In this new episode of EU History Explained, Giulia Bonacquisti, Programme Manager at the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), takes a look at the recent history of the European project, with a focus on how we came from debating what form integration should take in the 1960s and 1970s to the formalisation of much of what we recognise today as the European Union through the Single European Act, Maastricht Treaty, and eventually through the Lisbon Treaty, which is still in force today.
In this video, we discuss how, from the purely economic integration project of the European Economic Community, created in 1957, we ended up with today’s European Union: a complex structure comprising not only a single market, but also common policies, as well as rights and obligations for European citizens. Today’s European Union is a polity which, among other things, allows us to circulate freely across Member States, to live and work abroad, to participate in local and European elections in other countries, and to feel part of one big family with our fellow Europeans. But it is also an ongoing process that cannot yet be considered achieved. As the Treaties say, the EU is permanently striving to build “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”, and even today a broad debate is taking place about the future of the EU and the reforms needed to make it more effective and closer to citizens, including young people.
EU History Explained is TEPSA’s video series exploring the origins of the modern EU. If you have ever wondered how the European Union of today came to be, or what lies behind the talk of politics being shaped in ‘Brussels’, then this is the series for you!
We would like to thank the Historical Archives of the European Union at the European University Institute for their contribution.