The EU is active in a wide range of policy areas, from human rights to transport and trade.
The EU has a unique institutional set-up where broad priorities are set by the European Council; decision-making involves European Parliament, Council of the EU and European Commission and number of other institutions.
The EU reached its current size of 28 member countries with the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013.
Facts and figures
Basic facts and figures on EU population and size, economy, employment levels and quality of life, and also some basic information about EU administration, its staff, languages and location.