Treaty Establishing the European Community
as Amended by Subsequent Treaties
ROME, 25 March 1957
Article 1. By this Treaty, the High Contracting
Parties establish among themselves a European Community.
Article 2. The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common
market and an economic and monetary union and by implementing the common
policies or activities referred to in Articles 3 and 3a, to promote
throughout the Community a harmonious and balanced development of
economic activities, sustainable and non-inflationary growth respecting
the environment, a high degree of convergence of economic performance, a
high level of employment and of social protection, the raising of the
standard of living and quality of life, and economic and social cohesion
and solidarity among Member States.
Article 3. For the purposes set out in Article 2, the activities of the
Community shall include, as provided by this Treaty and in accordance
with the timetable set out therein:
- (a) the elimination as between Member States, of customs duties and
quantitative restrictions on the import and export of goods, and of
all other measures having equivalent effect;
- (b) a common commercial policy;
- (c) an internal market characterized by the abolition, as between
Member States, of obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons,
services and capital;
- (d) Measures concerning the entry and movement of persons in the
internal market as provided for in Article 100C;
- (e) a common policy in the sphere of agriculture and fisheries;
- (f) a common policy in the sphere of transport;
- (g) a system ensuring that competition in the common market is not
- (h) the approximation of the laws of the Member States to the extent
required for the functioning of the common market;
- (i) a policy in the social sphere comprising a European Social Fund;
- (j) the strengthening of economic and social cohesion;
- (k) a policy in the sphere of the environment;
- (l) the strengthening of the competitiveness of Community industry;
- (m) the promotion of research and technological development;
- (n) encouragement for the establishment and development of trans-
- (o) a contribution to the attainment of a high level of health
- (p) a contribution to education and training of quality and to the
flowering of the cultures of the Member States;
- (q) a policy in the sphere of development cooperation;
- (r) the association of the overseas countries and territories in order
to increase trade and promote jointly economic and social
- (s) a contribution to the strengthening of consumer protection;
- (t) measures in the spheres of energy, civil protection and tourism.
- For the purposes set out in Article 2, the activities of
the Member States and the Community shall include, as provided in this
Treaty and in accordance with the timetable set out therein, the adoption
of an economic policy which is based on the close coordination of Member
States' economic policies, on the internal market and on the definition
of common objectives, and conducted in accordance with the principle of
an open market economy with free competition.
- Concurrently with the foregoing, and as provided in this Treaty and in
accordance with the timetable and the procedures set out therein, these
activities shall include the irrevocable fixing of exchange rates leading
to the introduction of a single currency, the ecu, and the definition and
conduct of a single monetary policy and exchange rate policy the primary
objective of both of which shall be to maintain price stability and,
without prejudice to this objective, to support the general economic
policies in the Community, in accordance with the principle of an open
market economy with free competition.
- These activities of the Member States and the Community shall entail
compliance with the following guiding principles: stable prices, sound
public finances and monetary conditions and a sustainable balance of
Article 3b. The Community shall act within the limits of the powers
conferred upon it by this Treaty and of the objectives assigned to it
In areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community
shall take action, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, only
if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be
sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason
of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the
Any action by the Community shall not go beyond what is necessary to
achieve the objectives of this Treaty.
- The tasks entrusted to the Community shall be carried out
by the following institutions:
- a European Parliament,
- a Council,
- a Commission,
- a Court of Justice,
- a Court of Auditors.
Each institution shall act within the limits of the powers conferred upon
it by this Treaty.
- The Council and the Commission shall be assisted by an Economic and
Social Committee and a Committee of the Regions acting in an advisory
Article 4a. A European System of Central Banks (hereinafter referred to
as 'ESCB') and a European Central Bank (hereinafter referred to as 'ECB')
shall be established in accordance with the procedures laid down in this
Treaty; they shall act within the limits of the powers conferred upon
them by this Treaty and by the Statute of the ESCB and of the ECB
(hereinafter referred to as 'Statute of the ESCB') annexed thereto.
Article 4b. A European Investment Bank is hereby established, which shall
act within the limits of the powers conferred upon it by this Treaty and
the Statute annexed thereto.
Article 5. Member States shall take all appropriate measures, whether
general or particular, to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising
out of this Treaty or resulting from action taken by the institutions of
the Community. They shall facilitate the achievement of the Community's
They shall abstain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment
of the objectives of this Treaty.
Article 6. Within the scope of application of this Treaty, and without
prejudice to any special provisions contained therein, any discrimination
on the grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.
The Council, acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 189c may adopt rules designed to prohibit such discrimination.
- The common market shall be progressively established during
a transitional period of twelve years.
This transitional period shall be divided into three stages of four years
each; the length of each stage may be altered in accordance with the
provisions set out below.
- To each stage there shall be assigned a set of actions to be initiated
and carried through concurrently.
- Transition from the first to the second stage shall be conditional
upon a finding that the objectives specifically laid down in this Treaty
for the first stage have in fact been attained in substance and that,
subject to the exceptions and procedures provided for in this Treaty, the
obligations have been fulfilled.
This finding shall be made at the end of the fourth year by the Council,
acting unanimously on a report from the Commission. A Member State may
not, however, prevent unanimity by relying upon the non-fulfilment of its
own obligations. Failing unanimity, the first stage shall automatically
be extended for one year.
At the end of the fifth year, the Council shall make its finding under
the same conditions. Failing unanimity, the first stage shall
automatically be extended for a further year.
At the end of the sixth year, the Council shall make its finding, acting
by a qualified majority on a report from the Commission.
- Within one month of the last-mentioned vote any Member State which
voted with the minority or, if the required majority was not obtained,
any Member State shall be entitled to call upon the Council to appoint an
arbitration board whose decision shall be binding upon all Member States
and upon the institutions of the Community. The arbitration board shall
consist of three members appointed by the Council acting unanimously on a
proposal from the Commission.
If the Council has not appointed the members of the arbitration board
within one month of being called upon to do so, they shall be appointed
by the Court of Justice within a further period of one month.
The arbitration board shall elect its own Chairman.
The board shall make its award within six months of the date of the
Council vote referred to in the last subparagraph of paragraph 3.
- The second and third stages may not be extended or curtailed except by
a decision of the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the
- Nothing in the preceding paragraphs shall cause the transitional
period to last more than fifteen years after the entry into force of this
- Save for the exceptions or derogations provided for in this Treaty,
the expiry of the transitional period shall constitute the latest date by
which all the rules laid down must enter into force and all the measures
required for establishing the common market must be implemented.
Article 7a. The Community shall adopt measures with the aim of
progressively establishing the internal market over a period expiring on
31 December 1992, in accordance with the provisions of this Article and
of Articles 8b, 8c, 28, 57(2), 59, 70(1), 84, 99, 100a and 100b and
without prejudice to the other provisions of this Treaty.
The internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in
which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is
ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty.
Article 7b. The Commission shall report to the Council before 31 December
1988 and again before 31 December 1990 on the progress made towards
achieving the internal market within the time limit fixed in Article 8a.
The Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the
Commission, shall determine the guidelines and conditions necessary to
ensure balanced progress in all the sectors concerned.
Article 7c. When drawing up its proposals with a view to achieving the
objectives set out in Article 8a, the Commission shall take into account
the extent of the effort that certain economies showing differences in
developments will have to sustain during the period of establishment of
the internal market and it may propose appropriate provisions.
If these provisions take the form of derogations, they must be of a
temporary nature and must cause the least possible disturbance to the
functioning of the common market.