Press and Information Division

PRESS RELEASE NO 74/98

2 December 1998


In the wake of the renumbering of the Treaties prescribed by the Amsterdam Treaty the Court of Justice has opted for a uniform system for citing provisions of the Treaties.

In their present version the Community Treaties (ECSC and Euratom Treaties and the Treaty establishing the European Community, 'the EC Treaty') and the Treaty on European Union ('the EU Treaty') use different ways of numbering their respective provisions.

They use either roman and arabic numerals (ECSC and Euratom Treaties) or a combination of roman and arabic numerals and letters of the alphabet (EC and EU Treaties).

Article 12 of the Amsterdam Treaty provides for the renumbering in arabic numerals, as from its entry into force, of the provisions (articles, chapters and sections) of the EC and EU Treaties.

The amendment of these Treaties thus involves not only altering their content and inserting new provisions but also renumbering the majority of the existing provisions.

This situation could give rise, in the user's mind, to confusion between the version of an article prior to the date of entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, and the version as it stands after that date, and also to confusion between provisions of the EC and EU Treaties, which are increasingly being cited together in documents.

The Court of Justice has thus decided, out of a concern for clarity and coherence, to use a uniform system for citing the provisions of the four Treaties (ECSC, Euratom, EC, EU) in its judgments and in the Opinions of the Advocates General.

Thus, as from the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, references to provisions of the Treaties will comprise an arabic numeral for each article, followed by two letters to indicate the Treaty, for example "Article 2 EC" (Article 2 of the EC Treaty).

In English, the Treaties will be designated as follows:

This system will apply to cases brought after the date of entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty and concerning solely the renumbered version of the articles.

However, the Court of Justice makes provision for a transitional period. For documents relating to cases brought before the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty and for cases brought after that date but concerning the Treaties as they stood before the same date, the Court has adopted different rules for citations, according to the following situations:

Unofficial document for media use, which is not binding on the Court of Justice. Languages available: all the official languages. For further information please contact Tom Kennedy tel: (352) 4303-3355 fax: (352) 4303-2500