ECSC, EEC 1951-1969 Historical Atlas
European Integration
European Integration Comecon









The European Economic Community (EEC, since 1957)



In 1973 the EEC was joined by the UNITED KINGDOM, DENMARK and IRELAND; the NORWEGIANS, in a plebiscite, decided against the EEC membership its government had requested. The new member nations were less affected by the idea to strive towards an intensified integration, which continued to be a political objective of the core EEC members.
The community's agricultural policy, leading to large surplusses and heavy subsidies (c. 70 % of the EEC budget) caused criticism. When the conservatives under MARGARET THATCHER came to power in Britain in 1979, she insisted that Britain would receive payments from Brussels matching the British contributions to Brussels. The FRG was the major donor nation, southern Italy the main beneficiary. In 1981 GREECE joined, in 1986 PORTUGAL and SPAIN. The name was changed to EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (EC), commonly referred to as the COMMON MARKET.
As many of Europe's smaller nations followed the leadership of the German BUNDESBANK, the exchange rates between DM, Dutch guilder, Austrian Schilling, Belgian Franc remained unchanged for decades. A number of EC member nations signed the SCHENGEN AGREEMENTS, accoding to which border controls between signatory nations were abolished.


The European Union (since 1992)



In 1992 representatives of EC member nations signed the MAASTRICHT TREATY, which renamed the organization into EUROPEAN UNION (EU) and decided on a MONETARY UNION; this required a number of political reforms in each member nation to streamline the economic and financial policies. The inflation rates had to be kept within a certain range, the governments had to refrain from interfering in the policy of the national banks etc.
It was widely expected that Italy could not meet the criteria to join the EURO ZONE when it was to be implemented. Yet Italy, in the midst of a deep political crisis, undertook a number of political as well as economic reforms, as the Italian government was determined to join, and the country finally met the criteria. Britain, on the other hand, opted out when the Pound Sterling came under pressure on the international financial market (George M. Soros).
In 1990, with German unification, East Germany became (part of a) member; in 1995 AUSTRIA, SWEDEN and FINLAND joined. The NORWEGIANS again rejected the membership its government had applied for. In 2004, (Greek) Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined. Romania, Bulgaria and TURKEY are expected to join in the near future.



EXTERNAL
FILES
European Integration History Index, from WWW Virtual Library
History of the European Union : a Chronology from 1946 to 2001, from The European Union On-Line
EU History, from History of European Integration Site at Leiden University
European Union, Evolution, article from infoplease
Chronology of the History of the European Monetary Union, from iup.edu
Summaric descriprion of the Schengen Agreement and its history, from German Foreign Office; from Swedish Embassy, Den Haag; from Activities of the European Union
DOCUMENTS Historical Documents 1930- , from the History of European Integration Site at Leiden University
Treaty of Rome (Treaty establishing the European Community, 1957), from Tufts Univ.
Map ; the Schengen Area, from Le Monde Diplomatique
Schengen Agreement, 1985/1990, posted by Oslo Univ.
Treaty of Maastricht, 1991, posted by European Documentation Centre
Virtual Library of the European Documentation Centre, Documents
REFERENCE Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1971, pp. 318-320 (on events in 1970) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1972, pp. 292-294 (on events in 1971) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1973, pp. 289-293 (on events in 1972) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1974, pp. 308-310 (on events in 1973) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1975, pp. 290-293 (on events in 1974) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1976, pp. 337-340 (on events in 1975) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1977, pp. 336-339 (on events in 1976) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1980, pp. 372-377 (on events in 1979) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1981, pp. 374-377 (on events in 1980) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1982, pp. 372-375 (on events in 1981) [G]
Article European Unity, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1983, pp. 369-372 (on events in 1982) [G]
Article West European Affairs, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1986, pp. 516-518 (on events in 1985) [G]
Article West European Affairs, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1989, pp. 443-446 (on events in 1988) [G]



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 7th 2002, last revised on June 18th 2006

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