The United Kingdom’s Membership in the European Union

By Cecilia Ibru

A constantly evolving organization, the European Union (EU) has played a critical role in the continent’s political, social, and economic environment since the end of World War II. Born from entities such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Defence Community, the EU now includes 27 member countries. The ECSC, before morphing into the EEC, originally consisted of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The United Kingdom first applied to join the EEC in 1961; however, two years later, French President Charles de Gaulle chose to veto the country’s membership. A decade later, the EEC underwent its first major expansion and accepted the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Norway into its ranks. The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister at the time, Sir Edward Heath, noted that his country’s acceptance into the EEC would make the UK more competitive economically and offer its citizens greater access to knowledge and information.

About the Author

A successful Nigerian businesswoman, Cecilia Ibru completed her postsecondary education in the United Kingdom. Formerly, Ms. Ibru served as the Managing Director for Oceanic Bank International Plc, now Ecobank Nigeria.


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