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The expansion of the EU introduced a new level of complexity and discord.

The treaty also gave the name European Community to the EEC, even if it was referred as such before the treaty.

The gap between Greek East and Latin West had already been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054; and would be eventually widened again by the Iron Curtain (1945–91). Pan-European political thought truly emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire (1804–15).

The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states.

In 1995, Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the EU.

In 2002, euro banknotes and coins replaced national currencies in 12 of the member states.

Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower.

During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire (481–843) and the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) were attempts to resurrect Rome in the West.

The 1948 Hague Congress was a pivotal moment in European federal history, as it led to the creation of the European Movement International and of the College of Europe, where Europe's future leaders would live and study together.

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