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The Origins of European Integration

The European Integration

EU Institutions
The Decision Making Process
EU Policies: from A to Z
The EU in the World

The European Integration


The European Union is a unique model of integration among European national states.

The European Union is the outcome of a process of integration, which started in 1950 with six original states: France, West Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

It is a unique model of integration based on treaties among member states which created an institutional framework.

The European Institutions - the Commission, the Council and the Parliament - are defining the aims and policies of the Union and conduct the management of the Union.

The idea behind the European integration process was to create an institutional framework of shared sovereignty in different sectors of the economy.

The ultimate goal of the process is the economic integration of the member states which will call for a political union in the final stage.

While the immediate concern the founders of the Union was to avoid another war in Europe but establishing an economically integrated space in Europe which was called European Economic Communities, the ultimate goal was to create a European Political Union. It is only in 1993 that the European Economic Communities (EEC) became the European Union by the Treaty of Maastricht.

While deepening their integration via Intergovernmental Conferences the member states were interested in enlarging, the space of their integrated policies to new member states so that today the European Union includes 15 member states and prepares itself for new memberships in the years to come of all the European democratic states (twelve in number) which share the values of the European Union.

At the same time the member states of the Union are working hard to deepen their integration by amending their institutional framework and enlarging their scope to political matters.

This brief outline of the European Union from the origins until today includes:

  1. the European Integration,
  2. an analysis of the Institutional framework,
  3. an outline of the policies pursued by the Union and
  4. a note on the EU in the world.

Ambassador C. LYBEROPOULOS         


This site was created by the Institute of Language and Speech Processing and the Mediterranean Cooperation Research Center, as part of a Greek government (General Secretariat for Research and Technology) funded project to promote cooperation between EU member states and Mediterranean partners.

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