Concept information

Preferred term

European Union  


  • The 15 nations (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UK, Austria, Finland and Sweden) that have joined together to form an economic community with common monetary, political and social aspirations. The EU came into being on 1 November 1993 according to the terms of the Maastricht Treaty; it comprises the three European Communities, extended by the adoption of a common foreign and security policy which requires cooperation between member states in foreign policy and security and cooperation in justice and home affairs.

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