Skip to main content
Флаг Европейского союза Флаг Европейского союза

Easy to read - The European Union

Easy to read version

Easy to read is a way
to make information easy for everyone
to read and understand.

Easy to read - Symbol

 

© European Easy-to-Read Logo: Inclusion Europe. More information at https://www.inclusion-europe.eu/easy-to-read/

The European Union

The European Union is a group of 27 countries in Europe.
These countries came together
to make things better, easier and safer for people.
They agreed to work together and help each other.

Map with all countries of the European Union

 

In the beginning, only 6 countries in Europe started working together:

  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands

Soon, more and more countries in Europe joined them
and the European Union was made.

In June 2016 the United Kingdom decided
to stop being part of the European Union.
So from 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom
is no longer part of the European Union.

The goals and values of the European Union

All countries that are part of the European Union work together
to make sure that:

The countries of the European Union
share some important values.
For example, they work to make sure that all people are equal
and their rights are respected.

Peace in Europe

Free move

The European Union made it easier for people
to move freely from one country to another.
They can live, study or work
in any country of the European Union they want.
For example, a person from France can choose
to move to Italy and work there.
Or a student from Belgium can go study in a university in Greece.

Happy travelers

Things, services and money can also move freely
from one country of the European Union to another.

The European Union in the world

The European Union plays an important role in the world in many ways.
For example:

  • It sells many things and services to other countries.
    Also, it buys things from other countries.
    This way it helps the world economy keep going.
  • It helps millions of people
    who live in poorer countries outside the European Union.
  • It tries to make the world a safer place
    where people are treated fairly and laws are respected.

Becoming part of the European Union

To become part of the European Union,
a country must:

Some countries are now working to become part of the European Union.
These countries are:

  • Albania
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • North Macedonia
  • Turkey

To become part of the European Union,
these countries must work
to make all laws and values of the European Union
happen in them.

The Schengen Area

The European Union made the ‘Schengen Area’.

The Schengen Area is an area without borders.
In this area, people can travel from country to country freely and easily.
They do not have to go through checks and controls
when they pass from one country to another.

Thanks to the Schengen Area, it is now easier for people
to travel for work or tourism.

The Schengen Area was made in 1985.
Today 22 out of the 27 countries of the European Union
are part of the Schengen Area.

These countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Also, 4 countries outside the European Union
are part of the Schengen Area:

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

That means that people can travel freely and easily
from one of these countries to another.
This way it is easier for people to visit any of these countries
for tourism or for work.

Happy travelers

 

Languages of the European Union

In every country of the European Union
people speak their own language.
The European Union protects the right of people
to communicate in their own language.

The word 'hello' in different languages

That is why the European Union
makes all important information and documents
in all the languages that people speak in its countries:

  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Maltese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

This way all people in the European Union
can get important information in their own language
and understand it.

The coin of the European Union

Most countries that are part of the European Union use the same coin.

Today, 19 out of 27 European Union countries use the euro.

These countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

The European flag

This is the flag of the European Union:

The flag of the European Union

The flag of the European Union is blue
and has a circle of gold stars on it.
It is a symbol that shows that the countries of the European Union
are united and stand by each other.

The European anthem

Every country has a melody
that better shows its values and culture as a country.
This melody is called ‘anthem’.

The European Union has its own anthem too.
In 1985, people who make decisions
in the European Union
chose a melody of a very important composer
to be the anthem of the European Union.

This composer is called Ludwig van Beethoven.

United in diversity

The European Union uses the phrase ‘united in diversity
to show what its values are.

Being united in diversity means that:

How the European Union works

The European Union has 3 main bodies:

These 3 bodies are very important for the European Union.
They work closely together to make things better in Europe:

  • The European Commission suggests laws.
  • The European Parliament
    and the Council of the European Union
    discuss these laws and decide if they want these laws
    to happen in Europe.
  • If they decide that a law must happen in Europe,
    all countries of the European Union
    must work to make this law happen in them.

Other bodies that are important for the European Union are:

  • The Court of Justice of the European Union
    that makes sure that all laws happen correctly
    in the European Union.
  • the Court of Auditors
    that checks if the money of the European Union
    is spent in the right way.

There are also other bodies of the European Union
that are doing important work.
For example, there are bodies that:

More information