Since 1957, the European Union has benefited its citizens by working for peace and prosperity. It helps protect our basic political, social and economic rights.
Although we may take them for granted, these benefits improve our daily lives.
Central and western Europe has never known so long a period without war. The EU is the most successful peace project in human history and has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Europeans are closely linked economically and culturally, and through the democratic values we share.
The single market is the world's most highly developed and open marketplace. It is based on the EU’s 4 key freedoms, which enable you and other citizens to:
Because EU countries cooperate so closely, our food and our environment meet some of the world's highest quality standards. Unscrupulous companies can't get away with selling contaminated food or polluting our rivers and countryside.
Shoppers can now feel safe in the knowledge that they will get their money back if they return products. Travellers can buy train or plane tickets, knowing they can get a refund if their journey is delayed or cancelled. And the standards which goods in EU shops are required to meet are among the world's most stringent, in terms of both quality and safety.
The EU protects all minorities and vulnerable groups, and stands up for the oppressed. Regardless of a person's nationality, gender, language group, culture, profession, disability or sexuality, the EU insists on equal treatment for all.
EU countries acting in unison have much more of a voice on the world stage than 28 small and medium-sized nations acting separately. We have political clout. As regards trade, our regulatory and product standards are adopted worldwide as the global norm.
Discover how the EU makes a difference to your life. You may be surprised by just how many examples you'll find.