International organization established in 1958 to form a common market for developing peaceful uses of atomic energy. It originally had six members; it now includes all members of the European Union. Among its aims were to facilitate the establishment of a nuclear energy industry on a European rather than a national scale, coordinate research, encourage construction of power plants, establish safety regulations, and establish a common market for trade in nuclear equipment and materials. In 1967 its governing bodies were merged into the European Community.
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It was established on 25 March 1957 along with the European Economic Community (EEC) by the Treaty of Rome, being taken over by the executive institutions of the EEC in 1967 but continuing to legally exist separately even after the European Communities were absorbed into the European Union as a pillar in 1993.
The Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom at Val Duchesse in 1956 drew up the essentials of the new treaties. Euratom would foster co-operation in the nuclear field, at the time a very popular area, and would, along with the EEC, share the Common Assembly and Court of Justice of the ECSC, but not its executives. Euratom would have its own Commission, with fewer powers than the ECSC's High Authority, and Council. On 25 March 1957, the Treaties of Rome were signed by the ECSC members and on 1 January 1958 they came into force.
To save on resources, these separate executives created by the Rome Treaties were merged in 1967 by the Merger Treaty. The institutions of the EEC would take over responsibilities for the running of the EEC and Euratom, with all three then becoming known as the European Communities although each legally existed separately. In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty created the European Union, which absorbed the Communities into the European Community pillar, yet Euratom still maintains a distinct legal personality and the treaty remains in force relatively un-amended from its original signing.
The European Constitution was intended to consolidate all previous treaties and increase democratic accountability in them. The Euratom had not been amended in the same way the other treaties had and hence the European Parliament had been granted few powers of it. However, the reason it had gone unamended was the same reason the Constitution left it to remain separate from the rest of the EU: anti-nuclear sentiment among the European electorate which may unnecessarily turn voters against the treaty..
In European regulation's history Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty represents pioneering legislation concerning binding transfrontier obligations with respect to environmental impact and protection of humans