At the end of wwii, european leaders concluded that the best way to prevent the kinds of hostilities that had led to two world wars would be to forge closer economic ties among the european nation-states. 1951: the creation of a common market for coal and steel. 1958: belgium, luxembourg, the netherlands, france, italy and west germany formed the european economic community. Agreed to eliminate certain tariffs against one another and to promote mutual trade and cooperation. The eu has focused on lowering the cost of producing goods in europe. Helping poorer european countries prosper while keeping the costs of doing business low enough to reduce the incentive for european companies to move away from europe to places where labor and resource costs are lower still. In europe"s wealthiest countries, the resultant reduction of industrial capacity (deindustrialization) has led to higher unemployment rates.