The European Union (EU for short) is a political and economic organization consisting of twenty seven member states and whose territory is largely on the European continent. It was established in 1992 by assigning new duties and responsibilities to the existing European Economic Community as a result of the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty, also known as the Treaty of European Union. With its population of more than 445 million, the European Union constitutes 30% of the nominal gross domestic product in the ranking of the world countries according to GDP (nominal).