The European Union (the EU) was initially established, and the Treaty of Rome signed, in 1957 (see Box 5.1). The Treaty of Rome was based on common markets and economic cooperation between Member States, but it also included health care-related commitments, such as coordination among Member States with respect to social security and occupational health and safety. However, for a long time the influence of European policies on national health care systems was limited, if in practice almost non-existent. One example of this is the fact that when Finland, Sweden and Austria joined the EU in 1995, it was wrongly understood in Finland that there would be no impact on health and social services. Indeed, this was what was claimed by decision-makers. If the electorate had thought otherwise, it could have changed the result of the vote on joining the EU. Health implications of the EU were considered predominantly in the context of public health policies; for example, when Finland and Sweden joined the EU, they negotiated time frames before border measures were fully lifted from alcohol products.