As an introduction, it might be useful to review briefly the functioning of what is generally known as the European Common Market. The Community traces its origins to the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1951, to create a European Coal and Steel Community. The idea behind this Treaty was that the pooling of coal and steel production would immediately provide for the establishment of common bases for economic development as a first step in the Federation of Europe. The six founding Member States - Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - decided that this experiment, which proved a significant success, should be deepened and extended to embrace their entire economies.

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