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European Union History and Institutions

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10 Questions

Which countries signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957?

Six European countries

What was the main goal of the European Economic Community (EEC) established by the Treaty of Rome?

Promoting economic integration

Which treaty introduced the concept of a single currency (euro) in the European Union?

Maastricht Treaty

What are the three pillars of the European Union established by the Maastricht Treaty?

European Community, Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Cooperation in the Fields of Justice and Home Affairs

Which year did the European Union experience its largest wave of enlargement?

2004

What was the outcome of the United Kingdom's referendum on EU membership in 2016?

A majority voted to leave the EU

What is the name of the process by which the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union?

Article 50

Which EU institution has legislative and budgetary powers?

European Parliament

What is the role of the European Commission in the European Union?

Proposing and implementing EU policies

Which EU institution ensures the correct interpretation and application of EU law?

European Court of Justice

Study Notes

European Union History

Treaty of Rome (1957)

  • Signed on March 25, 1957, by six European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands
  • Created the European Economic Community (EEC), aimed at promoting economic integration among member states
  • Established the European Commission, Council of Ministers, and European Parliament
  • Laid the foundation for a single market and customs union

Maastricht Treaty (1992)

  • Signed on February 7, 1992, in Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Created the European Union (EU) and introduced the concept of a single currency (euro)
  • Established the three pillars of the EU:
    1. European Community (EC)
    2. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
    3. Cooperation in the Fields of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)
  • Introduced the concept of European citizenship and cooperation in areas like defense, asylum, and immigration

Enlargement of the EU

  • The EU has undergone several waves of enlargement since its inception
  • Key enlargements:
    • 1973: Denmark, UK, and Ireland joined
    • 1981: Greece joined
    • 1986: Spain and Portugal joined
    • 1995: Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined
    • 2004: 10 Central and Eastern European countries joined (A10)
    • 2007: Bulgaria and Romania joined
    • 2013: Croatia joined
  • Enlargement has led to increased diversity and economic growth, but also challenges in integrating new members

Brexit

  • The United Kingdom (UK) held a referendum on June 23, 2016, in which a majority voted to leave the EU (51.9% to 48.1%)
  • The UK triggered Article 50 on March 29, 2017, beginning the withdrawal process
  • The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, entering a transition period that ended on December 31, 2020
  • The consequences of Brexit are still unfolding, with implications for trade, migration, and EU-UK relations

EU Institutions

  • European Parliament: directly elected by EU citizens, it has legislative and budgetary powers
  • European Commission: the executive branch, responsible for proposing and implementing EU policies
  • Council of the European Union: represents the member states, and adopts EU laws and policies
  • European Council: composed of EU heads of state or government, it sets the EU's overall direction and priorities
  • European Court of Justice: ensures the correct interpretation and application of EU law

Test your knowledge of the European Union's history, from the Treaty of Rome to Brexit, and its institutions, including the European Parliament, Commission, and Council.

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