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European Union

Legal Database


The treaties constitute the European Union’s ‘primary legislation’, which is comparable to constitutional law at national level. They thus lay down the fundamental features of the Union, in particular the responsibilities of the various actors in the decision-making process, the legislative procedures, under the Community system and the powers conferred on them. The treaties themselves are the subject of direct negotiations between the governments of the Member States, after which they have to be ratified in accordance with the procedures applying at national level (in principle by the national parliaments or by referendum).


Major Treaties

Legal Citations

  • Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (1951) (often referred to as the E.C.S.C. Treaty), 261 U.N.T.S. 140
  • Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (1957) (often referred to as the Euratom Treaty), 298 U.N.T.S. 167
  • Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community (1957) (often referred to as the Treaty of Rome or the E.E.C. Treaty), 298 U.N.T.S. 11
  • Treaty Establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities (1965) (often referred to as the Merger Treaty), 1965 J.O. (152) 1
  • Single European Act (1986), 1987 O.J. (L 169) 1
  • Treaty on European Union (1992) (consolidated version), 2012 O.J. C326/13
  • Treaty of Amsterdam (1997), 1997 O.J. C340/1
  • Treaty of Nice (2001), 2001 O.J. (C 80) 1
  • Treaty of Lisbon (2007), 2007 O.J. (C306) 1
  • Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2007) (consolidated version), 2012 O.J. C326/47