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Fact Sheets on the European Union 

Fact sheets on the European Union

The aim of the Fact Sheets is to provide an overview of European integration and of the European Parliament's contribution to that process.

They were created in 1979 for Parliament's first direct elections. Since then they have been reviewed and rewritten regularly. They continue to fulfil their original purpose, which was to provide non-specialists with an overview of European integration and of the European Parliament's contribution to that process. The Fact Sheets are also of use to many professionals, officials and students alike whose work relates to European affairs. We have therefore kept matters simple, clear and concise and used a format that is consistent and as straightforward as possible.

In addition to bringing the Fact Sheets up to date, we hope that we have further improved their readability and thus also their value. Readers wishing to go into greater detail are referred to more specialist works, including research documents produced by the European Parliament's Policy Departments on the "studies" page.


Online Version of the Fact Sheets

The online version that you find here is reviewed and updated - where the European Parliament adopts any important positions or policies - at regular intervals throughout the year. It is now available in three languages - English, French and German.

The current version takes account of the changes brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon.

For the latest online version, we have added the name of the author(s) and the publication date of each Fact Sheet. For more information please consult our Topics page, which gives an overview of the main policy areas, and our Contents page, from which you can access and print the latest version of each Fact Sheet.


The Fact Sheets in Book Form

In addition, they are published in book form twice during every parliamentary term. The latest edition was published by the Publications Office of the European Union in spring 2009 in six languages (EN, FR, DE, IT, PL, ES).

This edition can be ordered from the Publications Office at the following address:

A CD-ROM version in 21 languages is also available there.


Comments and Suggestions

Please send any comments, suggestions or criticisms of the Fact Sheets to Your views are welcome.



The 2004 edition of the Fact Sheets is now available in the archives.