The European Union (EU) is a grouping of 27 European-ish countries. It is primarily an economic union aiming to harmonise financial and business activity between its member countries according to reasonable folk. The EU is often popularly ridiculed in the United Kingdom for its silly rules about square strawberries, straight bananas and designating the carrot as a fruit, although most of these "rules" do not exist, or were exaggerated or misinterpreted by Eurosceptics.
There is some debate about the what direction the EU should take in the future, with some looking for a "wider" association and some for a "deeper" one. Those who wish a wider union are typically in favour of European expansion without any increased integration of the countries involved. Those who wish a deeper union are more interested in increased integration of the existing countries. These differing objectives can cause some conflict, as the wider the union becomes the more difficult it is to achieve integration; and the deeper the union becomes, the more difficult it is for new member countries to join.
Not to be confused with the Council of Europe.
Critics[Who?] claim the security and peace enjoyed by western European countries following the Second World War (The first time in history that Europe wasn't trying to kill itself) was almost entirely down to the threat of annihilation offered by the Soviet Union, and the military alliance with NATO.
 Member countries
 Potential future members
 Official candidates
The following countries are recognised as candidate countries. 
- Turkey has been trying to get in for twenty years, but has been refused on every application. It seems that it may have some way to go before it meets all EU standards, particularly as it only barely meets the "being in Europe" one.
- The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which Greece plans to reject if they get close to membership because the northern part of their country is also called "Macedonia." Rappers have had more substantive feuds.
- Iceland is having its application to join hastened after its banking system collapsed in 2008.
 Potential candidates
The following countries are recognised as pre-candidate countries.
 Other countries of note
Despite its non-membership in the EU, Norway is displayed as part of the map of Europe on some modern Euro coins, serving the vital purpose of making the rest of Scandinavia look less like a giant dong.
 The Antichrist
The peaceful European Union will later become the dreadful Beast of the Apocalypse, that of the number 666! This is a common, though disputed, interpretation of Revelation. They claim the EU is the successor to the Roman Empire and the Fifth Empire prophesied by Daniel. There were, obviously, other empires between the Babylonians and Romans, so there's no reason to assume that the Romans were the Fourth. But alas, enjoy the fundie shoehorning.
 See also
- ↑ BBC News: Guide to the best euromyths
- ↑ EU website on expansion
- ↑ Turkey status EU
- ↑ EU Pre-candidate countries
- ↑ Rapture Ready, European Union In Prophecy - This one says very near the bottom of a very long web page that we can't be sure the EU is the empire of the Antichrist but gives the impression beforehand that we are certain: "The great question of our time, prophetically speaking, might be: Is the European Union the prophesied governmental body that will eventuate in becoming the ten kingdoms that will provide Antichrist with his beastly power? No one can say for certain..."
- ↑ Rapture Ready, Will the Antichrist come out of the European Union? - This one contradicts the one above though they are from the same fucking website. It claims "the European Union is clearly the fulfillment of this prophetic event." Do they hope their readers are too silly or too lazy to read through everything and find the contradiction? Apparently so.
- ↑ The Antichrist, European Union, and Rome - This site recognizes that the EU is often seen as Antichrist but interprets the Bible differently.
- ↑ Islam, Antichrist, and the European Union - This one expects Europe to become Islamic and then become the Antichrist.