European Community (EC) Historical organization of Western European countries dedicated to closer economic and political cooperation in Europe. In 1952, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established to integrate the coal and steel industries primarily of France and West Germany to create a more unified Europe. The success of the ECSC led to the Treaties of Rome (1957) that established the European Economic Community (EEC), or Common Market, and the European Atomic Energy Commission (Euratom). The aim was to create a common economic approach to agriculture, employment, trade and social development, and to give Western Europe more influence in world affairs. Original members included France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In 1962, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) came into effect. In 1967, the EEC, ECSC, and EURATOM merged to form the European Community (EC). The United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark joined in 1973; Greece in 1981; Spain and Portugal in 1986; and Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995. In 1993, the European Union (EU) superseded the EC.
Eu·ro·pe·an Com·mu·ni·ty (abbr.: EC) an economic and political association of certain European countries, incorporated since 1993 in the European Union.
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