The European Union has 27 member states, of which Germany, France, Italy and Spain are the biggest economies. The EU was established on the prospect that a political and economic union can promote peace and keep wars at bay. The union also facilitates regional stability, unity and agreement. The EU is now the second largest economy in the world to the US.

The Treaty of Maastricht and the Stability and Growth Pact have:
1. Set a limit to the member’s government deficit at 3% of GDP
2. Set a limit to the member’s public debt level at 60% of GDP

As seen in this Visual, those who go beyond these two limits are the least healthy economies.

The European Central Bank (ECB)