By Michael Tracy
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Extra resources for A European Life: From War to Peace
All this makes for awkwardness in any writing on the history of European integration. I have used one or other of these terms depending on the context. 2 As this matter of Commonwealth preference has some historical significance, and as my report has been long out-of-print, the main results are reproduced below. UK IMPORTS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH, 1957 39 A EUROPEAN LIFE Value of imports Average percentage margin of preference on goods enjoying preference £ million on all goods Food, beverages, tobacco Raw materials 722 8 6 702 8 2 Mineral fuels 189 13 0 146 16 12 11 0 0 1769 9 4 Manufactured goods Miscellaneous Total imports 3 By the present time (2009), the inclusion of Central/Eastern countries has taken the total membership of OECD to thirty; further expansion is envisaged, possibly including Russia and non-European countries including India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile and others.
Of the Community institutions, the biggest in terms of staff is the Commission; there is also the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, each with its secretariat; likewise the Economic and Social Committee. The European Court of Justice is responsible for interpreting and ensuring respect for Community legislation. NB: Some of the institutional arrangements described here have been modified by the Lisbon Treaty, which is discussed in Chapter IX. The Treaty of Rome established a unique institutional structure, unparalleled in any nation-state – which is probably why it is so often misunderstood.
Ultimately, the Ministers might be left with just their top civil servant, or even no advisor at all, in the hope that they might be more willing to give way on a crucial point with no witnesses on their own side. This was a nightmare for the Secretariat, which also had to restrict its numbers, yet still had the responsibility of recording whatever was finally agreed. Sometimes we tried to hide some of our staff in the interpreters’ cabins (the full complement of interpreters was still required), but the interpreters did not much like this.