When the European Economic Community was established in 1957, its aim was, in broad terms, to move towards closer political and economic co-operation. Today, the much bigger European Union has a far-reaching importance on many aspects of our lives, from the conditions we work under, to the safety standards we must adhere to, and the environment in which we live.
In order to achieve the free flow of goods and services, work and capital between the member countries, they needed to establish mutual politics in areas as diverse as agriculture, transport, and working conditions. When they had agreed on these policies, they became legal. Now, though, the EU is concerned with a far wider range of issues.