EU has members in at least four major treaty groups, each of which governs a different aspect of the region’s infrastructure. On the following infographic, you may see the break down each group:
The European Union – EU
The EU is governed according to a supranational parliamentary system, with representatives elected by member states. The union maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, and regional development. It also enacts legislation on justice and home affairs, ensuring the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within its borders.
The Eurozone is a monetary union of 19 EU nations which have adopted the euro as their common currency. Established in 1999 to control inflation, the Eurozone is managed by a board of central banks, but members share no fiscal policies. The remaining EU members are obliged to adopt the euro at some point in the future, except for the UK and Denmark, who are exempt and permitted to retain a unique currency.
The euro is also used in a number of non-EU states. Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican obtained formal agreements to issue and use their own euro coins. Montenegro has also adopted the euro but it can not issue the currency.
This grouping of 26 European states abolished passports and other types of border control at their mutual borders in 1995. For travel purposes, Schengen states function as a single country with a common visa policy.
This visa doesn’t cover residency or work permits, but allows tourists and visitors to obtain a single visa for the entire area, making border restrictions virtually non-existent. While travelers face stringent controls when entering or leaving the Schengen zones, visa holders can pass between Schengen countries without a passport or ID.
Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City are not formally part of Schengen, but maintain open borders within the Schengen area.
The map of Europe’s member states has been constantly been changing over thousands of years – and as political shakeups continue and the United Kingdom gears up for their exit from the EU, it might be interesting to see how different this map looks a few years from now.