In what ways has the European Union tackled European regional economic disparities since 1957?
The Treaty of Rome (1957) set up what was meant to progressively become a political union of all Europe, but it was initially a customs union. All tariff barriers were to be abolished over a 12 year period, but this was shortened and all tariffs were abrogated in July of 1968. The EEC also established a common import tariff on all products from outside the "Common Market," as the European Economic Community was often termed.
Also adopted was a Common Agricultural Policy. By establishing a free market for farm products throughout the EEC, they avoided outside competition and guaranteed agricultural prices, making certain a prosperous agricultural class in Europe.
The economic structure of the EEC was the main component of the plan that allowed a gradual approach to the European Union we see today. Progressive integration of economies has led to eventual union.
Well since the EU started, their main goal was #1 to keep peace among the European nations, but also to build up trade and commerce. One thing they have done to help build economic disparities among smaller weaker countries is using the same currency. The euro is the currency for European Union nations, which allows for more tourism and investors since it makes trade easier. Also smaller nations that have joined the EU have had extreme success with their economy since now they are part of a union where they can trade with other powerful nations in Europe.