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Abstract

Sixty years ago, on 1 January 1958, the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community of 1957 entered into force. In contrast to the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community of 1951, the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community of 1957 did not provide for any explicit limitation of the Community’s existence in its provisions. As a consequence, the key provisions of the Treaty, establishing the Community’s powers and competences, have remained virtually untouched until today. This article analyses this Community from three different perspectives. Firstly, attention is paid to the clauses enabling prospective amendments, adjustments, and further specifi cation of the scope of application. Consequently, it is argued that to some extent the Community was originally designed as a ‘provisional’ one.  Secondly, the article deals with those provisions of the Euratom Treaty which originally provided for certain competences of the Community in nuclear research, the supply of ores, source materials and special fi ssile materials and the insurance of nuclear liability. Due to the fact that these competences have never been used, it is argued that from this perspective the Euratom Community can be viewed as a ‘static’ Community. Thirdly, the extensive interpretation of the Euratom competences in the area of health and safety by the Court of Justice will be addressed. Based on this extensive interpretation, the Euratom Community launched its legislative activity in the area of nuclear safety in order to address this key issue of peaceful use of nuclear energy. From this perspective, the Community is to be regarded a ‘flexible’ one. The 60th anniversary of the Euratom Treaty represents a good opportunity to revisit in detail the characteristic features of the Euratom Community from these different perspectives.