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During the 1960s, tensions began to show, with France seeking to limit supranational power.

Nevertheless, in 1965 an agreement was reached and on 1 July 1967 the Merger Treaty created a single set of institutions for the three communities, which were collectively referred to as the European Communities.

Containing 7.3% of the world population, Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.

The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.The gap between Greek East and Latin West had already been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054; and would be eventually widened again by the Iron Curtain (1945–91).Pan-European political thought truly emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire (1804–15).Because of its global influence, the European Union was described in 2006 as an emerging superpower.During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii ("transfer of rule") of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire (481–843) and the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West.

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