The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community
The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) is fairly long, comprising 248 articles plus 22 annexes. This is partly due to differences of opinion between the negotiators as to the nature of the Community. Article 2 of the Treaty provides: ‘The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and progressively approximating the economic policies of Member States, to promote throughout the Community a harmonious development of economic activities, a continuous and balanced expansion, an increase in stability, an accelerated raising of the standard of living and closer relations between the States belonging to it’.
The general scheme of the Treaty is based on four principles: progressiveness, irreversibility, the prohibition of discrimination and the open nature of the Community. As regards geographical area, the Treaty applies to the six Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community. It also applies, under special arrangements, to Algeria and the French overseas departments (FOD). Like the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the EEC Treaty is a framework treaty and not a legislative treaty, in the sense that it sets out various objectives that the institutions are responsible for implementing through derived law. Unlike the ECSC Treaty, which was concluded for 50 years, the EEC Treaty has been concluded for an unlimited period. It is based on the traditional distinction between the three powers, providing for a legislative power (the Assembly), an executive power (the Council and the Commission) and a judicial power (the Court of Justice).
The EEC Treaty lays down the objective and the details of customs union. It provides for the drawing up of a common agricultural policy (CAP) and sets out rules for the free movement of persons, services and capital. Finally, it outlines a common transport policy. In regard to the standardisation of competition, the EEC Treaty contains provisions on the rules applicable to undertakings and state aid. Lastly, it sets out the principles of association between the EEC and the overseas countries and territories (OCT), whilst the detailed arrangements appear in an agreement annexed to the Treaty.