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Lecture 3

EURO 1050 Lecture 3: Euro Studies - WEEK III

European Studies
Course Code
EURO 1050
Brian Mc Dougall

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The Development of the EEC,
c. 1957-1971
POINT I: Britain’s Slow Path into Europe, c. 1957-1973
- France’s role in integration (empty chair crisis)
- there was a preview to create a European currency union
- in 1967, the ECSC, EURATOM, and the EEC “merge” and become the European
Community (EC)
- the EEC was the most important organization out of all of the communities as it created
the common economic market
- from a functionalist perspective, it was a good compromise and a lot more reasonable
than the EC, that was proposed by the Italian federalists
- the federalists viewed the significance of the Treaty of Rome as a leading up to a
common political union
- the Treaty of Rome was a really good compromise between the federalists and the
- the “30 glorious years” - France
- the “Economic Miracle” - Germany
- there was great economic growth in the 50s and 60s
- Britain was very suspicious of uniting Europe and they were reluctant to join the
European integration
- Winston Churchill said, “we are with Europe, but not of it”
- the special relationship between Britain and America and the geographical separation of
Britain from the rest of Europe
- former territories of Britain were renamed the British Commonwealth in 1952
- the imperial past and present drove Britain to remain trading partners with their common
wealths instead of other European countries
- they held the belief that European unity was for other European countries
- they had hostility toward the federal views of a united Europe as it was stronger in Britain
- national sovereignty was very different in Britain
- Britain had hostility toward the supranational organization(s)
- they believed that the tradition of British democracy was too important to give up to a
supranational organization
- when plans for a supranational organization came into action, Britain decided to watch
from the sidelines
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- Britain refused to join the ECSC because they didn’t want to give up any of their work of
coal and steel
- Britain rejected a role in the EDC
- the British government was invited to Messina to discuss ideas of a common market
- the Six sent their foreign ministers, but Britain sent a lower house member to simply
- Britain didn’t sign the Treaty of Rome
- however, they did join NATO
- they refused to join the EDC because they believed they were a large common wealth
- trade with their common wealth countries was degrading
- Britain was at the forefront of creating the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
- EFTA was run entirely on an intergovernmental council and issues were hashed out
between government representatives
- Austria favoured the loose economic alliance idea of Britain
- the EEC wasn’t seen as such a great economic free trade
- EFTA was seen as more free
- EFTA was created in 1960
- in the summer of 1961, Harold McMillen announced that Britain was going to apply for
membership in the EC, just one year after the creation of EFTA
- why was this happening? because the EEC was very successful, more so than EFTA
- the members of the EEC had better economic growth rates than Britain
- EFTA didn’t have the same geographical or demographical impact as the EEC
- some EFTA states traded more with EEC members because of their closer proximity
- Britain was growing economically, but countries like Germany and Italy were growing
much faster
- Britain’s status as a world power was declining
- this was part of a global shift as power shifted away from European countries like Britain
and France to the USSR and America
- Britain had a special relationship with America and American leaders pushed for
European integration and cooperation
- the American government looked favourably upon stronger trade ties between European
countries and they wanted Britain to join the Six in the EC
- however, Britain’s relationship with America was declining in the sense that America
wanted Britain to do something they didn’t want to
- Britain eventually gave independence to many of their colonies
- many post-independence countries stayed closely ties to the powers
- in the 1960s, Denmark and Ireland follow Britain in application into the EC
- new developments allowed countries to request or apply to join the EC
- Britain became almost a “test run”
- entry into the EC was aid for smaller countries
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