The United States, Euratom and European integration 1955-1957

  • Gunnar Skogmar


The article treats the negotiations about Euratom and the Common Market which ended with the Rome Treaty. A short general overview of the negotiations is presented and a more detailed account of the crucial decisions during the first half of 1956 is given. The main aim is to assess the role of the United States and the significance of an agreement on Euratom within the larger context. The United States is seen as a main player in the integration game (together with France and the Federal Republic of Germany, Britain being largely marginalized). It is concluded that an agreement between the three countries on a certain construction of Euratom was probably a precondition for successfully concluding the negotiations about the more important Common Market project. The outcome of the Euratom negotiations was a compromise between US, French and German standpoints on a number of issues in which the military and civil aspects of atomic energy were closely intertwined. This compromise was only partially implemented later. In the long run, Euratom turned out to be not so much a project of sectoral European integration as an arrangement for safeguarding the status of the Federal Republic as a non-nuclear weapon state.