|Map of 28 Member European Union|
he EU: European Union History
Europe, devastated by two world wars, directly felt the threat of two atheistic ideologies-communism and fascism.The European political leaders believed that the only way to have peace among nations would be if the nations aligned themselves in economic and political pursuits. Schuman proposed that France and Germany create a Coal and Steel Community, encompassing the two nation's production. Konrad Adenauer welcomed the idea as a way to prevent war among these two nations. They invited other nations to join as well. Thus began the formation of the 28 member nation EU.
• On May 9, 1950, the Schuman Declaration led to the first European Union.
• On April 18, 1951, European leaders signed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty in Paris.
The entire Franco-German production of coal and steel resided under a higher authority. Its decisions bound France, Germany, and other member countries. A Council represented the interests of the Member States. The common assembly later became the Court of Justice. In their view, this foundation of a European federation was vital to the preservation of peace. The union would prevent war. The French and German heavy industries urgently needed rebuilding. The ECSC would spur growth. This agreement marked the birth of the European Union. Ratified by the governments of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, the ECSC began functioning in 1952. It represented a revolutionary approach to international relations, as the first international organization with a federal governing body. This led to the drafting of the EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Community) and Common Market Treaties.
• On March 25, 1957, European founders signed the EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Community) and the Common Market Treaties in Rome on one of its seven hills-Capitoline Hill.
In 1973, Britain, Denmark, and Ireland joined the Community, bringing the number of Member States to nine.
On January 1, 1981, Greece became the community's tenth member.
On January 1, 1986, Spain and Portugal became the Community's next two members, bringing the number of Member States to twelve.
In 1995, Austria, Sweden and Finland became members of the Union bringing the number of Member States to 15.
In 2004, 10 new countries, the Czech Republic , Estonia , Hungary , Latvia , Lithuania , Poland , Slovakia , and Slovenia , plus the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Cyprus joined the Union.
In 2007, Romania and Bulgari followed bringing the number of EU Member States to 27.
In 2013 Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union.