The European Union (EU) is the most successful attempt at regional integration in history. Founded by six countries in 1957, it had 27 members by 2007. Its origins lie in the reconstruction of western Europe after World War II, made possible by the United States through the Marshall Plan. Although created by international treaties, several factors have combined to give it many features of a constitutional system: an ideology uniting integration and federalism, judicial interpretation, development of political institutions, citizenship, human rights, and establishment of common policies.

Origins of the European Union

Today, the EU is a divided-power system, embodying a complex division of power between supranational authorities and the member states. It embraces regional integration in numerous policy areas. It also represents a comparative law ...

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