Chronology of the construction of the European Union

“If Europe were to unite one day to share its common heritage, there would be no limit to happiness, prosperity and glory”

What remains of these hopes, formulated by Winston Churchill, half a century later?

This chronology of the construction of Europe, in addition to offering you an effective summary for revision, will allow you to take the measure of the European construction site which has been engaged until today.

The idea of a united Europe

1922: Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi founded the movement for a United States of Europe or the pan-European movement

1929: Aristide Briand, President of the Council, advocates before the Assembly of the League of Nations a federal link between the European countries

1945: Europe is rebuilt after the Second World War

1946: Churchill spoke in Zurich of a United States of Europe:“We must build something like the United States of Europe. The first step is the formation of a European Council.

1948 (March): the Treaty of Brussels created the Western Union, which set up, among other things, a mutual defense (France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg)

1948 (April): the Marshall Plan led to the creation of the OEEC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation) to distribute funds

1948 (May): The Hague Congress brings together nearly 750 delegates to implement a united Europe

1949 (April 4): the North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, creating NATO (members of the Brussels Treaty, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Italy, Portugal[in 1952 Greece and Turkey])

1949 (May 5): the Council of Europe, resulting from the Treaty of London, facilitates cooperation between member countries

The first steps towards a united Europe: from the ECSC to the EEC

1950 (May 9): declaration by Robert Schuman in the Salon de l’Horloge of the Quai d’Orsay (“. The pooling of coal and steel production will immediately ensure the establishment of a common basis for economic development, the first stage of the European Federation”) according to a project by Jean Monnet

1951: creation of the ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community), resulting in the Treaty of Paris, which brings together France, Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany and the three Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg)

1952: the EDC (European Defense Community), which aims to establish a European military force, is ratified by the FRG and the Benelux countries

1954 (August 30): the EDC is rejected by the French National Assembly

1954 (October): the Treaty of Brussels integrates the FRG and Italy into the organization of the Western European Union

1957 (March 25): two treaties of Rome signed by France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries established the EEC (European Economic Community) and EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Community). The EEC establishes a common market and the foundations of a common agricultural policy.

1960: Seven countries join the European Free Trade Association, initiated by the United Kingdom, to establish a free trade area (United Kingdom, Austria, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden)

1961: First presentation of the Fouchet Commission (second in January 1962) at the initiative of Charles de Gaulle

1962: establishment of the CAP, Common Agricultural Policy, resulting in the Treaty of Rome

1963 (January 14): de Gaulle rejected the entry of the United Kingdom into the common market of the Treaty of Rome

1963 (January 22): Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle signed the Elysee Treaty

1965 (April): signing of the treaty, merging the executives of the EEC, the ECSC and Euratom

1965 (June): policy of the empty chair by de Gaulle which blocks the European construction

1966 (January): the Luxembourg compromise unblocks the situation by defending the notion of “vital interest” of the member countries

1967: second veto by France against the entry of the United Kingdom into the EEC

1969: French veto lifted after the election of Georges Pompidou, allowing the entry of the United Kingdom into the EEC

1969 (December): The Hague summit brings together the Six of the EEC and relaunches European construction

1972 to 1978: European monetary snake, which limits exchange rate fluctuations

1973 (January): three countries join the EEC: the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark (Norway rejected the referendum)

1979: the European Monetary System comes into effect to stabilize the values of the currencies of European countries

1985 (June): signing of the Schengen agreements for free movement between member countries

1986 (January): Spain and Portugal join the EEC

1986 (February): the signature of the EUA (Single European Act), notably under the impetus of Jacques Delors, deepens the Treaty of Rome and prepares the single internal market

1989: the fall of the Berlin Wall

The European Union

1992 (February 7): signature by the members of the EEC of the Maastricht agreements, which establish the European Union, a common foreign and security policy, and provide a single currency.

1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden join the European Union

1997: signing of the Treaty of Amsterdam, which strengthens the union between the countries of the European Union, on the common foreign and security policy, as well as on a judicial collaboration

1999: the euro is used as the unit of account for European financial transactions

2001: the Treaty of Nice completes the European Union system, reshaping the Political and Security Committee and adapting the organization to the new members of the Union

2002 (January 1): the new euro currency is put into circulation

2004: a Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe is signed in Rome, ratified in several countries but rejected in France in 2005

2007 (January 1): Romania and Bulgaria join the European Union

2007 (December): the 27 countries of the European Union sign the Treaty of Lisbon following the rejection of the European Constitution. It comes into force in December 2009 and modifies the institutions of the European Union.

2012 (October 12): Nobel Peace Prize for the European Union

2013 (July 1): Croatia joins the European Union, which now includes 28 countries

2015–2016: Migration crisis in the European Union

2016 (June 23): Referendum in the United Kingdom on remaining in or leaving the European Union

The flag of the European Union

The 12 stars: the stars represent the member countries, 12 represents perfection, refers to the 12 hours, the 12 months, the 12 constellations, the 12 deities in ancient times; 12 is also a symbolic number in the Bible (12 apostles, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 stars of Mary)

The color blue: symbolizes the sky of the stars; blue can also be associated with the Virgin Mary.

→ 60 dates to know by the court about the World, Europe, and France since 1945

→ History from the 19th century to the present day

4 thoughts on “Chronology of the construction of the European Union

  1. It is especially that at the base the United Kingdom did not want to integrate Europe because it considered itself as a bloc which would act as a buffer in the Cold War (added to a desire for partnership the special relationship with the United States) . Except that the United States rejected them and the United Kingdom found itself alone with its commonwealth and its common market, without colonies. So Europe was his lifeboat. The United Kingdom had in addition to that conditions to integrate Europe, which greatly displeased De Gaulle (and not only him).

  2. The general found the United Kingdom too subservient to the United States, hence the fact that he considers them to be the Trojan horse of the United States. Added to this is an economic context, the English did not want to revalue their currency while France did ……

  3. what is the reason that justifies de Gaulle’s policy of the empty chair? thank you for this list of dates 🙂

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