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The European Economic Community was replaced by the European Union (EU) as the primary political and economic institution for cooperating European countries. The Maastricht Treaty proclaimed a social protocol providing for common standards related to worker health and safety and in other areas such as crime prevention, immigration, and asylum policy. Each country largely retained ultimate sovereignty, especially in defense, foreign policy, and law enforcement (Shubert and Goldstein, 2012). The upsurge in immigration helped fill the less attractive, low-wage jobs in construction, hospitality, and domestic service. The EU agreed to create a European Monetary Union (EMU) with a single currency called the Euro. Europe also began to catch up with America in information technology.

During this period, Europe continued to de-industrialize and agriculture continued to decline, while the service revolution progressed. The national birth rate decreased because the European women were more likely to attend college and join the workforce. Disagreements over who the actual victims of the Holocaust were, caused divisions. The increase in immigration from outside of Europe, especially that of Muslims, caused concern that the “European values” were being threatened. So, the Muslims replaced the Jews as the enemy of the Anglos. The Roma also suffered discrimination, to the point that countries had to abolish discriminatory practices and establish special programs for them as a part of their admission process.

This period was also marked by genocide. When Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from Yugoslavia, it resulted in civil war. Because they were confident that the European community would not take any military action, the Bosnian Serbs committed genocide against Muslims. The Serbs persecuted Muslims in ways reminiscent of how the Nazis persecuted the Jews during World War II, with mass shootings, and concentration camps. Over 200,000 Muslim civilians were murdered.

The collapse of Communism had both positive and negative effects on Europe. It brought a greater freedom of expression, but also the commercialization and sexualization of culture. The local film industry collapsed, leading to the growing dominance of United States movies. There were also inconsistencies in the historical memories of countries affected by the Holocaust, which led to conflicts.


Shubert, A., and Goldstein, R. (2012). Twentieth-century europe. [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Genocide in the 20th century. Retrieved from http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/…

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