European Economic Community

The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957,[note 1] aiming to foster economic integration among its member states. It was subsequently renamed the European Community (EC) upon becoming integrated into the first pillar of the newly formed European Union in 1993. In the popular language, however, the singular European Community was sometimes inaccuratelly used in the wider sense of the plural European Communities, in spite of the latter designation covering all the three constituent entities of the first pillar.[2]

European Economic Community/European Community
  • Danish:Europæiske Økonomiske Fællesskab
    Dutch:Europese Economische Gemeenschap
    French:Communauté économique européenne
    German:Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft
    Greek:Ευρωπαϊκή Οικονομική Κοινότητα
    Italian:Comunità Economica Europea
    Portuguese:Comunidade Económica Europeia
    Spanish:Comunidad Económica Europea
Anthem: "Ode to Joy" (orchestral)
EEC in 1993
StatusEconomic union
Institutional seats
Largest cityLondon
Official languages
Commission President 
Walter Hallstein
Jean Rey
Franco Maria Malfatti
Sicco Mansholt
François-Xavier Ortoli
Roy Jenkins
Gaston Thorn
Jacques Delors
Historical eraCold War
25 March 1957
1 January 1958
1 July 1967
1 January 1993
1 November 1993
1 December 2009
Succeeded by
European Union
Today part ofEuropean Union United Kingdom
¹ The information in this infobox covers the EEC's time as an independent organization. It does not give details of post-1993 operation within the EU as that is explained in greater length in the European Union and European Communities articles.
² De facto only, these cities hosted the main institutions but were not titled as capitals.

In 2009, the EC formally ceased to exist and its institutions were directly absorbed by the EU. This made the Union the formal successor institution of the Community.

The Community's initial aim was to bring about economic integration, including a common market and customs union, among its six founding members: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. It gained a common set of institutions along with the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) as one of the European Communities under the 1965 Merger Treaty (Treaty of Brussels). In 1993 a complete single market was achieved, known as the internal market, which allowed for the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people within the EEC. In 1994 the internal market was formalised by the EEA agreement. This agreement also extended the internal market to include most of the member states of the European Free Trade Association, forming the European Economic Area, which encompasses 15 countries.

Upon the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, the EEC was renamed the European Community to reflect that it covered a wider range than economic policy. This was also when the three European Communities, including the EC, were collectively made to constitute the first of the three pillars of the European Union, which the treaty also founded. The EC existed in this form until it was abolished by the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon, which incorporated the EC's institutions into the EU's wider framework and provided that the EU would "replace and succeed the European Community".

The EEC was also known as the European Common Market in the English-speaking countries[3] and sometimes referred to as the European Community even before it was officially renamed as such in 1993.

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