European Legal Studies Center
Although less than forty years have passed since the founding of the European Economic Community (now the European Community), the lifetime of the Community is well marked temporally. The term of each Commission furnishes a convenient time-line for measuring the Community's progress in legal integration. Since the 1970s, each year has been punctuated by two or more "summit" meetings of heads of state or government. These summits not only are key markings in their own right, but also furnish an occasion for additional monitoring of the Community's state of health. Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, the Community submitted to periodic "self-examinations" through specially commissioned studies and reports on the Community's well-being. In more recent years, intergovernmental conferences (IGCs), convened for the express purpose of negotiating amendments to the constitutive treaties, have provided additional fora for deliberately and comprehensively assessing the state of the Community and its direction. While the Community continues to fulfill its geographical "manifest destiny" through successive enlargements within the European continent, it provokes a considerable amount of interest in the effect that each particular "widening" has on the Community's overall "deepening."
George A. Bermann,
European Community Law from a U.S. Perspective,
Tul. J. Int'l & Comp. L.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/711