The Treaties of Rome

Mark Gilbert

in The Oxford Handbook of the European Union

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199546282
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 The Treaties of Rome

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On 25 March 1957, in the course of an imposing ceremony in Rome, the representatives of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany signed a treaty instituting a European Economic Community (EEC Treaty) and a second accord establishing a European Community in Atomic Energy (Euratom). This article begins with a discussion of the processes that led to the signature of the Rome Treaties, and then considers the significance of the treaties. The striking feature of the Treaties of Rome, and the negotiation process that preceded them, is the novel willingness of the Six to subordinate their traditional sovereign rights. This perception of mutual interest ultimately derived from their leaders' judgment that they would not count in the world unless they colluded. At bottom, the Treaties of Rome derived from a shrewd assessment by the Six's leaders of their nations' diminished standing in the world and a shared determination that they would make ‘Europe’ matter again.

Keywords: EEC Treaty; Euratom Treaty; Belgium; France; Italy; Luxembourg; Netherlands; West Germany

Article.  6363 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; European Union

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