The euro’s appreciation, the dollar’s depreciation, the EU’s overtaking of America by GDP PPP (due exclusively to inflation, which has caused the EU’s GDP to be worth more due to the higher worth of the euro in comparison to the dollar) and the Lisbon Treaty have prompted some people to claim that the EU is a superpower.
However, these people are wrong and have merely indicated that they don’t appreciate how many attributes a country needs in order to become a superpower. The EU doesn’t have any attributes of a superpower, which are:
1) An economy as strong as the American one. The EU has a larger GDP than its American competitor; however, this is due to currency exchange rates. (The EU denominates its GDP in euros; to compare it to America’s, one must convert that GDP to dollars.) Moreover, the American GDP per capita is bigger than the EU’s ($46000 vs $32300).  And if the EU was an American state, it would be the 3rd poorest. DC and 48 American states (all states except WV and MS) have GDPs per capita above that of the EU’s. West Virginia’s GDP per capita is $30,607.05; Mississippi’s GDP per capita is $28,937.93.
The EU’s member states do not compare favourably to American states, either. The richest American state (Maryland) is wealthier than its richest European counterpart (Luxembourg, a tiny tax haven). Some people have claimed that this is only due to the accession of Eastern European countries in 2007. However, this is not true. By these measures, the EU was already weaker than her American competitor in 2003. That year, two Swedish economists had published a policy document that showed the same results (although the numbers were different back then) except that Delaware was the only American state unrivalled by Luxembourg. The second of the two differences is that back then, there were 4 US states poorer than the EU, but now only two of them are below that standard of wealth: West Virginia and Mississippi. 
In March 2005, the European Chamber of Commerce (ECC) reported that by all economic measures, the EU was behind the US and that the transatlantic gap had widened from 2000 to 2005.  In that year:
a) the EU’s employment rate was equal to that attained by the US in 1978;
b) the EU’s R&D rate was equal to that achieved by the US in 1979;
c) by GDP per capita, the EU was 18 years behind the US.
In March 2007, the ECC published another report, which indicated similar results.  These are European publications, therefore, they were not “rigged by America”.
The EU’s unemployment rate is 8.5%, as opposed to America’s rate of 6%. The European employment rate is 66%; the American rate is 75%. 
And what about currencies? The dollar, despite its huge depreciation and the slight shrinkage of its share of the world’s foreign currency reserves, is still the world’s currency. It accounts for 63.9% of global reserves; the euro accounts for merely 26.5%. 
2) A common leader, currency, foreign policy and military. The EU is a confederation of 27 independent states, each of which has its own leader, foreign policy and military. 12 of them have their own currencies.
3) A military capable of waging wars in several foreign countries on other continents anywhere in the world. No European country has such a military. Genocides like those committed in Darfur, the Balkans and Tibet can be addressed only if America or Russia chooses to do so. There is no need to elaborate on this.
4) Its own corporate brands (in all sectors of the global economy) recognised as household names, such as Google, Microsoft and Nike. Europe has created only a few brands in a few sectors.
5) A large coffer of funding for R&D. The US has borne 32% of the global R&D expenditures in 2007 – more than the entire EU combined.  The EU’s federal budget for the year 2008 authorised only €6.1 bn ($8.54 bn; €1=$1.4 as of 2008) for research. Four agencies of the US federal government – the US Geological Survey, the DOA, the NSF and the DOE – were awarded an aggregate sum of $14.761 bn for research in FY2008.
6) A huge swath of immigrants. Americans have welcomed millions of immigrants into their country in the past 60 years. There were 150 mn people living in America in 1955 but 300 million in 2006. As of 2008, America has 303 million inhabitants. 50 million Americans are naturalised immigrants or their children. By contrast, most European countries (even the richest, like Germany) are ones that people are getting out of, not getting into. A few years ago, the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper published an article titled “The Germans are leaving Germany”. It described why the Germans are dumping their country, and their most popular destination was America.
7) The title of a cultural superpower. America’s cultural industry (the film, music, sculpting, architecture and computer sectors) are unrivalled by their European counterparts, despite Europe having produced some beautiful work in some of these sectors (music, architecture and sculpting).
8) A space agency on par with NASA. President John Kennedy started the Apollo Project in 1961, and as a result, 3 American astronauts landed on the Earth’s moon in 1969. No other country has ever sent any astronauts to the Earth’s moon. NASA has crewed spaceships (Space Shuttles) that can transport astronauts into the Space, but the EU doesn’t. NASA has a constellation of GPS satellites, but the ESA doesn’t. The EU has launched only one satellite – carried by a Russian rocket. The EU has recently bought 10 space rockets for its space programs because it cannot produce such rockets itself.
9) Foreign aid programs larger than American ones. On this issue, the governments of European countries combined have always outspent the FG of the US for decades. However, the US has always outspent Europe, because most American foreign aid (charitable) expenditures are borne by private charities. In Europe (except Poland), almost no one besides governments donates any charity. A check from a government bureaucrat cannot even be called “charity” nor “foreign aid”. It’s a sign of patronising, not mercy. Moreover, private citizens are better stewards of money than governments.
10) The burden of double standards. America is still being ridiculed for slavery (which Abraham Lincoln ended in 1863), even by countries that have not yet ended slavery themselves.
11) The role of saving the world from many dangers without getting thanks. This is a role that the EU doesn’t have, but America has. The US saved the world from Japan, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet Union (among other totalitarian states). Its military is stationed around the world in countries like Germany, South Korea and Japan, to defend these countries against communist invaders (as has been the case for the last 59 years). Unless there are European brigades in Georgia, South Korea, Japan or Colombia, the EU is not in the same league as America.