The Council of Europe is established with ten countries. New members have
continued to join, and since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the entry of Russia
and most of the Eastern European countries has brought the total to more
The Treaty of Paris establishes the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
The ECSC was created to establish a common market for coal and steel. Per
the Treaty of Paris, the ECSC was to expire in 2002. Its functions
are now handled by provisions in the 1965 treaty that established the European
The Treaty of Rome establishes the European Economic Community (EEC). One
aim of the EEC was a free market to allow the free movement of persons, services,
and capital. There is no expiration date for the EEC.
The Treaty of Rome establishes the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).
Euratom was set up to promote nuclear energy, particularly for civil use.
There is no expiration date for Euratom.
The European Parliament is established, based on provisions made in the
Treaty of Rome.
The European Community is established by a treaty merging the executives
of the ECSC, EEC, and Euratom. The treaty is signed on April 8, 1965, and
goes into force on July 1, 1967. In the
wake of World War II, the European Community is meant to unite the nations of Europe economically so another
war among them would be unthinkable.
Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom enter the European Community, bringing
membership to nine.
Customs duties between the nine European Community members are completely
Greece joins the European Community as its tenth member.
Portugal and Spain enter the European Community, bringing the total membership
The Treaty on European Union was ratified. Although the Treaty was signed
in 1992, Denmark delayed ratification until provisions for its opting out
of a single currency and common defense policy were made. The Treaty went
into effect November 1, 1993.
The EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) form the European
Economic Area, a single market of 19 countries.
Since the end of World War II, many European countries have been working
to foster increasing unity. This interactive timeline traces the development
and future of the European Union (EU).
Using your mouse pointer, select dates on the timeline below to follow the
development of the EU.
Austria, Finland, and Sweden enter the EU.
There are no more passport controls between Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg,
France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain.
EU opens accession negotiations with Cyprus, Hungary, Poland, Estonia,
Czech Republic, and Slovenia.
EU opens accession negotiations with Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Bulgaria, and Malta.
January 1: Euro notes and coins enter into circulation in twelve
member states that have agreed to adopting the euro. Participants include
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,
the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. March 1: The dual circulation period ends and the euro becomes the
sole legal tender in the twelve participating member states.
Map of Council of Europe members in 2002. Compare this to the list of original members.