What Is a European Community (EC)?

The European Community was a community formed in 1967 that consisted of three organizations in the European Union (EU). They dealt with policies and governing, in a communal fashion, across all member states.

Understanding European Community (EC)

The European Community was developed after World War II in the hopes that a more unified Europe would find it harder to go to war with one another. The original European Community was comprised of three organizations. The first was the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the common market, and it worked to unify the economies of Europe. The second was the European Coal and Steel Community, and it was put in place to attempt to regulate manufacturing practices across the member states. Lastly, the European Atomic Energy Community was created to establish a market for nuclear power. These treaty organizations worked together to ensure fair and even policies were enacted and enforced across participating countries.

When the European Community was created in 1957 there were six countries on the roster: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In 1993 the European Community was rolled into the European Union (EU). As of 2018 there were 28 countries in the EU, including the original six as well as Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Demark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

The European Union in the News

On June 23, 2016 the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a move dubbed Brexit in the press. They are scheduled to withdraw from the union on March 29, 2019. This date comes after a 21-month transition period during which the United Kingdom and the EU decide what exactly their new relationship will entail. As a non-member, citizens of the United Kingdom will face different regulations when it comes to things like trade and security when traveling within other EU member states.

All members of the EU have to review the United Kingdom’s formal request to leave the EU, and then reach a unanimous decision before the departure can take place. Once it has approval, the United Kingdom will then have to review existing laws and policies and decide which of the original EU regulations they will keep and continue to enforce, and which they will strike down or rewrite. They will also need to review their currency, the euro, and decide whether or not that will still be the official money of the nation's people.