What does the EU do today?

Today the states of the European Union decide on many issues together. The states made many new deals for this to happen. The deals describe what the EU is responsible for.


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Zu sehen ist ein Maishäcksler und ein Traktor, die am 1.10.2015 ein Maisfeld bei Jettkofen in Baden-Württemberg abernten.
The Europea Union decides many things. For instance: The European Union decides almost everything in the agricultural sector. (picture-alliance / dpa / Thomas Warnack)
Many rules are not made in a single country like Germany anymore. They are made by the European Union. For example the EU decides on most things related to agriculture. That means: they make the rules for farmers. The EU also assists farmers with a lot of money. Also, the EU protects consumers. For instance, the EU makes rules so that electronic devices like refrigerators are safe to use. The EU makes rules to ensure that we get our money back if a train or aircraft is very delayed.
There are some things that many EU states cooperate on. But they do not cooperate on everything. One example is the Euro. The Euro is the currency of 19 EU states. One can pay for things with the Euro in Germany and in France. One can also use the Euro in Portugal and Austria. Whoever travels through these countries does not need to change their money. 9 EU states do not use the Euro. These 9 EU states have their own currencies.
Another example is the check-points at the international borders. There are many borders between EU countries where there are no check points or customs offices. That means: we can travel from Germany to France without showing our passports. We can travel from Austria to Italy without showing our passports. However, there are other borders where there are still check-points.

Translation: Cai Nebe.