The European Union is a group of 28 countries that have joined together in an economic and political union. The aims of this union are to improve the lives of its 500 million citizens by pooling resources and laws into an internal single market. They share laws and some of the countries even share a currency (19 member states use the EURO). In parts of Europe (the Schengen Area) there is an agreement that people can travel between member states without having to cross formal passport controls.
The current 28 member states are: