Th e economic development of the European Economic Community (EEC) was established by the Treaty of Rome in 1957; its predecessors with their roots in the late 1940s and early 1950s – notably the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation in 1948 and the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952; and the subsequent European Union (EU) can usefully be considered in two long stages. Th e fi rst of these, from the late 1940s until the late 1980s/ early 1990s is associated with the establishment of the Common Market, the elaboration of the major European institutions of state governance, and geographical expansion to encompass both the southern periphery (Greece in 1981, and Spain and Portugal in 1986) and the northern periphery of Sweden and Finland together with Austria in 1995. Th e second major phase – still in its early stages – was signalled by the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the

subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union, paving the way for the integration of the vast eastern periphery in the fi rst decade of the 21st century. Although the landmarks were political, the essence of the stages is economic – successive complex combinations of economic development associated with substantial social and political changes and accompanied by increasing environmental pressures.