1945- The Second World War came to an end in Europe

1950- The French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, came up with a plan for cooperation between European states called The Schuman Declaration.

1951- The Treaty of Paris was created, which set up the European coal and steel community. This included the six countries of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the Federal Republic of Germany.

1957- Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome, which launched the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. Goods, services, capital and people could move freely.

1968- The Customs Union was created, where all import tariffs among the six European Economic Community countries were eliminated.

1973- Denmark, Ireland, Gibraltar, Denmark, Greenland and Britain joined the EEC after Charles de Gaulle's resignation in 1969.

1975- Under the new Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, there was a UK referendum on continued membership of the EEC. The electorate voted 'Yes' by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe.

1979- The first election of the European Parliament took place through direct elections.

1981- Greece joins.

1986- The Single European Act was adopted, which set out a timetable to complete the Common Market by January 1 1993. Spain, the Azores, Madeira and Portugal join.

1989- The Iron Curtain- a notional barrier separating the former Soviet bloc and the West- was dismissed, creating an opportunity to unify Europe.

1992- The Maastricht Treaty was signed, which created the European Union (EU). It set new goals, including monetary union by 1999, European citizenship, new common policies – a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) – and cooperation in matters of internal security.

1995- The EU gains three more new members, Austria, Finland and Sweden.

1997- The Treaty of Amsterdam was signed, which further developed the CFSP as well as employment and social protection policies.

2001- The Treaty of Nice was signed, which reformed the institutions and reinforced fundamental rights, security and defence and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

2002- Euro notes and coins came into circulation in a number of Member States as national currencies were phased out.

2004- Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia join.

2007- Bulgaria and Romania join 2009- The Lisbon Treaty came into force. It strengthened the EU’s ability to act on the global stage, and gave a greater voice to the European Parliament, national parliaments and citizens.

2013- Croatia joins.

2016- A referendum will be held in the UK as to whether it remains part of the EU