured partnership between its Member States in order to promote peace, prosperity and security in Europe. However, it is important to keep in mind that the European Union is in a state of constant flux.

What is special about the EU is the fact that political decision-making takes place at so many different levels. One of the EU’s most distinctive features is that while it contains elements of supranational organization, such as the European Commission, the European Court of Justice or the decision-making process of the Council of the European Union, it takes a strictly intergovernmental form in other policy areas, such as foreign policy.

According to the preamble and Article 2 of the current EU Treaty, the EU Member States have set themselves the following goals:

  •  to advance European integration and create an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe,
  • to respect the principles of liberty, democracy and the rule of law,
  • to deepen the solidarity between their peoples,
  • to achieve the strengthening and convergence of their economies,
  • to establish an economic and monetary union,
  • to promote the establishment of a common market,
  • to develop a common foreign and security policy,
  • to promote peace, security and progress in Europe and in the world, and
  • to facilitate the free movement of persons.
Design Element Design Element
 
Design Element