The European Commission 1958-72. History and memories of an institution

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2014
ISBN 978-92-79-33755-0
EC KA-01-13-684-EN-C
Content Type


The ink on the Rome Treaties of 25 March 1957 was hardly dry when the Commission set itself up for business on 1 January 1958 in Brussels with an agenda covering all areas of the economic life of the six founder countries: France, Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The 15-year period – from 1958 to 1972 – covered by this work corresponds to the beginnings of the European Commission, whose first task was to come up with practical means of achieving the Treaties’ main objective – the establishment of a common market – taking as its point of departure the general interest of the entire Community of six Member States.

Forged by men and women with often very different backgrounds, the history of the first few years is one of crises but also of achievements which shaped the major milestones of European integration in almost every area. Imagination, long-term vision, enthusiasm and tenacity seem to have been the great virtues of the people working for the young European institution at that time. By piecing together over a number of years the recollections of former Commission officials, a consortium of university teachers under the direction of Professor Michel Dumoulin of the Catholic University of Louvain has at last made it possible to tell the story of what happened during those early days.

A similar project has resulted in the publication of a book about the history of the European Commission between 1973 and 1986.

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European Commission: The European Commission 1958-72. History and memories [2007 edition]

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