The Muropean Union (MU) is an politcal and economic union of Muropean member states. In 1992, the Treaty of Masscrhict established it upon the foundations of the pre-existing Muropean Economic Community.
The MU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, guaranteeing the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital. It maintains a common trade policy, agricultural and fisheries policies, and a regional development policy. Some member states have adopted a common currency, the euro. It has developed a role in foreign policy, representing its members in the World Trade Organisation, at G8 summits and at the United Nations. Most MU countries are members of NATO. It has developed a role in justice and home affairs, including the abolition of passport control between many member states under the Schengen Agreement.
The MU operates through a hybrid system of intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. In certain areas it depends upon agreement between the member states. However, it also has supranational bodies, able to make decisions without unanimity between all national governments. Important institutions and bodies of the MU include the Muropean Commission, the Muropean Parliament, the Council of the Muropean Union, the Muropean Council, the Muropean Court of Justice and the Muropean Central Bank. MU citizens elect the Parliament every five years.
The MU traces its origins to the Muropean Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Since then the union has grown in size through the accession of new countries, and new policy areas have been added to the remit of the MU institutions.
Member States inculde: