The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union or confederation of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by six countries in 1958. In the intervening years the EU has grown in size by the accession of new member states, and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993. The latest amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.
Since then, the eurozone has increased to encompass 17 countries. This maxi card and the stamp on it with the special postmark commemorates the event on 16th April 2003. These 10 countries signed the Treaty of Adhesion in Athens.2004, when the the EU saw its biggest enlargement to date when Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the Union joined the other 15 States of the EU. This maxi card sent to me by Merja was released on 1.5.2004.