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European Common Market

eec community west nations

Common Market, European, officially the European Economic Community (EEC), an economic union of West European nations. After World War II, West European nations sought new forms of cooperation in order to revive their damaged economies. The first step was the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), set up in 1952 by the six future members of the EEC. The Treaty of Rome, creating the EEC, was signed in 1957 by West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In 1973 “The Six” were joined by Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark, and in 1981 by Greece. Spain and Portugal joined in January 1986 and Switzerland, Finland and Austria in 1995. In 1967, the EEC was absorbed under the larger administration of the European Community (EC). Both the EEC and the EC are often referred to as the European Common Market. The main mechanism in the EEC is the customs union: the abolition of tariffs on trade among member nations and the creation of a common external tariff against non-member countries. The EEC has governed itself with an organizational structure carried over from the ECSC and continued in the EC, including a Council of Ministers, an Executive Commission, a European Assembly, and a Court of Justice.

See also: European Community.

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