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Austerity protest
Austerity protest

100,000 Greek citizens protest austerity measures in front of the Parliament building in Athens, 2011.

Croatian and EU flags
Croatian and EU flags

Croatia recently joined the EU. Its flag hand here to the right of the EU flag. 

EU Parliament Building
EU Parliament Building

The EU Parliament meets in Strasbourg, France.

European Central Bank
European Central Bank

The European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, governs EU monetary policy.

Jean Monnet on the cover of Time
Jean Monnet on the cover of Time

Jean Monnet, the French businessman considered by many to be the founding father of the EU

José Manuel Barroso
José Manuel Barroso

EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso had promised to “defend the euro, whatever it takes.”

Maastricht Treaty stamp
Maastricht Treaty stamp

This 2003 German stamp commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty.

Public opinion on EU initiatives
Public opinion on EU initiatives

These political posters reflect divided public opinion on EU governance. French voters rejected a European Constitution in 2005, and the draft constitution was later replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon.

Robert Schuman
Robert Schuman

Robert Schuman, a German-French statesman who helped articulate the goals of uniting Europe

The euro
The euro

Various denominations of the euro, which replaced national currencies in most EU member nations

Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon

The Treaty of Lisbon, whose signatories are pictured here, was adopted by the EU in 2009 after years of torturous debate, public resistance, and revision.

Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Rome

The signing ceremony for the Treaty of Rome in 1957, establishing the European Economic Community