History of the European Union


The story begins at the end of WWII, as the
European continent lies devastated, leaving the United States and the USSR as
the two major world powers. Their growing rivalry marks the beginning
of the Cold War. While the Soviets control Eastern Europe,
the West looks to the US for reconstruction aid. While the old continent is found divided by
the Iron Curtain, in the West, the idea of European unity begins
to take hold. On 9 May 1950, France – via its Foreign Minister Robert Schuman – proposes a Franco-German reconciliation, and placing under a common high authority the production of coal and steel, the main wealth of industrialized countries, which is also needed for the manufacture of
weapons. The aim is to boost the economy and maintain peace, with the project left open to countries wishing to join. The following year in Paris, six countries sign a treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community. As Germany is divided by the Iron Curtain,
only West Germany becomes part of it. To accelerate the development of Europe, the
six founding countries meet on 25 March 1957 in Rome to sign two new treaties. The first treaty creates the European Economic
Community whose main objective is to establish a common
market, including allowing the free movement of workers
and eliminating tariffs between member states. The treaty also defines common policies on
transport, trade and agriculture. The Common Agricultural Policy among
other goals aims to increase agricultural productivity, offer reasonable prices and ensure a fair standard of living for farmers. The second treaty establishes the European
Atomic Energy Community, coordinating civilian nuclear research programs. The Treaties of Rome enter into force in 1958 but it would take several years for its policies to be implemented. Many countries ask to join the Communities,
including the United Kingdom. But France, under the leadership of Charles
De Gaulle, vetoes the accession request, considering the UK as too close of an ally
to the United States. The institutions of the three Communities
are merged to enable more efficient functioning. There is now a single Commission, composed
of commissioners chosen by the heads of state. Its role is to propose European laws in the
common interest of its members. There is the Council, made up of ministers
of the member states, and whose role it is to approve, modify or
reject the proposals of the Commission. There is a Parliament representing the people
of Europe, and which also gives its opinion on Commission proposals. Its power would increase over forthcoming
treaties. Finally, there is a Court of Justice that
rules over the legality of decisions taken. In 1967, the United Kingdom renews its request
for membership, which France opposes a second time. With the removal of tariffs for industrial and agricultural products and the free movement of workers, the economic situation improves rapidly, prompting a new wave of membership applications. This time, negotiations go well, but in Norway the population opposes the country’s accession in a referendum. In 1973, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Denmark
join the Community. In Paris, the heads of state and government
come to an agreement to create the European Council. European leaders would meet at least three
times a year to together define the broad guidelines of the Community. South of the continent, after the end of dictatorships
in Portugal, Greece and Spain, the three countries request membership of the Community. In 1979, for the first time, members of the
European Parliament are elected by universal suffrage. In 1981, Greece joins the Community, while
the following year, Greenland — which receives more autonomy from Denmark — chooses to leave the Community after a referendum. In 1984, the United Kingdom under Margaret
Thatcher says it does not benefit enough from the Common Agricultural Policy, which then represented 80% of EU spending. The country negotiates to obtains a reduction
in its contribution to the Community’s budget. In 1986, Spain and Portugal join the Community. 12 member states and the European Commission give a boost to the internal market by signing the Single European Act. In addition to eliminating customs fees, the
goal is to remove all obstacles to the free movement of people, goods, capital and services. It is the “Single Market” project, to
be completed by 1993. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany
is reunified. In the East, the USSR can no longer contain
revolts and collapses, opening up new horizons for the Community, which establishes contacts
with the countries of Eastern Europe. On 7 February 1992, European heads of state
sign the Maastricht Treaty. The European Union is created and gets new
powers. The Treaty envisages an economic union and
the future creation of a common European currency. All countries ratify the treaty, including
Denmark where two referendums and negotiations to be exempted from the common currency are
required. A new wave of countries request membership
to the Union, but Switzerland, and then Norway, oppose potential candidacy via referendums. On the other hand, in Austria, Sweden and
Finland, negotiations succeed and in 1995, the EU grows to 15 members. Signed in Schengen, Luxembourg in 1985, the Schengen Agreement is gradually introduced from 1995. Its objective is to abolish border controls
and therefore have total freedom of movement within the European Union. The Agreement is incorporated into the European
Union through the Treaty of Amsterdam. In addition, the common currency project advances,
which would be called the Euro. However, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark
do not want it. Remaining member countries set up the European
Central Bank. The Euro is officially launched on the market
in 1999, although the currency would be put into circulation only from January 1, 2002. As negotiations take place to enlarge the
European Union, heads of state meet in Nice to try to improve the structure of the Union. The outcome of the Treaty of Nice is considered
mixed. Two referendums are needed in Ireland for
it to come into force. On 1 May 2004, 10 new countries are included
in the European Union. All new members join the Schengen area with
the exception of Cyprus, as part of the island is controlled by the Turkish army since 1974. After the half-failure of the Treaty of Nice,
the 25 heads of state meet in Rome to again try to streamline the functioning of the European
Union. This time they aim to create a constitutional treaty that would replace all existing treaties with a single text. This sparks heated debate across Europe. Fearing an overly powerful European Union
at the expense of national sovereignty, the French and Dutch populations oppose the Treaty
via referendums. This triggers a period of reflection and in-depth
consultations within member states. On January 1, 2007, Romania and Bulgaria join
the European Union. The same year, 27 heads of state sign the
Treaty of Lisbon, which aims to strengthen and improve the functioning of the European
Union after enlargement. Notably, it is agreed that the EU’s role
is to promote peace, support sustainable development, fight against social exclusion and discrimination,
and safeguard cultural heritage. The Treaty is ratified by all states but Ireland,
which holds a referendum and rejects it. Yet again, more negotiations and a second referendum would be needed in Ireland for it to take effect. The global economic and financial crisis has repercussions on the euro zone, which enters a recession. After the rout of major European banks, many
countries find themselves in difficulty; in particular Greece, part of whose public debt
had been kept hidden with the help of consultants from Goldman Sachs bank. The country is forced to ask for financial
aid from the euro zone and the IMF in exchange for which it must implement austerity measures. Ireland, coming to the aid of its banks, also
sees its public debt explode. But the country does not want to ask for aid
from the euro zone, fearing it may in return be forced to raise its low corporate tax rates. The country finally receives aid all the same
in exchange for which it must adopt a strict plan. Subsequently, Portugal, Greece a second time,
Spain, and then Cyprus obtain financial aid from the eurozone; while almost everywhere
on the continent, austerity plans are put in place. In 2013, Croatia joins the European Union. At the borders of the continent, the so-called
Arab Spring creates instability in many countries. The civil war in Syria, a second civil war
in Libya and in Iraq, and other events such as war in Afghanistan and violence in the
Horn of Africa push many people to migrate to Europe. Despite the construction of walls at the Turkish
border, in 2015, over a million migrants enter the Schengen area. Europe tries to slow the flow of migration. Security patrols are reinforced on the Mediterranean Sea, while certain countries temporarily reintroduce controls at their borders. In addition, the European Union signs agreements
with Turkey and then with Libya, where the political situation is very unstable, so that they control and block the so-called illegal migration routes in exchange for financial aid. Migrant processing centers are funded, mainly
in Italy and Greece, where migrants find themselves awaiting regularization in overcrowded conditions. The migration crisis divides European countries
and fuels the rise of nationalist and Eurosceptic parties. In June 2016, the United Kingdom through a referendum votes in favor of leaving the European Union. The country then enters long and difficult
negotiations with the European Union to define the conditions of their withdrawal. After numerous failures, an agreement for
Brexit is finally reached and the United Kingdom exits the EU on January 31, 2020. While the UK no longer has any decision-making
power in the bloc, it continues to contribute to the European budget and receive funding at least until the end of the year. By this deadline, it is meant to negotiate
future agreements with the EU, in particular concerning customs duties, free movement, the status of Europeans living in the United Kingdom and vice versa, and the status of the border that separates Ireland from Northern Ireland. After the departure of the United Kingdom,
the European Union has 27 member states with a population of about 450 million. Negotiations are underway for the accession
of new countries, mostly in the Balkans. Negotiations for Turkey’s accession, which
started in 2005, are stalled. 19 countries are members of the eurozone,
while six others countries have adopted the euro without being a member of the eurozone or the EU. Finally, the Schengen area now comprises 26
States, including 4 non-members of the European Union, with Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria and
Romania expected to integrate soon.

100 thoughts on “History of the European Union

  1. Dear Geo History viewers. As you probably noticed, our channel was hacked (by scum) for ten days. Today, thanks to the positivity of our community and the assistance of YouTube, we are back and more motivated than ever to continue creating the best possible content. Thank you all for your support during this stressful time!

  2. 2030 the EU is a footnote in the history books after it's collapse in 2020.

  3. UK voted to leave because they're racists, as an European citizen who will leave this island within 1 year I see the discrimination and racism already after the Brexit. Also they r so ugly.. and has the highest number of disabled and mental illness cuz they slept with each other and didn't have different DNA. And don't forget the horrible things they did in the past, the crown their queen wears has stolen stones from India, and India asked back for those but got refused, also they stole stuff from the Greek museums in ww2 and never returned and refused the Grece when they asked for them back. And in ww2 they borrowed money from egypt.They're basically a 💩 nation. Lived here for 4 years and it's the most disgusting place

  4. The video ommited one of the most imported facts that EU is antidemocratic,nazi-communist terrorist organization because it practices economic and political terrorism and promotes jihad internationally and its politics is mix of marxist and nazi ideology (like gay rights, promotion of abortion, antidemocratic and non democrating setup of its rulers and laws, EuroParliament going in dirty boots in internal affairs of sorveign members (beyond competences of EU), and silent implementation of other marxist and nazis policies like Himmler's Eastern Plan). EU should be destroyed as organization and its leftist leaders eliminated.

  5. I wouldn't accept turkey because it's not European. It's called in one of my old textbooks little Asia. It's wayy too far.

  6. "Smart"ideea to give money to turcky and libia to block emigrants.and if they dont promot war in turcky and dont start a war in libia thys 2 countrys they have to give money to eu

  7. Idea was good on paper but i dont think it will go much further as the nationalism rises because of the refugees and such. Also it always looked like a unification that benefits the strong economies such as Germany France Spain Uk and such by collecting all the smart people from the other Eu countries and giving them some money to shut up

  8. Greece : YO WHAT THE FUCK TURKEY SENT 80 THOUSANDS REFUGEES THAT WANT TO GET IN OUR COUNTRY ILLEGALLY
    European Eunion : we dont giveee a fuckk
    Great job 🤙

  9. European U was a scam from the very begining to bring muslims here. Read the protokol of Toronto written in 1985

  10. Northern Cyprus is not Controlled by Turkish Army. They are an independent country and not belongs to Turkey, I went there and Saw everything, there’s no trouble at all. People are living their life like a Normal EU Country.

  11. Can u do like history of Asia or North America or South America or Asia

  12. 0:25 U forgot to color Albania in red. Albania was a founder state of the warsaw pact

  13. The EU looks so good until 1965, creating a commission to propose laws. This is effectively lobbying like the corporations do with bribes.
    The 2004 Constitutional treaty is also horrendous.
    The fact that you have to 'opt out', so by default you are joined, this shows how manipulative the EU process is.

    It is easy to see that the EU is not a tool to serve it's people, but rather an entity like a political party that seeks to grow and strengthen it's power. Over the course of it's history it attempts to take control of other countries at the expense of the membership countries own individual freedoms and sovereignty.

    With the persistent repeat referendums, it is clear that the EU will again attempt to create a single EU constitution. This might be suitable for some countries, but it is totally unsuitable for countries which desire democracy and freedom to self-rule.

  14. I have yet to hear an actual reason to leave the eu
    Iv heard a load of right wing lies and properganda none of it true
    I didn't really give a fuck about the eu until I started paying more for food and energy. Even began to have my hours cut and now I'm struggling to find enough work to support my family. Since leaving the eu I'm worse off and so is the economy just as the remainers predicted im taking more notice
    Brexit is a lie promoted by the elite and while the economy has slowed the richest have gained over 28 billion pounds

  15. And then it all fell apart after the UK left…

    Wait and see….

  16. This video needs an update, as Turkey has now opened the floodgates. This won't end well!

  17. I am in Europe 😀
    Czechia 🇨🇿 (Czech Republick)
    🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿

  18. Why does everyone always look to America and push for the same Political and Economic Policies of Europe?.. America is not Europe and America does not want to be like Europe.. If it's so great then how come what I have seen from this video that most of Europe is abandoning these Ideas.. Well good luck Great Britain I really hope for success after leaving the EU and Brexit you guys deserve better than the current disaster of Liberal Views.

  19. Hey GH, have you seen the documentaries Dominion, Earthlings, Cowspiracy, What the Health, Game Changers, Home, End of the Line, Forks Over Knives, Blackfish, Inside the Tanks, Food Inc., Sharkwater, Sharkwater: Extinction, Lucent, H.O.P. E, The Cove, Vanishing of the Bees, Vegan 2019 & 2018, and Land of Hope & Glory? They're all on youtube.

  20. Interestingly made technical and substantive film, good work 👌👍

  21. I think you are forgetting the latest event of what the coronavirus is going to do with the schengen area.

  22. It's the premise upon which the European Steel and Coal Community was formed which hasn't truly been discussed here. France had no trust, funnily enough, in Germany not once again rebuilding its armed forces as it had done under Hitler in the 30s. After WW2 The Marshall Plan affectively rebuilt Germany to a very productive country and the ONLY way to monitor any rebuilding of tanks, armaments and weaponry was to monitor closely the use of coal and steel. In short, the whole thing was born out of mistrust and that division continues right up until now. The EU is divided within massively. I hope it fails and restoration of nations, normality, will take place. Independence is the greatest thing that ANY nation can have. The freedom to make its own laws for the GOOD and BENEFIT of its OWN people.

  23. Whoever lives in UK and hear and see the word brexit,who started shaking their head

  24. 1.Kick Turkey out of NATO
    2. EU army now. For defense and bound to neutrality.
    3. Take refugees smartphones and send them back to Turkey twice in numbers.
    4. Make the commission be voted directly by the people as well as its president.
    5. Make a 3 level direct democracy system within the whole union with high autonomy and the commission the executioner of the will of the people.
    6. Higher autonomy and free markets as basis.
    7. Eat pizza
    8.??
    9.Profit
    For a 28 year old the Union is not so bad, but it is still not even at half its potential.
    EUROPE FIRST.

  25. Hello! i'm your fan/support I'd to like suggestion for you —-> Colonization of Asia – summary from mid-15th century to 1980. Because i'm just curious 🙂

    If i'm sorry because i'm bad english if you understand this. Thank you!

  26. Please god make the EU collapse, no one like it except for politicians. (European here)

  27. Builds union to secure peace in Europe. Doesn't want the UK to join because they are allied with their allies.

  28. UK, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Luxembourg, France, Holland, Belgium, Greece: "We were never asked!"

  29. Nope that’s not true from 1945.
    Britain was a third superpower till Suez. And even after that it saw itself as a partner of the US rather than being in a unified Europe.
    The Eu is a Franco German project and in the words of De Gaulle, “the rest are just trimmings”

  30. Why 1945? Makes no sense whatsoever and paints falsely rises pictures. Europe was “united” many times in the past, Roman times being the most obvious example. More recently it was also united by the Nazis, admittedly briefly and mainly by force.

  31. Ждем перевод от Гео-История

  32. I was really confused about why you suddenly started doing Bitcoin all of a sudden

  33. The EU isn't democratic. They only accept votes when it goes their way

  34. Who wouldn't want to leave an undemocratic institution with open borders?

  35. Letting all those "refugees" who mostly weren't refugees was a terrible idea

  36. “One of the European union’s goals is to preserve cultural heritage.”
    Yeah no

  37. The Union is here to stay.

    I just hope that current management isn't.

  38. 1992, at that point I and many others turned into brexiteers
    In the 1975 referendum to stay in the EEC we were promised that this would never happen

  39. It's officiall that the reason why the USA wanted a united Europe is, that it is easier to control 1 big government instead of 30 small ones

  40. Interesting how the countries who didn't join (Switzerland, Norway and Luxembourg) are the richest ones now

  41. Am I the only one that notices that when it's a video about the EU there's an explosion of profiles with really basic names, lack a custom avatar, and diss on the EU with weirdly broken grammar?

  42. Nice video but the background music is chosen very poorly

  43. "… in a referendum is needed …"
    When the a republic needs referendums to not do something you know that the people are not in control.

  44. EU Hitlers brainchild created by him and NAZI economists to roll out across occupied territories after war was won. When EEC was started first President was one of Hitlers economists involved in helping create his trading bloc.
    THIS is not mentioned in any history of EU of semblance to Hitlers brainchild however EU undemocratic system of DIKTATS
    is the form of Dictators such as HITLER and STALIN both of whose creeds have their origin in COMMUNISM.

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