Treaties of Rome

Treaties of Rome

Infobox Treaty

image_width = 120px
caption = The original 1957 signatures
name = Treaty of Rome
long_name = Treaty establishing the European Community
type =
date_draft =
date_signed = March 25 1957
location_signed = Rome, Italy
date_sealed =
date_effective = 1 January 1958
date_expiration =
signatories = "The Six";
West Germany
depositor =
language =
languages =
wikisource = The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC)

The Treaties of Rome are two of the treaties of the European Union signed on March 25 1957. Both treaties were signed by "The Six": Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.

The first established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the second established the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom). They were the first international organisations to be based on supranationalism, after the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) established a few years prior.

The treaties came into force on 1 January 1958 and the EEC treaty has been amended on numerous occasions (see Treaties of the European Union); It has since been renamed from "The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community" to the "The Treaty establishing the European Community". However the Euratom treaty has seen very little amendment due to the later sensitivity surrounding atomic energy amongst the European electorate.


In 1951, the Treaty of Paris was signed, creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). This was an international community based on supranationalism and international law, designed to help the economy of Europe and prevent future war by integrating its members together. In the aim of creating a federal Europe two further communities were proposed. A European Defence Community (EDC) and a European Political Community (EPC). While the treaty for the latter was being drawn up by the Common Assembly, the ECSC parliamentary chamber, the EDC was rejected by the French Parliament. President 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. [Raymond F. Mikesell, "The Lessons of Benelux and the European Coal and Steel Community for the European Economic Community", The American Economic Review, Vol. 48, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Seventieth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1958), pp. 428-441]

As a result of energy crises, the Common Assembly proposed extending the powers of the ECSC to cover other sources of energy. However Jean Monnet desired a separate community to cover atomic energy and Louis Armand was put in charge of a study into the prospects of nuclear energy use in Europe. The report concluded 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 states and Germany were also keen on creating a general common market, although it was opposed by France due to its protectionism and Jean Monnet thought it too large and difficult a task. In the end, Monnet proposed creating both as separate communities, in an attempt to satisfy all interests. [ [ 1957-1968 Successes and crises] European NAvigator] As a result of the Messina Conference of 1955, Paul-Henri Spaak was appointed as chairman of a preparatory committee (Spaak Committee) charged with the preparation of a report on the creation of a common European market.

The Spaak Report [ [ Spaak report] ] drawn up by the "Spaak Committee" provided the basis for further progress and was accepted at the Venice Conference (29 and 30 May 1956) where the decision was taken to organize an Intergovernmental Conference. The report formed the cornerstone of the Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom at Val Duchesse in 1956.

The outcome of the conference was that new communities would share the Common Assembly (now Parliamentary Assembly) with the ECSC, as it would with the Court of Justice. However they would not share the ECSC's Council of High Authority. The two new High Authorities would be called Commissions, this was due to a reduction in their powers. France was reluctant to agree to more supranational powers and hence the new Commissions would only have basic powers and important decisions would have to be approved by the Council, which now adopted majority voting. [ [ Drafting of the Rome Treaties] European NAvigator] The latter body fostered co-operation in the nuclear field, at the time a very popular area, and the EEC was to create a full customs union between members. [ [ A European Atomic Energy Community] European NAvigator] [ [ A European Customs Union]]

The conference led to the signature, on March 25, 1957, of the Treaties of Rome at the "Palazzo dei Conservatori" on Capitoline Hill in Rome. In March 2007, the BBC's "Today" radio programme reported that delays in printing the treaty meant that the document signed by the European leaders as the Treaty of Rome consisted of blank pages between its frontispiece and page for the signatures. [ [ "What really happened when the Treaty of Rome was signed 50 years ago"] ] [" [ EU landmark document was 'blank pages'] "] [ [ "How divided Europe came together "] ]


The Euratom treaty is less well known due to the lower profile of that organisation. While the EEC has evolved into what is now the European Union, Euratom has remained much the same and is governed by the same institutions as the EEC. It was established with independent institutions, but in 1967 the Merger Treaty merged the institutions of Euratom and the ECSC with those of the EEC. The Euratom treaty has seen very little amendment due to the later sensitivity surrounding atomic energy amongst the European electorate.

EEC Renamings

The EEC treaty's original full name was the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, but in 1993 the Treaty of Maastricht changed the name of the EEC treaty to reflect the change of the EEC in becoming the European Community. Hence the treaty became the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC).

If the Treaty of Lisbon comes into force as planned, a further change in the nature of the Community would lead to the EEC treaty being amended and renamed as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).cite news|url =|publisher = Council of the European Union|title = Presidency Conclusions Brussels European Council 21/22 June 2007|date = 23 June 2007]

50th anniversary

The 50th anniversary was celebrated in various ways, including events on Europe Day and throughout the year. Numerous commemorative coins were issues, including a special commemorative two euro which was issued with near identical designs by every (then-13) eurozone member (the first time every member had issued a coin together). Other non-circulation coins included the Belgian 10 euro 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome commemorative coin.

ee also

* Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom
* Spaak Report
* Ohlin Report
* Berlin Declaration (2007)
* Common Agricultural Policy
* Four Freedoms (European Union)
* History of the European Union
* Article 81
* Article 82


External links

* [ Consolidated version of the Treaty] (Official Journal C 321E of 29 December 2006)
* [ EEC Treaty (Treaty of Rome) in Wikisource]
* [ History of the Rome Treaties] European NAvigator
* [ Treaty establishing the European Economic Community] European NAvigator
* [ Happy Birthday EU] Dead link|url=|date=May 2008 — Union wide design competition to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty

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