As Europe tried to heal itself from World War II, the seeds of a socio-economic union were sown.
Initial forms came in the shape of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed in 1951 and 1958 respectively. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993.
Now with 28 members, the trading alliance covers the lives of an estimated 508 million people.
But how does it compare to other global regions? How are lives changed by being in the EU? And of its members, which countries are economically winning and who are the losers?