Although the European Economic Communities more frequently are taking what appear to be institutional positions on foreign policy and political issues of grave concern to the world community, it is not inappropriate for them to do so. The longterm goals of the Communities in part are political, as expressed in the Treaty of Rome. In the preamble to the Treaty the signatories state that they are "[d]etermined to lay the foundations of an even closer union among the European peoples." Article 2 provides, in part, that one of the tasks of the Common Market is to promote "closer relations between the states belonging to it." One of the mechanisms by which these positions are formalized and articulated is through a shadow organization-an extra-Communities structure- referred to as European Political Cooperation (EPC).

The importance of EPC in fostering the goals of the Communities is clearly stated in the foreign ministers' first report to the European Council on European Union. EPC is said to "[lead] step by step to the seeking of a common external policy, which will form a constituent part of European Union." Despite EPC's significant role in furthering Community goals, however, relatively little has been written about it. This article briefly traces the history of EPC, examines its structure, and proposes some reforms.

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