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Circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background
Flag
Motto: "United in diversity"<ref name="Four Freedoms"/><ref name="EU-Symbols"/><ref name="Legislative Observatory"/>
Anthem: "Ode to Joy" (orchestral)<ref name="EU-Symbols"/>
CapitalBrussels (de facto)<ref name=capital>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=book }}</ref>
{{#invoke:Coordinates|coord}}{{#coordinates:50|51|N|4|21|E|type:city|| | |name=

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Largest cities London and Paris
Official languages {{safesubst:#invoke:collapsible list|main}}
Demonym European<ref name="OED"/>
Type Politico-economic union
Member states {{safesubst:#invoke:collapsible list|main}}
Leaders
 -  President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker
 -  President of the European Council Donald Tusk
Legislature Council of the EU
Parliament
Formation<ref>Current Article 1 of the Treaty on European Union reads:"The Union shall be founded on the present Treaty and on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Those two Treaties shall have the same legal value. The Union shall replace and succeed the European Community".</ref>
 -  Treaty of Rome 1 January 1958 
 -  Treaty of Maastricht 1 November 1993 
Area
 -  Total 4,324,782 km2 (7tha)
{{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} sq mi
 -  Water (%) 3.08
Population
 -  2015 estimate 508,191,116<ref name="population">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web

}}</ref> (3rda)
 -  Density 115.8/km2
300.9/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
 -  Total $19.035 trillion<ref name="imf"/> (1sta)
 -  Per capita $37,607<ref name="imf"/> (19tha)
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
 -  Total $16.449 trillion<ref name="imf"/> (2nda)
 -  Per capita $32,498<ref name="imf2"/> (16tha)
Gini (2010)30.4<ref name="gini"/>
medium
HDI (2011)Increase 0.876<ref name="HDI">Calculated using UNDP data for the member states with weighted population.</ref>
very high · 13th / 25tha
Currency {{safesubst:#invoke:list|unbulleted}}
Time zone WET (UTC)<ref group="lower-alpha">Not including overseas territories</ref>
CET (UTC+1)
EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
CEST (UTC+2)
EEST (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .eu<ref group="lower-alpha">.eu is representative of the whole of the EU; member states also have their own TLDs.</ref>
Website
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a. If considered as a single entity.

The European Union (EU) is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>

  1. REDIRECT </ref> It covers an area of 4,324,782 km2, with an estimated population of over 508 million. The EU operates through a system of supranational institutions and intergovernmental-negotiated decisions by the member states.<ref name="Britannica">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="CIA">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The institutions are: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the Court of Auditors. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.

The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states. Within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished.<ref name="Internal borders">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital,<ref name="Europa Internal Market">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> agriculture,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> fisheries, and regional development.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002. It is currently composed of 19 member states that use the euro as their legal tender.

The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by the Inner Six countries in 1951 and 1958, respectively. In the intervening years, the community and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993 and introduced European citizenship.<ref name="EU1993"/> The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.

Covering 7.3% of the world population,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> the EU in 2014 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 18.495 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 24% of global nominal GDP and 17% when measured in terms of purchasing power parity.<ref>see List of countries by GDP (nominal) and List of countries by GDP (PPP). Both pages are about countries and therefore the EU is not ranked.</ref> Additionally, 26 out of 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the UNDP. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the WTO, the G8, and the G-20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as a current or as a potential superpower.<ref name="The European Superpower">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>


European Union sections
Intro  History  Geography  Politics  Legal system  Area of freedom, security and justice  Foreign relations  Economy  Demographics  Culture   See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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