The European Union1

The European Union

The European Union The development from the ECSC to the EU After the II World War the European leaders wanted to unite their countries economically and politically. In 1951 the European Steel and Coal Community (ECSC) was created. In 1957 the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC) were founded. In 1967 the institutiones of the three European communities became one. Since 1979 the members of the European Parliament were elected directly every five years. In 1992 the Treaty of Maastricht created the European Union (EU). The policy and economy of the EU The countries have to take common decisions. The EU's relation with the rest of the world have become important. The countries in the EU wanted to remove all the barriers to trade between them. During the 1990's, passports and customs checks were abolished at most of the EU's internal borders. In 1992 the EU decided to build up a economic and monetary union (EMU) and to create the European Central Bank. They thought that Europe should have one single currency. This plan became real on 1st of January in 2002. The member states of the EU Between 1961 and 1970 the UK applied three times for membership in the EU, but the first two times France vetoed the application because they were afraid of loosing their leading position in Europe. In 1973 the United Kingdom, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland joined the EU. They were followed by Greece in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986 and Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995. In 2004 10 countries will join the EU: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey expect to follow in a few years.