The European Economic Community began in 1957 with the signing of the Treaty of Rome between the Six (Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the German Federal Republic). It expanded in waves during the 1970s and 1980s to incorporate the UK, Denmark, Greece, Spain and Portugal. The Maastricht Treaty (1992) created the European Union and laid the foundations for the single currency (2002).
The EU was not always as big as it is today. When European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated. Over time, more and more countries decided to join. The union reached its current size of 28 member countries with the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013. It will fall back to 27 member states when the UK left in 2020 (Brexit).
Power Points about the EU (European Union)