The European Union was originally established with the aim of ending the devastating conflicts that had broken out between neighboring countries on the continent over the centuries. In1950, the European Coal and Steel Community was founded in order to unite European countries economically and politically with the more long-term vision of securing lasting peace. The six founders of the ECSC were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In 1957, with the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the European Economic Community (EEC), or ‘Common Market’came into existence.
In 1993, with the ‘Maastricht’ Treaty on European Unionand in 1999, with the Treaty of Amsterdam the European Union began to strengthen even more towards the Union that exists today. Furthermore, the Schengen Agreement in 1995 allowed for the movement of EU citizens across Member State borders without having to carry their passports.
The European Union currently has 28 Member States, committed to working together towards peace and prosperity.
They form the largest voluntary and peaceful bloc in the world, over 500million European citizens together facing the challenges of our time.
The European Flag
The 12 stars in a circle symbolise the ideals of perfection, completeness and unity.
Europe Day, 9 May
9 May 2014: A Celebration of Peace and Unity in Europe
Europe Day (9 May) marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. It is a day that is also synonymous with celebrating peace and unity in Europe. At a speech in Paris in 1950, the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman,laid out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, whereby war between Europe’s nations would remain a shared history, but would be unthinkable in the future. European Union (EU) institutions in Europe, and across the world organise a variety of activities to celebrate this day and to raise awareness about the EU.
"United in diversity" is the motto of the European Union.