World partner

With size and economic power come responsibilities. The Union is the biggest provider of financial assistance and advice to poorer countries. Faced with today’s complex and fragile world order, the EU is increasingly involved in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and anti-terrorism activities. It support reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Union has taken the lead in dealing with the problem of global warming and the emission of greenhouse gases. Soft power As it unites a continent, the European Union seeks a close relationship with its neighbours so that new artificial divisions do not replace old ones. Having brought stability and prosperity to its own citizens today, the EU seeks to work with others in an interdependent world to spread the advantages of open markets, economic growth and a political system based on social responsibility and democracy. The EU does not try to impose its system on others, but is not shy about its values. Any democratic European country can apply to become a member of the EU. A few have chosen not to. In 50 years, the Union has brought together 27 countries which have successfully pooled economic and political resources in the common interest. As such, it serves as a model for cooperation and integration between countries in other regions. The EU acts out of enlightened self-interest just as much as global solidarity. On an increasingly interconnected planet, supporting economic development and political stability in the wider world is an investment in one’s future. By helping others, the EU helps to make life safer within its frontiers for its own citizens. And as a multipolar world is becoming a reality, EU member states need to speak as one if they wish their voice to be heard.