European Union

European Union

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political umbrella uniting twenty-seven countries. Established in 1993, the EU traces its history back to six countries who formed the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. After World War II, the march toward unity was fueled in part by the failures of extreme nationalism which had just devastated so much of the continent.

European Union Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Brief History of European Integration5 stars

"19 September 1946: Speaking in Zurich, Winston Churchill calls for a United States of Europe." This history of the formation of the European Union in timeline format, covers events from 1946 to 2009. It is published by the EU delegation to Japan, but serves our purposes perfectly. Other great clicks are the "Europe in 12 Easy Lessons" PDF, quick facts about population and trade, and an excellent introduction to the euro. "1 January 2009: Slovakia introduces the euro, the eurozone now includes 16 Member States."

Euro Kids' Corner5 stars

For elementary and middle-school, Euro Kids' Corner is chock full of euro-themed games, a leaderboard listing the top ten players, and a lesson covering the history of European money and the euro. "In the past, the countries in the European Union made several attempts to move towards economic union and a single currency. However, it was not until 1991, in the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands, that European leaders decided upon a firm timetable to adopt a single currency."

Europa: Gateway to the European Union5 stars

This mega site is the official EU site in English. It includes a kid section but also some great background info for older students writing school reports. Visit About the EU for fact sheets on European integration, the European Parliament, how the EU budget is spent, and a wonderful illustrated, decade by decade timeline of the EU's history. The kid section includes games, quizzes, videos, and a Teacher's Corner with age-based curriculum suggestions.

European Central Bank: Euro School5 stars

Euro School is a collection of educational games and interactive exhibits about euro banknotes and coins. I enjoyed Find the Security Features ("Can you spot the difference between a fake banknote and a real one?") and Where's the Coin From? ("Each country has its own euro coins. Match the coin to the country by clicking on the correct country or flag.") The Interactive Display of Security Features is another great click for learning about watermarks, holograms and microprinting.

Nations Online: Member States of the European Union5 stars

An interactive map is worth a thousand words, isn't it? This one shows the European Union and uses a color key to show when each member state joined, and which countries are currently EU candidates. Click on any country name to open up a fact sheet page with quick facts and statistics. Look below the map for related resources such as Flags of Europe and Languages of Europe. And best of all? The map, part of the Nations Online Project, is free to use for any educational purpose.

European Union Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

CIA: The World Fact Book: European Union

Education Place: European Outline Maps

The Guardian: European Union News

Historiasiglo20: History of the European Union

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "European Union." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 2 Mar. 2010. Web. 30 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published March 2, 2010. Last modified March 2, 2010.

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