What are the European Union's key values?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The key values of the European Union as expressed in its self-statement begin with a commitment to political stability and economic prosperity. In pursuit of these values, the EU has united a “fractured continent;” developed a continent-wide single free market; instituted a single currency in the euro to bind unified prosperity to a single standard giving no country monetary advantage over another; and has become a major force of economic and commercial power. As an extension of their values, the EU is the biggest donor of development aid to undeveloped and developing countries.

In addition, another set of EU key values pertains to their commitment to democracy, peace and the rule of law. This unites with the EU’s development aid to poor countries and unites with the key value of respecting human rights and the needs relevant to human rights. The EU’s commitment to these values informs their effort to seek to “build and share prosperity” and to exert influence by acting together on the international world stage to address global issues, with the aim of tipping the balance toward peace, prosperity and human dignity.

[For more information, see Europa, The EU at a Glance.]