The European Treaties
- The original Treaties
- The Treaty of Maastricht
- The Treaty of Amsterdam
- The Treaty of Nice
- The Treaty of Lisbon: a Constitution without title
- The treaties as instruments of progress
- Bibliography on European Treaties
The Treaties are the primary source of European law and hence the legal basis of common policies. The states participating in a multinational integration process set in a treaty the objectives that they wish to attain, the common policies that they wish to implement in order to achieve their goals, the structure and functions of the common institutions that will enact and monitor the common legislation formulated in the framework of the common policies and the fields reserved for the cooperation of their governments [see section 1.1.2]. Since common policies need to develop and multiply in order to serve better the ever changing needs and interests of the participating states, the treaty, which outlines them, needs also to be modified, so as to allow these states to attain the higher goals that they set. This is the pattern followed by the European Treaties.
We shall not linger over the basic Treaties of the Communities, because we examine their objectives and main clauses in subsequent chapters in connection with the legal base of the various common policies. The emphasis in this chapter is put on the Treaties as instruments of progress of the European integration. We, therefore, review the main objectives of the original Treaties and those of the Treaties which have replaced them in order to revise some of their provisions and to lay the foundations for more advanced stages of European integration.