European Union Values and Strategies

EU's History & Evolution

  1. First Steps: The Treaties of Rome (1957)

The "Treaties of Rome" were signed in Rome on 25th March 1957. They are considered as the foundation acts of the European Community. The first Treaty established the European Economic Community (EEC) while the second one established the European Atomic Energy Community, better known as EURATOM.

THE TREATY OF ROME establishing E.E.C.

25 March 1957


By this Treaty, the HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES establish among themselves a EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY.


The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and progressively approximating the economic policies of Member States, to promote throughout the Community a harmonious development of economic activities, a continuous and balanced expansion, an increase in stability, an accelerated raising of the standard of living and closer relations between the States belonging to it.


For the purposes set out in Article 2, the activities of the Community shall include, as provided in this Treaty and in accordance with the timetable set out therein:

a) the elimination, as between Member States, of customs duties and of quantitative restrictions on the import and export of goods, and of all other measures having equivalent effect;

b) the establishment of a common customs tariff and of a common commercial policy towards third countries;

c) the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services and capital;

d) the adoption of a common policy in the sphere of agriculture;

e) the adoption of a common policy in the sphere of transport;

f) the institution of a system ensuring that competition in the common market is not distorted;

g) the application of procedures by which the economic policies of Member States can he coordinated and disequilibria in their balances of payments remedied;

h) the approximation of the laws of Member States to the extent required for the proper functioning of the common market;

i) the creation of a European Social Fund in order to improve employment opportunities for workers and to contribute to the raising of their standard of living;

j) the establishment of a European Investment Bank to facilitate the economic expansion of the Community by opening up fresh resources;

k) the association of the overseas countries and territories in order to increase trade and to promote jointly economic and social development.

2. Timeline: European Integration Stages

1945-59 - Peace in Europe and the beginnings of cooperation

Post-war cooperation in Europe led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the signing of the Treaties of Rome and the birth of the European Parliament.

1960-69 - The ‘Swinging Sixties’ – a period of economic growth

The European Union developed through the 1960s, with further economic integration in Europe and the beginnings of international cooperation.

1970-79 - A growing Community – the first new members join: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom

The European Union further developed in the 70s, with the first addition of new members, European elections and a regional policy to boost poorer areas.

1980-89 - The changing face of Europe - the collapse of communism

The European Union further developed in the 1980s with more countries joining, the Erasmus programme and the start of the single market.

1990-99 - A Europe without frontiers

The European Union further developed in the 1990s, with more expansion, and the launch of the single market, border-free travel and the euro.

2000-09 - Further expansion

The European Union further developed from 2000 to 2009 with 12 new countries joining, the euro becoming legal tender and the signing of the Lisbon Treaty.

2010-19 - A challenging decade

The European Union further developed from 2010 to 2019, responding to the financial crisis, Croatia joining the EU, and the UK voting to leave.

2020-today - COVID-19 and the road to recovery

The European Union further developed since 2020, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic while putting Europe on the road to economic recovery and fighting climate change.

EU's Principles & Values

  1. EU's Principles

The aims of the European Union within its borders are:

👉 promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens

👉offer freedom, security and justice without internal borders, while also taking appropriate measures at its external borders to regulate asylum and immigration and prevent and combat crime

👉 establish an internal market

👉 achieve sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability and a highly competitive market economy with full employment and social progress

👉 protect and improve the quality of the environment

👉 promote scientific and technological progress

👉 combat social exclusion and discrimination

👉 promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, and protection of the rights of the child

👉 enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU countries

👉 respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity

👉 establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro

The aims of the EU within the wider world are:

👉 uphold and promote its values and interests

👉 contribute to peace and security and the sustainable development of the Earth

👉contribute to solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights

👉 strict observance of international law

The European Union’s aims are laid out in article 3 of the Lisbon Treaty.

2. EU's Values

The European Union is founded on the following values:

👉Human dignity

Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected, protected and constitutes the real basis of fundamental rights.


Freedom of movement gives citizens the right to move and reside freely within the Union. Individual freedoms such as respect for private life, freedom of thought, religion, assembly, expression and information are protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.


The functioning of the EU is founded on representative democracy. A European citizen automatically enjoys political rights. Every adult EU citizen has the right to stand as a candidate and to vote in elections to the European Parliament. EU citizens have the right to stand as a candidate and to vote in their country of residence, or in their country of origin.


Equality is about equal rights for all citizens before the law. The principle of equality between women and men underpins all European policies and is the basis for European integration. It applies in all areas. The principle of equal pay for equal work became part of the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

👉Rule of law

The EU is based on the rule of law. Everything the EU does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by its EU countries. Law and justice are upheld by an independent judiciary. The EU countries gave final jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice - its judgments have to be respected by all.

👉Human rights

Human rights are protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. These cover the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, the right to the protection of your personal data, and the right to get access to justice.

The EU’s values are laid out in article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

EU's Strategies and Funding Tools

  1. Common Priorities 2019-2024

The President of the Commission determined 6 political priorities for its current 5-year mandate. These are derived from the Council’s strategic agenda and from discussions with the political groups of the European Parliament.

1 - A European Green Deal

Transforming the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, while preserving Europe’s natural environment, tackling climate change and making Europe carbon-neutral and resource-efficient by 2050.

2 - A Europe fit for the digital age

Embracing digital transformation by investing in businesses, research and innovation, reforming data protection, empowering people with the skills necessary for a new generation of technologies and designing rules to match.

3 - An economy that works for people

Strengthening the EU economy while securing jobs and reducing inequalities, supporting businesses, deepening the Economic and Monetary Union and completing the banking and capital markets union.

4 - A stronger Europe in the world

Strengthening the EU’s voice on the world stage by improving its standing as a champion of strong, open and fair trade, multilateralism and a rules-based global order. Boosting relations with neighboring countries and partners as well as strengthening the EU’s ability to manage crises based on civilian and military capabilities.

5 - Promoting our European way of life

Upholding fundamental rights and the rule of law as a bastion of equality, tolerance and social fairness. Addressing security risks, protecting and empowering consumers, as well as developing a system for legal and safe migration while effectively managing the EU’s external borders, modernizing the EU’s asylum system and cooperating closely with partner countries.

6 - A new push for European democracy

Strengthening Europe’s democratic processes by deepening relations with the European Parliament and national parliaments, protecting EU democracy from external interference, ensuring transparency and integrity throughout the legislative process, as well as engaging more widely with Europeans in shaping the EU’s future.

2. EU Programmes & Funds

The list below provides an overview of the funding opportunities financed

by the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and NextGenerationEU

by heading, cluster, and programme or fund

(most of the programmes implemented under shared management are called “funds”).

Single Market, Innovation & Digital

Cohesion and Values

Natural Resources & Environment

Migration & Border Management

Security & Defence

Neighborhood & the World

3. Erasmus+ Programme

Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.

It has an estimated budget of € 26.2 billion. This is nearly double the funding compared to its predecessor programme (2014-2020).

The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.

It supports priorities and activities set out in the European Education Area, Digital Education Action Plan and the European Skills Agenda. The programme also:

🤝 supports the European Pillar of Social Rights

🧒🏻 implements the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027

🏃‍♂️ develops the European dimension in sport

Erasmus+ offers mobility and cooperation opportunities in



👉SCHOOL EDUCATION (including early childhood education and care)




HOW to participate

Erasmus+ is a very wide programme, covering a diverse range of actions. How you can take part depends broadly on two factors:

    • if you are applying by yourself or on behalf of an organization

    • in which country you or your organisation is based

Individual applicants:

If you are looking to take part by yourself, it’s likely that you will need to apply through an organisation such as your university, training centre, company and so on. Check if they are applying for a project grant, or explore the Erasmus+ app for advice and inspiration.

For most actions, your organisation will need to be located in a programme country. Programme countries are the EU member states and a short list of other countries associated to the Programme. Other actions are also open to groups of other countries non-associated to the Programme.

Useful Links:

👉 Check the Opportunities for individuals!

👉 Download the ERASMUS+ App!

Applicant organisations:

If you are an organisation looking to apply for a project grant or call for proposals, first you need to be registered. Then you should also check the list of programme and partner countries, since where you are based will impact what you can apply for.

Useful Links:

👉 Start your Registration process!

👉 Check the Opportunities for the organisations & the Eligible Countries!

If you want to start this journey, always rely on the compass of the programme, the

ERASMUS+ Programme Guidelines 2022

Please Note: All the data and multimedia tools have been collected and reproduced from official EU public sources such as

the Official website of the European Union and the Historical Archives of the European Union