1.2 History of EU-Enlargement


From 6 to 27 members and beyond

In the beginning, six countries – Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, followed by the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community in 1957.

Five successive enlargements have followed since then:

  • In 1973, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined the European Union.
  • In 1981, Greece became a Member State.
  • In 1986, Spain and Portugal became members.
  • In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU.
  • In 2004, Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined. It was a historic enlargement which signified the re-unification of Europe after decades of division.
  • On 1 January 2007 Romania and Bulgaria also joined, completing this historic process.




← back to “1.1 Map of Europe”                                                             forward to “1.3 Opening of frontiers” →



 Posted by at 8:25 am