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<b>Europe Celebrates its 50th Anniversary</b><p>In 2007 the EU celebrates the enviable 50 years of peace, democracy, social welfare, prosperity and expansion of the area of the common values. The idea of the united Europe was initiated as early as 1929 by the French Foreign Affaires Minister Aristide Briand at the League of Nations. After WWII, which exhausted the European countries, the European integration initiatives became increasingly prominent. An important step in European integration was taken on 9 May 1950 when the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, proposed placing the control of Europe's coal and steel industries under one single authority in order to build a lasting peace in Europe and overcome nationalisms. On 18 April 1951, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands signed in Paris the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). 25 March 1957 saw a decisive step towards the European integration with the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community (EEC). Apart from economic integration, the EEC's main goals were to promote peace and improve Europe's welfare. With the establishment and expansion of the European Union, Europe has become a place bringing together different cultures, nations and citizens where the highest values are related to freedom, democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and equality. Slovenia, which has been a member of the European Union for three years now joins the other EU Member States in celebration of EU's 50th anniversary and wishes it many more years to come.
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