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15 J. Common Mkt. Stud. 1 (1976)

handle is hein.journals/jcmks15 and id is 1 raw text is: 






       A   COMMUNITY WITHOUT A
                        CAPITAL

            By ROLAND  BIEBER AND MICHAEL  PALMER*


THE  European Coal  and Steel Community  has existed for 24 years
and  the EEC  and Euratom  have  been in operation for 18 years.
Article 77 of the ECSC Treaty states 'the seat of the institutions of
the Community will   be  determined by  common   accord of  the
governments  of the Member  States' and Article 216 of the EEC
Treaty and  Article 189 of the Euratom Treaty have similar pro-
visions. But although the executive bodies of the three Communities
were  fused in 1967 by the Merger  Treaty of  1965, Community
Europe still does not have a single capital.
  In  practice the Council of Ministers has its headquarters in
Brussels, where its secretariat is established and where most meet-
ings of the Council are held, though, as a result of the decision
taken by the governments of the Member  States in April 1965 (on
'the provisional location of certain institutions and departments of
the Communities') the Council meets in Luxembourg d uring April,
June and  Octobcr. Brussels is also the headquarters of the Com-
mission but its statistical and some other services are located in
Luxembourg.  The  Court of Justice is also based in Luxembourg.
  The  real problem  is that of the European Parliament  which
holds some of its part-sessions in Strasbourg and some in Luxem-
bourg and which  holds most of its committee meetings in Brussels,
whilst its secretariat has its headquarters in Luxembourg. Of the
two other major Community   bodies-neither of them institutions--
the Economic and Social Committee has its headquarters in Brussels
and the European Investment Bank  is established in Luxembourg.
  Charlemagne's  government  operated on  the move; so why,  it
might  be argued, should not the European  Communities  (which
are, after all, composed of nine different countries), be administered
from  three different cities? The reasons why a single capital or
seat is desirable are simple. First, the democratic control of the
European  Parliament  over the Commission-the initiating   and
  *Dr. Bieber and Mr. Palmer are Community officials. The views expressed in
this article are purely personal and do not in any way commit the institution for
which they work.

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