Definition of the European Union noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the European Union

BrE BrE//ðə ˌjʊərəpiːən ˈjuːniən//
; NAmE NAmE//ðə ˌjʊrəpiːən ˈjuːniən//
[singular] (abbreviation EU)
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an economic and political organization, based in Brussels, that many European countries belong to Culture The European Economic Community (EEC) was established under the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and in 1967 joined two other European organizations to become the European Community (EC). Britain joined the EC, often referred to in Britain at the time as the Common Market, in 1973. In 1992 changes were made by the Treaty of Maastricht to the Treaty of Rome and the European Union (EU) was established. The number of member states has gradually increased and in 2014 there were 28. EU institutions include the European Commission, which puts forward proposals and carries out decisions of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, which meets in Strasbourg, and has 751 members, called MEPs, representing the member states. The single European currency became an official currency in 1999 and in 2002, 12 European countries, not including Britain, started to use euro coins and banknotes. In Britain some politicians are pro-European and are in favour of closer links with the EU, but there are also the Eurosceptics, especially the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), who believe that the EU has too much control over British affairs.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: the European Union

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