Treaties of the European Union

Treaties of the European Union

The Treaties of the European Union are a set of international treaties between the Union's member states which sets out the counstitutional basis of the European Union (EU). They establish the various EU institutions, their procedures and the EU's objectives.

Today, the Treaty establishing the European Community (Rome Treaty, effective since 1958) and the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty, effective since 1993) combined constitute the EU's legal basis. These are known as the founding treaties. They have been altered several times since their inception by amending treaties. Each time a new country acceedes to the EU, an accession treaty altering the list of signatories within the founding treaties is required to enter force. Accession treaties can also alter other parts of the founding treaties. There is also a number of amending treaties with the sole purpose of reform.


Ratified treaties

Legend for below table: [Founding] - [Amending] - [Membership]

Unratified treaties

;Treaty instituting a European Defence Community.Following on from the success of the Treaty of Paris, efforts were made to allow West Germany to rearm within the framework of a European military structure in the form of a "European Defence Community". The treaty was signed by the the six members on 27 May 1952 and the Common Assembly began drafting a treaty for a European Political Community to ensure democratic accountability of the new army, but this treaty was abandoned when the Defence Community treaty was rejected by the French National Assembly on 30 August 1954.

;1973 and 1995 Acts of Accession of NorwayNorway has tried to join the European Communities/Union on two occasions, on both occasions a national referendum returned a negative result leading Norway to turn down membership. The first treaty was signed in Brussels on 22 January 1972 and the second in Corfu on 24 June 1994.

;Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (the European Constitution)The European Constitution was a treaty that would have repealed and consolidated all previous overlapping treaties (except the Euratom treaty) into a single document. It also made changes to voting systems, simplified the structure of the EU and advanced co-operation in foreign policy. The treaty was signed on 29 October 2004 and was due to come into force on 1 November 2006 if it was ratified by all member states. However this dis not occur, with France rejecting the document in a national referendum on 29 May 2005 and then the Netherlands in their own referendum on 1 June 2005. Following a "period of reflection", the constitution in that form was scrapped and replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon.

;Treaty of Lisbon (ongoing ratification)The Lisbon Treaty was agreed on 19 October 2007 and carried over most of the amendments made by the Constitution in the form of an amending treaty. It was signed on 13 December 2007 in Lisbon with the aim of it being ratified in time for it to come into force in 2009. On this occasion, Ireland was the only state to hold a referendum which resulted in a 53% vote against. Due to this rejection, the future of the treaty is uncertain.


ee also

*Law of the European Union
*History of the European Union
*Berlin Declaration (2007)
*Solemn Declaration on European Union
*Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

External links

[ European treaties] - Europa

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