The Merger Treaty is also known as the Brussels Treaty. Formerly, there were three European communities which were the European Economic Community (EEC) European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The Merger Treaty was a European treaty which brought the executive bodies of the ECSC, EEC and Euratom together to form a single council and a single commission.
The Merger treaty was signed on 8 April 1965 in Brussels but was implemented on 1 July 1967. It established that the commission of the European Economic Community (EEC) and its council should replace the Council and Commission of Euratom as well as the Council and High Authority of the ECSC.
Even after this agreement, the communities still remained independent although they shared common institutions such as the Court of Justice and the Parliamentary Assembly. It was then that they became jointly referred to as the European Communities. Some regard this as being the real genesis of the modern-day European Union.
It commenced with six original signatories or countries which are Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The European Communities, created under the merger treaty, existed until the emergence of the Treaty of Amsterdam. The treaty of Amsterdam was signed in 1997 and was implemented on 1st May 1999, after which the Merger Treaty ceased to be applied.
THE AGREEMENTS IN THE TREATY
The President or Queen and a minister – usually a foreign affairs or economic minister – of each of the six nations agreed on the terms that:
- The Council of the European Communities shall replace the special Council of Ministers of the ECSC, EEC, and Euratom and shall exercise all powers and jurisdiction conferred on them.
- Each Member State shall delegate one of its members of government as a representative to the Council and each member of the council shall have a six month term in the office of the President in the following order: Belgium first, then Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands.
- The Members of Council shall meet when the President convenes the meeting by his own initiative or upon the request of one of the Members of the Council.
- The Council is independent to adopt its rules of procedure.
- Salaries, allowances and pensions of the President and Members of the Commission shall be determined by the approval of the qualified majority.
- The various articles that established each of the three councils (EEC, ECSC and Euratom) were duly repealed.
- Decisions and actions shall be taken by the Council only after there has been a unanimous agreement or the qualified majority has voted in favor of such decisions. However, the votes of each member of state would not be counted equally. Rather, the members of council had their votes weighted as Belgium – 2, Germany – 4, France – 4, Italy – 4, Luxembourg – 1, and Netherlands – 2. It also provided that, performance of acts shall require a minimum of twelve votes in favor, and such votes should be cast by not less than four of the qualified members.
- The court of Justice is mandated to adopt its rules of procedure but these will be implemented only after a unanimous approval of the Council.