"The European Union (EU) is a unique partnership in which member states have pooled sovereignty in certain policy areas and harmonized laws on a wide range of economic, social, and political issues. The EU is the latest stage in a process of European integration begun after World War II, initially by six Western European countries, to promote peace, security, and economic development. Today, the EU is composed of 28 member states, including most of the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
EU members share a customs union, a single market (in which goods, people, and capital move
freely), a common trade policy, a common agricultural policy, and a common currency (the euro)
that is used by 19 member states (collectively referred to as “the Eurozone”). Twenty-two EU
members participate in the Schengen area of free movement, in which individuals may travel
without passport checks. In addition, the EU has taken steps to develop common foreign and
security policies, has sought to build common internal security measures, and remains committed
to enlargement, especially to the countries of the Western Balkans.."