"The European Union (EU) is a political and economic partnership that represents a unique form of cooperation among sovereign countries. The EU is the latest stage in a process of integration begun after World War II, initially by six Western European countries, to foster interdependence and make another war in Europe unthinkable. The EU currently consists of 28 member states, including most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and has helped to promote peace, stability, and economic prosperity throughout the European continent.
The EU has been built through a series of binding treaties. Over the years, EU member states
have sought to harmonize laws and adopt common policies on an increasing number of economic,
social, and political issues. EU member states share a customs union; a single market in which
capital, goods, services, and people move freely; a common trade policy; and a common
agricultural policy. Nineteen EU member states use a common currency (the euro), and 22
member states participate in the Schengen area of free movement in which internal border
controls have been eliminated.."