Foreign policy

1957

The European unification process begins. The signing of the Treaties of Rome by Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands marks the foundation of the European Economic Community (EEC).
picture-alliance/dpa

1979

Europeans vote together. The Members of the European Parliament, which sits in Strasbourg and Brussels, are directly elected for the first time. They had previously been delegated by the national parliaments.
DB Rehm/dpa

1993

Europe’s union becomes tangible for its citizens. In Schengen in Luxembourg, Germany, France and the Benelux countries agree to end internal border controls. Other countries follow.
Romain Fellens/dpa

2002

Europe gives itself a currency. In initially 12 EU member states, the cash euro is introduced; it had served as book money since 1999. The new European Central Bank (ECB) is based in Frankfurt am Main.
Stephanie Pilick/dpa

2004

On 1 May Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Malta, and Cyprus join the EU. Bulgaria and Romania follow three years later; Croatia in 2013.
epa CTK Volfik/dpa

2009

The EU presents a united front in the world. With the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU creates the office of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. A European External Action Service (EEAS) is established.
epa Crawley/dpa