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18.1a European Economic Community (later the European Community and now the European Union - EU) Formation:

The European Economic Community, also know as íCommon Marketí, was established by the Treaty of Rome signed in 1957. The first stage of the formation of EEC was the Benelux Union of 1944. It was a customs and trading association of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. By the Treaty of Brussels, Britain and France gained entrance into this agreement. It provided for the economic, cultural and social cooperation between the countries.

Its members were France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg (Britain abstained from this). The idea was to remove all trade restrictions and duties on trade in coal, iron and steel. This lead to the Treaty of Rome signed in 1957 and officially given the name of the European Economic Community. Britain, Denmark and Ireland were incorporated into this agreement in 1973. Other European nations joined in gradually so that the number increased to twelve.

On November 1, 1993, the EEC assumed a new name with the Maastricht Treaty. Recently there are four more nations: Sweden, Norway, Finland and Austria granted membership. Membership to certain other nations is under consideration.

Milestones on the road to the Union

1946

Churchillís (the then Prime Minister of Britain) call for a United States of Europe

1951

European Coal and Steel Community France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

1952

ECSC States sign European Defense Community Treaty.

1957

Treaty of Rome ECSC States establish European Community.

1961

Political union talks held, collapse Ireland, Britain, Denmark apply for membership.

1962

Norway applies for membership.

1963

De Gaulle (the then President of France) vetoes British membership Talks with other applicants halted.

1967

Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway reapply negotiations after De Gaulleís death.

1968

EC becomes a customs union.

1972

Norwegians reject EC membership.

1973

Britain, Ireland and Denmark join EC.

1979

European Monetary System launched.

1981

Greece joins EC

1985

EC states start issuing common passports

1986

Spain and Portugal join EC Single market program adopted to remove all barriers to free movement of goods, services, people and capital.

1990

Time table for political, Monetary unions set.

1991

Maastricht Treaty drawn.

1993

Maastricht Treaty finally signed by all the twelve members; Denmark on May 19 and U.K. on August 2, 1993.

(i) Constituent Institutions

It consists of six main bodies:

  1. The European Commission: It consists of seventeen members.

  2. The Council of the European Union: (formerly called the Council of Ministers) It makes decisions on the proposals put forward by the Commission.

  3. The European Parliament: The members of this body are directly elected.

  4. The Economic and Social Committee: This is basically a consultative body.

  5. The Committee of Permanent Representative (COPEPER): A number of civil servants who work for the Commission.

  6. The European Court of Justice: This body is in charge of setting economic disputes between the member nations.

(ii) Objectives

The objectives of the European Economic Community are:

  1. It aims at the solidarity of the economies of the member-states by allowing the unrestricted movement of persons, goods and capital.

  2. With the establishment of a common external tariff, it looks forward to the abolition of internal customs and tariff. This certainly helps in a free flow of goods and services within the EU.

  3. The promotion of a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to increase agricultural production.

  4. It aims at the creation of a zone of monetary stability through closer monetary co- operation between member-states. This can occur if the member nations restrict the fluctuations of their respective exchange rates and adhere to the rate prescribed by the European Union.

  5. Competition among member nations is desirable.

The main objective can be traced from the Preamble to the Treaty of Rome: "The foundation of an ever closer union among the European people."

The European Community summit at Rome in December 1990 witnessed some significant decisions. It put forward the concept of a hard European Currency Unit that would run parallel to the national currencies of the member nations. It also proposed the idea of new European citizenship.

An interesting fact is that the population of the member nations of the European Community is larger than that of the U.S.A. or even that of Russia.

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Index

18.0 Introduction
18.1 Regional Organizations
   a. E.E.C
   b. O.P.E.C
   c. S.W.A.P.O
   d. S.A.A.R.C
   e. A.S.E.A.N,
   f. G.A.T.T.
   g. N.A.F.T.A
18.2 International Organizations
   a. N.A.M
   b. The Commonwealth
   c. U.N.O.
18.3 Dates & Events

Chapter 19





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