Following the post-World War II carnage and violence, a new Europe arose from the ashes. This new Europe was decimated from the intermittent fighting between the Allied and Axis powers during the second great war and the nations of Europe sought to devise a plan that to avoid further war-time conflicts within the region. The European Coal and Steel Committee was the first advent of assembling nations together in political and economic interest. The ECSC was formed in 1950 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris whose signatories included West Germany , Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and The Netherlands.
These “Inner Six” nations thus laid the framework for further integration of other nations within the region and its supranational principles were what led to the creation of the European Economic Community in 1957, further assimilating the European countries’ economies. The creations of these communities for economic purposes were meant to promote cooperation amongst European nations to prevent the further outbreak of violence which had subsided with the end of WWII. Through these general agreements of economic importance came further integration through the creation of more agreements throughout the 1960s, such as the abolishment of customs duties amongst their borders, creating free trade and border trade tax pacts among the Inner Six and across their borders to other signatory nations.
The first period of enlargement occurred following the adoption of several agreements and norms amongst the nations of Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom in January of 1973 followed by Greece in January of 1981. The Inner Six nations had proliferated their agreements amongst each other to 4 other nations, bringing the total number of European nations under agreement to double figures. With the addition of Spain and Portugal in 1986, the European Community now encompasses all of Western Europe for the first time. The single European Act of 1986 is also passed at this time, further integrating trade relations amongst all of the signatory nations and allowing for the free movement of goods and services. During this period of integration, the former USSR starts to lose control of some its territories in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, culminating in Western Germany opening its gates for the mass exodus of Eastern Germans from their territory. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany are reunited once again. This will pivotal for further widening in the future.
The Treaty of the European Union is signed in February of 1992 in Maastricht, Netherlands. Under this treaty, guidelines for further integration of European policy for a single currency, foreign policy, security policy, as well as justice and home affairs are established. The Four Pillars are also created during the early 1990’s which include the free movement of people, goods, services, and money. New members introduced during this decade include Austria, Finland, and Sweden...