euro pean atomic energy community

European Atomic Energy Community

The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) is an international organisation which is semi-independent of, but completely controlled by, the European Community pillar of the European Union.

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.


1967 Oil Embargo cut off a large portion of European energy supplies, exacerbated by lack of solidarity and uniformity in embargoing specific countries. As a result of the crisis, the Common Assembly proposed extending the powers of the European Coal and Steel Community to cover other sources of energy. However Jean Monnet, ECSC architect and President, desired a separate community to cover atomic energy. Louis Armand was put in charge of a study into the prospects of nuclear energy use in Europe, his report concluded that further nuclear development was needed to fill the deficit left by the exhaustion of coal deposits and to reduce dependence on oil producers. However the Benelux states and Germany were also keen on creating a general common market, although it was opposed by France due to its protectionism and Jean Monnet thought it too large and difficult a task. In the end, both Monnet proposed the creating of both, as separate communities, to reconcile both groups.

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..

Aims and achievements

The purposes of Euratom are to create a specialist market for nuclear power and distribute it through the Community and to develop nuclear energy and sell surplus to non-Community States. Its major project is currently its participation in the international fusion reactor ITER financed under the nuclear part of FP7. Euratom also provides a mechanism for providing loans to finance nuclear projects in the EU.

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

Presidents of the EAEC

The five member Commission was led by only three Presidents while it had independent executives (1958-1967), all from France;

See also


External links

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