The european union eu consists of 28 member states each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the privileges and obligations of membership unlike members of most international organisations the member states of the eu are subjected to binding laws in exchange for representation within the common legislative and judicial institutions. The eu was not always as big as it is today when european countries started to cooperate economically in 1951 only belgium germany france italy luxembourg and the netherlands participated over time more and more countries decided to join the union currently counts 28 eu countries the 28 member countries of the eu by alphabetical order. The european union was founded on november 1 1993 in maastricht netherlands before 1993 the eu was not as big as it is today european countries started to cooperate economically since 1951 when only states such as belgium france luxembourg germany the netherlands and italy participated. The european union eu is a group of 28 nations in europe formed in the aftermath of world war ii the first batch of countries joined in 1957 which included germany france italy belgium luxembourg and the netherlands in 1973 denmark ireland and the uk joined
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