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Member states

Since the Paris Treaty was signed in 1951 establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the Rome Treaties on 25 March 1957 establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or EURATOM), the European Union has gradually enlarged over time.

At the time it was founded, the Community comprised six countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland joined in 1973, Greece in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986 and Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995.

On 1 May 2004, 10 new countries joined the European Union constituting a major enlargement of the European Union: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Bulgaria and Romania joined on 1 January 2007.

The European Union now has 27 Member States.

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  • Updated: 22.07.2008
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