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Chapter 16: The European Union’s Institutional Design
Elisabetta Croci Angelini Introduction The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (TEC) was signed in Rome by the six founding countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) on 25 March 1957. After the ﬁrst enlargement to Denmark, Ireland and the UK in 1973, the second to Greece in 1981, and the third to Spain and Portugal in 1986, the cooperation among the 12 member states was fostered by a stronger agreement accomplished by the ﬁrst revision to the Treaty of Rome, the Single European Act (SEA) in force since 1987, and later by the European Union Treaty (TEU) signed in Maastricht in 1991. The European Union (EU) came into existence in 1993 and consists of three pillars: the European Community (EC), the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU in 1995. Two more revision treaties were agreed: in Amsterdam in 1997 and in Nice in 2000. The most recent enlargement involved the entry of eight Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland) plus Cyprus and Malta, in May 2004. The process of European integration may be described as a sequence of successful widening and deepening operations, yet this representation overlooks the considerable modiﬁcations undertaken over the years. The integration process was initiated with the application of the incremental tactic envisaged by Jean Monnet, pointing to the development of a European interest above the national interests. The strategy was...
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