A regional organization created by the Treaty of Rome (1957), which provided for the gradual elimination of customs duties and other interregional trade barriers, a common external tariff, and gradual adoption of other integrating measures, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and guarantees of free movement of labor and capital. Of the current 15 member countries, the original six were Belgium, France, West German, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Membership expanded to include Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom in 1973; Greece in 1981; Spain and Portugal in 1986; and Austria, Finland, and Sweden in 1995. In 1993, with establishment of the European Union (EU), the EC became the customs union component of the EU.
Selected European Community links:
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