The European Union is at present made up of 28 Member States, has a population of more than 500 million and is the largest trading block in the world. The EU and its Member States are also known to be the world's leading provider of development assistance (over EUR 75 billion/year) and its contribution to humanitarian assistance (EUR 1.6 billion/year) is also among the largest. The EU is also developing its capacities in the area of security and defence to protect its citizens; help prevent and manage crises in the world; and enable partners to ensure their own security.
The EU Delegation in Asmara is one of the altogether 140 EU Delegations around the world. It officially represents the European Union in Eritrea; it is a diplomatic mission and it functions like an embassy. It's goal is to promote EU's values and interests in Eritrea; monitor and assess key developments and trends in the country and the larger region; and promote partnership and cooperation between the EU and Eritrea in a variety of fields, including political, economic, development and cultural. In addition to the EU Delegation, a number of EU Member States have their own permanent diplomatic missions accredited in Eritrea, five of them with resident Ambassadors in Asmara. Many of them run their own bilateral support and cooperation programmes with Eritrea on top of contributing to the EU-wide efforts.