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Development of the EU continued
In 1961 the Berlin Wall was constructed
In 1966 France left NATO and set-up its own independent nuclear deterrent, France rejoined NATO in 2009
In 1967 The European Community (EC) was established, merging the earlier Coal and Steel, Atomic and EEC organisations.
In 1972 Norway held a referendum on joining and the Norwegians vote against.
In 1973 Denmark and Ireland joined the EC, along with Britain; courtesy of Edward Heath.
In 1975 Britain had a referendum on membership of the EC and the result was a 67% vote to stay in the EC
In 1976 the 12 mile limit around the coastal areas of the EU, including the UK, was extended to 200 miles, in line with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), thereby allowing common European access to all fishing grounds within those limits.
In 1979 the first direct elections to the European Parliament were held and in 1981 Greece became the 10th member of the EC.
The Shengen Agreement was signed in 1985, and the "Shengen Area" came into force in 1995, resulting in the relaxation of customs and passport controls between member states. Britain and Ireland opted out of the agreement.
The Single European Act (1986) laid the foundation for the single market and formalised political cooperation between the 12 member states; Spain and Portugal joined the EU. Free movement of goods, persons, services and capital established within the internal market.
On the 9th of November, 1989 the Berlin wall fell and on the 3rd of October, 1990 Germany was reunified.
First Major Power Grab Attempt
The Maastricht Treaty (1992) formally established the European Union and laid the foundations for the Eurozone, and the preparation for Monetary and Political Union. In 1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU, bringing the total to 15 member states. Denmark initially voted against ratifying the Maastricht Treaty, but, in a second referendum vote to accept the treaty.
In 1991 John Major obtained an opt-out for Britain from the single currency.
At this point it is interesting to reflect on comments made related to the treaty and the single currency:-
“It is an illusion to think that [EU] states can hold on to their autonomy. A European currency will lead to member nations
transferring their sovereignty over financial and wage policy as well as monetary affairs.”
(Hans Tietmeyer, head of the Bundesbank, 1991)
“The single currency is the greatest abandonment of sovereignty since the foundation of the European Community:the
decision is of an essentially political nature”(Felipe Gonzalez, a Spanish former PM, 1998)
“The [EU] Council of Ministers will have far more power over the budgets of member states than the federal government in the United States has over the budget of Texas.”(Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the European Central Bank at the time)
If anyone ever needed convincing about how seriously politicians look after our interests, this should wake them up:-
“Now we’ve signed it – we had better read it” (Douglas Hurd, former Foreign Secretary on the Maastricht Treaty)
Back to the development of the EU
The Amsterdam Treaty (1997) reformed EU institutions and consolidated the EU and EEC treaties, defined EU citizenship and individual rights and addressed Common and Foreign Security Policy.
The European Central Bank (ECB) was established in 1998.
In 1999 the entire European Commission, including the leader, Jaques Santer, resigned amid allegations of fraud, mismanagement and nepotism.