European Union in History

International Organisations: ASEAN - Commonwealth - IMF - League of Nations - NATO - OPEC - United Nations - Warsaw Pact - World Bank

Historical Events

  • 1948-04-16 Organization for European Economic Cooperation (EEC) forms in Paris
  • 1955-05-07 West European Union established
  • 1967-05-11 Great Britain, Ireland & Denmark apply for membership of the EEC
  • 1973-11-18 Arab oil ministers cancel the scheduled 5 percent cut in production for EEC
  • 1992-02-07 Maastricht Treaty signed by 12 countries from the European Community (EC) to create the European Union (EU)
  • 1993-11-01 The Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty on European Union comes into effect
  • 1994-11-13 Sweden agrees to join European Union
  • 1994-11-28 Norway votes against joining European Union
  • 1995-01-01 Austria, Finland & Sweden act to join European Union
  • 1995-10-27 Latvia applies for membership in the European Union.
  • 1996-01-17 The Czech Republic applies for membership of the European Union.
  • 1996-02-24 The last occurrence of February 24 as a leap day in the European Union and for the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1996-03-25 The European Union's Veterinarian Committee bans the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of "mad cow disease" (BSE).
  • 1998-06-01 European Central Bank is founded in Brussels to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy
  • 1999-04-07 The World Trade Organisation rules in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas
  • 2002-01-01 Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union's member states.

  • 2002-12-13 Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
  • 2003-04-16 Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union
  • 2003-09-14 Estonia approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
  • 2003-09-20 A referendum is held in Latvia to decide the country's accession to the European Union
  • 2004-05-01 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
  • 2005-02-20 Spain becomes the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.
  • 2005-04-25 Bulgaria and Romania sign accession treaties to join the European Union
  • 2007-01-01 Bulgaria and Romania officially join the European Union. Also, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Irish become official languages of the European Union, joining 20 other official languages.
  • 2007-12-21 The Schengen Agreement area increases to include 9 European Union member states; Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia on land and sea borders.
  • 2008-06-12 Ireland rejects the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum, thus putting into question the reform programme of the European Union.
  • 2009-11-13 Germany's growth of 0.7% in the third quarter helps lead the Eurozone out of the recession after providing overall growth of 0.4% in the same period, with the whole European Union growing 0.2%, it is reported today
  • 2012-01-23 European Union agrees to embargo Iranian oil in protest against Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program
  • 2012-03-02 New fiscal compact to prevent excessive debt is signed by 25 out of 27 European Union members
  • 2012-10-12 The European Union wins the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, sparking a series of critical commentary
  • 2013-03-11 European Union bans the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals
  • 2013-03-13 The European Parliament rejects a European Union budget for the first time
  • 2013-07-01 Croatia becomes the 28th member of the European Union
  • 2014-03-05 A survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights reports that about 1/3 of women in the European Union have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15
  • 2014-07-22 European Union claim that Israel 'has the right to defend itself', but say civilian casualties in Gaza are unacceptable

Important VoteBritain Votes for Brexit

2016-06-23 Brexit referendum: United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union

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Counting gets underway in the UK referendum on membership in the European Union
Counting gets underway in the UK referendum on membership in the European Union
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  • 2017-02-01 British MPs vote in favour of the European Union Bill, allowing the government to begin Brexit
  • 2017-06-19 Bexit negotiations begin between United Kingdom and the European Union in Brussels
  • 2017-06-27 European Union fines Google record $2.7 billion for unfair competition practices
  • 2018-03-26 US, European Union and Ukraine expel more than 100 Russian diplomats in response to Russian use of nerve gas in UK

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018-11-14 UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet approves draft plan for country's exit from the European Union (Brexit)

British Prime Minister Theresa May
British Prime Minister
Theresa May
  • 2020-01-31 United Kingdom formally withdraws from the European Union (Brexit)
  • 2020-03-17 European Union announces a 30-day ban on entering its 26 countries for almost all travelers as it struggles to contain COVID-19
  • 2020-07-21 European Union agrees huge €750 billion ($859 billion) post-COVID-19 stimulus bill
  • 2020-12-11 European Union leaders agree to cut net carbon emissions by 55% in the next decade

Famous Birthdays

  • 1942-07-14 Javier Solana, Spanish European Union foreign policy chief

Famous Deaths

  • 2008-04-12 Patrick 'Paddy' Hillery, 6th President of Ireland, EEC Commissioner and Irish Minister (b. 1923)