Member states of the European Union
Since 1 July 2013, the EU consists of 28 member states.
The EU has to respect the national identities of its members. The member states must respect the EU's decisions and are bound by a principle of loyalty. Conflicts between the EU and its member states are settled by the Union's authorities - among these the EU Court.
The Lisbon Treaty allow member states to withdraw from the EU with two years' notice. New member states may be introduced by unanimity among the existing member states and approval by the European Parliament.
Here yoy can see when the EU was enlarged:
West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg
Denmark, Ireland and the UK
Spain and Portugal
Austria, Finland and Sweden
Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia
Romania and Bulgaria
See also Applicant countries.
Links to the governmental websites of the Member States: