European Union, EU

(Photo: Court of Auditors)

The EU was introduced by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 on the basis of three “pillars”.

1.  The supra-national Community pillar incorporating the three communities which existed prior to the Treaty on the European Union: the European Economic Community, the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Coal and Steel Community. Since the Treaty the EEC has been renamed the European Communities, EC.

Together with two “inter-governmental” pillars:

2.  Foreign and Security Policy

3.  Justice and Home Affairs Policy.

The European Community has legal personality, the European Union does not.

The future

The EU Constitution will provide the EU with a full legal personality.