How is the European Coal and Steel Community linked to the European Union?

25 January 2016

The European Coal and Steel Community no longer exists. By contrast, almost all the central substantive obligations in the initial Treaty of Rome still apply. In addition to treaties allowing new member States to join, there have been a number of treaties amending the Treaty of Rome. Arguably, the most significant for the United Kingdom, at least, were the Single European Act (1986) and the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997).

The Single European Act resulted in unanimity no longer being required to secure the single market. Instead, Qualified Majority Voting, could be used for whole swathes of market legislation with no Member State holding a veto. The Treaty of Amsterdam was significant because it was the moment when the procedure now known as the ordinary legislative procedure became the dominant legislative procedure.

This both involved measures being adopted by Qualified Majority vote and the European Parliament holding a veto over any measure. The most well-known treaty was the Maastricht Treaty (1991). This rebranded the European Economic Community as the European Union and established the euro. As the United Kingdom is not a euro area State, it is arguably less directly significant for it than these other two treaties.

View all facts

Sign up to our newsletter





View our latest newsletter