Oleksandr Dovzhenko Hlukhiv National Pedagogical University
The period of the 1970s in the European Union history is considered as stagnant.
It was difficult and controversial stage for the European Communities. Failures
were related to the majority of economic and political projects. In addition,
they were caused by global trends. The creation of the European Council in 1974
was an outstanding event of that time. This institution was not provided by the
Treaties of Paris and Rome. The article studies the establishment of the European
Council as an institution of the European Communities. The main factors of
transformation of the national leaders summits into a new institution were identified.
This specifics in the process was described. This issue helps to understand
the ability of the European Union to react to outside and inside challenges, function
like a single political body in the process of acquiring experience. The author
follows the objective approach because it does not limit the research by the
framework of federalism, intergovernmental approach or any other European integration
theory. Special attention is paid to the institutional policies of the French
presidents such as Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Valery Giscard d’Estaing.
The main progress of intergovernmental conferences in The Hague (1969),
Copenhagen (1973) and Paris (1972 and 1974) were considered, including the
sphere of institutional transformations. The conclusion is that the establishment
of the European Council resulted from a combination of many-years Community
practice and theoretical debates at different levels (between national leaders, within institutions, in the press). The European Council has become a unique
institution of the European Communities as a result of resolving contradictions
between member states in 1961–1973. Its powers were not limited by the Treaties.
And this institution held a dual position. The European Council got means
to influence internal processes of the Community, set the tone for unification of
Europe and take part in the political cooperation at the level of member states.
Keywords: European Council, European Communities, European Union, the
EU, European integration, Fouchet Plan.