The great interior market
From 1960 to 1988
Two oil crises, in 1973 and 1979, undermined the European economies and resulted in unemployment, recession and de-industrialization. They revealed the rigidity of the structure and required the reform of the EEC. The election of the European Parliament through universal suffrage in 1979 reinforced its controlling role.
The Single Act was a response to the crisis: it aimed to create a European zone without interior borders from more than 300 million consumers. This great market meant a securing of foreign borders beginning in 1985, put into place progressively through the Schengen accord.
Europe attracted the Southern countries emerging from dictatorship and became a model for the dissidents in the East.