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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 affairs. It was established in 1947 and is published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the International Organizatio ...
established by the
Euratom Treaty The Euratom Treaty, officially the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, established the European Atomic Energy Community. It was signed on 25 March 1957 at the same time as the Treaty establishing the European Economic Communit ...
on 25 March 1957 with the original purpose of creating a specialist market for
nuclear power Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions. Presently, the vast majority of electricity from nuclear power is produced by n ...
in Europe, by developing nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while selling the surplus to non-member states. However, over the years its scope has been considerably increased to cover a large variety of areas associated with
nuclear power Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions. Presently, the vast majority of electricity from nuclear power is produced by n ...
and
ionising radiation Ionizing radiation (ionising radiation) consists of subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves that have sufficient energy to ionize atoms or molecules by detaching electrons from them. The particles generally travel at a speed that is greater th ...
as diverse as safeguarding of
nuclear materials Nuclear material refers to the metals uranium, plutonium, and thorium, in any form, according to the IAEA. This is differentiated further into "source material", consisting of natural and depleted uranium, and "special fissionable material", consi ...
,
radiation protection Radiation protection, also known as radiological protection, is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "The protection of people from harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the means for achieving this". Exposure ...
and construction of the International Fusion Reactor
ITER ITER is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject that will be the world's largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment. It is an attempt to replicate the fusion processes of the sun to create energy on ear ...
. It is legally distinct from the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has developed an internal s ...
(EU) although it has the same
membership 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 a ...
, and is governed by many of the EU's institutions; but it is the only remaining community organisation that is independent of the EU and therefore outside the regulatory control of the European Parliament. Since 2014,
Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independent directorial republic , leader_title1 = Federal Council , leader_name ...
has also participated in Euratom programmes as an associated state.Document 32014D0954
Council of the European Union. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
The United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the organisation on 31 January 2020. However, under the terms of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the United Kingdom participates in Euratom as an associated state following the end of the
transition period The Brexit withdrawal agreement, officially titled "Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community", is a treaty between the European Un ...
on 31 December 2020.


History

The Common Assembly proposed extending the powers of the
European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an organisation of six European countries created after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris ...
to cover other sources of energy. However,
Jean Monnet Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet (; 9 November 1888 – 16 March 1979) was a French entrepreneur, diplomat, financier, administrator, and political visionary. An influential supporter of European unity, he is considered as one of the founding fathe ...

Jean Monnet
, ECSC architect and President, wanted a separate community to cover
nuclear power Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions. Presently, the vast majority of electricity from nuclear power is produced by n ...
.
Louis Armand Louis Armand (17 January 1905 – 30 August 1971) was a French engineer who managed several public companies, and had a significant role during World War II as an officer in the Resistance. He was the first chair of Euratom and was elected to the ...
was put in charge of a study into the prospects of nuclear energy use in Europe; his report concluded that further nuclear development was needed to fill the deficit left by the exhaustion of coal deposits and to reduce dependence on oil producers. However, the
Benelux The Benelux Union ( nl, Benelux Unie; french: Union Benelux; lb, Benelux-Unioun), also known as simply Benelux, is a politico-economic union and formal international intergovernmental cooperation of three neighbouring states in western Europe: Bel ...

Benelux
states and Germany were also keen on creating a general
single market#REDIRECT Single market#REDIRECT Single market {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, although it was opposed by France due to its
protectionism Protectionism is the economic policy of restricting imports from other countries through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, import quotas, and a variety of other government regulations. Proponents argue that protectionist policies shi ...
, and Jean Monnet thought it too large and difficult a task. In the end, Monnet proposed the creation of separate atomic energy and economic communities to reconcile both groups. The
Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom {{EU history The Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom was held in Brussels and started on 26 June 1956 with a session in the Grand Salon of the Belgian Foreign Ministry. The negotiations went on at the Château of Val-Duche ...
at the
Château of Val-Duchesse The Château of Val-Duchesse (french: Château de Val-Duchesse, nl, Kasteel van Hertoginnedal) is a mansion and estate situated in the municipality of Auderghem in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. The château, which occupies the site of a f ...
in 1956 drew up the essentials of the new treaties. Euratom would foster co-operation in the nuclear field, at the time a very popular area, and would, along with the EEC, share the Common Assembly and Court of Justice of the ECSC, but not its executives. Euratom would have its own Council and Commission, with fewer powers than the
High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community The High Authority was the executive branch of the former European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). It was created in 1951 and disbanded in 1967 when it was merged into the European Commission. History The High Authority was at the core of the i ...
. On 25 March 1957, the Treaties of Rome (the
Euratom Treaty The Euratom Treaty, officially the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, established the European Atomic Energy Community. It was signed on 25 March 1957 at the same time as the Treaty establishing the European Economic Communit ...
and the EEC Treaty) were signed by the ECSC members and on 1 January 1958 they came into force. To save on resources, these separate executives created by the Rome Treaties were merged in 1965 by the
Merger Treaty The Merger Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Brussels, was a European treaty which unified the executive institutions of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community ( ...
. The institutions of the EEC would take over responsibilities for the running of the ECSC and Euratom, with all three then becoming 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. These were the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Atomi ...
even if each legally existed separately. In 1993, the
Maastricht Treaty The Maastricht Treaty, concluded in 1992 between the 12 member states of the European Communities, is the foundation treaty of the European Union (EU). Formally the Treaty on European Union, it announced "a new stage in the process of European i ...
created the European Union, which absorbed the Communities into the
European Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that aimed to bring about economic integration among its member states. It was created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957.Today the largely rewritten treaty continues in force as the ...
pillar, yet Euratom still maintained a distinct legal personality. 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 intended to create a consolidated constitution for the European Un ...
was intended to consolidate all previous treaties and increase democratic accountability in them. The Euratom treaty had not been amended as the other treaties had, so the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legislation, commonly on the proposal of the Europea ...
had been granted few powers over it. However, the reason it had gone unamended was the same reason the Constitution left it to remain separate from the rest of the EU: anti-nuclear sentiment among the European electorate, which may unnecessarily turn voters against the treaty. The Euratom treaty thus remains in force relatively unamended from its original signing.


EU evolution timeline

This overall timeline includes the establishment and development of Euratom, and shows that currently it is the only former EC body that has not been incorporated into the EU.


Cooperation

* Since 2014,
Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independent directorial republic , leader_title1 = Federal Council , leader_name ...
has participated in Euratom programmes as an associated state. * As of 2020, the community had Co-operation Agreements of various scopes with nine countries:
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixt ...

Australia
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering , making it the world's second-largest country by total ...

Canada
,
Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden circle subdivided ...
,
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan,, * russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, * russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no is a transcontinental country mainly located in Central Asia wit ...
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraina, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country in Europe, after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east; it also shares borders with Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia a ...
,
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
,
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi), is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It is surrounded by five countries: Kazakhstan to the north; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Tajikistan ...
, and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...
. *From 1 January 2021, 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 shortha ...
shall participate in Euratom programmes as an associated state under the draft terms of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.


Withdrawal of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom announced its intention to withdraw from the EAEC on 26 January 2017, following on from its decision to withdraw from the European Union. Formal notice to withdraw from the EAEC was provided in March 2017, within the Article 50 notification letter, where the withdrawal was made explicit. Withdrawal only became effective following negotiations on the terms of the exit, which lasted two years and ten months. A report by the House of Commons
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is a select committee of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The remit of the committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for ...
, published in May 2017, questioned the legal necessity of leaving Euratom and called for a temporary extension of membership to allow time for new arrangements to be made. In June 2017, the European Commission's negotiations task force published a ''Position paper transmitted to EU27 on nuclear materials and safeguard equipment (Euratom)'', titled "Essential Principles on nuclear materials and safeguard equipment". The following month, a briefing paper from the House of Commons Library assessed the implications of leaving Euratom. In 2017, an article in ''
The Independent ''The Independent'' is a British online newspaper that was established in 1986 as a national morning printed paper. Nicknamed the ''Indy'', it began as a broadsheet and changed to tabloid format in 2003. The last printed edition was publishe ...
'' questioned availability of nuclear fuel to the UK after 2019 if the UK were to withdraw, and the need for new treaties relating to the transportation of nuclear materials. A 2017 article in the ''
New Scientist ''New Scientist'', first published on 22 November 1956, is a magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology. Based in London, it publishes weekly English-language editions in the UK, the United States, and Australia. An editorially se ...
'' stated that radioisotope supply for cancer treatments would also need to be considered in new treaties. UK politicians speculated that the UK could stay in Euratom. In 2017, some argued that this would require – beyond the consent of the EU27 – amendment or revocation of the Article 50 letter of March 2017. The
Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018 The Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018 (c. 15) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that makes legal provision to enable the continuation of nuclear safeguards after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Atomic Energy Community a ...
, making provision for safeguards after withdrawal from Euratom, received royal assent on 26 June 2018. The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, outlining the UK's relationship with the European Union from 1 January 2021, makes provision for the United Kingdom's participation "as an associated country of all parts of the Euratom programme".


Achievements

In the history of European regulation, Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty represents pioneering legislation concerning binding transfrontier obligations with respect to environmental impact and protection of humans.Heuel-Fabianek, B., Kümmerle, E., Möllmann-Coers, M., Lennartz, R. (2008): The relevance of Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty for the dismantling of nuclear reactors. atw – International Journal for Nuclear Power 6/2008


Presidents of the EAEC

The five member Commission was led by only three presidents while it had independent executives (1958–1967), all from France:


See also

* EU Directorate General Joint Research Centre – often incorrectly referred to as Euratom due to EURATOM being its origin. * Energy Community * Energy policy of the European Union * History of the European Union * Institutions of the European Union * International Atomic Energy Agency * Nuclear energy in the European Union * The nuclear power, nuclear part of the Seventh Framework Programme, Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development, the European Union's chief instrument for funding research.


References


External links

*
Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)

Documents
of the European Atomic Energy Community are consultable at th
Historical Archives of the EU
in Florence
History of the Rome Treaties
Online collection by the Centre virtuel de la connaissance sur l'Europe, CVCE
European Commission Fusion Research
{{authority control European Atomic Energy Community, International nuclear energy organizations International organizations based in Europe Energy policies and initiatives of the European Union European Union and science and technology Organizations established in 1958 Intergovernmental organizations established by treaty 1958 establishments in Europe