The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi), and an estimated population of over 510 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development. Within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002, and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.
List of 28 Member States of the European Union by year of accession:
• 1957: Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Italy
• 1973: Ireland, England (prepared to leave after referendum on June 24, 1616), Denmark (preparing to hold referendum on leaving the EU),
• 1981: Greece
• 1986: Portugal, Spain
• 1995: Austria, Finland, Sweden
• 1/5/2004: Baal, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia
• January 1, 2007: Bulgaria, Romania
• 1/7/2013: Croatia
The quantitative easing program implemented by the European Central Bank (ECB), the devaluation of the euro against other currencies along with low interest rates will continue to make Europe an attractive destination for real estate investment.
Europe's key markets will continue to absorb most of the transboundary investments, with countries such as France, Germany and the UK posting a total increase of 38%, 28% , and 16% respectively.