Fact Sheets on the European Union

Fact Sheets on the European Union

Welcome to the Fact Sheets website. Created in 1979 for Parliament’s first direct elections, the Fact Sheets are designed to provide non-specialists with a straightforward, concise and accurate overview of the European Union’s institutions and policies, and the role that the European Parliament plays in their development.

The Fact Sheets are grouped into five chapters: 1) How the European Union works; 2) Economy, science and quality of life; 3) Cohesion, growth and jobs; 4) Citizens: fundamental rights, security and justice and 5) The EU’s external relations.

Drafted by the policy departments and the Economic Governance Support Unit, the Fact Sheets are available in 24 languages. The online version is reviewed and updated at regular intervals throughout the year, as soon as Parliament adopts any important positions or policies.

How the European Union works

The EU’s historical development, the successive treaties, its legal system, decision-making procedures, institutions and bodies, and financing.

Economy, science and quality of life

The internal market, consumer protection and public health; social, employment, industrial, energy and environment policies; the EMU, taxation and financial services.

Cohesion, growth and jobs

Regional and cohesion policy, the common agricultural and fisheries policies; transport, tourism and trans-European networks; culture, education and sport.

Citizens: fundamental rights, security and justice

Individual and collective rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights; freedom, security and justice, including immigration and asylum policies.

The EU’s external relations

Foreign and development policies and trade relations; the promotion of human rights and democracy; the enlargement and relations beyond the EU’s neighbourhood.


Browse the Fact Sheets by chapter and section and either download or read them online. Each Fact Sheet can be saved individually.