European Communities (EC)
The term European Communities is a collective term for the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), founded in 1951, the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM or EAEC), founded in 1957. The European Union, created by the Maastricht Treaty (1993), did not make the European Communities disappear. They form its institutional framework. The Union remains based on the Communities, supplemented by the policies and the forms of cooperation brought in by that treaty. The European Union is a Party to the Convention. However, it does not have a separate vote from its members. Members states of the EU meet as a group to the COP.