European Communities
Pillars of the European Union
European UnionCommon Foreign and Security PolicyPolice and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal MattersPillars of the European Union.svg
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The three pillars which constituted the European Union (clickable)
1993–2009 → EU
Constituent communities
European Coal and Steel Community1952–2002
European Economic Community1958–2009
European Atomic Energy Community1958–present

The European Communities (EC), sometimes referred to as the European Community,[1] were three international organizations that were governed by the same set of institutions. These were the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom), and the European Economic Community (EEC); the last of which was renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993 by the Maastricht Treaty, which formed the European Union.

When the Communities were incorporated into the European Union in 1993, they became its first pillar. The European Coal and Steel Community ceased to exist in 2002 when its founding treaty expired. The European Community was dissolved into the European Union by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009; with the EU becoming the legal successor to the Community. Euratom remained an entity distinct from the EU, but is governed by the same institutions.