The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member statesthat are located primarily in Europe. The EU operates through a system ofsupranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisionsby the member states. Institutions of the EU include the European Commission, theCouncil of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of theEuropean Union, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and theEuropean Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EUcitizens. The EUs capital is Brussels.
In 1990, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the former EastGermany became part of the Community as part of a newlyunited Germany. With enlargement towards European formerlycommunist countries as well as Cyprus and Malta on theagenda, the Copenhagen criteria for candidate members to jointhe European Union were agreed.The European Union was formally established when theMaastricht Treaty—whose main architects were Helmut Kohl andFrançois Mitterrand—came into force on 1 November 1993, andin 1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the newlyestablished EU
The Single European Act had the mission ofrevitalize the Europeanconstruction, setting the consolidation of the internal market in 1993 and alsoallowing the free movement of capital and services. By this treaty, theCommunitys powers are extended to the domains of research andtechnological development, environment and social policy. The Single Act alsoestablishes the existence of the European Council, which brings together theheads of state and government and promotes a common initiative in foreignpolicy (European Political Cooperation) and a cooperation seguridad.The Maastricht Treaty signed in February 1992, entered into force in 1993.6Under the agreement, the European Union continues the common market andthe EEC, transformed into European Community, marks a new step in thebonding process. The treaty establishing the European citizenship and letsmove and reside freely in the countries of the community as well as the right tovote and be elected in a state of residence for the European elections ormunicipal
January1Ireland takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.9Aldo Angioi is elected President of the Court of Auditors.February21The Commission held its meeting thousandth.March7Judgment in GB-Inno-BM. The Court held that national legislation which denies access to anyadvertising that is authorized in the country of purchase, is contrary to the principle of freemovement of goods.April2The European Community and Argentina sign a framework agreement on trade and economiccooperation.28Held in Dublin, Ireland, an extraordinary European Council. It agrees on a common approachto German unification and Community relations with the countries of Central and EasternEurope.
May7The Board determines the creation of the European Training Foundationand adopts a regulation on the establishment of a European EnvironmentAgency.940th anniversary of the declaration of Robert Schuman.22The Court finds that the European Parliament can be brought before theCourt by other institutions and other institutions that may be brought beforethe Court by the European Parliament if it is put into question theinstitutional balance. These principles will be included later in the MaastrichtTreaty.29Is signed in Paris, France, the Agreement establishing the European Bankfor Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to provide financialassistance to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
June6The European Commission presented a Green Paper on the Urban Environment.19The Benelux countries, France and Germany sign the Schengen Agreement for the elimination of bordercontrols.20The European Economic Community and EFTA start formal negotiations for the creation of the EuropeanEconomic Area (EEA).25-26It meets in Dublin, Ireland, the European Council. It confirms the need to hold parallel two IntergovernmentalConferences, one on Economic and Monetary Union and the other on the aspects of political union.July1Italy takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. Takes effect the first stage ofEconomic and Monetary Union (EMU). Is granted a derogation to four Member States (Spain, Portugal, Greeceand Ireland) because of their insufficient progress towards financial integration.3Cyprus formally applies to join the European Communities.16 Malta formally applies to join the European Communities.
October3With the unification of Germany, the territories of the former German DemocraticRepublic became part of the EU.27-28Is held in Rome, Italy, an extraordinary European Council. It finalizes thepreparation of the two Intergovernmental Conferences, one on Economic andMonetary Union and the other on the aspects of political union.November19-21A meeting is held in Paris, France. Thirty-four heads of state and government ofthe Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) signed a Charterfor a New Europe.27Italy signed the Schengen Agreement.
December2Are held in the Federal Republic of Germany elections.4The European Council adopted the transitional measures agreed under theGerman reunification.12 It held elections in Denmark.14/15Meets in Rome, Italy, the European Council. It started two IntergovernmentalConferences, one on Economic and Monetary Union and the other on politicalunion.