The European Union is a group of 27 democratic European countries working together for Europe's common values such as democracy, freedom and social justice. Without the purpose of replacing existing states, the EU member states have created common institutions including the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. The Presidency of the Council rotates every six months, giving each country a turn to set the agenda.
Europeans have more influence on the world stage if they speak with a single voice. With almost 490 million citizens, the EU represents its members in the WTO and observes at G8 summits and at the UN. For more details,
The original member states came together after World War Two to prevent future killings and destruction experienced during the two world wars. At first, the countries focused on economic and trade cooperation and today the EU still strives to maintain a single market, in order to realize free movement of people, goods, services and capital. Thirteen members have adopted the euro as common currency. In addition to economic integration, the modern EU deals with a wide range of issues impacting the everyday lives of Europeans.
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