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This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What was the European Community?

The European Community refers to the EU as it existed between 1958 and 1992. The three separate European Communities (the ECSC, Euratom and the European Economic Community – EEC) were brought together in 1967, meaning that the official name became the European Communities, although in practice most people spoke only of the EEC or the Common Market, as this had already become the most important of the three. The EEC’s dominance also meant that the practice of using the plural ‘Communities’ became increasingly uncommon outside of official documents. These names stayed unchanged through the 1970s and 1980s, although use of ‘EEC’ gradually fell into disuse, given that the Community’s remit now ranged beyond economic matters narrowly defined.

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