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European Community

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The European Community is a confederation of European nations which serves to enhance their economic, political, and social ties. The idea of a European Community extends back hundreds of years; but the modern history of the European Community dates to the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952, which included France, Germany, and Italy. The predecessor organizations of the European Community continued to grow and expand, with the entry of Great Britain in 1973 and Spain in 1986. The ratification of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 gave new direction to the European Community, because it provided for a central banking system and a common currency, the Euro. Through the years, the European Community has faced numerous crises and conflicts; the rejection of the European Constitution by France and the Netherlands in 2005 raised new questions about the viability of the European Community. Since the ratification of Maastricht, the European Community has been known as the European Union.

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