History of Euro

In 1971 USA abolished the fixed link between the dollar and the official price of gold, As a result, in March 1979, EU created theEMSin order to prevent exchange fluctuations of more than 2.25 % between the European currencies.

At the European Council in Madridin June 1989, EU leaders adopted a three-stage plan for economic and monetary union. This plan became part of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union adopted by the European Council in December 1991.

The first stage began on 1 July 1990, the second one, on 1 January 1994 and, the third one, that was the birth of the euro, on 1 January 1999. That year, 11 countries adopted the euro:Austria,Belgium,Finland,France,Germany,Ireland,Italy,Luxembourg, theNetherlands,PortugalandSpain,Greecejoined them on 1 January 2001). Euro as a cash currency did not become a legal tender until later, on January 1, 2002.



Image source:


(Consulted 20/12/2011)

From 2001, whenGreeceadopted this common money, till nowadays, other countries have also adopted the euro.

On 1st January 2004,CzechRepublic,Estonia,Cyprus,Latvia,Lithuania,Hungary,Malta,Poland,Slovenia andSlovakia adopted the euro.

On 1st January 2007,Bulgaria andRomania joined this group.

On  1st January 2011,Estonia, finally, adopted the euro.

Image source:


(consulted 20/12/2011)

Information source:


Written by Mireya Vicent.





Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. Europe Day has been designed in two separate designations dates: 5th May by the Council of Europe, and 9th May by the European Union. That day is also known as Schuman’s Day, as it commemorates the historical speech made by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Schuman. Europe Day is one of the European symbols designed to foster unity between Europeans.

The Europe Day has become one of the symbols of European Union along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the Euro. The Europe Day, unlike the other symbols, is just a  symbol of the European Union.

Despite being a day of celebration, European countries don’t celebrate it with big parties like national holidays. However, in 2006,Franceorganized several celebrations that included free entrance to the lounge where the speech was delivered, as well as the lighting of the arch of Victory of Paris and theEiffelTowerwith blue lights.






United in diversity is the official motto (in the English language) of the European Union. It’s translations in other 22 languages of the EU has the same meaning. The Latin version, In varietate Concordia, is also used as a compromise. It is one of the newest symbols of Europe, but it is specific from the EU rather than having been originated from the European Council.

According to the European Commission:

“The motto means that, via the EU, Europeans are united in working together for peace and prosperity, and that the many different cultures, traditions and languages in Europe are a positive asset for the continent.”

The European motto was first adopted in May 2000 as “Unity in diversity” through a non official process since it came from a competition that involved 80,000 students from 15 countries of the European Union.

In 2004, the motto was written into the failed European Constitution‘s Article I-8 about the EU’s symbols.

“Article I-8

The symbols of the Union
The flag of the Union shall be a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background.
The anthem of the Union shall be based on the ‘Ode to Joy‘ from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven.
The motto of the Union shall be: ‘United in diversity’.
The currency of the Union shall be the euro.
Europe day shall be celebrated on 9 May throughout theUnion.”


Written by Saioa García Garaikoetxea.


The Euro

The euro is the currency of 17 countries in the EU, the eurozone, which consists ofAustria,Belgium,Cyprus,Estonia,Finland,France,Germany,Greece,Ireland,Italy,Luxembourg,Malta, theNetherlands,Portugal,Slovakia,SloveniaandSpain. Euro’s banknotes and coins could finally be used by their residents in 2002. Today, it is one of the most powerful currencies in the world.

The symbol of the euro is €. There are coins of 2€, 1€, 50 c, 20 c, 10c and 5c, and notes of 500€, 200€, 100€, 50€, 20€, 10€ and 5€. One euro is one hundred eurocents.

The design of the coins and notes depends on the country. Every coin has a common side and a specific one:

Iguácel Cuiral – Group 8

Sources (all of them accessed on 20/12/2011):

Map source: http://culturaclasicagc.blogspot.com/p/europa-webquest.html (Accessed on 20/12/11)

Euro coins source: http://newserrado.com/2008/11/06/todas-as-moedas-do-euro/ (Accessed on 20/12/11)

More information about the Euro:




The Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan, officially known as the European Recovery Program, was the American program established in 1947 and developed to aidEurope, which was destroyed by the Second World War that ended in 1945.United Statesgave economic support to sixteen nations in order to help them to rebuild the continent and, also, to fight against the increasing Soviet communism. Countries likeFrance,Italy,BelgiumandGermanyreceived food, fuel, machinery and, later, there was investment in the European industry; for four years, Marshall Plan sent aid valued at $ 13 billion. However, not all the countries received this help: Soviet Union and its allies didn’t accept it, andUnited Statesdidn’t offer the program toJapanbecause they weren’t interested in that country. Spain, although it didn’t participate in the Second World War, received some help from the Marshall Plan, due to the fact that Franco’s regime was considered as a guarantee that communism wouldn’t spread in that zone.

The program was named like the Secretary of the State, George Marshall, created by the State Department, and approved by the president of theUnited States, Harry S. Truman.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org




This is an image of president Truman signing the agreement:

Image source: http://www.historiasiglo20.org/IMAG/13gf-1945-1948.htm

An image of George Marshall:

Image source: http://coldwaralcala.wordpress.com/plan-marshall/

Image source: http://www.historiasiglo20.org/IMAG/15gf-1945-1948.htm


Europe in ruins and the Marshall Plan:

Marshall Plan:

What was the European Marshall Plan? 1:

What was the European Marshall Plan? 2

Accessed on 20/12/2011

Paola Casetta Monteagudo – Group 8

Objectives of the European Union.

The European Union (EU) is a political community constituted as an international organization whose aim is to promote integration and a common government of the European people and countries.
According to the Article 3 of the European Union Treaty, Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values ​​and the well-being of its peoples. It is based on the values ​​of freedom, democracy, equality, law enforcement and respect for human rights and dignity.
The Union’s mission:
– Establishing an area of ​​freedom, security and justice without internal borders.
– Developing an internal market where competition is free, within the framework of a social economy market whose aim is full employment.

– Creating a sustainable development with an economic growth capable of fulfilling the well-being needs of our society in the short, medium and, especially, long term.
– Promoting scientific and technical progress.
– Fighting against social exclusion and discrimination. Promoting social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and, protection of children’s rights.
– Promoting economical, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among Member States.

Also, the European Union aims to respect its cultural richness and linguistic diversity (23 official languages) and, to ensure the conservation and development of European cultural heritage.

Image source; http://sugerenciasgeografiahumana.blogspot.com/


Written by: Carolina Aznar

Accessed on 20/12/11

European Union countries.

Europe comprises twenty-seven countries, which are:
• Founders countries (1952): Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands
• 1973: Ireland, Denmark and the UK.
• 1981: Greece.
• 1986: Spain and Portugal.
• 1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden.
• 2004: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
• 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.
• Other countries: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus.
• Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the State of Vatican City.
• Candidate Countries to join the EU: Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Turkey.

Any European country that respects liberty, democracy, law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, can apply to join the EU. Those requirements were set out in the Treaty on European Union (Article 6, Article 49)
According to the so-called “Copenhagen criteria”, introduced in December 1993 in Copenhagen by the European Council, all candidate must have:

– Stable institutions that can guarantee democracy, the performance of law, human rights and respect of minorities.

– A stable market economy that can cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union.

– The ability to assume the obligations imposed by the Union and, the capability to subscribe to the political, economical and monetary union objectives.

Madrid’s European Council sets that any candidate must be able to enforce the rules and procedures of theUnion. They also must create accurate conditions for their integration through the adjustment of their administrative structures.



accessed on: 20 – 12 – 2011

Written by Carolina Aznar

The Treaty of Rome


Treaty of Rome was an International agreement signed by Belgium, Italy, France, Luxembourg, West Germanyand the Netherlands, that lead to the European Economic Communityin 1958. They were ratified by the National Parlament of every state after they were signed on 25 March 1957. Its official name was Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, but it changed to  Treaty on the functioning of the European Union by successive treaties. This agreement became one of the most important of the Treaties of the European Union with the Treaty on European Union, the Euratom Treaty and the  Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The EEC is also known as the “Common Market” because it meant a free circulation of goods inEurope. The country members of the organization dismantled the tariffs that were protecting their markets and it was established an external common tariff for thememberState’s products. The EEC also created the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which manages the agricultural subsidies and programmes of the European Union.

Sources: http://www.historiasiglo20.org/europe/traroma.htm





The signing of the Treaty of Rome:

Antonio Segni and Gaetano Martino signing the Treaty of Rome.

Image source: http://theitalywiki.com/index.php/European_Union

Image of the Treaty of Rome in its 50th anniversary.

Image source: http://www.eurunion.org/50/50thAnnivHighlights.htm


Official video from EESC – Treaty of Rome: 


EuroNews – EN – Europeans: The Treaty of Rome is nearly…:


Paola Casetta – Group 8