European Union

Global European Union

The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest trading bloc, with a single market that allows free trade among its member countries. The largest export market of manufactured goods and services globally, the EU represents the major import market for some 100 countries. Members of this political and economic community account for populations totalling some 447 million spread over an area of more than 4.23 million sq. km. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the EU in 2012 for advancing peace, reconciliation, democracy, and human rights. There are currently (2020) 27 EU members representing much of the continent and what was once a solely economic union now covers policy areas including climate, the environment, health, external relations, migration, security and justice. Nineteen of the members use the euro as official currency and are collectively known as the Eurozone. A name-change from European Economic Community (EEC) to European Union (EU) in 1993 was made in recognition of this widening of concerns. Most of the EU states (and a few non-EU countries) are members of the  Schengen Area which has no internal borders. The EEC was set up in 1958 as a partnership between Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Italy and the Netherlands. The United Kingdom was a member of the original bloc and its successor from June 1973 until the end of January 2020 and the former partners are now considering their future trade relationship during an eleven-month transition period.


What trade deals are there with other countries and economic unions?

EU - Andorra Customs Union (from 01/01/1991)

European Single Market (SM) (from 01/01/1993)

EU - Sri-Lanka Co-operation and Partnership Agreement (from 01/04/1995)

EU - Turkey Customs Union (from 31/12/1995)

EU - Faroe Islands Agreement (from 01/01/1997)

EU - Palestinian Authority Interim Association Agreement (from 01/07/1997)

EU - Tunisia Association Agreement (from 01/03/1998)

EU - Armenia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (from 09/09/1999)

EU - Morocco Association Agreement (from 01/03/2000)

EU - Israel Association Agreement (from 01/06/2000)

EU - Mexico Global Agreement (from 01/10/2000)

EU - San Marino Customs Union (from 01/04/2002)

EU - Jordan Association Agreement (from 01/05/2002)

EU - North Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Agreement (from 01/04/2004)

EU - Pakistan Co-operation agreement (from 29/04/2004)

EU - Egypt Association Agreement (from 01/06/2004)

EU - Chile Association Agreement and Additional Protocol (from 01/03/2005)

EU - Algeria Association Agreement (from 01/09/2005)

EU - Lebanon Association Agreement (from 01/04/2006)

EU - Albania Stabilisation and Association Agreement (from 01/04/2009)

EU - Pacific States Interim EPA (from 20/12/2009)

EU - Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Agreement (from 01/05/2010)

EU - Central America Association Agreement (from 01/08/2013)

EU - Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement (from 01/09/2013)

EU - Bosnia and Herzegovina Stabilisation and Association Agreement (from 01/06/2015)

EU - South Korea Free Trade Agreement (from 01/07/2015)

EU - Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Agreement (from 01/04/2016)

EU - Georgia Association Agreement (from 01/07/2016)

EU - Moldova Association Agreement (from 01/07/2016)

EU - Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (from 21/09/2017)

EU - Eswatini (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (from 05/02/2018)

EU - Lesotho (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (from 05/02/2018)

EU - Mozambique (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (from 05/02/2018)

EU - Namibia (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (from 05/02/2018)

EU - South Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (from 05/02/2018)

EU - Botswana (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (from 05/02/2018)

EU - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (from 01/02/2019)

EU - Eastern and Southern Africa States free trade agreement (from 07/02/2019)

UK - EU Trade Deal (from 01/01/2021)

Member Countries


Country
Population (2018)
GDP Growth (2021, %)
Date Joined
8,751,820
4.4840
01/01/1995
11,498,519
6.2447
25/03/1957
7,036,848
4.1779
01/01/2007
4,164,783
10.4489
01/07/2013
861,016
5.5127
01/05/2004
10,625,250
3.3427
01/05/2004
5,754,356
4.6934
01/01/1973
1,306,788
8.3495
01/05/2004
5,542,517
3.4745
01/01/1995
67,539,098
6.9636
25/03/1957
82,293,457
2.8926
25/03/1957
11,142,161
8.3361
01/01/1981
9,688,847
7.0966
01/05/2004
4,803,748
13.4787
01/01/1973
59,290,969
6.6438
25/03/1957
1,929,938
4.4821
01/05/2004
2,876,475
5.0035
01/05/2004
590,321
6.8866
25/03/1957
432,089
9.4135
01/05/2004
17,084,459
5.0359
25/03/1957
38,104,832
5.7326
01/05/2004
10,291,196
4.8812
01/01/1986
19,580,634
5.8797
01/01/2007
5,449,816
3.0205
01/05/2004
2,081,260
8.1146
01/05/2004
46,397,452
5.1295
01/01/1986
9,982,709
4.8006
01/01/1995

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