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Miscellaneous Countries of Europe - What is the EU?

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.

As of 2021 the following countries are in the EU:
Countries followed by * have their own forums on Slow Europe. The rest are grouped in the Other Countries forum.
  • Austria *
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France *
  • Germany *
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland *
  • Italy *
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal *
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain *
  • Sweden
The European Economic Area (EEA) includes EU countries and also these countries:
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market. They have the same rights to live and work in the EU as EU nationals.

This country is not in the EU or EEA, but is in the European Single Market:
  • Switzerland *
This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the EU as other EEA nationals.

Not in the EU or EEA. This country (group of countries) left the EU in 2020:
  • United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) *
The United Kingdom is not in the single market. United Kingdom nationals have no rights to live and work in the EU or EEA countries.

Schengen Area

The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement signed in Schengen, Luxembourg. From Wikipedia.

Of the 27 EU member states, five countries are not part of the Schengen Area, but four of those will join in the future:
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Ireland has opted out of Schengen
The four EEA countries are all part of the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area also includes three European microstates:
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City

European Union Countries


By Original map created by User:Mfloryan, modified by User:Glentamara - File:Europe-countries-outline-iso-coded-plain.svg, CC BY-SA 4.0

Schengen Area


By Rob984 - Derived from File:Schengen Area.svg, CC BY-SA 4.0

Information taken from the UK Government website and Wikipedia.