The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union. It has 27 members. At the point when European countries began to collaborate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated. The Union currently counts 27 EU countries. The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on 31 January 2020. The EU was made by the Maastricht Treaty, which went into power on November 1, 1993. The treaty was intended to upgrade European political and economic integration by making a single currency.