Composed of 27 European countries, the European Union is an international organization which governs the social, economic, and security affairs of its member states. Formed in 1993, the EU (as it is commonly known) has grown from only including Western European countries to now encompassing many in Central and Eastern Europe as well. A financial powerhouse, the EU economy is the third largest in the world, and contains many of the world’s richest countries, which use a common currency, the Euro. Despite its immense resources and levels of development, the EU still faces challenges. Famously, the block received millions of refugees following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, with many countries struggling to adequately integrate those fleeing violence. In addition, the departure of the UK from the EU has also had destabilizing effects. More recently, the outbreak of war in Ukraine, and subsequent sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia have threatened energy security in many of the member states.