The European Union is a supranational organization whose members include most countries of Central and Western Europe (referred to as Member States). Switzerland and Norway are NOT members of the European Union.
The EU began as the European Steel and Coal Community in 1953 with the intent to regulate the capacity of large metal fabricating industries. The six original Member States – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands – signed the ECSC Treaty and began the process of European integration. Since then, the EU has developed in stages with the creation of an economic community, development of a single market and the removal of many trade restrictions and border controls. In recent years, the EU has introduced a common currency, begun to develop a common foreign affairs policy and improved cooperation among Member States on justice and home affairs.
EU government policy is divided into 3 "pillars" which consist of the following:
|I||The three communities of the European Coal and Steel Community, the Economic Community and Euratom|
|II||Common foreign and security policy (CFSP)|
|III||Justice and home affairs – judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, police cooperation, immigration policy|
Currently there are 28 Member States of the EU:
|Member State||Year Joined|
|Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands||1952|
|Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom||1973|
|Austria, Finland, Sweden||1995|
|Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia||2004|
The following nations are candidate countries:
|The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||Turkey|
Potential candidates countries are:
|Albania||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Kosovo*|
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence
Europa maintains a web page on the enlargement process.
Princeton University has been a depository for publications published by the European Union since 1964. Through this program the library has acquired a wide range of European Union goverment documents that are essential in supporting teaching and research in many academic departments, schools and programs. European Union documents can usually be located by title in the Main Catalog.
When a document is not held at Princeton, the Interlibrary Loan Service can usually borrow it for a Princeton user from the regional depository or from another library.
Princeton is one of 57 European Union depositories in the United States and its territories.
The general public is welcome to use depository materials free of charge. For access information and hours, please consult the the online hours (choose "Firestone Library - Depository Access" from the drop down menu) and Access Information Page.
PLEASE NOTE: While the general public is welcome to use depository materials free of charge, many of our European Union resources, including many of the resources listed in this research guide, are not depository materials and may only be used by Princeton University students, faculty, and staff.