Treaty Establishing the European Community
as Amended by Subsequent Treaties
ROME, 25 March 1957
- The common market shall extend to agriculture and trade in
agricultural products. 'Agricultural products' means the products of the
soil, of stock-farming and of fisheries and products of first-stage
processing directly related to these products.
- Save as otherwise provided in Arts. 39 to 46, the rules laid down for
the establishment of the common market shall apply to agricultural
- The products subject to the provisions of Arts. 39 to 46 are listed in
Annex II to this Treaty. Within two years of the entry into force of this
Treaty, however, the Council shall, acting by a qualified majority on a
proposal from the Commission, decide what products are to be added to
- The operation and development of the common market for agricultural
products must be accompanied by the establishment of a common
agricultural policy among the Member States.
- The objectives of the common agricultural policy shall be:
- (a) to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical
progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural
production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of
production, in particular labour;
- (b) thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural
community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of
persons engaged in agriculture;
- (c) to stabilise markets;
- (d) to assure the availability of supplies;
- (e) to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.
- In working out the common agricultural policy and the special methods
for its application, account shall be taken of:
- (a) the particular nature of agricultural activity, which results from
the social structure of agriculture and from structural and natural
disparities between the various agricultural regions;
- (b) the need to effect the appropriate adjustments by degrees;
- (c) the fact that in the Member States agriculture constitutes a sector
closely linked with the economy as a whole.
- Member States shall develop the common agricultural policy
by degrees during the transitional period and shall bring it into force
by the end of that period at the latest.
- In order to attain the objectives set out in Art. 39 a common
organisation of agricultural markets shall be established.
This organisation shall take one of the following forms, depending on the
- (a) common rules on competition;
- (b) compulsory co-ordination of the various national market
- (c) a European market organisation.
- The common organisation established in accordance with paragraph 2 may
include all measures required to attain the objectives set out in Art.
39, in particular regulation of prices, aids for the production and
marketing of the various products, storage and carry-over arrangements
and common machinery for stabilising imports or exports.
The common organisation shall be limited to pursuit of the objectives set
out in Art. 39 and shall exclude any discrimination between producers or
consumers within the Community.
Any common price policy shall be based on common criteria and uniform
methods of calculation.
- In order to enable the common organisation referred to in paragraph 2
to attain its objectives, one or more agricultural guidance and guarantee
funds may be set up.
Article 41. To enable the objectives set out in Art. 39 to be attained,
provision may be made within the framework of the common agricultural
policy for measures such as:
- (a) an effective co-ordination of efforts in the spheres of vocational
training, of research and of the dissemination of agricultural
knowledge; this may include joint financing of projects or
- (b) joint measures to promote consumption of certain products.
Article 42. The provisions of the Chapter relating to rules on
competition shall apply to production of and trade in agricultural
products only to the extent determined by the Council within the
framework of Art. 43 (2) and (3) and in accordance with the procedure
laid down therein, account being taken of the objectives set out in Art.
The Council may, in particular, authorise the granting of aid:
- (a) for the protection of enterprises handicapped by structural or
- (b) within the framework of economic development programmes.
- In order to evolve the broad lines of a common
agricultural policy, the Commission shall, immediately this Treaty enters
into force, convene a conference of the Member States with a view to
making a comparison of their agricultural policies, in particular by
producing a statement of their resources and needs.
- Having taken into account the work of the conference provided for in
paragraph 1, after consulting the Economic and Social Committee and
within two years of the entry into force of this Treaty, the Commission
shall submit proposals for working out and implementing the common
agricultural policy, including the replacement of the national
organisations by one of the forms of common organisation provided for in
Art. 40 (2), and for implementing the measures specified in this Title.
These proposals shall take account of the interdependence of the
agricultural matters mentioned in this Title.
The Council shall, on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting
the European Parliament, acting unanimously during the first two stages
and by a qualified majority thereafter, make regulations, issue
directives, or take decisions, without prejudice to any recommendations
it may also make.
- The Council may, acting by a qualified majority and in accordance with
paragraph 2, replace the national market organisations by the common
organisation provided for in Art. 40 (2) if:
- (a) the common organisation offers Member States which are opposed to
this measure and which have an organisation of their own for the
production in question equivalent safeguards for the employment and
standard of living of the producers concerned, account being taken
of the adjustments that will be possible and the specialisation
that will be needed with the passage of time;
- (b) such an organisation ensures conditions for trade within the
Community similar to those existing in a national market.
- If a common organisation for certain raw materials is established
before a common organisation exists for the corresponding processed
products, such raw materials as are used for processed products intended
for export to third countries may be imported from outside the Community.
- In so far as progressive abolition of customs duties and
quantitative restrictions, between Member States may result in prices
likely to jeopardise the attainment of the objectives set out in Art. 39,
each Member State shall, during the transitional period, be entitled to
apply to particular products, in a non-discriminatory manner and in
substitution for quotas and to such an extent as shall not impede the
expansion of the volume of trade provided for in Art. 45 (2), a system of
minimum prices below which imports may be either:
- temporarily suspended or reduced; or
- allowed, but subjected to the condition that they are made at a
price higher than the minimum price for the product concerned.
In the latter case the minimum prices shall not include customs duties.
- Minimum prices shall neither cause a reduction of the trade existing
between Member States when this Treaty enters into force nor form an
obstacle to progressive expansion of this trade. Minimum prices shall not
be applied so as to form an obstacle to the development of a natural
preference between Member States.
- As soon as this Treaty enters into force the Council shall, on a
proposal from the Commission, determine objective criteria for the
establishment of minimum price systems and for the fixing of such prices.
These criteria shall in particular take account of the average national
production costs in the Member State applying the minimum price, of the
position of the various undertakings concerned in relation to such
average production costs, and of the need to promote both the progressive
improvement of agricultural practice and the adjustments and
specialisation needed within the common market.
The Commission shall further propose a procedure for revising these
criteria in order to allow for and speed up technical progress and to
approximate prices progressively within the common market.
These criteria and the procedure for revising them shall be determined by
the Council acting unanimously within three years of the entry into force
of this Treaty.
- Until the decision of the Council takes effect, Member States may fix
minimum prices on condition that these are communicated before hand to
the Commission and to the other Member States so that they may submit
Once the Council has taken its decision, Member States shall fix minimum
prices on the basis of the criteria determined as above.
The Council may, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the
Commission, rectify any decisions taken by Member States which do not
conform to the criteria defined above.
- If it does not prove possible to determine the said objective criteria
for certain products by the beginning of the third stage, the Council
may, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission,
vary the minimum prices applied to these products.
- At the end of the transitional period, a table of minimum prices still
in force shall be drawn up. The Council shall, acting on a proposal from
the Commission and by a majority of nine votes in accordance with the
weighting laid down in the first subparagraph of Art. 148 (2), determine
the system to be applied within the framework of the common agricultural
- Until national market organisations have been replaced by
one of the forms of common organisation referred to in Art. 40 (2), trade
in products in respect of which certain Member States:
- have arrangements designed to guarantee national producers a market
for their products; and
- are in need of imports,
shall be developed by the conclusion of long-term agreements or contracts
between importing and exporting Member States.
These agreements or contracts shall be directed towards the progressive
abolition of any discrimination in the application of these arrangements
to the various producers within the Community.
Such agreements or contracts shall be concluded during the first account
shall be taken of the principle of reciprocity.
- As regards quantities, these agreements or contracts shall be based on
the average volume of trade between Member States in the products concern
ed during the three years before the entry into force of this Treaty and
shall provide for an increase in the volume of trade within the limits of
existing requirements, account being taken of traditional patterns of
As regards prices, these agreements or contracts shall enable producers
to dispose of the agreed quantities at prices which shall be
progressively approximated to those paid to national producers on the
domestic market of the purchasing country.
This approximation shall proceed as steadily as possible and shall be
completed by the end of the transitional period at the latest.
Prices shall be negotiated between the parties concerned within the
framework of directives issued by the Commission for the purpose of
implementing the two preceding subparagraphs.
If the first stage is extended, these agreements or contracts shall
continue to be carried out in accordance with the conditions applicable
at the end of the fourth year after the entry into force of this Treaty,
the obligation to increase quantities and to approximate prices being
suspended until the transition to the second stage.
Member States shall avail themselves of any opportunity open to them
under their legislation, particularly in respect of import policy, to
ensure the conclusion and carrying out of these agreements or contracts.
- To the extent that Member States require raw materials for the manufac
ture of products to be exported outside the Community in competition with
products of third countries, the above agreements or contracts shall not
form an obstacle to the importation of raw materials for this purpose
from third countries. This provision shall not, however, apply if the
Council unanimously decides to make provision for payments required to
compensate for the higher price paid on goods imported for this purpose
on the basis of these agreements or contracts in relation to the
delivered price of the same goods purchased on the world market.
Article 46. Where in a Member State a product is subject to a national
market organisation or to internal rules having equivalent effect which
affect the competitive position of similar production in another Member
State, a countervailing charge shall be applied by Member States to
imports of this product coming from the Member State where such
organisations or rules exist, unless that State applies a countervailing
charge on export.
The Commission shall fix the amount of these charges at the level require
d to redress the balance; it may also authorise other measures, the
conditions and details of which it shall determine.
Article 47. As to the functions to be performed by the Economic and
Social Committee in pursuance of this Title, its agricultural section
shall hold itself at the disposal of the Commission to prepare, in
accordance with the provisions of Arts. 197 and 198, the deliberations of