Basic facts and figures on the EU institutions, the member countries and the EU economy.
Figures on prosperity levels, attitudes, education spending and language learning reveal some of the similarities and contrasts between EU member countries.
The creation of the single market and the corresponding increase in trade and general economic activity transformed the EU into a major trading power. The EU is trying to sustain economic growth by investing in transport, energy and research, while also seeking to minimise the environmental impact of further economic development.
The EU spends around 6% of its annual budget on staff, administration and maintenance of its buildings.