The European Union (previously known as the European Community) is an institutional framework for the construction of a united Europe. It was created after World War II to unite the nations of Europe economically by uniting their economic resources into a single economy. By doing this another war among members would be unthinkable. To date fifteen countries are members of the European Union, and some 370 million people share the common institutions and policies that have brought an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity to Western Europe .
The European Union has produced many good results. The six founding country's are Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The first steps towards European integration began when these countries pooled their coal and steel communities together and signed treaties created the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). This pooling of their coal and steel resources in a common market allowed them to be controlled by an independent supranational authority. But Jean Monnet, one of the founding thinkers of the Europe Union, had a greater picture in mind with the start of the ECSC. His vision and hopes were for a United States of Europe where goods and services would move freely among the members similar to what was occurring among the fifty states of the United States of America. .
The next two treaties took place in 1958 in Rome. The Rome Treaties set up the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), extending the common market for coal and steel to all economic sectors in the member countries. Both of these treaties were a great success, even though the European Atomic Energy Community held less significance as opposed to the European Economic Community and the European Coal and Steel Community.
The next stepping stone in the success of the European Community was the Merger Treaty which was signed in Brussels on April 8, 1965.