The European Union (EU) is a political-economic union of 28 states in Europe that was formed in 1993 after the end of the Cold War. With a combined population of 508,000,000 people (7.3% of the world population) and 24% of the global GDP, the EU was formed to unite Europe, with the Schengen Area allowing for "European citizens" to travel freely between the member states and the Eurozone providing a common currency for the member states.
The European Union was formed on 1 November 1993 in the Treaty of Maastricht, and its goal was to unite Europe with common citizenship and currency. Borders were opened between all member states, and the Eurozone - the countries that used the Euro currency - was formed as a uniting factor in European trade. The Schengen Area was formed as an area of free travel between European countries, relaxing border control and allowing for European citizens to travel across the EU. 24% of the global GDP and 7.3% of the world population belongs to the European Union, and the EU is a symbol of the West; for this reason, Russia and its allies have refused to join the EU.