Chronology


1923

The Austrian Count Coudenhove Kalergi founded the Movement Pan-Europe 

1926

First Paneuropean Congress, held in Vienna.

1929

Aristide Briand, French prime minister, called for a federation of European nations in a celebrated speech in the presence of League of Nations Assembly.  

1946

Winston Churchill calls for a United States of Europe in a speech given at the Zurich University.

The European Federalists Union is established in Paris.

1948

The Organization for European Economic co-operation (OEEC) was established to administer and organize the dellivery of the Plan Marshal's massive economic aid.  

The International Co-ordination of Movements for the Unification of Europe Committee, chaired by Winston Churchill, meets in the Hague. 

1949

Foundation of  the NATO.

1950

Schuman Declaration

In a speech inspired by Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, proposes that France and Germany and any other European country wishing to join them pool their Coal and Steel resources   

1951

A meeting to consider the creation of a European Community of Defence is held in Paris. Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Germany attend the meeting alongside six observer countries - the United States, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The Treaty of Paris, establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), is signed.  

1952

The Six (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands) sign in Paris the European Defence Community (EDC) Treaty

The ECSC Treaty enters into force. Jean Monnet is appointed President of the High Authority.

1955

The Council of Europe adopts as it emblem the blue flag with 12 golden stars on it.

1957

The treaties establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) are signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands in Rome - from then on referred to as the Treaty of Rome.

1958

A conference held in Stresa (Italy) lays down the basis of a common agricultural policy (CAP).

The European Court of Justice is set up in Luxembourg.

1959

Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, decide to establish a European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

1960

The Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) becomes the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

1963

French President General Charles de Gaulle doubts the political will of the United Kingdom to join the community - giving rise to his famous "non" to British membership of the EEC.

1966

Luxembourg Compromise. France, after operating an "empty chair" policy for seven months, resumes its place in the Council in return for retention of the unanimity vote when major interests are at stake.

1967

The United Kingdom re-applies to join the Community, followed by Ireland, and Denmark. General de Gaulle is still reluctant to accept British accession.

1972

Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom sign the treaties of accession to the European Communities.

A referendum is held in Norway on the country joining the European Communities. The majority is unfavourable to accession.

1975

At a meeting of the European Council in Rome, ministers decide to establish a European Parliament elected by universal suffrage.

1979

Spanish accession negotiations formally open in Brussels.

The European Monetary System enters into force.

The first elections to the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage are held.

1981

Greece joins the European Communities.

1984

The draft Treaty on the establishment of the European Union (Spinelli draft) is passed by the European Parliament by a large majority.

1985

The new Commission takes office with Jacques Delors, a Frenchman, as its President.

The Schengen Agreement on the elimination of border controls is signed by Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in Schengen (Luxembourg).

1986

The Single European Act, modifying the Treaty of Rome and extending majority voting, is signed.

Spain and Portugal join the European Communities.

1988

Margaret Thatcher gave a eurosceptic speech at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium).

1989

The fall of the Berlin Wall. 

1991

The collapse of communism peaked in 1991 with the Soviet Union break-up. 

The disintegration of Yugoslavia brought the war again to our continent.

A European Council Summit is held in Maastricht. It reaches an agreement on the draft treaty on the European monetary union. 

1992

The Treaty on the European Union is signed in Maastricht by the Foreign and Finance Ministers of the Member States.

1994

The Norwegian referendum rejects accession to the European Union.

1995

Austria, Finland and Sweden become members of the European Union.

1997

The Treaty of Amsterdam was  signed by the Foreign Ministers of the fifteen member countries of the European Union.

The European Council meets in Amsterdam and reaches a consensus on a draft treaty for a new phase of economic and monetary union and adopts a resolution on growth and employment.

1999

The single currency, the euro, was launched on 1 January. Eleven member states adopted the new currency but three countries - Denmark, Sweden, and the UK - decided to defer a decision. The new currency has not been a resounding success - in its first year its value fell by about 30% in relation to other leading currencies.

The Cologne European Council adopts the first European Union common strategy, which concerns Russia, and declarations on Kosovo and on the strengthening of European common foreign and security policy, and designates Mr Javier Solana Madariaga High Representative for the CFSP and Secretary-General of the Council.

After a scathing report suggesting corruption and mismanagement in the European Commission, all 20 commissioners and the president, Jacques Santer, were forced to step down.

2000

The opening session of the Ministerial Intergovernemental Conferences for accession negotiations of Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria, is held in Brussels.

2001

Following the December 2000 European Council meeting held in Nice, France, a new Treaty amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities, is signed (Treaty of Nice).