European Union

Post-Cold War Europe

Europe 1993.1101

European Union

Europe after the Cold War (1 November 1993)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

While the former Eastern Bloc was collapsing, the nations of Western Europe were forging closer ties. Back in 1958, Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands had established the European Economic Community (EEC) to bring about economic integration. By the early 1990s, with this integration largely achieved, the member states of the EEC, now 12 in number, felt ready to move to the next stage. In 1993, the European Union was established, with a new shared currency (to be called the euro) to be introduced by the end of the decade.

Main Events

War in Abkhazia

Political instability and ethnic divisions within Georgia enabled the former principality of Abkhazia to break away with Russian support, but was unable to obtain widespread recognition.

Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

The return of multi-party democracy to Czechoslovakia widened the gap between the constituent Czech and Slovak Republics, who maintained distinct regional parties. Although a majority of Czechs and Slovaks favored continued union, the Slovak government even more strongly opposed efforts at centralization by Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, leading Slovakia to declare independence effective 1 January 1993.

Summer Offensives

In the summer of 1993, Armenia intervened to stop fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly-Armenian region of Azerbaijan where separatist tensions had existed even before the fall of the Soviet Union.

Treaty of Maastricht

In accordance with the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht, the European Community became the European Union effective 1 November.

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