The European Union is a supranational and international organisation that brings together 27 member states under a common system of law, established by a series of treaties.
The member states are as follows:
Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Romania, Bulgaria.
Trying to provide a definition of what the EU is presents difficulties because its purpose is contested – and as such, the very definition of the EU is an irremediably political question. Its scope and purpose has changed and developed over the past half a century, and as this process has progressed, the terms of the debate as to what the EU is and what it should be have shifted.
Even today, some regard it just as a means for co-ordinating policies between closely linked member states, others as a stage towards the creation of a unified European 'superstate'.