Brief history of the European Union


Coucil of Europe


Coalition created by members of western Europe to avoid more population loss and destruction/damage; first steps toward cooperation between nations

Schuman Plan and Common Management

April 18, 1951

Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg sign the treaty presented by Schuman to run their coal and steel industries under a common management to promote peace and cooperation within the nations.

Treaty of Rome

March 25, 1957

Expanding on the Schuman Plan, the countries expand their joint cooperation to create the EEC or "common market" to allow for easier trade and travel between nations.

Berlin Wall

August 1961

Berlin Wall goes up

Custom Duties Removed

July 1, 1968

The six countries remove the need for customs duties, allowing free cross-border trade for the first time in history and creating the world's largest trading group

ERM Created

April 24, 1972

Taking steps toward a joint currency, and in an effort to maintain monetary stability, the exchange rate mechanism is created and currencies within the trade union are only allowed to fluctuate minimally

EU Expands

January 1, 1973

Denmark, Ireland, and the UK are added to the union

Parliament Elections

June 7, 1979 - June 10, 1979

First time in history that the citizen directly elect members of European Parliament and the Parliament's influence continues to increase.

EU Expands

January 1, 1981

EU expands to 10, as Greece joins the union

EU Expands

January 1, 1986

EU expands to include Spain and Portugal

Single European Act

February 17, 1986

Works to standardize national boarder regulations, gives European Parliament more power, and strengthens powers of Environmental protection within the union

Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 1989

Berlin wall falls, symbolism the fall of communism as huge populations of Eastern European individuals pour into the west (and East Germany joins the EU)

Treaty on EU

February 7, 1992

Treaty signed to move toward a single currency and establish foreign and security policies. The name "European union" finally replaces "European Community"

Single Market

January 1, 1993

A single unified market is finally realized with free movement of people, goods, and most services.

EU Expands

January 1, 1995

EU expands to include Austria, Finland, and Sweden, now consisting of 15 members and almost all of Western Europe

Euro Introduced

January 1, 1999

The Euro is introduced in 11 countries ( Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland; Greece joins two years later) for commercial and financial transactions

EU Expands

May 1, 2004

EU expands to include Eastern European countries including Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia

EU Constitution

October 29, 2004

The 25 countries sign a treaty establishing a EU Constitution in an effort to stream-line democratic decision making and designate a European Foreign Minister

EU Expands

January 1, 2007

Bulgaria and Romania join the EU, bringing the coalition to 27 members.

Worldwide Economic Crisis

September 2008

September 2008 marks the fall of the world economy and necessitates closer economic cooperation within countries of the European Union