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date: 20 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

On 25 March 1957, in the course of an imposing ceremony in Rome, the representatives of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany signed a treaty instituting a European Economic Community (EEC Treaty) and a second accord establishing a European Community in Atomic Energy (Euratom). This article begins with a discussion of the processes that led to the signature of the Rome Treaties, and then considers the significance of the treaties. The striking feature of the Treaties of Rome, and the negotiation process that preceded them, is the novel willingness of the Six to subordinate their traditional sovereign rights. This perception of mutual interest ultimately derived from their leaders' judgment that they would not count in the world unless they colluded. At bottom, the Treaties of Rome derived from a shrewd assessment by the Six's leaders of their nations' diminished standing in the world and a shared determination that they would make ‘Europe’ matter again.

Keywords: EEC Treaty, Euratom Treaty, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, West Germany

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