European Community

European Community

History of the European Union: European Community (EC)

Introduction to European Community

In July 1967 the three organizations (the EEC, the ECSC, and Euratom) fully merged as the European Community (EC). The basic economic features of the EEC treaty were gradually implemented, and in 1968 all tariffs between member states were eliminated. No progress was made on enlargement of the EC or on any other new proposals, however, until after de Gaulle resigned as president of France in May 1969. The next French president, Georges Pompidou, was more open to new initiatives within the EC.

At Pompidou’s suggestion, a meeting of the leaders of the member states was held in The Hague, Netherlands, in December 1969. This meeting paved the way for the creation of a permanent financing system for the EC based on contributions from member states; the development of a framework for foreign policy cooperation among member nations; and the opening of membership negotiations with the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, and Norway.” (1)

Description of European Community (EC)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes european community (ec) in the following terms: [1] Technically, the EC is the collective term for the ECSC, Euratom and the European Economic Community (EEC) – the three ‘European Communities’ that constitute the ‘first pillar’ of the European Union (EU) and are governed by the Treaty establishing the European Community. The main features of the EC are the Common Agricultural Policy, EMU and the single market. In ordinary parlance, however, the EC and the EU are often confused or treated as interchangeable terms. The distinction between them lies in the fact that the Community refers to the activities that fall within the competence of the EU’s supranational institutions, whereas the European Union includes also co-operative arrangements between the member states – the so-called ‘intergovernmental pillars’ created by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.

European Community and the European Union


See Also

  • The Community


Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

See Also


Notes and References

  • Information about European Community in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia
  • Guide to European Community

    More Topics about the European Union

    European Economic Area, European Union, European Union History (including European Union Early Cooperation, Benelux Customs Union, European Coal and Steel Community, European Economic Community, European Community, Expansion of the EC, Single European Act, Creation of the European Union, Treaty on European Union, Amsterdam Treaty, Treaty of Nice, Treaty of Lisbon, Monetary Union and EU Growing Accountability), EU Pillar System, EU Major Bodies Structure, European Commission, Council of the European Union, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, European Central Bank, Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions, European Union Policies, Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries Policy,

    EU Economic Differences, European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Investment Bank, European Monetary System, Economic and Monetary Union, EU International Relations, EU Expansion,

    EU and Non-European Nations and European Union Future.

    Definition of European Community

    In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of European Community : (European Community, EC)

    An economic and political association of European states that originated as the European Economic Community (EEC). It was created by the *Treaty of Rome in 1957 with the broad object of furthering economic development within the Community by the establishment of a Common Market and the approximation of the economic policies of member states. Its more detailed aims included eliminating customs duties internally and adopting a common customs tariff externally, the following by member states of common policies on agriculture and transport, promoting the free movement of labour and capital between member states, and outlawing within the Community all practices leading to the distortion of competition (See article 81). Two of its institutions, the *European Parliament and the *European Court of Justice, were shared with the *European Coal and Steel Community (established in 1951) and the *European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom; established in 1957); the separate executive and legislative bodies of these three European Communities were merged in 1967 (See European Commission; Council of the European Union).

    The *Single European Act 1986, given effect in the UK by the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1986, contains provisions designed to make “concrete progress” towards European unity, including measures to establish a *Single Market for the free movement of goods, services, capital, and persons within the Community: the Single Market came into operation on 1 January 1993. In February 1992 the member states signed the Treaty on European Union (See Maastricht Treaty). This amended the founding treaties of the Communities by establishing a *European Union based upon the three Communities; renamed the EEC the European Community; and introduced new policy areas with the aim of creating closer economic, political, and monetary union between member states. The Treaty came into force on 1 November 1993; it was amended by the *Amsterdam Treaty.

    The original members of the EC were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The UK, the Republic of Ireland, and Denmark joined in 1972, Greece in 1981, and Spain and Portugal in 1986, and Austria, Sweden, and Finland in 1995 (in 1994 Norway voted by referendum not to join). The changes in UK law necessary as a result of her joining were made by the European Communities Act 1972.

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