« Following the signing of Treaties of Nice in May 2001, which made Brussels the de facto capital of the European Union, the then President of theEuropean Commission, Romano Prodi and the Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt invited Koolhaas to discuss the necessities and requirements of a European capital.
During these talks and as an impetus for further discussion, Koolhaas and his think-tank AMO – an independent part of OMA – suggested the development of a visual language. This idea inspired a series of drawings and drafts, including the « Barcode« . The barcode seeks to unite the flags of the EU member countries into a single, colourful symbol. In the current European flag, there is a fixed number of stars. In the barcode however, new Member States of the EU can be added without space constraints. Originally, the barcode displayed 15 EU countries. In 2004, the symbol was adapted to include the ten new Member States.
Since the time of the first drafts of the barcode it has very rarely been officially used by commercial or political institutions. During the Austrian EU Presidency 2006 it was officially used for the first time. The logo has already been used for the EU information campaign which will also be continued during the Austrian EU Presidency. There was initially some uproar caused, as the stripes of the flag of Estonia were displayed incorrectly. »
Source : Wikipedia