Initially, the European integration activities were confined to the creation of a common market in coal and steel between the six founder members (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). In that post-war period, the Community was primarily seen as a way of securing peace by bringing victors and vanquished together within an institutional structure, which would allow them to cooperate as equals.
In 1957 the six founder members decided to create besides a European Atomic Community, for research in the utilization of nuclear energy and other peaceful
utilisations, and an economic community, built around the free movement of workers, goods and services. Customs duties on manufactured goods were abolished, and common policies, especially in agricultural policy and foreign trade policy, were to be established. The Treaty of Rome, in power since January 1958, is a generally formulated framework treaty, in contrast to the very detailed treaty for the European Coal and Steel Community
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