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.



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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.

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(consulted 20/12/2011)

Information source:


Written by Mireya Vicent.



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




Economic dimensions: Gross domestic product in thousands of millions of Euros in 2008

Wealth per capita: Gross domestic product per capita in 2008



Total: 500 millions



Written by Saioa García Garaikoetxea


There have been a lot of people who have contributed to the creation of the European Union. However, there are eight men who are considered the European Founding Fathers.

  • Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967)

He was the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963. He was the man who influenced more than any other in the history ofGermanyandEuropeduring the post-war.

After the First World War, Adenauer realised that lasting peace in Europe could only be achieved through a unitedEurope. His experiences during the Third Reich confirmed this opinion.

In six years, from 1949 to 1955, Adenauer achieved thatGermanybecame part of the Council ofEurope(1951), the European Coal and Steel Community (1952) and the NATO (1955). He also achieved peace withFrance,Germany’s arch-enemy, by signing a treat of friendship in 1963.


Image source http://www.google.es/imgres?q=konrad+adenauer+chancellor+of+germany&um=1&hl=es&sa=X&biw=1366&bih=677&tbm=isch&tbnid=ZHS82cetynTUdM:&imgrefurl=http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Konrad-Adenauer-German-Statesman-First-Chancellor-of-West-Germany-after-World-War-Two-Posters_i1875281_.htm&docid=eNmQIwATU0-6pM&imgurl=http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/17/1747/Q1M3D00Z/posters/konrad-adenauer-german-statesman-first-chancellor-of-west-germany-after-world-war-two.jpg&w=473&h=355&ei=ySbdTp-xM4rAtAbDyrzgCw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=438&vpy=157&dur=131&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=115&ty=93&sig=107549312178989512867&page=1&tbnh=162&tbnw=215&start=0&ndsp=19&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0

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  • Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Sir Winston Churchill was a former army officer, war reporter and British Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. He was one of the first to call for the creation of an European union. One of his main aims was to eliminate the European ills of nationalism and war-mongering once and for all.

He was an important driving force behind the anti-Hitler coalition. Later, he became an active fighter inEurope’s cause.

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  • Alcide de Gasperi (1881-1954)

From 1945 to 1953, Alcide de Gasperi was the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy. He was the one who ledItalyduring the post-war years.

His experiences during the war, he had been imprisoned between 1926 and 1929, strengthened his conviction that only the union ofEuropecould prevent their recurrence.

He promoted countless initiatives for the fusion ofWestern Europeand, also, worked on the realisation of the Marshall Plan. Furthermore, he supported the Schumann Plan for the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community and, promoted the creation of close economic ties with other European countries.


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  • Walter Hallstein (1901-1982)

Walter Hallstein was the first president of the European Commission from 1958 to 1960. Before that, he was the Secretary of State in German Foreign Ministry.

He worked for the creation of the Common Market and, thanks to his enthusiasm and power of persuasion,Europelived a legendary unification during those years.



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  • Jean Monnet (1888-1979)

Jean Monnet was the French economic advisor and politician who inspired the “Schuman Plan”.

As top advisor of the French government, he was the main inspiration behind the “Schuman declaration” of 9 May 1950, which led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community and, as such, is considered to be the birth of the European Union.

Today’s EU programmes for cultural and educational exchange follow his much-quoted phrase was “We unite people, not states”.



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  • Robert Schuman (1886-1963)

Robert Schuman was the French foreign minister between 1948 and 1952. As a result of his experiences in Nazi Germany, he recognised that only a lasting reconciliation withGermanycould form the basis for a unitedEurope.

In cooperation with Jean Monnet he drew up the Schuman Plan, published on 9 May 1950, date now regarded as the birth of the European Union.

Schuman also supported the formation of a common European defence policy, and was, from 1958-60, president of the European Parliament.



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  • Paul Henri Spaak (1899-1972)

After his experiences during the First World War and his failure to preserveBelgium’s neutrality during the Second World War, Spaak did as much as he could for unifyingEurope. In order to do that, Spaak supported the European Coal and Steel Community and, also, an European defence community.

He was able to help achieve these aims as president of the first full meeting of the United Nations (1946) and as General Secretary of NATO (1957-61). He was also leading figure in formulating the content of the Treaty of Rome.


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  • Altiero Spinelli (1907-1986)

Altiero Spinelli was an Italian politician. He was the leading figure behind the European Parliament’s complete proposal for a Treaty on a federal European Union thanks to the Spinelli Plan. His proposal was an inspiration for the following EU Treaties in the 1980s and 90s.

In the role of advisor to personalities like de Gasperi, Spaak and Monnet, he worked for European unification. A trained juror, he also furthered the European cause in the academic field, and founded the Institute for International Matters inRome.

As a member of the European Commission he took over the area of internal policy from 1970 to 1976. For three years he served as a Member of Parliament for the Italian Communist Party before being elected to the European Parliament in 1979.



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Written by Mireya Vicent