EU enlargement past, present and future

The European Union has its roots in the 1951 agreement by France, Germany and four other countries to pool coal and steel supplies, with the aim of ending "age-old rivalries".

The European Coal and Steel Community came into existence in July 1952. The Treaty of Rome creating a broader "common market" was signed five years later.

The first enlargement took place in 1973. The sixth enlargement occurred on 1 January 2007.

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