Strengthening international relations and global cooperation
Since its establishment by the original six Member States in 1957, the European Union (EU) has successfully promoted democracy, peace and stability on the European continent. Today, the EU is a unique economic and political community of countries that work together closely to improve the lives of their citizens.
The EU has become a single economic area in which people, goods, services, and capital can move freely. It has the biggest share of global trade in goods and services, and is the second largest economy in the world. To help ensure that people from all social and economic backgrounds enjoy equal rights and opportunities, the EU’s aid and development programmes focus on communities, regions and countries that are most in need of support. With the help of more than 140 diplomatic representations throughout the world, the EU works together with our partners to address global issues such as climate change, migration and sustainable development. The new European Commission, which took office in December 2019, has set ambitious goals: enhancing partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), strengthening the links between people, nations and institutions, and leading the transition to a healthy planet and a new digital world through the European Green Deal.