European Union - EU

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DEFINITION of 'European Union - EU'

A group of European countries that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official currency, the euro. The EU's goal is to create a barrier-free trade zone and to enhance economic wealth by creating more efficiency within its marketplace.

BREAKING DOWN 'European Union - EU'

The current formalized incarnation of the European Union was created in 1993 with 12 initial members. Since then, many additional countries have since joined. The EU has become one of the largest producers in the world, in terms of GDP, and the euro has maintained a competitive value against the U.S. dollar.

EU and non-EU members must agree to many legal requirements in order to trade with the EU member states.

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