“Together, we have built Europe” – episode 4 – 1980s: The sun shines on Europe

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 Frank travel back in time to the 1980s.

This decade was a real technological turning point and was marked by events such as the Bhopal gas disaster in India, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, famines in Africa and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this context, the European Economic Community (EEC) was enlarged once more, with Greece joining the EEC in 1981, and Spain and Portugal becoming the 11th and 12th member states later on.

The European flag was also adopted in the eighties (we will explain its symbolism). Under the presidency of Jacques Delors, the European Commission carried out the reforms required to deliver the new ambitions. For the first time, social and environmental concerns were discussed and various research and aid programmes were launched.

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