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European unity advances on three fronts. Bulletin from the European Community. No. 40, July 1960

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  • Economics
  • Law
  • Political Science


... J u L y 1 9 6 0 I N 0. 40 BELGIUM, FRANCE, GERMAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG, THE NETHERLANDS EUROPEAN UNITY ADVANCES ON THREE FRONTS Speeding up Common Market, Direct Elections to European Parliament, Fusion of Three Executives The postwar history of European unification has been one of extraordinary endurance and resilience. Each time when the outlook has seemed most gloomy, the idea has been put forward again and reinvigorated. The month of May, 1960, will almost certainly turn out to have been one of those moments of historic progress. After a period when the doubts of many had been aroused about the will of some of the member states to accept real unity, major moves in three key sectors were made. 1. Undoubtedly the most important in immediate prac- tical effect was a decision by the Six to speed up the im- plementation of the Common Market. This means that the six governments have taken advantage of the current economic boom and of the favorable attitude of industry to move more rapidly toward a full customs union with a common external tariff. For the Six there can be no ques- tion now of going back, for by the end of this year they will be irrevocably on the way toward forming a single economic unit as far as their relations with the rest of the world are concerned. 2. The second move was the adoption by the European Parliament on May 17 of a draft convention on election of the Parliament by direct universal suffrage. This would create for the first time a Parliament directly responsible to the electorate of the Six countries. 3. Finally, the pressure for unification of the three Community executives-the Common Market and Euratom Commissions and the High Authority of the ECSC-is rapidly mounting. On May 16, Euratom Commission Presi- dent Etienne Hirsch proposed, before the European Parli- ment, the establishment of a single executive which would exercise all the powers presently held by the three existing executives. Five days

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