World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom

Article Id: WHEBN0015401392
Reproduction Date:

Title: Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: European Atomic Energy Community, Spaak method, Château of Val-Duchesse, Auderghem, Spaak Report
Collection: European Atomic Energy Community, European Union, History of the European Union
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom

Part of a series on the
History of the
European Union
EU enlargement between 1958 and 2013
European Union portal

The Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom was held in Brussels and started on 26 June 1956 with a session in the Grand Salon of the Belgian Foreign Ministry. The negotiations went on at the Château of Val-Duchesse in Auderghem (Brussels) and would continue until March 1957. The conference was held to draft the Treaties establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom). The conference built on the results of the Spaak Report of the Spaak Committee and the decision taken at the Venice Conference to prepare the plan for the establishment of a common market and the establishment of a European Community for the peaceful use of atomic energy.

Plaque commemorating the Intergovernmental Conference of 1956

The conference was headed by Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian Foreign Minister, the heads of the delegations from the six European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) were Lodovico Benvenuti (Italy), Count Jean Charles Snoy et d'Oppuers (Belgium), Karl Friedrich Ophüls (Federal Republic of Germany), Maurice Faure (France), Johan Linthorst Homan (Netherlands) and Lambert Schaus (Luxembourg).


  • The common market 1
  • Euratom 2
  • Outcome 3
  • See also 4
  • Source 5

The common market

The basic principle of the common market was agreed upon by the six ECSC members, but there was wide disagreement about the procedures for its implementation. Both Germany and the three BeNeLux countries, with their export oriented economies, favoured economic liberalism and wanted to reduce custom duties in order to lower the barriers for trade between the participating countries. On the other side stood France and Italy, with their less competitive economies, who were primarily in favour of a mechanism for market regulation and a certain amount of protection for external competition. France wanted some way to include its African colonial in the forthcoming European common market. The participants of the conference could not reach a satisfactory agreement on a common agricultural policy, but the outcome of the conference provided for improvement in productivity, self-sufficiency in food for the community and the establishment of an adequate income for farmers.


The negotiations on Euratom were complicated by the French opposition against any power of Euratom on the military use of nuclear power. This might hinder the acquisition of nuclear weapons for France. France wanted to share the cost of the development of civil nuclear research with Euratom, which of course would free financial resources for its own military nuclear research. Although the other countries were reluctant to accept this stance, in the end they agreed to leave the military use of nuclear research out of the treaty, but made it subject to international controls. The USA also opposed the emergence of an independent European nuclear force.

The Suez crisis of 1956, which exposed the vulnerability of Europe regarding its energy supplies had an influence on the negotiations.


The conference would lead to the Treaties of Rome being signed on 25 March 1957 which established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) among the members of the ECSC.

See also


  • Negotiations on the EEC and Euratom
  • Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community
  • Raymond Bertrand, The European Common Market Proposal, International Organization, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Nov. 1956), pp. 559–574.
  • Pierre-Henri Laurent, Paul-Henri Spaak and the Diplomatic Origins of the Common Market, 1955–1956, Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Sep. 1970), pp. 373–396
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.