Somebody turned 50 this weekend!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/03/25 21:50 -04:00, original URI:

Yes, it is true that Cathy and Julie both turned 40 this year.

But it turns out that in the opinion of more than just a few people, the European Union just turned 50!

Now it is the case that some purists like to go all the way back to the Treaty of Paris (a.k.a. the Treaty constituting the European Coal and Steel Community), which would mean that the EU would actually be turning 56, next month.

And it is true that the Treay of Paris was an important post-war foundational step for what would become the EU.

But there are really a lot of others who look at the Treaty of Rome (a.k.a. the Treaty establishing the European Community) as the most striking and defining step in the process.

That's why the logo competition for the 50th birthday was done so the logo could be used this year! :-)

Of course I wasn't really even born yet at that point.

Embarrassingly enough, I tend to date my significant EU knowledge as starting due to the convincing statements made by Géraldine Danon in the movie Company Business. If that were true then that would mean the EU would be only 16, and even that wouldn't be until September....

No wonder you look so young, EU. Happy birthday!


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# Required name on 25 Mar 2007 11:08 PM:

"The European Union (EU) is a supranational and intergovernmental union of 27 states. It was established in 1992 by the Treaty on European Union (The Maastricht Treaty) ..."

That makes it 15 years old.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Mar 2007 11:30 PM:

The 50 year reference is not something I pulled out of my butt, you know....

Not that I mind my personal "scientific" methodology being proven right, mind you, but I am pretty sure that Szymon Skrzypczak and his logo for the 50th birthday celebration deserve a bit more than that. :-)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Mar 2007 11:38 PM:

On the other hand, French actress Géraldine Danon might be pleased. :-)

# Michiel on 26 Mar 2007 7:38 AM:

It's the EC which is 50 today. The EU has three pillars, and the European Communities is pillar 1. The other two pillars are a lot newer (indeed 15 years).  #2 is the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and #3 is Police & Legal. Those two pillars were too politically sensitive to treat the same as pillar 1, so they have a different regime.

But the main pillar is indeed the first, and if it weren't for the French and the Dutch it would be the only one. The Constitutional Treaty would have merged all that stuff into the EU proper.

# Mihai on 26 Mar 2007 12:36 PM:

Ok, it seems the problem is "do we count from birth, or from conception?" ;-)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 26 Mar 2007 2:04 PM:

Wow Mihai, the one thing you could say to make this all even more filled with controversy!

# Erzengel on 27 Mar 2007 2:55 PM:

When I read this, I thought, "WTF? The EU came about in [i]my[/i] lifetime. I remember when it was created."

Looked it up, and it didn't become the EU until the Treaty of Maastricht. (As pointed out by the first commenter).

This isn't an argument against you, Michael, it's an argument against the EU lackies who want to be older than they really are. Like I was when I was 12, I always said online that I was 13 or 14. Nowadays I prefer to say I'm a little younger than I am. ;)

So how old is the United States of America? 231 years (declaration of independance) or 400 years (first virginian colony)? If the EU is 50 (treaty saying they will stop fighting each other), then the union of American states is 400.

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