What is the European Union? How is it significant?

There were many efforts to keep the European countries together, to achieve economic growth and military security especially after World War II. A series of plans and treaties led to the creation of the European Union. It is commonly called the EU. In the beginning, membership to the EU was limited to Western Europe alone. Initially, only a few countries were involved in the activities of the EU. They were Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Currently, the Union functions across the length and breadth of Europe and includes many other countries.

Officially established in 1993, the EU now has 27-member countries with a total population of about 447 million. It is spread across a total area of 4,233,255.3 square kilometres.

The EU is generally considered as a sui generis political entity that has the features of a federation as well as a confederation. Sui generis in Latin means ‘unique’ or ‘something that has no comparison’.

Since its inception, the EU has been integral in the unity of Europe. It has established a common market for all the member countries by standardizing the trade law system and framing standard policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development. This standardization guarantees the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital. The EU also implements legislative measures on matters of justice and home affairs. It has an important role in international cooperation. The EU is also the world’s largest donor of development aid.

Even though Ukraine is not a member of the organisation currently, it has great interest in being a part of it.

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