“Together, we have built Europe” – episode 3 – 1970s: Strength in numbers?

Per decade, the series “Together we have built Europe” explains the challenges, constraints and progress as well as the projects that have marked the history of the European Union. Hafsa, who works for the European Commission Department in charge of European regional and urban policy, and her colleague Hangel travel back in time to the 1970s.

This was a decade of protest, with movements for women’s emancipation and world peace and against the death penalty and the nuclear arms race. The European Economic Community (EEC) was enlarged for the first time, with Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joining the Community in 1973. As you can imagine, this expansion created new disparities between the member states, and the oil crisis dealt a major blow to the global markets, causing a recession.

This led to the establishment of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in  1975 in order to get the European Union back on track. The funds allocated by this plan made it possible to build roads, motorways, bridges, social housing, hospitals, schools and telecommunication networks on a large scale.

The 1970s were also the decade when the album “Hotel California” by the Eagles was released, but that’s another story …

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