European Union

Photo: European Parliament

Finland is a member of the European Union. The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union. The purpose of the Union is to create common rules, promote trade and improve living conditions in Europe. The Union has 27 member states – most of the European countries. The member states are independent states. However, they have promised to follow the decisions made and regulations given by the European Union.

Member states of the European Union

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

In the summer 2013 Croatia will also join the Union. Talks are also being held with Turkey, Iceland, and Montenegro. Moreover, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia are interested in joining the European Union.

The European Union has a flag of its ownadopted in 1986. The flag is blue with a circle of 12 golden stars in the middle. Twelve is a symbol of completeness and unity. So, instead of showing the number of member states, the stars symbolise unity. Every member state flies its own flag along with the Flag of Europe.