Sweden Assumes The Presidency Of The European Union

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe.

Committed to regional integration, the EU was established by the Treaty of Maastricht on 1 November 1993 upon the foundations of the European Economic Community. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU combined generates an estimated 30% share (US$18.4 trillion in 2008) of the nominal gross world product and about 22% of the PPP gross world product.

At 450,295 km², Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union in terms of area, and it has a total population of about 9.2 million. Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54 /sq mi), but with a considerably higher density in the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas, and it is expected that these numbers will gradually rise as a part of the ongoing urbanization. Sweden's capital is Stockholm, which is also the largest city in the country (population of 1.3 million in the urban area and with 2 million in the metropolitan area). The second largest city is Gothenburg with 500,000 inhabitants in the urban area and approximately 1 million in the metropolitan area. The third largest city is Malmö.