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“Open to all countries willing to take part”

From the proposal between France and West Germany on the production of coal and steel, Europe grew into the present 27-state Union in less than 70 years. The idea of enlargement to “all countries willing to take part” was already enshrined in the Schuman Declaration, but took a deeper meaning as new Member States joined from the South, the North and most recently from the East. Members can also decide to leave the Union, as Brexit has demonstrated.

Catherine Day (IE)
Secretary-General of the European Commission 2005-2015. HAEU, INT 134

Amadeu António Pereira Lopes Sabino (PT)
EU official 1984-2008. HAEU, INT 258

Poster produced by the European Commission. HAEU, NDG 250

Treaty on European Union

The amended versions of the Treaty of Rome (now TFEU) and of the Treaty of Maastricht (TEU) lay the constitutional basis of the European Union. Their consolidated texts are regularly published by the European Commission.

Article 49 of the consolidated version of the TEU regulates the procedures for a State to become a member of the Union. Any State wishing to apply has to respect the fundamental values of the EU, proclaimed in Article 2.

On 1 May 2004, ten new members were welcomed into the European Union. The ceremony took place in Dublin.​ HAEU, RP 495 – Photo: Unknown
Letter of the President of the European Council Bertie Ahern to the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi. 11 May 2004. HAEU, RP 495

Poster produced by the European Commission, 2001. HAEU, NDG 130

Note by Graham Avery, Chief Adviser for strategic questions at the Directorate-General for Enlargement of the European Commission, on accession negotiations, 22 May 2002. HAEU, GJLA 220

Crossing Borders

The enlargement of the European space also meant that more people were free to move across the continent. Notions like borders, freedom of movement, mobility were redefined by the European project, but they are still hot topics at the center of public debate.

Activist during a demonstration in Luxembourg, December 1985. HAEU, CS 103 – Photo: Unknown
“Action frontières” of activists of the Union of the European Federalists (UEF) in France, May 1983. HAEU, UEF 427 – Photo: Unknown
Flyer produced by the MEF and the Gioventù Federalista, probably 1983. HAEU, UEF 428

The BABE Project collection offers a multiplicity of visual memories of movement across Europe. The material collected is the result of the fieldwork carried out in European countries including the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, France and Spain.

Ahmed (Marocco), “I drew a suitcase people use them when they need to travel”. Turin, December 2013. ​HAEU, BABE Archival collection
Katia Muñoz (artist from Peru), “Map of my own trajectory of migration. I’m a migratory bird. I’m not from here or there”, collage, Barcelona, October 2013. HAEU, BABE Archival collection
Elena (Romania), “It was the Black forest in Germany”. Visual representation of passing borders in the EU. Turin, Decembre 2013. HAEU, BABE Archival collection