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The European Union (EU), which consists of 28 sovereign states with different histories, languages, economic development, fiscal regimes, and welfare and employment institutions, is more than a customs union. As well as establishing a single market based on the free movement of goods, people, money, and services, the EU seeks progressively to integrate member states’ economic, political, and employment systems.

The EU is unique because it is neither a federal state, like the United States of America, nor a purely intergovernmental organization, like the United Nations. National sovereignty is ensured because EU action is taken only if it is based on a provision in a treaty that has been agreed on by every member state and ratified by each state’s parliament or by referendum. In addition, ...

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