3 The main institutional structure and policy agendas of the European community

The European Union is a unique, sui generis institution. Its combination of supranational and national characteristics places it in a class by itself. The EU’s embryonic institutional structure and policy agendas were already established in the early 1950s when the European Coal and Steel Community was created. It went through important changes when it developed into the European Economic Community in 1957, and then again when it was reorganized into the European Union in 1992. Neither the institutional structure nor the policy agendas were stagnant. For example, the euro-zone was created by countries that used the common currency, and they became more integrated ...

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