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1974

January

1

Germany takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. Agreements between the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden come into force. Finland's industrial free trade agreement with the Communities enters into force.

31

The Commission addresses the heads of government in a declaration on the state of the Community. The declaration stresses the need to get Europe moving again by bringing national policies closer into line and by working out common policies. The Parliament declares that the unity of Europe can only be achieved if the Community institutions are able to pursue a policy funded on real European solidarity.

February

11-12

The Council formally recognises the right of the Economic and Social Committee (ESC) to issue opinions upon its own initiative and to publish its own opinions.

April

1

Following a change of government in the United Kingdom, the British secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs makes a statement to the Council on the new government's policy on the Community. He calls for major changes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), "fairer methods of financing the Community budget" and solutions to monetary problems.

2

A joint declaration on the state of the Community is submitted to the Council. The presidents of the Council and of the Commission recognise that the decision-making process must be improved if any progress is to be made on substantive matters and if the ability of the Community to work is to be guaranteed in the long term. They also make a number of practical proposals.

May

29-30

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Council Meeting (ministerial level). Sir Christopher Soames, vice-president of the Commission, emphasises the need to strengthen international cooperation and to continue working towards extending liberalisation of world trade. The OECD Council adopts a declaration stressing the seriousness of the economic difficulties in the member countries, particularly those relating to deficits on international payments.

June

4

The Council considers the procedures it should adopt for the examination of problems raised by the United Kingdom and discusses the way the Community institutions work. Some agreement is reached on the improvements to be made in the decision-making progress.

10

The Council takes two decisions on the granting of assistance from the European Social Fund towards certain specific measures on behalf of handicapped persons and migrant workers.

21

Reyners ruling. The European Court of justice rules that whenever a national of a Member State wishes to set up in business in another EU country, the host country is obliged to refrain from applying any law, regulation or administrative provision or practice which might discriminate against him as opposed to its own nationals.

July

1

France takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

15

The European Court of Justice transmits a paper on the EU to the other Community institutions. It is the first institution to respond to the invitation made by the 1972 summit in Paris, France.

25-26

A EU – ACP (African, Caribbean, Pacific states) joint ministerial conference is held in Kingston, Jamaica. It emphasises the political resolve of the ACP states and the Community to adopt the convention within the time limits imposed by the expiry of the Yaoundé Convention and the Arusha agreement. What is more, political guidelines making further progress on a number of points are agreed upon.

September

17

The Council formally approves directives for the negotiation of comprehensive agreements with Spain, Israel, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and the extension of the existing agreement with Malta to cover cooperation and agriculture.

November

14-16

A World Food Conference is held in Rome, Italy. The Community, conscious of the acute food crisis facing many developing countries, steps up its efforts in the field of food aid and participates in the conference helping find a medium or long-term solution to the food supply problem.

26

The Council decides to adjust the Treaty provisions relating to the European Court of Justice with a view to improving the Court's procedures to enable it to cope with an increased workload. It is decided that certain requests for preliminary rulings concerning matters of a technical nature, or for which there is already an established body of case law, may be assigned by the Court to its Chamber provided that no Member State objects and no institution asks for the case to be heard by the full Court.

30

The agreements between the European Coal and Steel Community and Norway and Finland are ratified by all Member States of the Community. These agreements will come into force on January 1, 1975.

December

3

The Council reaches an agreement on the content of a draft Treaty on the budgetary powers of the Parliament and the setting up of a Court of Auditors. Binsbergen ruling. The European Court of Justice rules that the freedom to provide services under Community law may be directly invoked before national courts where the object of the provision is to abolish all discrimination against the service provider on the basis of his/her nationality or his/her residence in a Member State other than the one where the services are provided.

9-10

A summit is held in Paris, France. The EU heads of state or government decide to hold meetings three times a year as the European Council, they give the go-ahead for direct elections to the European Parliament, agree to set up the European Regional Development Fund and resolved to establish economic and monetary union. They also ask Mr Tindemans, the Belgian prime minister, to produce a summary report on the EU by the end of 1975.

19

Representatives of the governments of the member countries decide to extend the term of office of the president of the Commission, Mr François-Xavier Ortoli, until January 5, 1977.

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