The Treaties of Rome are two of the treaties of the European Union

The first established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the second established the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom). They were the first international organisations to be based on supranationalism, after the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) established a few years prior.

The treaties came into force on 1 January 1958 and the EEC treaty has been amended on numerous occasions (see Treaties of the European Union); It has since been renamed from The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community to the The Treaty establishing the European Community. However the Euratom treaty has seen very little amendment due to the later sensitivity surrounding nuclear power among the European electorate.

In 1951, the Treaty of Paris was signed, creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The Treaty of Paris was an international treaty based on international law, designed to help reconstruct the economies of the European continent, prevent war in Europe and ensure a lasting peace.

The original idea was conceived by Jean Monnet, a senior French civil servant and it was announced by Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, in a declaration on 9 May 1950. The aim was to pool Franco-German coal and steel production, as these two raw materials were the basis of the industry (including war industry) and power of the two countries. The proposed plan was that Franco-German coal and steel production would be placed under a common High Authority within the framework of an organisation which would be open for participation to other European countries. The underlying political objective of the European Coal and Steel Community was to strengthen Franco-German cooperation and banish the possibility of war.

France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands began negotiating the treaty. The Treaty establishing the ECSC was signed in Paris on 18 April 1951 and entered into force on 24 July 1952. The Treaty expired on 23 July 2002, after fifty years, as was foreseen. The common market opened on 10 February 1953 for coal, iron ore and scrap and on 1 May 1953 for steel.

Partly, in the aim of creating a federal Europe two further communities were proposed, again by the French. A European Defence Community (EDC) and a European Political Community (EPC). While the treaty for the latter was being drawn up by the Common Assembly, the ECSC parliamentary chamber, the EDC was rejected by the French Parliament. President Jean Monnet, a leading figure behind the communities, resigned from the High Authority in protest and began work on alternative communities, based on economic integration rather than political integration.[1]

Supranationalism is strongest in the first pillar. Its function generally corresponded at first to the three European Communities (European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), European Economic Community (EEC) and Euratom) whose organisational structure had already been unified in 1965-67 through the Merger Treaty. Later, through the Treaty of Maastricht the word "Economic" was removed from the EEC, so it became simply the EC. Then with the Treaty of Amsterdam additional areas would be transferred from the third pillar to the first. In 2002, the ECSC (which had a life time of 50 years) ceased to exist because the treaty which established it, the Treaty of Paris, had expired.

In the CFSP and PJCC pillars the powers of the European Parliament, the Commission and European Court of Justice with respect to the Council are significantly limited, without however being altogether eliminated. The balance struck in the first pillar is frequently referred to as the "community method", since it is that used by the European Community.

Origin

The pillar structure had its historical origins in the negotiations leading up to the Maastricht treaty. It was desired to add powers to the Community in the areas of foreign policy, security and defence policy, asylum and immigration policy, criminal co-operation, and judicial co-operation.

However, some member-states opposed the addition of these powers to the Community on the grounds that they were too sensitive to national sovereignty for the community method to be used, and that these matters were better handled intergovernmentally. To the extent that at that time the Community dealt with these matters at all, they were being handled intergovernmentally, principally in European Political Cooperation (EPC).

As a result, these additional matters were not included in the European Community; but were tacked on externally to the European Community in the form of two additional 'pillars'. The first additional pillar (Common Foreign and Security Policy, CFSP) dealt with foreign policy, security and defence issues, while the second additional pillar (JHA, Justice and Home Affairs), dealt with the remainder.

Recent amendments in the treaty of Amsterdam and the treaty of Nice have made the additional pillars increasingly supranational. Most important among these has been the transfer of policy on asylum, migration and judicial co-operation in civil matters to the Community pillar, effected by the Amsterdam treaty. Thus the third pillar has been renamed Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters, or PJCC. The term Justice and Home Affairs is still used to cover both the third pillar and the transferred areas.

The Amsterdam Treaty meant a greater emphasis on citizenship and the rights of individuals, an attempt to achieve more democracy in the shape of increased powers for the European Parliament, a new title on employment, a Community area of freedom, security and justice, the beginnings of a common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and the reform of the institutions in the run-up to enlargement. Introduced the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights. A greater emphasis on the European Citizenship has been made. Prepared the union to its eastward englargement.

EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENSE POLICY

The European Security and Defence Policy or ESDP is a major element of the Common Foreign and Security Policy pillar of the European Union (EU) and is the domain of EU policy covering defence and military aspects. The ESDP is the successor of the European Security and Defence Identity under NATO, but differs in that it falls under the jurisdiction of the European Union itself, including countries with no ties to NATO.

Formally, the European Security and Defence Policy is the domain of the Council of the European Union, which is an intergovernmental body in which the member states are represented. Nonetheless, the High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy—in the person of Javier Solana—also plays a significant role. In his position as Secretary General of the Council, he prepares and examines decisions to be made before they are brought to the Council. He is based at and supported by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

Background

Earlier efforts were made to have a common European security and defence policy. In 1948, the Western European Union, a collective defence organisation composed of Treaty of Brussels states—who were members of NATO—was founded. NATO soon overshadowed the organisation in importance. In the 1950s, a European Defence Community, similar in nature to the European Coal and Steel Community, was proposed but the French parliament failed to ratify the treaty, and the project was abandoned.

At the 1996 NATO ministerial meeting in Berlin, it was agreed that the Western European Union (WEU) would oversee the creation of a European Security and Defence Identity within NATO structures.[2] The ESDI was to create a European 'pillar' within NATO, partly to allow European countries to act militarily where NATO wished not to, and partly to alleviate the United States' financial burden of maintaining military bases in Europe, which it had done since the Cold War.

incorporation of the Petersberg tasks and the WEU in the EU

The European Union incorporated the same Petersberg tasks within its domain with the Amsterdam Treaty. The treaty signalled the progressive framing of a common security and defence policy based on the Petersberg tasks. In 1998, traditional British reluctance to such a plan changed into endorsement after a bilateral declaration of French President Jacques Chirac and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in St. Malo, where they stated that "the Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises".

In June 1999, the Cologne European Council decided to incorporate the role of the Western European Union within the EU, eventually shutting down the WEU. The Cologne Council also appointed Javier Solana as the High Representative of the CFSP to help progress both the CFSP and the ESDP.

EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

The court was established in 1952, by the Treaty of Paris (1951) as part of the European Coal and Steel Community.[1] It was established with seven judges, allowing both representation of each of the six member States and being an unequal number of judges in case of a tie. One judge was appointed from each member state and the seventh seat rotated between the "large Member States" (Germany, France and Italy). It became an institution of two additional Communities in 1957 when the Treaties of Rome established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). [2][3]

When in 1993 the Maastricht Treaty created the European Union, the name of the court did not change like the other institutions, as its powers were still primarily over the European Community pillar of the union.[3]

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Overview

The ECJ is the highest court of the European Union in matters of Community law, but not national law. It is not possible to appeal the decisions of national courts to the ECJ, but rather national courts refer questions of EU law to the ECJ. However, it is ultimately for the national court to apply to resulting interpretation to the facts of any given case. This allows even the lowest of courts to refer question of EU law for a decision, although only courts of final appeal are bound to refer a question of EU law when one is raised before it. The treaties charge the ECJ with ensuring the consistent application of EU law across the EU as a whole, in an attempt to avoid different national courts interpreting and applying in different way.

The Court building in Luxembourg

The court also acts as arbiter between the EU's institutions and can annul the latter's legal rights if it acts outside its powers.[1]

The judicial body is now undergoing strong growth, as witnessed by its continually rising caseload and budget. The Luxembourg courts received more than 1300 cases when the most recent data was recorded in 2008, a record. The staff budget also hit a new high of almost €238 million in 2009.[4]

Treaty of Nice

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(Redirected from Nice treaty)

This article is about the EU treaty of 2001. For the 1892 treaty between Italy and France, see Treaty of Nice (1892).Treaty of Nice

The Treaty of Nice (or Nice Treaty) was signed by European leaders on 26 February 2001 and came into force on 1 February 2003. It amended the Maastricht Treaty (or the Treaty on European Union) and the Treaty of Rome (or the Treaty establishing the European Community). The Treaty of Nice reformed the institutional structure of the European Union to withstand eastward expansion, a task which was originally intended to have been done by the Amsterdam Treaty, but failed to be addressed at the time.

The entrance into force of the treaty was in doubt for a time, after its initial rejection by Irish voters in a referendum in June 2001. This referendum result was reversed in a subsequent referendum held a little over a year later.

The Treaty provided for the creation of subsidiary courts below the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance to deal with special areas of law such as patents.

The Treaty of Nice provides for new rules on closer co-operation, the rules introduced in the Treaty of Amsterdam being viewed as unworkable, and hence these rules have not yet been used. Provided a double majority of Member States instead of QMV.

Further increased the EP powers and weighting in commission votes.