Since its founding act, the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European Community has pursued a policy of economic and social cohesion among its members.
Formed in the aftermath of the Second World War, the EC was built on the belief that countries that trade together become economically interdependent and thus, less likely to engage in war.
Today, the union has swelled from its original six members, to 28, and stretches across much of the European continent. However, as EU membership has grown, so have the economic, infrastructure, and social disparities among its members. A long series of Eurozone crises – most recently highlighted in Greece – as well as persistent zones of poverty and slow socio-economic development in the EU challenge the stability, growth and even the peace of the union – the central goals of European cooperation.
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