March 25, 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. On 25 March 1957, two treaties were signed in Rome that gave birth to the European Economic Community (EEC) and to European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom): the Treaties of Rome.
The establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which came into being in July 1952, was the first great achievement of the supranational Europe. For the first time, the six Member States of this organisation surrendered part of their national sovereignty, albeit in a limited field, to the Community.
The limitations of this first attempt at integration were quickly revealed with the failure of the European Defence Community (EDC) in 1954.
While it might have been feared that the effort undertaken by the ECSC would not bear fruit, the Messina Conference of June 1955 attempted to relaunch the European process. The Conference was followed by a series of other meetings of ministers and experts. A preparatory committee was set up at the beginning of 1956 with the task of preparing a report on the creation of a European common market. This committee met in Brussels and was chaired by P.H. Spaak, the Belgian Foreign Minister at the time. In April 1956, the committee proposed a set of two projects which corresponded to the two options chosen by the States:
. the creation of a generalised common market;
. the creation of an atomic energy community.
Following unproblematic ratification in the various countries, the two treaties entered into force on 1 January 1958.
Learn more about the EEC Treaty
and the Euratom Treaty