Building europe through the treaties
The signing of the Community Treaties (ECSC in 1951, EEC and Euratom in 1957) marked the starting point for over 50 years of European treaties. The 'founding' Treaties establishing the European Communities and the European Union, together with the major amending Treaties, constitute the primary legislation; in other words, they are the supreme law of the Union and of the European Communities.
The Treaties, which are agreed by the Heads of State and Government of the Member States, contain the formal and substantive rules on the basis of which the institutions implement the various policies of the Communities and of the Union. They lay down the formal rules, setting out the division of powers between the Union and the Member States, and conferring powers on the institutions. They also determine the substantive rules defining the scope of policies and the activities of the institutions within each policy area.
- SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS: FROM THE SINGLE ACT TO THE TREATY OF NICE
- FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES TO THE EUROPEAN UNION