The Single European Act (February 17/28, 1986) signed by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the European Community in Luxemburg on February 17/28, 1986
Title I. Common Provisions
The European Communities and European Political Co-operation shall have as their objective to contribute together to making concrete progress towards European unity.
The European Communities shall be founded on the Treaties establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Economic Community, the European Atomic Energy Community and on the subsequent Treaties and Acts modifying or supplementing them.
Political Co-operation shall be governed by Title III. The provisions of that Title shall confirm and supplement the procedures agreed in the reports of Luxembourg (1970), Copenhagen (1973), London (1981) the Solemn Declaration on European Union (1983) and the practices gradually established among the Member States.
The European Council shall bring together the Heads of State or of Government of the Member States and the President of the Commission of the European Communities. They shall be assisted by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and by a Member of the Commission.
The European Council shall meet at least twice a year.
1. The institutions of the European Communities, henceforth designated as referred to hereafter, shall exercise their powers and jurisdiction under the conditions and for the purposes provided for by the Treaties establishing the Communities and by the subsequent Treaties and Acts modifying or supplementing them and by the provisions of Title II.
2. The institutions and bodies responsible for European Political Co-operation shall exercise their powers and jurisdiction under the conditions and for the purposes laid down in Title III and in the documents referred to in the third paragraph of Article 1.
Title II. Provisions Amending the Treaties Establishing the European Communities
Sub-section II – Monetary capacity
1. A new Chapter 1 shall be inserted in Part Three, Title II of the EEC Treaty reading as follows:
‘CHAPTER 1 Co-operation in Economic and Monetary Policy (Economic and Monetary Union)
1. In order to ensure the convergence of economic and monetary policies which is necessary for the further development of the Community, member States shall co-operate in accordance with the objectives of Article 104. In so doing, they shall take account of the experience acquired in co-operation within the framework of the European Monetary System (EMS) and in developing the ECU, and shall respect existing powers in this field.
2. In so far as further development in the field of economic and monetary policy necessitates institutional changes, the provisions of Article 236 shall be applicable. The Monetary Committee and the Committee of Governors of the Central Banks shall also be consulted regarding institutional changes in the monetary area.’
3. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 shall become Chapters 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
Title III. Treaty Provisions on European Co-operation in the Sphere of Foreign Policy
European Co-operation in the sphere of foreign policy shall be governed by the following provisions:
1. The High Contracting Parties, being members of the European Communities, shall endeavour jointly to formulate and implement a European foreign policy.
2. (a) The High Contracting Parties undertake to inform and consult each other on any foreign policy matters of general interest so as to ensure that their combined influence is exercised as effectively as possible through co-ordination, the convergence of their positions and the implementation of joint action.
(b) Consultations shall take place before the High Contracting Parties decide on their final position.
(c) In adopting its positions and in its national measures each High Contracting Party shall take full account of the positions of the other partners and shall give due consideration to the desirability of adopting and implementing common European positions.
In order to increase their capacity for joint action in the foreign policy field, the High Contracting Parties shall ensure that common principles and objectives are gradually developed and defined.
The determination of common positions shall constitute a point of reference for the policies of the High Contracting Parties.
(d) The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to avoid any action or position which impairs their effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations or within international organizations.
3. (a) The Ministers for Foreign Affairs and a member of the Commission shall meet at least four times a year within the framework of European Political Co-operation. They may also discuss foreign policy matters within the framework of Political Co-operation on the occasion of meetings of the Council of the European Communities.
(b) The Commission shall be fully associated with the proceedings of Political Co-operation.
(c) In order to ensure the swift adoption of common positions and the implementation of joint action, the High Contracting Parties shall, as far as possible, refrain from impeding the formation of a consensus and the joint action which this could produce.
4. The High Contracting Parties shall ensure that the European Parliament is closely associated with European Political Co-operation. To that end the Presidency shall regularly inform the European Parliament of the foreign policy issues which are being examined within the framework of Political Co-operation and shall ensure that the views of the European Parliament are duly taken into consideration.
5. The external policies of the European Community and the policies agreed in European Political Co-operation must be consistent.
The Presidency and the Commission, each within its own sphere of competence, shall have special responsibility for ensuring that such consistency is sought and maintained.
6. (a) The High Contracting Parties consider that closer co-operation on questions of European security would contribute in an essential way to the development of a European identity in external policy matters. They are ready to co-ordinate their positions more closely on the political and economic aspects of security.
(b) The High Contracting Parties are determined to maintain the technological and industrial conditions necessary for their security. They shall work to that end both at a national level and, where appropriate, within the framework of the competent institutions and bodies.
(c) Nothing in this Title shall impede closer co-operation in the field of security between certain of the High Contracting Parties within the framework of the Western European Union or the Atlantic Alliance.
7. (a) In international institutions and at international conferences which they attend, the High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to adopt common positions on the subjects covered by this Title.
(b) In international institutions and at international conferences in which not all the High Contracting Parties participate, those who do participate shall take full account of positions agreed in European Political Co-operation.
8. The High Contracting Parties shall organize a political dialogue with third countries and regional groupings whenever they deem it necessary.
9. The High Contracting Parties and the Commission, through mutual assistance and information, shall intensify co-operation between their representations accredited to third countries and to international organizations.
10. (a) The Presidency of the European Political Co-operation shall be held by the High Contracting Party which holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.
(b) The Presidency shall be responsible for initiating action and coordinating and representing the positions of the Member States in relations with third countries in respect of European Political Co-operation activities. It shall also be responsible for the management of Political Co-operation and in particular for drawing up the timetable of meetings and for convening and organizing meetings.
(c) The Political Directors shall meet regularly in the Political Committee in order to give the necessary impetus, maintain the continuity of European Political Co-operation and prepare Ministers’ discussions.
(d) The Political Committee or, if necessary, a ministerial meeting shall convene within 48 hours at the request of at least three Member States.
(e) The European Correspondents’ Group shall be responsible, under the direction of the Political Committee, for monitoring the implementation of European Political Co-operation and for studying general organizational problems.
(f) Working groups shall meet as directed by the Political Committee.
(g) A Secretariat based in Brussels shall assist the Presidency in preparing and implementing the activities of European Political Co-operation and in administrative matters. It shall carry out its duties under the authority of the Presidency.
11. As regards privileges and immunities, the members of the European Political Co-operation Secretariat shall be treated in the same way as members of diplomatic missions of the High Contracting Parties based in the same place as the Secretariat.
12. Five years after the entry into force of this Act the High Contracting Parties shall examine whether any revision of Title III is required.
Source: The Single European Act (February 17/28, 1986), Official Journal of the European Communities, No. L 169, June 29, 1987, pp. 4–14.