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POL13: European Union
Easter Term 2019
A timeline of all treaty reforms
Treaty of Paris (Signed: 18 April 1951; Entered into force: 23 July 1952; Expired: 23 July 2002)
Purpose of the treaty is to establish the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) between
France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and
Luxemburg). The mission of ECSC is to prevent military conflict by means of economic integration. This was made explicit in the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950.
● System of production quotas or import restriction
● Set consumption priorities
● Allocation of coal and steel to the MS
● Restrictions on export to third countries
● Social and labour policy provisions to ensure competition.
● High Authority
○ two was the max no. of members a state can send to the High Authority. In practice, France, Germany and Italy sent two members, and Benelux sent one.
○ term of members restricted to six years
○ Art. 9 of the Treaty stipulates that the members of the High Authority exercise their functions in the interest of the community
○ consulted by the High Authority
○ voting in the Council follows a system of weighted votes. Not only the support of the majority of the govts is needed, but also the support of one of the MS
producing at least 20% of the total value of the community's coal and steel output i.e. Germany and France.
● Common Assembly of ECSC 78 representatives, weighted according to the size of the
○ the Treaty conferred upon the Assembly the right tot cast a motion of censure,
which, if supported by 2/3 of the delegates present, can force the High Authority to resign en bloc.
○ consisted of 7 members, appointed by agreement among the MS
○ main purpose is to monitor that the High Authority does not overstep its treatybased mandate
Explaining the success of ECSC using liberal intergovernmentalism
● Key actors
○ most academics studying the ECSC adopted a state-centric 'diplomatic history'
perspective e.g. William Hitchcock and Alan Milward. The French Planning
Commissariat, led by Monnet, is attributed an important role in policy formulation
○ criticism—Wolfram Kaiser: 'national actors and collective interests stand no realistic chance of influencing the policy-making process significantly unless they are well connected across borders in transnational political networks'
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○ The Schuman Plan was an excellent opportunity for Germany to become an equal member among the European states. For Adenauer, the prime political priority was to remove the Ruhr Authority and to weaken the Occupation Statute.
○ in contrast to the Germans and the French, the macroeconomic objectives of the
ECSC were more important, esp given that Belgium and Luxembourg had steel accounting for 1/5 of their total exports.
○ criticism—Kaiser believes that the intergovernmentalist model overlooks the importance of ideas in early integration. His emphasis was particularly on the transitional cooperation between Christian Democrats who occupied key positions in the govts of the founding states.
○ according to Mark Pollack, the creation of the High Authority was underpinned by a functionalist logic for delegation. It was also a way for MS to check the power of other MS.
The European Defence Community Treaty (failed)
● It consists of all the same institutions, except the High Authority is called the
● Its purpose is to establish a European army as well as a defence alliance. Art. 2 establishes the principle of mutual assistance in case of an attack on one of its member states.
● Armed forces of the EDC were uniformly armed, equipped and paid. All MS need to transfer sovereignty over their armed to the common European army. The Treaty also makes provisions for a common budget based on national contribution.
● It failed to be ratified
Explaining the failure of the EDC using liberal intergovernmentalism
● Key actors
○ figures like Monnet, Schuman and Alphand took the initiative. However, when, in 1951, the Pleven Plan was transformed into the EDC Treaty, no political majority,
bureaucratic elite, or interest group coalition drove the transformation
● Forming preferences
○ For the French economy, there were hopes that the French aircraft, electronics and heavy weaponry industries could grow under EDC. However, the French steel and textile, light weaponry and military transport vehicles industries were opposed because they feared German and Italian competition. France also feared an immediate, unconditional rearmament of Germany
○ for the Germans, they hoped that it will be a chance to rearm, so that they can regain equality.
○ both French and German military officials did not approve of the Pleven Plan.
○ However, events such as Stalin's death and the end of Korean War, both in 1953, offered the prospect of détente. The EDC immediately lost appeal.
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Why did Britain stay out
● in Churchill's three spheres of influence: the Commonwealth, Anglo-American partnership, and Europe, Europe was the least important.
● The ECSC was presented as a fait accompli, and French govt set a 24-h ultimatum of
Britain to decide whether to accept or not. In the end, an Anglo-ECSC Treaty of
Association was signed in Dec 1954, establishing a non-supranational common market for coal and steel.
● At the time, European exports amounted to only 5% of total steel exports. Whereas trade with Commonwealth made up about 50% of Britain's total imports and exports.
● Under American pressure, Britain committed to maintaining forces in Western Europe and placing a British armoured division under EDC command.
Treaties of Rome (Signed: 25 March 1957; Entered into force: 1 January 1958)
France: Guy Mollet & Christian Pineau / Germany: Konrad Adenauer; Paul Henri Spaak
The European Economic Community Treaty
Purpose: to create the European Economic Community.
● established the four freedoms.
● common customs tariff
● common agricultural policy
● common transport policy
● competition policies, state aid essentially outlawed
○ exclusive competence given to EEC, incl a strong role of initiative for the
Commission and QMV in the Council
● established the Assembly (consultative body). Delegates are drawn from the national parliaments. MS have a set no. of delegates. Weighting is approx Belgium 2: Germany 4: France 4: Italy 4: Luxembourg 1: Netherlands 2
● established the Council. Decisions are to be taken by QMV. Ordinary issues are decided by majority voting. The weighting of vote is as above.
○ Art. 100 stipulates the unanimity rule in the Council on proposals from the
Commission regarding the approximation of law.
● established the Commission. Its roles are: ensure the application of the Treaty provisions; formulate recommendations or opinions in matters of this Treaty; participate in the preparation of acts; exercise competence conferred on it by the Council.
○ Members of the Commission (9 of them) are voted in unanimously by the Council
● established the Court of Justice. Art. 171 gives the ECJ the power to find that a MS has failed to fulfil any of its obligations under the Treaty.
The Euratom Treaty
Purpose: to pool knowledge, infrastructure and funding of nuclear energy.
● designed uniform safety standards for workers and general public
● facilitate investment in the development of nuclear energy
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Easter Term 2019
equitability of supplies of ores and nuclear fuels in the community
Benelux Memorandum of May 1955
● spearheaded by Dutch politician Johan Willlem Beyen who advocated a customs union.
The Dutch Economics Ministers determined that a customs union without removal of barriers on payments and migration and policy harmonisation in economic and social fields will be insufficient.
The Messina Conference of June 1955
● France was the MS having the most problem with single market, because very few that time supported market liberalisation
● Germany was reluctant too. Adenauer was actually for the single market, but not the
Economics Minister, who favoured GATT
● this conference agreed on having a committee to investigate the matter. It was headed by Spaak, the Belgian foreign minister.
● The Spaak report pushed for a common market, as well as the Atomic Energy
● the report was approved by the six MS of ECSC in April 1956
● it is also in this conference that the first discussions about EURATOM began.
● The Spaak II IGC in Brussels of June 1956 turned the idea into treaty
Roy argues that the EU was never a 'free trade area', but it was at birth already a common market.
Desmon Dinan reads the preambles of the treaties closely. For the EURATOM treaty, its objectives were 'peace and prosperity', whereas the EEC treaty had a great end: the 'ever closer union among the peoples of Europe'
Merger Treaty (Sign: 8 April 1965; Entered into force: 1 July 1967) (6 MS)
France: De Gaulle
Talks of a possible merger of the three executives began soon after the Treaties of Rome entered into force in 1958. It got on the agenda in 1960. It took five years for the treaty to be signed mainly because of the Empty Chair Crisis.
Jean Monnet proposed Comite d'Action pour les Etats-Unis d'Europe at a meeting in Nov 1959.
President of EURATOM, Etienne Hirsch formally proposed it in a speech to the Parliamentary
Assembly in 1960 (Hallstein was the president of EEC then). Maurice Faure Report to study the merging of the three European institutions was published in Nov 1960. There was widespread support for the merger amongst the three institutions and in the Parliament at that point for coordination and efficiency.
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Commission consisted of 9 members, after a transitional period with 14 members.
Different to the Maurice Faure Report (15 members) and the Dutch proposal (14 members). Belgium and Netherlands tried to push for 14 members, due to their small size.
○ first president of the Commission is Jean Rey (Belgian). France was strongly against Hallstein.
Presidency of Council lasts for 6 months, same as in EEC and Euratom. Rotation according to the alphabetical order of the country's names in their own language, again,
following EEC's and Euratom's rules.
COREPER became a more formal institution
There used to be a Commission of the four presidents within the ECSC (High Authority,
Assembly, Council and the Court). It used to have full budgetary authority. After the merger, the rule of EEC and EURATOM is adopted, which is that only the councils had full budget authority.
The compromise re this treaty and the ratification were heavily dependent on France. France was only open to the merger after pressure from the other Five after it vetoed UK's application
(in 1963). Final ratification only happened after the Luxembourg Compromise.
There was disagreement over the first president on the new single Commission. Walter
Hallstein (president of the EEC Commission?) was a candidate, but France was strongly opposed. They settled on Jean Rey.
The 1970 and 1975 Budget Treaties
The 1970 treaty
● purpose was to find a new way to finance the community through own resources.
● gave the European Parliament its first new powers since the Rome Treaty in respect of the budgetary process. This is further strengthen in the 1975 treaty.
The 1975 treaty was concluded after the fist enlargement, when the problems with fraud and inefficient management of the community's funds emerged. It gave birth to the European Court of Auditors (CoA), the mandate of which is enhanced in the Amsterdam Treaty.
Shortly after the passing of the 1975-treaty, the Council accepted to make the EP directly elected.
Single European Act (Signed: 17 February 1986 (Luxembourg) / 28 February 1986 (The
Hague); Entered into force: 1 July 1987) (Luxembourg presidency)
Important people: Jacque Delors (Commission President); France: Mitterand; Germany: Kohl;
the UK: Thatcher
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Purpose: to reform the institutions in preparation for Portugal and Spain's membership and speed up decision-making in preparation for the single market.
● set the European Community an objective of establishing a single market by 31
● extension of qualified majority voting in the Council (making it harder for a single country to veto proposed legislation), in fact, for 2/3 of the single market programme
● extension of the requirement for consultation between the Council and the EP to new policy areas, and creation of the cooperation and assent procedures, notably in the single market measures. Right was also given to the EP to approve future accession and association agreements.
○ in Dinan's opinion, the SEA made the EP 'a major player in the legislative process'
● new tasks for the Community (environmental, research and regional development policies). The environment title of the SEA included the first reference in the EC treaty to the principle of subsidiarity.
● Title III of the SEA deals exclusively with EPC, which became an intergovernmental pillar of the EC, meaning that decision will only be made on the basis of unanimity and would not be subject to review by the Court of Justice.
● The European Council was first mentioned in an article describing its existence and composition, stating that it must meet at least twice a year.
The backdrop to this was the predominance of the European Council as a European institution and increased use of the Luxembourg Compromise. Thatcher, as a proponent of the single market, proposed that when it came to enacting single market measures, governments should forego the Luxembourg compromise, or in the case of Art. 100 legislate in the Council on the basis of QMV.
The Genscher-Colombo initiative of 1981, launched by the German and the Italian foreign ministers, called for more effective decision-making mechanism and greater community competence in external relations (EPC). This gave rise to the 'Solemn Declaration on European
Union', which national leaders endorsed at the Stuttgart summit in June 1983.
Under the guidance of a veteran Italian Euro-federalist Altiero Spinelli, the first directly elected
EP produced and passed the Draft Treaty Establishing the European Union. It aimed to combine the existing treaties establishing the European Communities into a single treaty. It contained something that received little attention at the time: the principle of subsidiarity,
whereby the EU would be responsible only for tasks that can be undertaken more effectively in common than by govts acting alone.
Milan summit in June 1985:
● national leaders endorsed the Commission's White Paper on Completing the Internal
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Italian presidency pushed for a decision to launch an IGC on treaty reform
Mitterrand and Kohl presented a proposal for a treaty on EU that focussed mostly on the
EPC. It closely resembled a paper that Thatcher has presented to them.
Relations between the three soured, and Thatcher opposed the idea of treaty change,
suggesting instead informal arrangements to reform decision-making in the Council.
Denmark and Greece followed suit.
Italy pressed for a vote under Art 236 of the Rome Treaty, permitting an IGC to be convened if a majority of member states approved. The national leaders at last agreed to call an IGC
IGC opened in Luxembourg in Sept 1985
● re the single market, Britain was adamant that the definition of single market does not include the abolition of border controls.
● Delors successfully incorporated a reiteration of the 1972 Paris summit's approval of the
'the objective of the progressive realisation of EMU' in the preamble of the SEA, as well as a short chapter on 'Cooperation in Economic and Monetary Policy', which only recognised the desirability of converging economic and monetary policies. At that point,
France was broadly in favour of a monetary policy. Germany was equivocal.
○ The new chapter stated that development in EMU necessitated institutional changes, the provision of Art. 236 shall be applicable. In other words, an IGC
would be required, where unanimity is needed to conclude a treaty change.
Thatcher thought this was a guarantee that EMU would never happen during her time.
● cohesion policy is necessitated by further market integration. Delors and the poorer member states argue that a significant increase on structural funds is needed. The poorer MS had significant power since a treaty change requires unanimity. The MS
reached a compromise in the SEA which called on the Commission, once the SEA
entered into force, to submit a proposal to strengthen the structural funds and for the
Council to act unanimously on the proposal within a year.
● The summit was concluded quite successfully. Thatcher was willing to compromise on the issues of monetary policy and the legislative role of the EP. Kohl compromised on the issue of co-decision, and Mitterrand on the EMU. All three leaders are keen to conclude a deal on the single market.
Significance of the SEA
● the fact that the govts committed themselves to a plan of single market largely by the means of QMV was significant
● however, the implementation of the single market programme was difficult. Not only was the White Paper complicated, Delors I package, the first ever multiannual financial framework introduced in 1987 caused a huge dispute. The rows were primarily over cohesion policy. Kohl had to call a special summit in Feb 1988. National leaders agreed at the summit to double the structural funds by 1992
● 'To Thatcher's annoyance, the SEA was much more than a device to launch the single market programme. It was a complex bargain to improve decision-making, strengthen
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