Beginning in the 1990s, the EU as we know it today moved toward official status. On February 7, 1992, the Treaty on European Union was signed in Maastricht, officially naming the European Economic Community the European Union. This treaty would set clear rules for foreign policy and further cooperation in justice and home affairs. On January 1, 1993 the single market was officially established. People, goods, and services are now able to freely flow through each of the united countries.
The EU would expand further on January 1, 1995 when Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined. Two years later, on December 13, 1997, EU leaders began negotiations with 10 other countries from East and Western Europe to join forces.
The currency would also begin unifying. On January 1, 1999, the euro was first introduced. However, it would only be for commercial and financial transactions, as notes and coins were not yet available.
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European Union, EU, European Economic Community, EEC, Maastricht Treaty