EU in a nutshell

The most important things about the European Union (EU) that every student should know.
happy student holding an EU flag
  1. What is European Union?

    The EU is a political and economic union of 27 European countries founded in 1993. Its main goals are to promote peace, stability, and economic prosperity. Finland joined EU in 1995 after a referendum.

  2. Institutions

    The EU's main institutions include the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council.

    The European Commission, which consists of 27 commissioners, one from each country, proposes legislation and implements decisions. The European Council, composed of national leaders, sets the EU's overall policy agenda. 

    The European Parliament, elected by EU citizens every five years, debates and passes laws. Finland has 15 seats in the parliament in the 2024 elections. In the EU elections, all countries are their own electoral districts, so you can vote for any candidate from your country. 

    These institutions work together to create and enforce laws, ensuring the union operates smoothly and democratically. 

  3. What does EU have to do with education?

    While universities in Europe are mostly autonomous institutions, the EU can still make educational politics. Most notorious European education achievements are Erasmus+ exchange program, European Universities initiative and Bologna process.

    European Universities initiative is primarily EU funded initiative to bring together higher education institutions in Europe. Within these European University alliances, students can study flexibly within the universities of the alliance, making mobility and international education easier than before. Aalto University belongs to UNITE! Alliance. 

    Bologna process is a collaborative effort among European countries to unify higher education systems, making degrees and qualifications more comparable and compatible across borders. 

    The Erasmus+ program is a standout feature of the EU, offering students the chance to study or intern in different European countries. An Erasmus+ exchange is a life-changing and memorable part of their lives for many students.

Remember to vote in the EU elections! Advance voting is open until 4 June and the election day is 9 June. Read more on

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