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1951: European Coal and Steel Community created by France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy.1957: Treaty of Rome establishes a Constitution creating the European Economic Community (EEC). 1962: Common Agriculture Policy introduced. EEC gains role in resource management of member countries. 1967: Merger treaty brings all Community affairs under a two-level executive structure. 1968: Members' customs and external tariffs merged. 1969: December meeting calls for establishment of "economic and monetary union." 1973: Britain, Denmark, and Ireland join the EC. 1975: EC holds first "European Council" of heads of state. 1979: European Monetary System established with Exchange Rate Mechanism and the European Currency Unit; first EC-wide elections for the European Parliament. 1981: Greece joins. 1985: European Council acts to create a single, borderless market by end of 1992. 1986: Spain and Portugal join. 1989: West asks EC to coordinate East European aid, extending EC influence outside member states; three-stage transition to full economic and monetary union proposed. 1990: France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg sign Shengen accords, establishing free circulation of people and core of future "borderless Europe." 1991: Maastricht summit agrees to create a single currency by 1999, and move toward "an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, where decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizens."

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