European Atomic Energy Community
|Administrative body||European Commission|
|Official languages||24 languages|
|Members||28 EU member states
1 associated state
|1 January 1958|
|1 July 1967|
The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) is an international organisation founded in 1957 with the purpose of creating a specialist market for nuclear power in Europe, developing nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while selling the surplus to non-member states. It is legally distinct from the European Union (EU), but has the same membership, and is governed by the EU's institutions. Since 2014, Switzerland has also participated in Euratom programmes as an associated state.
Currently, its main focus is on the construction of 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.
It was established by the Euratom Treaty on 25 March 1957 alongside the European Economic Community (EEC), being taken over by the executive institutions of the EEC in 1967. Although other communities were merged in 1993 and 2009, the nuclear program has maintained a legally distinct nature from the European Union.
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, wanted a separate community to cover nuclear power. 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 single 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, Monnet proposed the creation of separate atomic energy and economic 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 Council and Commission, with fewer powers than the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community. On 25 March 1957, the Treaties of Rome (the Euratom Treaty and the EEC Treaty) 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 1965 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 even if 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 maintained a distinct legal personality.
The European Constitution was intended to consolidate all previous treaties and increase democratic accountability in them. The Euratom treaty had not been amended as the other treaties had, so the European Parliament had been granted few powers over 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. The Euratom treaty thus remains in force relatively unamended from its original signing.
Modified Brussels Treaty
European Council conclusion
|Three pillars of the European Union:|
|European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)|
|European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)||Treaty expired in 2002||European Union (EU)|
|European Economic Community (EEC)|
|Schengen Rules||European Community (EC)|
|TREVI||Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)|
|Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)|
|European Political Cooperation (EPC)||Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)|
|Unconsolidated bodies||Western European Union (WEU)|
|Treaty terminated in 2011|
This article is part of a series on the
In the history of European regulation, 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:
- Louis Armand (France) 1958–1959 – Armand Commission
- Étienne Hirsch (France) 1959–1962 – Hirsch Commission
- Pierre Chatenet (France) 1962–1967 – Chatenet Commission
- EU Directorate General Joint Research Centre – often incorrectly referred to as Euratom due to EURATOM being its origin.
- Energy Community
- Energy policy of the European Union
- History of the European Union
- Institutions of the European Union
- Nuclear energy in the European Union
- The nuclear part of the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development, the European Union's chief instrument for funding research.
- Document 32014D0954, Council of the European Union. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Fusion for Energy
- 1957–1968 Successes and crises CVCE
- A European Atomic Energy Community CVCE
- The signing of the Rome Treaties CVCE
- Drafting of the Rome Treaties CVCE
- Euratom: nuking Europe's future Greenpeace International, 9 July 2003
- One hundred civil society groups say abolish Euratom! Friends of the Earth Europe, 3 March 2003
- Euratom reform
- Heuel-Fabianek, B., Kümmerle, E., Möllmann-Coers, M., Lennartz, R. (2008): The relevance of Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty for the dismantling of nuclear reactors. atw – International Journal for Nuclear Power 6/2008
- European Atomic Energy Community website
- Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)
- Documents of the European Atomic Energy Community are consultable at the Historical Archives of the EU in Florence
- History of the Rome Treaties Online collection by the CVCE
- European Commission Fusion Research
- European Commission Fission Research