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The European Union Explained*
The European Union Explained*
Published: 2013/07/02
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From the European Coal & Steel Community to the Common Market - Professor Vernon Bogdanor
From the European Coal & Steel Community to the Common Market - Professor Vernon Bogdanor
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Roy Jenkins and Tony Benn debate : The European Communities membership referendum, 1975 - Panorama
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Tony Benn 1975 European Communities debate highlights
Tony Benn 1975 European Communities debate highlights
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How the EU went from Trade Bloc to European Government
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Higher Density Housing and New Communities — Lessons from Europe / SFU lecture
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Channel: SFU Continuing Studies
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"A New We" - Ecovillages and self-reliant communities in Europe
Published: 2010/07/29
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Douglas Carswell repeal European Communities Act (26Oct12)
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Owen Patterson: Good riddance to the European Communities Act (1972)
Published: 2017/09/07
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European Economic Community
European Economic Community
Published: 2014/08/31
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Greenlandic European Communities membership referendum, 1982
Published: 2016/07/24
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Eastern European communities react to Brexit - Manchester Headline News
Published: 2016/06/29
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Margaret Thatcher on BBC Newsday 1975 - United Kingdom European Communities Membership Referendum
Margaret Thatcher on BBC Newsday 1975 - United Kingdom European Communities Membership Referendum
Published: 2016/11/05
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European Communities Biologists Association - Portugal - 1993
European Communities Biologists Association - Portugal - 1993
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EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ACT 1972 REPEAL (JUL17)
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Published: 2016/07/21
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The European Community and Marine Environmental Protection in the International Law of the Sea Publi
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European Communities Act 1972 (Ireland) Top # 8 Facts
Published: 2015/11/03
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Theresa May is repealing the European Communities Act!
Published: 2016/10/02
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The European Community and Marine Environmental Protection in the International Law of the Sea Publi
The European Community and Marine Environmental Protection in the International Law of the Sea Publi
Published: 2016/12/10
Channel: Lauren Jull
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Published: 2016/10/02
Channel: UKIP Debate
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Why Was The European Community Created?
Published: 2017/09/10
Channel: Frequent Question
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Published: 2017/02/21
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Published: 2017/11/02
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MARGARET THATCHER Newsday interview 1975 on the European Community referendum
Published: 2016/06/09
Channel: HC Fischer-Leskov
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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European Communities
Pillars of the European Union
European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal MattersPillars of the European Union.svg
About this image
The three pillars which constituted the European Union (clickable)
1993–2009 → EU
Constituent communities
European Coal and Steel Community 1952–2002
European Economic Community 1958–2009
European Atomic Energy Community 1958–

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 latter 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 Economic 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.

History[edit]

Three communities[edit]

Part of a series on the
History of the
European Union
EC/EU membership between 1953 and 2019
Flag of Europe.svg European Union portal

The ECSC was created first. Following its proposal in 1950 in the Schuman Declaration, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany came together to sign the Treaty of Paris in 1951 which established the Community. The success of this Community led to the desire to create more, but attempts at creating a European Defence Community and a European Political Community failed leading to a return to economic matters. In 1957, the EAEC and EEC were created by the Treaties of Rome. They were to share some of the institutions of the ECSC but have separate executive structures.[2]

The ECSC's aim was to combine the coal and steel industries of its members to create a single market in those resources. It was intended that this would increase prosperity and decrease the risk of these countries going to war through the process of European integration. The EAEC was working on nuclear energy co-operation between the members. The EEC was to create a customs union and general economic co-operation. It later led to the creation of a European single market.[2]

The EEC became the European Community pillar of the EU, with the ECSC and EAEC continuing in a similar subordinate position, existing separately in a legal sense but governed by the institutions of the EU as if they were its own. The ECSC's treaty had a 50-year limit and thus expired in 2002, all its activities are now absorbed into the European Community.[3] The EAEC had no such limit and thus continues to exist. Due to the sensitive nature of nuclear power with the European electorate, the treaty has gone without amendment since its signing and was not even to be changed with the European Constitution intended to repeal all other treaties (the Constitution's replacement, the Treaty of Lisbon, likewise makes no attempt at amendment).[4][5]

As the EAEC has a low profile, and the profile of the European Community is dwarfed by that of the EU, the term "European Communities" sees little usage. However, when the EU was established the institutions that dealt solely or mainly with the European Community (as opposed to all three pillars) retained their original names, for example the formal name of the European Court of Justice was the "Court of Justice of the European Communities" until 2009[6]

In 1967, the Merger Treaty combined these separate executives. The Commission and Council of the EEC were to take over the responsibilities of its counterparts in the other organisations. From then on they became known collectively as the "European Communities", for example the Commission was known as the "Commission of the European Communities", although the communities themselves remained separate in legal terms.[2]

Structural evolution of the European Commission[edit]

Signed
In force
Document
1951
1952
Paris Treaty
1957
1958
Rome treaties
1965
1967
Merger Treaty
2007
2009
Lisbon Treaty
       
  Commission of the European Atomic Energy Community Commission of the European Communities European Commission   
High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community
  Commission of the European Economic Community
     

Pillar[edit]

The Maastricht Treaty built upon the Single European Act and the Solemn Declaration on European Union in the creation of the European Union. The treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 and came into force on 1 November 1993. The Union superseded and absorbed the European Communities as one of its three pillars. The first Commission President following the creation of the EU was Jacques Delors, who briefly continued his previous EEC tenure before handing over to Jacques Santer in 1994.

Only the first pillar followed the principles of supranationalism.[7] The pillar structure of the EU allowed the areas of European co-operation to be increased without leaders handing a large amount of power to supranational institutions. The pillar system segregated the EU. What were formerly the competencies of the EEC fell within the European Community pillar. Justice and Home Affairs was introduced as a new pillar while European Political Cooperation became the second pillar (the Common Foreign and Security Policy).

The Community institutions became the institutions of the EU but the roles of the institutions between the pillars are different. The Commission, Parliament and Court of Justice are largely cut out of activities in the second and third pillars, with the Council dominating proceedings. This is reflected in the names of the institutions, the Council is formally the "Council of the European Union" while the Commission is formally the "Commission of the European Communities". This allowed the new areas to be based on intergovernmentalism (unanimous agreement between governments) rather than majority voting and independent institutions according to supranational democracy.

However, after the Treaty of Maastricht, Parliament gained a much bigger role. Maastricht brought in the codecision procedure, 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 in the Council, the Community pillar could be described as a far more federal method of decision making.

The Amsterdam Treaty transferred rule making powers for border controls, immigration, asylum and cooperation in civil and commercial law from the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) pillar to the European Community (JHA was renamed Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC) as a result). Both Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice also extended codecision procedure to nearly all policy areas, giving Parliament equal power to the Council in the Community.

In 2002, the Treaty of Paris which established the European Coal and Steel Community (one of the three communities which comprised the European Communities) 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 transferred certain of its elements to the Treaty of Rome and hence its work continued as part of the EEC area of the Community's remit.

The Treaty of Lisbon merged the three pillars and abolished the European Community; with the European Union becoming the Community's legal successor. Only one of the three European Communities still exists and the phrase "European Communities" no longer appears in the treaties.

The abolition of the pillar structure was first proposed under the European Constitution but that treaty was not ratified.

EU evolution timeline[edit]

Signed:
In force:
Document:
1948
1948
Brussels
Treaty
1951
1952
Paris
Treaty
1954
1955
Modified
Brussels
Treaty
1957
1958
Rome
Treaty
&
EURATOM
1965
1967
Merger
Treaty
1975
1976
Council
Agreement
on TREVI
1986
1987
Single
European
Act
1985+90
1995
Schengen
Treaty
&
Convention
1992
1993
Maastricht Treaty (TEU)
1997
1999
Amsterdam
Treaty
2001
2003
Nice
Treaty
2007
2009
Lisbon
Treaty
 
Content: (founded WUDO) (founded ECSC) (protocol amending WUDO to become WEU) (founded EEC and EURATOM) (merging the legislative & administrative bodies of the 3 European communities) (founded TREVI) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EEC)+
(founded EPC)
(founded Schengen)
(implemented Schengen)
(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, and EEC to transform it into EC)+
(founded: JHA+CFSP)
(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EC to also contain Schengen, and TEU where PJCC replaced JHA) (amended with focus on institutional changes: EURATOM, ECSC, EC and TEU) (abolished the 3 pillars and WEU by amending: EURATOM, EC=>TFEU, and TEU)
(founded EU as an overall legal unit with Charter of Fundamental Rights, and reformed governance structures & decision procedures)
 
                         
Three pillars of the European Union:  
European Communities
(with a single Commission & Council)
 
European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)   
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty expired in 2002 European Union (EU)
    European Economic Community (EEC)   European Community (EC)
        Schengen Rules  
    Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and Violence Internationally (TREVI) Justice and Home Affairs
(JHA)
  Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)
  European Political Cooperation (EPC) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Western Union Defence Organization (WUDO) Western European Union (WEU)    
Treaty terminated in 2011    
                     

Institutions[edit]

By virtue of the Merger Treaty, all three Communities were governed by the same institutional framework. Prior to 1967, the Common Assembly/European Parliamentary Assembly and the Court of Justice, established by the ECSC, were already shared with the EEC and EAEC, but they had different executives. The 1967 treaty gave the Council and Commission of the EEC responsibility over ECSC and EAEC affairs, abolishing the Councils of the ECSC and EAEC, the Commission of the EAEC and the High Authority of the ECSC. These governed the three Communities till the establishment of the European Union in 1993.

Members[edit]

The three Communities shared the same membership, the six states that signed the Treaty of Paris and subsequent treaties were known as the "Inner Six" (the "outer seven" were those countries who formed the European Free Trade Association). The six founding countries were France, West Germany, Italy and the three 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. Following the creation of the EU in November 1993, it has enlarged to include a further sixteen countries by July 2013.

Founding members in green, later members in blue (Algeria was integral part of France at the time)
State Accession
 Belgium 25 March 1957
 Italy 25 March 1957
 Luxembourg 25 March 1957
 France 25 March 1957
 Netherlands 25 March 1957
 West Germany 25 March 1957
 Denmark 1 January 1973
 Ireland 1 January 1973
 United Kingdom 1 January 1973
 Greece 1 January 1981
 Portugal 1 January 1986
 Spain 1 January 1986

Member states are represented in some form in each institution. The Council is also composed of one national minister who represents their national government. Each state also has a right to one European Commissioner each, although in the 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) had two Commissioners. In the 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, have some form of national division of its members.

Policy areas[edit]

At the time of its abolition, the Community pillar covered the following areas;[8]

Privileges and immunities[edit]

The Protocol on the privileges and immunities of the European Communities[9] grants the European Communities and their institutions certain privileges and immunities such as to allow them to perform their tasks. The International Organizations Immunities Act (22 USC § 288h)[10] of the United States has also been extended to the European Communities.

The working conditions of staff are governed by the Communities' staff regulations[11] and not directly by the labour laws of the countries of employment. Their salaries, wages and emoluments are subject to a tax for the benefit of the European Communities and are, in turn, exempt from national taxes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "European Community". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 30 January 2009. The term also commonly refers to the “European Communities,” which comprise... ; "Introduction to EU Publications". Guide to European Union Publications at the EDC. The University of Exeter. Retrieved 30 January 2009. The European Community originally consisted of three separate Communities founded by treaty... ; Derek Urwin, University of Aberdeen. "Glossary of The European Union and European Communities". Retrieved 30 January 2009. European Community (EC). The often used singular of the European Communities. 
  2. ^ a b c The European Communities, on CVCE website
  3. ^ "Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC Treaty". Europa.eu. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Euratom reform". Eu-energy.com. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  5. ^ "Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom)". Europa.eu. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  6. ^ The Court of Justice of the European Communities
  7. ^ "Is Europe a federal or a supranational union?". Schuman.info. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  8. ^ What are the three pillars of the EU?, Folketingets EU-Oplysning
  9. ^ Protocol (No 36) on the privileges and immunities of the European Communities (1965), EUR-Lex
  10. ^ 22 USC § 288h - Commission of European Communities; extension of privileges and immunities to members
  11. ^ Regulation No. 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC), laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community

Further reading[edit]

  • Jean Monnet, Prospect for a New Europe (1959)
  • Bela Balassa, The Theory of Economic Integration (1962)
  • Walter Hallstein, A New Path to Peaceful Union (1962)
  • Paul-Henri Spaak, The Continuing Battle: Memories of a European (1971)

External links[edit]

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