European Union (EU)
Origin. The Union is founded on the existing European communities set up by the Treaties of Paris (1951) and Rome (1957), supplemented by revisions, the Single European Act in 1986, the Maastricht Treaty on European Union in 1992, the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, the Treaty of Nice in 2000 and the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.
Members. (28). Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (Greek-Cypriot sector only), the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK (although British membership will lapse following due legal process in the wake of a national referendum in June 2016 that favoured withdrawal by a narrow majority).
History.European disillusionment with nationalism after the Second World War fostered a desire to bind key European states—France and (West) Germany—to each other and prevent future conflict. In...