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Title: The establishment of the European Commission : the building of administrative structures within an organisation of political leadership
Author: Piene, Henriette C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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To the study of the establishment of the European Commission in 1958 and its administrative structures, a "new" dimension can be said to have been added with material that has become available with the opening of the Historical Archives of the European Communities. Through this material one has been able to study from first-hand sources influences and aspects of the setting-up of the European Commission which has hopefully cast new light on this process. An interview with former Secretary-General of the Commission, Emile Noël, has given first-hand experiences of the work of the early Commission from a personal source. Approaching the study of the European Commission, one cannot avoid the High Authority. This was as close as one could get to a predecessor to the Commission. Their differences, however, were partly due to the scope of the High Authority, which covered a much smaller area of society, dealing only within the industries of coal and steel. Secondly, the Treaties of the ECSC and EEC approached the legislative process rather differently. Within the ECSC, legislative powers were given to the High Authority alone, whereas in the EEC, this was shared between the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, making the EEC less "supranational". Furthermore, differences between the two executive bodies can be found in the characters of its two Presidents, Jean Monnet and Walter Hallstein respectively. Monnet approached the setting-up of the High Authority in a minimalist way, only expanding and developing its administration according to needs. Hallstein believed in developing administrative structures first, for then to be able to concentrate on the developing of policies. It was also in this way that the Commission was able to perform its most characteristic, and unique feature, that of a political leadership. The influence of President Hallstein was here to prove considerable, together with the rest of the College of Commissioners, operating in a strictly collegiate and independent manner. Particularly during the Free Trade Area negotiations between the Six and the rest of the OEEC, the Commission showed its ability to take political initiatives. The Free Trade Area negotiations had started in an intergovernmental fashion in 1956, two years before the EEC and the Commission came into operation. Nevertheless, the Commission proved capable of entering the negotiations half way through, seeking to carry them on as the single voice of the Six.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available