At the end of World War II, in an effort to establish a co-operative peace between countries commonly at odds, six founding countries signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957. These six countries - Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg - created the European Economic Community (EEC) also known as the 'Common Market'. The reunification of Germany in 1990 and the fall of communist regimes across Europe (amongst other political upheavals) paved the way for closer relationships between the growing number of countries working towards co-operation.
The signing of the 'Maastricht Treaty' in November 1993 brought the European Union (EU) as we know it today into being. The creation of a 'Single Market' had 4 key aims which still form the basis of developments in the EU today - allowing the freedom of movement of goods, services, people and money between the Member States.