The origins of the Rome Treaties (1955–1958)


The research corpus on ‘The origins of the Rome Treaties (1955–1958)’, compiled to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaties, offers a series of resources concerning the context and implications of the negotiations which led to the signing of the Rome Treaties establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) on 25 March 1957.

More than 500 documents, covering topics that range from the 1955 European revival to the entry into force of the treaties on 1 January 1958, reveal a key period in the history of European integration. A major strength of the corpus lies in the careful selection of material from the Historical Archives of the Council of the European Union: these historical documents constitute a major part of the corpus. This selection is supplemented by the publication — in some cases, for the very first time — of historical documents from other archives, in particular the Historical Archives of the European Union, the Archives of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Luxembourg National Archives.

Another major feature of this corpus is a series of interviews conducted by the CVCE with individuals who experienced events at first hand. Among those interviewed are Charles Rutten, Hubert Ehring, Pierre Pescatore, Max Kohnstamm, André Dubois, Hans-August Lücker and Albert Breuer.

The corpus also contains a selection of audio and video clips including accounts given by Walter Hallstein, Hans von der Groeben, Maurice Faure, Christian Pineau and Jean-François Deniau, as well as contemporary audiovisual archives of the Messina Conference, the Venice Conference, the Val Duchesse negotiations and the signing of the Rome Treaties.

The corpus, primarily aimed at the research community, is a source of extremely wide-ranging, rich and varied documentation, containing press articles, extracts from memoirs, photos and cartoons. It is introduced by a detailed chronology of the period from 1954 to 1958 and suggestions for further reading on the subject, with each themed section of the corpus also being introduced by an explanatory text.

The corpus was initially published as a ‘Special File’ in European NAvigator in March 2007.

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