What was the European Economic Community?
The European Community refers to the EU as it existed between 1958 and 1992. There were originally three separate communities: the European Coal and Steel Community, Euratom and the European Economic Community (EEC). These were brought together in 1967 and collectively became the European Communities. 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 the use of the middle E in EEC, i.e. that standing for ‘Economic’, gradually fell into disuse, given that the Community’s remit now ranged beyond economic matters narrowly defined.