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The European Economic Community (EEC) was a
regional organization and Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is ...
that aimed to bring about
economic integration Economic integration is the unification of economic policies between different states, through the partial or full abolition of tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by a government A government is the system or group of people governing a ...
among its member states. It was created by the
Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC), the best known of the European Communities (EC). The treaty was signed ...
of 1957.Today the largely rewritten treaty continues in force as the ''Treaty on the functioning of the European Union'', as renamed by the Lisbon Treaty. Upon the formation of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
in 1993, the EEC was incorporated into the EU and renamed the European Community (EC). In 2009, the EC formally ceased to exist and its institutions were directly absorbed by the EU. This made the Union the formal successor institution of the Community. The Community's initial aim was to bring about economic integration, including a common market and
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where barriers to trade (tariffs and Non-tariff barriers to tr ...

customs union
, among its six founding members:
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
and
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 October 19 ...
. It gained a common set of
institutions Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to social mechanism, mechanisms which govern the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community, and are ide ...
along with the
European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was a European organisation An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Lega ...

European Coal and Steel Community
(ECSC) and the
European Atomic Energy Community The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international affairs. ...

European Atomic Energy Community
(EURATOM) as one of the
European Communities The European Communities (EC), sometimes referred to as the European Community, were three international organizations that were governed by the same set of institutions Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, ...
under the 1965
Merger Treaty The Merger Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Brussels, was a Treaties of the European Union, European treaty which unified the Executive (government), executive Institutions of the European Union, institutions of the European European Coal and Ste ...
(Treaty of Brussels). In 1993 a complete
single market A single market is a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where barriers to trade (tariffs and Non-tariff barriers to trade, others) are red ...
was achieved, known as the
internal market The European Single Market, Internal Market or Common Market is a comprising the 27 of the (EU) as well as – with certain exceptions – , , and through the Agreement on the , and through . The single market seeks to guarantee the fre ...
, which allowed for the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people within the EEC. In 1994 the internal market was formalised by the EEA agreement. This agreement also extended the internal market to include most of the member states of the
European Free Trade Association The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by busi ...
, forming the
European Economic Area The European Economic Area (EEA) was established via the ''Agreement on the European Economic Area'', an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic un ...

European Economic Area
, which encompasses 15 countries. Upon the entry into force of the
Maastricht Treaty The Treaty on European Union, commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty, is the foundation treaty of the European Union (EU). Concluded in 1992 between the then-twelve Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Communities, ...
in 1993, the EEC was renamed the European Community to reflect that it covered a wider range than economic policy. This was also when the three European Communities, including the EC, were collectively made to constitute the first of the
three pillars of the European Union Between 1993 and 2009, the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an es ...
, which the treaty also founded. The EC existed in this form until it was abolished by the 2009
Treaty of Lisbon The Treaty of Lisbon (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement that amends the two treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also ...
, which incorporated the EC's institutions into the EU's wider framework and provided that the EU would "replace and succeed the European Community". The EEC was also known as the European Common Market in the English-speaking countries and sometimes referred to as the European Community even before it was officially renamed as such in 1993.


History


Background

In 1951, the Treaty of Paris was signed, creating the
European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was a European organisation An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Lega ...

European Coal and Steel Community
(ECSC). This was an international community based on
supranationalism A supranational union is a type of multinational political union where negotiated power is delegated to an authority by governments of member states. The term is sometimes used to describe the European Union The European Union (EU) ...
and international law, designed to help the
economy of Europe The economy of Europe comprises about 748 million people in 50 countries. The formation of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that ar ...
and prevent future war by integrating its
members Member may refer to: * Military jury, referred to as "Members" in military jargon * Element (mathematics), an object that belongs to a mathematical set * In object-oriented programming, a member of a class ** Field (computer science), entries in ...
. With the aim of creating a
federal Europe The federalisation of the European Union describes processes and proposals by which the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located pr ...
two further communities were proposed: a
European Defence Community The Treaty establishing the European Defence Community, also known as the Treaty of Paris, is an unratified treaty signed on 27 May 1952 by the six 'inner' countries of European integration European integration is the process of industrial ...

European Defence Community
and a
European Political Community The European Political Community (EPC) was proposed in 1952 as a combination of the existing European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an international organization, organisation of six European countries ...
. While the treaty for the latter was being drawn up by the
Common Assembly The European Parliament (EP) is one of three legislative branches of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Eur ...

Common Assembly
, the ECSC parliamentary chamber, the proposed defense community was rejected by the
French Parliament The French Parliament (french: Parlement français) is the bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, ...
. ECSC President
Jean Monnet Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet (; 9 November 1888 – 16 March 1979) was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, ...

Jean Monnet
, a leading figure behind the communities, resigned from the High Authority in protest and began work on alternative communities, based on economic integration rather than political integration. After the
Messina Conference The Messina Conference of 1955 was a meeting of the six member states of the European Coal and Steel Community, European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The conference assessed the progress of the ECSC and, deciding that it was working well, prop ...
in 1955,
Paul Henri Spaak Paul-Henri Charles Spaak (25 January 1899 – 31 July 1972) was an influential Belgian Socialist politician, diplomat and statesman. Along with Robert Schuman Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman (; 29 June 18864 September 1963) was a Luxemb ...
was given the task to prepare a report on the idea of a
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where barriers to trade (tariffs and Non-tariff barriers to tr ...

customs union
. The so-called
Spaak Report The Spaak Report or ''Brussels Report on the General Common Market'' is the report drafted by the Spaak Committee in 1956. The Intergovernmental Committee, headed by Paul-Henri Spaak Paul-Henri Charles Spaak (25 January 1899 – 31 July 1972) wa ...
of the
Spaak Committee The Spaak Committee was an Intergovernmental Committee set up by the Foreign Ministers of the six Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an international organization, organisation ...
formed the cornerstone of the intergovernmental negotiations at Val Duchesse conference centre in 1956. Together with the
Ohlin Report The Ohlin Report was a report drafted by a group of experts of the International Labour Organization The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setti ...
the Spaak Report would provide the basis for the
Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC), the best known of the European Communities (EC). The treaty was signed ...
. In 1956,
Paul Henri Spaak Paul-Henri Charles Spaak (25 January 1899 – 31 July 1972) was an influential Belgian Socialist politician, diplomat and statesman. Along with Robert Schuman Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman (; 29 June 18864 September 1963) was a Luxemb ...
led the
Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom {{EU history The Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom was held in Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English nam ...
at the Val Duchesse conference centre, which prepared for the
Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC), the best known of the European Communities (EC). The treaty was signed ...
in 1957. The conference led to the signature, on 25 March 1957, of the
Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC), the best known of the European Communities (EC). The treaty was signed ...
establishing a European Economic Community.


Creation and early years

The resulting communities were the European Economic Community (EEC) and the
European Atomic Energy Community The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international affairs. ...

European Atomic Energy Community
(EURATOM or sometimes EAEC). These were markedly less supranational than the previous communities, due to protests from some countries that their
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
was being infringed (however there would still be concerns with the behaviour of the
Hallstein Commission The Hallstein Commission is the European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Treaties of th ...
). Germany became a founding member of the EEC, and Konrad Adenauer was made leader in a very short time. The first formal meeting of the
Hallstein Commission The Hallstein Commission is the European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Treaties of th ...
was held on 16 January 1958 at the Chateau de Val-Duchesse. The EEC (direct ancestor of the modern Community) was to create a
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where barriers to trade (tariffs and Non-tariff barriers to tr ...

customs union
while Euratom would promote co-operation in the
nuclear power Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reaction In nuclear physics Nuclear physics is the field of physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), ...

nuclear power
sphere. The EEC rapidly became the most important of these and expanded its activities. One of the first important accomplishments of the EEC was the establishment (1962) of common price levels for agricultural products. In 1968, internal tariffs (tariffs on trade between member nations) were removed on certain products. Another crisis was triggered in regard to proposals for the financing of the
Common Agricultural Policy The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the agricultural policy of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total ...
, which came into force in 1962. The transitional period whereby decisions were made by unanimity had come to an end, and majority-voting in the council had taken effect. Then-
French President The president of France, officially the president of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state ( ...
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 19 ...
's opposition to supranationalism and fear of the other members challenging the CAP led to an "empty chair policy" whereby French representatives were withdrawn from the European institutions until the French veto was reinstated. Eventually, a compromise was reached with the
Luxembourg compromise The Luxembourg Compromise (or "Luxembourg Accord") was an agreement reached in January 1966 to resolve the " Empty Chair Crisis" which had caused a stalemate within European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a re ...
on 29 January 1966 whereby a
gentlemen's agreement A gentlemen's agreement, or gentleman's agreement, is an informal and legally non-binding agreement Agreement may refer to: Agreements between people and organizations * Gentlemen's agreement, not enforceable by law * Trade agreement, between co ...
permitted members to use a veto on areas of national interest. On 1 July 1967 when the
Merger Treaty The Merger Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Brussels, was a Treaties of the European Union, European treaty which unified the Executive (government), executive Institutions of the European Union, institutions of the European European Coal and Ste ...
came into operation, combining the institutions of the ECSC and Euratom into that of the EEC, they already shared a
Parliamentary Assembly
Parliamentary Assembly
and
Courts A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, govern ...

Courts
. Collectively they were known as the ''
European Communities The European Communities (EC), sometimes referred to as the European Community, were three international organizations that were governed by the same set of institutions Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, ...
''. The Communities still had independent personalities although were increasingly integrated. Future treaties granted the community new powers beyond simple economic matters which had achieved a high level of integration. As it got closer to the goal of political integration and a peaceful and united Europe, what
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician, lawyer, and statesman. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the C ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
described as a '' Common European Home''.


Enlargement and elections

The 1960s saw the first attempts at
enlargement
enlargement
. In 1961,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
(in 1962), applied to join the three Communities. However, President Charles de Gaulle saw British membership as a
Trojan horse The Trojan Horse was the wooden horse used by the Greeks, during the Trojan War, to enter the city of Troy and win the war. There is no Trojan Horse in Homer's ''Iliad'', with the poem ending before the war is concluded. But in the ''Aeneid'' ...

Trojan horse
for U.S. influence and vetoed membership, and the applications of all four countries were suspended.
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
became the first country to join the EC in 1961 as an associate member, however its membership was suspended in 1967 after the Colonels' coup d'état. A year later, in February 1962,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
attempted to join the European Communities. However, because
Francoist Spain Francoist Spain ( es, España franquista) or the Francoist dictatorship ( es, dictadura franquista, links=no), was the period of history of Spain, Spanish history between 1939 and 1975, when Francisco Franco ruled Spain with the title ''Caudil ...
was not a democracy, all members rejected the request in 1964. The four countries resubmitted their applications on 11 May 1967 and with
Georges Pompidou Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou ( , ; 5 July 19112 April 1974) was a French politician who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République français ...
succeeding Charles de Gaulle as French president in 1969, the veto was lifted. Negotiations began in 1970 under the pro-European UK government of
Edward Heath Sir Edward Richard George Heath (9 July 191617 July 2005) was a British politician who served as from 1970 to 1974 and from 1965 to 1975. Heath also served for 51 years as a from 1950 to 2001. Outside of politics, Heath was a , a musician, ...
, who had to deal with disagreements relating to the
Common Agricultural Policy The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the agricultural policy of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total ...
and the UK's relationship with the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
. Nevertheless, two years later the accession treaties were signed so that Denmark, Ireland and the UK joined the Community effective 1 January 1973. The Norwegian people had finally rejected membership in a referendum on 25 September 1972. The
Treaties of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that ...
had stated that the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three Legislature, legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legi ...

European Parliament
must be directly elected, however this required the
Council A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is t ...

Council
to agree on a common voting system first. The Council procrastinated on the issue and the Parliament remained appointed, French President Charles de Gaulle was particularly active in blocking the development of the Parliament, with it only being granted Budgetary powers following his resignation. Parliament pressured for agreement and on 20 September 1976 the Council agreed part of the necessary instruments for election, deferring details on electoral systems which remain varied to this day. During the tenure of President Jenkins, in June 1979, the elections were held in all the then-members (see
1979 European Parliament election The 1979 European elections were parliamentary elections held across all 9 (at the time) European Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that aimed to bring about economic integration among its member ...
). The new Parliament, galvanised by direct election and new powers, started working full-time and became more active than the previous assemblies. Shortly after its election, the Parliament proposed that the Community adopt the
flag of Europe The flag of Europe or the European flag is an official symbol used by the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-r ...

flag of Europe
design used by the
Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international aff ...

Council of Europe
. The European Council in 1984 appointed an ''ad hoc'' committee for this purpose. The European Council in 1985 largely followed the Committee's recommendations, but as the adoption of a flag was strongly reminiscent of a
national flag A national flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...

national flag
representing
statehood A state is a polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of institutionalized social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resources. A polity ...
, was controversial, the "flag of Europe" design was adopted only with the status of a "logo" or "emblem". The European Council, or European summit, had developed since the 1960s as an informal meeting of the Council at the level of heads of state. It had originated from then-
French President The president of France, officially the president of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state ( ...
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 19 ...
's resentment at the domination of supranational institutions (e.g. the Commission) over the integration process. It was mentioned in the treaties for the first time in the
Single European Act The Single European Act (SEA) was the first major revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economi ...
(see below).


Toward Maastricht

Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
re-applied to join the community on 12 June 1975, following the restoration of democracy, and joined on 1 January 1981. Following on from Greece, and after their own democratic restoration,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
applied to the communities in 1977 and joined together on 1 January 1986. In 1987
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
formally applied to join the Community and began the longest application process for any country. With the prospect of further enlargement, and a desire to increase areas of co-operation, the
Single European Act The Single European Act (SEA) was the first major revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economi ...
was signed by the foreign ministers on 17 and 28 February 1986 in
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
and
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ed ...

The Hague
respectively. In a single document it dealt with reform of institutions, extension of powers, foreign policy cooperation and the single market. It came into force on 1 July 1987. The act was followed by work on what would be the
Maastricht Treaty The Treaty on European Union, commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty, is the foundation treaty of the European Union (EU). Concluded in 1992 between the then-twelve Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Communities, ...
, which was agreed on 10 December 1991, signed the following year and coming into force on 1 November 1993 establishing the European Union, and paving the way for the
European Monetary Union The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modelin ...
.


European Community

The EU absorbed the European Communities as one of its three pillars. The EEC's areas of activities were enlarged and were renamed the ''European Community'', continuing to follow the supranational structure of the EEC. The EEC institutions became those of the EU, however the Court, Parliament and Commission had only limited input in the new pillars, as they worked on a more intergovernmental system than the European Communities. This was reflected in the names of the institutions, the Council was formally the "Council of the ''European Union''" while the Commission was formally the "Commission of the ''European Communities''". However, after the Treaty of Maastricht, Parliament gained a much bigger role. Maastricht brought in the
codecision procedure The European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total popula ...
, which gave it equal legislative power with the Council on Community matters. Hence, with the greater powers of the supranational institutions and the operation of
Qualified Majority Voting The procedures for voting in the Council of the European Union are described in the treaties of the European Union. The Council of the European Union The Council of the European Union, often referred to in the treaties and other official ...
in the Council, the Community pillar could be described as a far more
federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of government characterized by both a central (federal) government and states or ...
method of decision making. The
Treaty of Amsterdam The Treaty of Amsterdam, officially the Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts, was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; it ...
transferred responsibility for free movement of persons (e.g.,
visas Visa most commonly refers to: * Visa Inc., a US multinational financial and payment cards company ** Visa Debit Visa Debit is a major brand of debit card issued by Visa Inc., Visa in many countries around the world. Numerous banks and financial ...
,
illegal immigration Illegal immigration refers to the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration law Immigration law refers to the national statuteA statute reffers to the body of law that are made by legislature of the nation with instrum ...

illegal immigration
, asylum) from the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) pillar to the European Community (JHA was renamed
Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC) was the third of the three pillars of the European Union Between 1993 and 2009, the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state ...
(PJCC) as a result).What are the three pillars of the EU?
Folketingets EU-Oplysning
Both Amsterdam and the
Treaty of Nice The Treaty of Nice was signed by European leaders on 26 February 2001 and came into force on 1 February 2003. It amended the Maastricht Treaty The Maastricht Treaty, concluded in 1992 between the 12 member states of the European Communitie ...
also extended
codecision procedure The European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total popula ...
to nearly all policy areas, giving Parliament equal power to the Council in the Community. In 2002, the Treaty of Paris which established the ECSC expired, having reached its 50-year limit (as the first treaty, it was the only one with a limit). No attempt was made to renew its mandate; instead, the
Treaty of Nice The Treaty of Nice was signed by European leaders on 26 February 2001 and came into force on 1 February 2003. It amended the Maastricht Treaty The Maastricht Treaty, concluded in 1992 between the 12 member states of the European Communitie ...
transferred certain of its elements to the
Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC), the best known of the European Communities (EC). The treaty was signed ...
and hence its work continued as part of the EC area of the European Community's remit. After the entry into force of the
Treaty of Lisbon The Treaty of Lisbon (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement that amends the two treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also ...
in 2009 the pillar structure ceased to exist. The European Community, together with its
legal person In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by ...
ality, was absorbed into the newly consolidated European Union which merged in the other two pillars (however Euratom remained distinct). This was originally proposed under the
European Constitution The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE; commonly referred to as the European Constitution or as the Constitutional Treaty) was an unratified international treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement betw ...
but that treaty failed ratification in 2005.


Aims and achievements

The main aim of the EEC, as stated in its preamble, was to "preserve peace and liberty and to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe". Calling for balanced economic growth, this was to be accomplished through: # The establishment of a
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where barriers to trade (tariffs and Non-tariff barriers to tr ...

customs union
with a
common external tariff A common external tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...
# Common policies for
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...
,
transport Transport (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and ...
and trade, including
standardization Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties that include firms, users, interest groups, standards organizations and governments. Standardization ...
(for example, the
CE marking #REDIRECT CE marking#REDIRECT CE marking CE marking is an administrative marking that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). It is not a qualit ...
designates standards compliance) # to the rest of Europe Citing Article 2 from the original text of the Treaty of Rome of the 25th of March 1957, the EEC aimed at “a harmonious development of economic activities, a continuous and balanced expansion, an increase in stability, an accelerated raising of the standard of living and closer relations between the States belonging to it”. Given the fear of the Cold War, many Western Europeans were afraid that poverty would make “the population vulnerable to communist propaganda” (Meurs 2018, p. 68), meaning that increasing prosperity would be beneficial to harmonise power between the Western and Eastern blocs, other than reconcile Member States such as France and Germany after WW2. The tasks entrusted to the Community were divided among an assembly, the European Parliament, Council, Commission, and Court of Justice. Moreover, restrictions to market were lifted to further liberate trade among Member States. Citizens of Member States (other than goods, services, and capital) were entitled to freedom of movement. The CAP, Common Agricultural Policy, regulated and subsided the agricultural sphere. A European Social Fund was implemented in favour of employees who lost their jobs. A European Investment Bank was established to “facilitate the economic expansion of the Community by opening up fresh resources” (Art. 3 Treaty of Rome 3/25/1957). All these implementations included overseas territories. Competition was to be kept alive to make products cheaper for European consumers. For the customs union, the treaty provided for a 10% reduction in custom duties and up to 20% of global import quotas. Progress on the customs union proceeded much faster than the twelve years planned. However, France faced some setbacks due to their war with Algeria.


Members

The six states that founded the EEC and the other two Communities were known as the "
inner six The Inner Six, or simply "the Six", were the six founding member states A member state is a state that is a member of an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovern ...
" (the "outer seven" were those countries who formed the
European Free Trade Association The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by busi ...
). The six were France, West Germany, Italy and the three
Benelux The Benelux Union ( nl, Benelux Unie; french: Union Benelux; lb, Benelux-Unioun), also known as simply Benelux, is a politico ''Politico'', known originally as ''The Politico'', is an American political journalism Political journalism i ...

Benelux
countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The first enlargement was in 1973, with the accession of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Greece, Spain and Portugal joined in the 1980s. The former
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
became part of the EEC upon German reunification in 1990. Following the creation of the EU in 1993, it has enlarged to include an additional sixteen countries by 2013. Member states are represented in some form in each institution. The
Council A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is t ...

Council
is also composed of one national minister who represents their national government. Each state also has a right to one
European Commissioner A European Commissioner is a member of the 27-member European Commission. Each member within the Commission holds a specific portfolio, and the Commission is led by the President of the European Commission. In simple terms they are the equivalent ...
each, although in the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
they are not supposed to represent their national interest but that of the Community. Prior to 2004, the larger members (France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) have had two Commissioners. In the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three Legislature, legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legi ...

European Parliament
, members are allocated a set number seats related to their population, however these ( since 1979) have been directly elected and they sit according to political allegiance, not national origin. Most other institutions, including the
European Court of Justice European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Justice
, have some form of national division of its members.


Institutions

There were three political institutions which held the executive and legislative power of the EEC, plus one judicial institution and a fifth body created in 1975. These institutions (except for the auditors) were created in 1957 by the EEC but from 1967 onwards they applied to all three Communities. The Council represents governments, the Parliament represents citizens and the Commission represents the European interest. Essentially, the Council, Parliament or another party place a request for legislation to the Commission. The Commission then drafts this and presents it to the Council for approval and the Parliament for an opinion (in some cases it had a veto, depending upon the legislative procedure in use). The Commission's duty is to ensure it is implemented by dealing with the day-to-day running of the Union and taking others to Court if they fail to comply. After the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, these institutions became those of the European Union, though limited in some areas due to the pillar structure. Despite this, Parliament in particular has gained more power over legislation and security of the Commission. The Court was the highest authority in the law, settling legal disputes in the Community, while the Auditors had no power but to investigate.


Background

The EEC inherited some of the in that the
Common Assembly The European Parliament (EP) is one of three legislative branches of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Eur ...

Common Assembly
and of the ECSC had their authority extended to the EEC and Euratom in the same role. However the EEC, and Euratom, had different executive bodies to the ECSC. In place of the ECSC's Council of Ministers was the , and in place of the High Authority was the
Commission of the European Communities The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Treaties of the European Union, EU treaties and managing the day-to- ...

Commission of the European Communities
. There was greater difference between these than name: the French government of the day had grown suspicious of the supranational power of the High Authority and sought to curb its powers in favour of the intergovernmental style Council. Hence the Council had a greater executive role in the running of the EEC than was the situation in the ECSC. By virtue of the
Merger Treaty The Merger Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Brussels, was a Treaties of the European Union, European treaty which unified the Executive (government), executive Institutions of the European Union, institutions of the European European Coal and Ste ...
in 1967, the executives of the ECSC and Euratom were merged with that of the EEC, creating a single institutional structure governing the three separate Communities. From here on, the term ''European Communities'' were used for the institutions (for example, from ''Commission of the European Economic Community'' to the ''Commission of the European Communities'').


Council

The
Council of the European Communities The Council of the European Union, often referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council, and informally known as the Council of Ministers, is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as l ...

Council of the European Communities
was a body holding legislative and executive powers and was thus the main decision making body of the Community. Its
Presidency A presidency is an Administration (government), administration or the Executive (government), executive, the collective administrative and governmental entity that exists around an office of President (government title), president of a state or nati ...
rotated between the
member states A member state is a state that is a member of an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the be ...
every six months and it is related to the
European Council The European Council (informally EUCO) is a collegiate body that defines the overall political directions and priorities of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are loc ...
, which was an informal gathering of national leaders (started in 1961) on the same basis as the Council. The Council was composed of one national
minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
from each member state. However the Council met in various forms depending upon the topic. For example, if agriculture was being discussed, the Council would be composed of each national minister for agriculture. They represented their governments and were accountable to their national political systems. Votes were taken either by majority (with votes allocated according to population) or unanimity. In these various forms they share some legislative and budgetary power of the Parliament. Since the 1960s the Council also began to meet informally at the level of national leaders; these European summits followed the same presidency system and secretariat as the Council but was not a formal formation of it.


Commission

The
Commission of the European Communities The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Treaties of the European Union, EU treaties and managing the day-to- ...

Commission of the European Communities
was the executive arm of the community, drafting
Community law A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense of place (geography), place ...
, dealing with the day to running of the Community and upholding the
treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...
. It was designed to be independent, representing the Community interest, but was composed of national representatives (two from each of the larger states, one from the smaller states). One of its members was the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
, appointed by the Council, who chaired the body and represented it.


Parliament

Under the Community, the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three Legislature, legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legi ...

European Parliament
(formerly the European Parliamentary Assembly) had an advisory role to the Council and Commission. There were a number of Community legislative procedures, at first there was only the
consultation procedure The European Union adopts legislation through a variety of legislative procedures. The procedure used for a given legislative proposal depends on the policy area in question. Most legislation needs to be proposed by the European Commission and ...
, which meant Parliament had to be consulted, although it was often ignored. The
Single European Act The Single European Act (SEA) was the first major revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economi ...
gave Parliament more power, with the
assent procedure The consent procedure (formerly ''assent procedure'') is one of the Legislature of the European Union#Special legislative procedures, special legislative procedures of the European Union. Single European Act The assent procedure was introduced b ...
giving it a right to veto proposals and the
cooperation procedure The cooperation procedure (formally known as the Article 252 procedure) was one of the principal legislative procedures of the European Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that aimed to bring about ec ...
giving it equal power with the Council if the Council was not unanimous. In 1970 and 1975, the Budgetary treaties gave Parliament power over the Community budget. The Parliament's members, up-until 1980 were national MPs serving part-time in the Parliament. The Treaties of Rome had required elections to be held once the Council had decided on a voting system, but this did not happen and elections were delayed until 1979 (see
1979 European Parliament election The 1979 European elections were parliamentary elections held across all 9 (at the time) European Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that aimed to bring about economic integration among its member ...
). After that, Parliament was elected every five years. In the following 20 years, it gradually won co-decision powers with the Council over the adoption of legislation, the right to approve or reject the appointment of the Commission President and the Commission as a whole, and the right to approve or reject international agreements entered into by the Community.


Court

The
Court of Justice of the European Communities The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (french: Cour de justice de l'Union européenne or "''CJUE''"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European language ...

Court of Justice of the European Communities
was the of on matters of
Community law A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense of place (geography), place ...
and was composed of one judge per state with a president elected from among them. Its role was to ensure that Community law was applied in the same way across all states and to settle legal disputes between institutions or states. It became a powerful institution as Community law overrides national law.


Auditors

The fifth institution is the ''
European Court of Auditors The European Court of Auditors (ECA) (French: ''Cour des comptes européenne'') is one of the seven institutions of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, membe ...
'', which despite its name had no judicial powers like the Court of Justice. Instead, it ensured that
taxpayer A taxpayer is a person or organization (such as a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both ...

taxpayer
funds from the Community budget have been correctly spent. The court provided an
audit report The auditor's report is a formal opinion, or disclaimer thereof, issued by either an internal auditor or an independent external auditor as a result of an internal or external audit, as an assurance services, assurance service in order for the user ...
for each financial year to the Council and Parliament and gives opinions and proposals on financial legislation and anti-fraud actions. It is the only institution not mentioned in the original treaties, having been set up in 1975.


Policy areas

At the time of its abolition, the European Community pillar covered the following areas;


See also

*
Economy of the European Union The economy of the European Union is the joint economy of the member states of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primaril ...
*
Brussels and the European Union Brussels (Belgium) is considered the ''de facto'' capital of the European Union, having a long history of hosting a number of principal Institutions of the European Union, EU institutions within its Leopold Quarter, European Quarter. The EU has ...
*
Delors Commission The Delors Commission was the administration of Jacques Delors Jacques Lucien Jean Delors (born 20 July 1925) is a French politician who served as the 8th President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995. He served as Minister of the Eco ...
*
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
* European Customs Information Portal (ECIP) *
European Institutions in Strasbourg There are a range of European institutions in Strasbourg (France), the oldest of which dates back to 1815. In all, there are more than twenty different institutions based in the Alsace, Alsatian city.
* History of the European Communities (1958-1972) * History of the European Communities (1973-1993) * Location of European Union institutions * Snake in the tunnel


EU evolution timeline


Notes


References


Further reading

* Nicola Acocella, Acocella, Nicola (1992), ‘''Trade and direct investment within the EC: The impact of strategic considerations''’, in: Cantwell, John (ed.), ‘''Multinational investment in modern Europe''’, E. Elgar, Cheltenham, . * Balassa, Bela (1962). ''The Theory of Economic Integration'' * * Hallstein, Walter (1962). ''A New Path to Peaceful Union'' * Milward, Alan S. (1992). ''The European Rescue of the Nation-State'' * Moravcsik, Andrew (1998). ''The Choice for Europe. Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht'

* Ludlow, N. Piers (2006). ''The European Community and the Crises of the 1960s. Negotiating the Gaullist Challenge'

* Warlouzet, Laurent (2018). ''Governing Europe in a Globalizing World. Neoliberalism and its Alternatives following the 1973 Oil Crisis'


Primary sources

* Bliss, Howard, ed. ''The political development of the European Community: a documentary collection'' (Blaisdell, 1969). * Monnet, Jean. ''Prospect for a New Europe'' (1959). * Schuman, Robert. ''French Policy towards Germany since the war'' (Oxford University Press, 1954). * Spaak, Paul-Henri. ''The Continuing Battle: Memories of a European'' (1971)


External links


EEC on the UK Parliament website



Documents
of the European Economic Community are consultable at th
Historical Archives of the EU
in Florence

on CVCE website
History of the Rome Treaties
on CVCE website

* [http://ec.europa.eu/ecip/index_en.htm European Customs Information Portal (ECIP)]
The history of the European Union
{{Authority control European Economic Community, History of the European Union Organizations established in 1958 Organizations disestablished in 1993 Former international organizations 1958 establishments in Europe 1993 disestablishments in Europe States and territories established in 1958 Former polities of the Cold War