European Integration Essay

1209 words - 5 pages

The Historical Evolution

European integration – bachelor – Olivier Demain, PhD in Sc Po


I. The Post-War transformation of Western Europe II.The creation of The European Community


The european integration process was initiated and developed in Western Europe. Extension to Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism An understanding and analysis of the European integration process must therefore begin by focusing on Western Europe

I. The Post-War transformation of Western Europe

The Post-War transformation of Western Europe
A/ Historical divisions

The History of Europe has been characterised much more by tensions ...view middle of the document...

There were, and indeed still continue to be, three principal aspects of this.

1- Unbroken peace

Western European states lived peacefully with one another since 1945 and armed confrontation between any two has long since ceased to be even remotely possible. As Altiero Spinelli (advocate of European integration) observed : « major transformation has occured in the political consciousness of Europeans (…) For centuries , neighbouring countries were seen as potential enemies (…) Now, these neighbours are perceived as friendly nations sharing a common destiny ».


The spinelli's view of a common destiny is questionable, The states have continued to compete against one another in many areas This has sometimes led to strains and tensions But these disagreements have been mostly on issues where military conflict has not been remotely relevant to the resolution of differences


The spinelli's view of a common destiny is questionable, The states have continued to compete against one antoher in many areas This has sometimes led to strains and tensions But these disagreements have been mostly on issues where military conflict has not been remotely relevant to the resolution of differences

2- A transformed agenda

Policies concerned with the existence and preservation of the state (such as territorial issues, balance of power manoeuvrings, and defense considerations) have been joined by policies that are more concerned with the wealth and welfare of populations

By the mid-1950s representatives of Western European Governments were engaging in detailed negociations on policy matters (mainly economic).

This development intensified to the point that by the 1970s representatives of the European Community governments were meeting regularly.

3 – New Channels and processes

Paralleling, and partly occasioned by, the increasingly diverse international agenda, there has been a gradual transformation over the years in the ways in wich states in the international system interrelate with one another.

The traditional diplomatic means of interstate communications (via Ministries) have declined in importance as news channels and processes have become established. This increasing contact took a major step forward from the early 1950s when the European Communities were established.

Today in the EU, representatives of the governments of all member states meet every working day for such purposes as taking decisions, exploring policy coordination and exchanging views and information.

II. The creation of The European Community

A/ The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)

Video :

18 April 1951

Based on the Schuman plan, six countries sign a treaty to run their heavy industries – coal and steel – under a common management. In this way, none can on its own make the weapons...

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