From the European Coal and Steel Community to the European Union
(An overview for guidance in the information jungle)

Agreement Goals Comments
Coal & Steel CommunityA common market for coal & steel (ECSC)Benelux DE FR IT.
Term: 50 years.
The ECSC included a European Court of Justice*, and a Common Assembly whose members came from member states of the ECSC, and which had no legislative powers (just advisory).
*) not to be confused with the European Court of Human Rights, belonging to the Council of Europe
"Treaties of Rome"
1. European Economic Community (EEC)
2. Euratom
Extension of the ECSC into all economic areas
1. a common market; convergence of national economic policies
2. promotion of the peaceful use of atomic energy
Bodies and decision mechanisms (per community):
Council of Ministers (legislation), Commission (proposals and policy), Common Assembly (advisory)
Merger TreatyOne Council of Ministers
One Commission
in common for EEC + ECSC + Euratom, together known as the "European Communities"
01.07.68Customs UnionThe goal of 1957 was reached
1970Informal founding of the European Political Cooperation (EPC)Coordination in specific areas of external relations
1973Extension to 9 countries: DK+IE+UK
10.12.74Informal formation of a European CouncilGeneration of impulses for European IntegrationQuarterly meetings of the EEC political leaders and foreign ministers as policy guide for the EEC Council of Ministers.
Decision making by consensus
Opposition by:
1. smaller countries, who feared a loss of influence,
2. the federalist supporter Altiero Spinelli, who feared a loss of influence for the European Parliament
1979First direct (citizen) election of the Common Assembly"Bringing the EEC closer to the man-on-the-street"No enlargement of powers
1981Extension to 10 countries: GR
1986Extension to 12 countries: PT+ES
1986European ParliamentOfficial Change of name of the Common Assembly
Single European Act (SEA)1. A common european market by 01.01.1993
2. Greater economic & social cohesion amongst members
3. Institutionalization of the EPC
4. Formal establishment of the European Council (though not as EEC institution)
New EEC powers:
environmental, research, & technology policies.

From now on the European Parliament can participate in legislature, but does not have the final say.
"Treaty of Maastricht"
(Treaty on European Union)
Step towards political integration:

1. Strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the institutions
2. Improve the effectiveness of the institutions
3. Establish economic and monetary union
4. Develop the Community social dimension
5. Establish a common foreign and security policy
EU consisting of 3 pillars:
1. The European Communities (EEC renamed EC)
2. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
3. Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (JHA)

Policies established in areas:
trans-European networks, industry, consumer protection, education, youth, culture

Creation of
- a Committee of the Regions
- a European Economic & Monetary Union (EMU) with single currency (UK opted out) & a European Central Bank (CEB)

Creation of an EU citizenship (free choice of residence incl. voting rights there)

Minor expansion of European Parliament powers

Introduction of subsidiarity principle (see link below)

Expansion of powers in social area (UK opted out)

European Council adopted in EU law
"Schengen I" signed
"Schengen II" signed
"Schengen Treaty"
1. Standardisation of controls along the external borders of the Schengen area
2. Formally no controls along internal borders
1995Extension to 15 countries: AT+FI+SE
"Treaty of Amsterdam"
(1st EU Treaty amendment)
Increased powers for the European Parliament.
Creation of a Community area of freedom, security and justice:
- Police & judicial co-operation in criminal matters (Europol extensions) (PJCC)
- Justice & Home Affairs (JHA)
- Adoption of the Schengen Treaty in EU law*
- Suspension of membership
- Enhanced co-operation**
Social (not UK): Better coordination of employment policy.
New office: High Representative of the CFSP (quasi-quasi Foreign Minister)
Only minimal success in the attempt to introduce changes in decision-making in order to retain operational efficiency in the light of increasing membership.

*) IE+UK opted out. See link below "Multi-speed Europe"

**) A minimum of 8 EU members can integrate/co-operate in an area without the other members being involved
2001Introduction of the Euro AT+Benelux+DE+FI+FR+IE+IT+PT
23.07.02ECSC etc. become part of EC-Law Upon expiry of the original agreement
"Treaty of Nice"
(2nd EU Treaty amendment)
Institutional (delta) reforms, esp. to counteract detrimental effects of increasing membership.Somewhat more successful than the 1st attempt. Majority ruling was introduced in a number of areas.
EU Constitution
(not ratified)
Formulation of an EU ConstitutionIn 2005 not ratified by FR & NL (referenda* 29.05.05 & 01.06.05). In most member countries no referendum was foreseen .
*) UK Parliament prefers referendums: see
2004Extension to 25 countries: CY+CZ+EE+HU+LT+LV+MT+PL+SI+SK
2007Extension to 27 countries: BG+RO
"Treaty of Lisbon"
('reformed' EU Constitution)

Treaty of Rome renamed: "Treaty on Functioning of the EU"
Treaty of Maastricht renamed: "Treaty on the EU"
EU Constitution cosmetically reformed
New offices:
1. High Representative of the EU (quasi Foreign Minister)
2. Permanent President of the European Council*
At first not ratified by IE (referendum 12.06.08), then ratified in a 2nd round 21.10.2009, and in the last minute by CZ.
Treaty remains contentious, eg. because of democratic deficits and national sovereignty reservations.
*) Tenure: 2½ years. This new office notwithstanding, the office of the rotating presidency continues (unabated)
Status 2009Admission candidates:HR+IS+MK+TR

EU & pre-EU Treaties (collective page)

Multi-speed Europe (Wikipedia)
In greater detail: Europa der zwei Geschwindigkeiten (Wikipedia)

EU FAQ (Danish Folketinget EU Information Centre)

EU Subsidiarity Principle (Danish Folketinget EU Information Centre)

Confusion over institutions:

European Council: Regular meetings of the EU heads of state & foreign ministers, together with one member of the Council of the EU
Council of the EU (Council of Ministers): Legislative body of the EU, mehr oder weniger in Kooperation mit dem Europa Parlament. Every member state is represented by one of its ministers; which minister depends on the subject area under discussion. Subject areas are:
general affairs+external relations, economic+financial affairs, justice+home affairs, employment+social policy+health+consumer affairs, competitiveness, environment, education+youth+culture, transport+communications+energy, agriculture+fisheries
Council of Europe: No connection with the EU. Formed 1949. Goal is the promotion of sustained unity and cooperation in Europe. To this end the Council monitors the observance of basic laws concerning: democracy, human rights and constitutionality. No executive powers.

Country keys:

AT_Austria, BG_Bulgaria, CY_Cyprus(south), CZ_Czech-Republic, DE_Germany, DK_Denmark, EE_Estland, ES_Spain, FI_Finland, FR_France, GR_Greece, HR_Croatia, IE_Ireland, IS_Island, LV_Latvia, LT_lithuania, MK_Macedonia, MT_Malta, NL_Netherlands, PL_Poland, PT_Portugal, RO_Romania, SE_Sweden, SI_Slowenia, SK_Slowakia, TR_Turkey, UK_United Kingdom