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Wednesday March 2, 2011
- “all about ideas and great kind of goals to promote democracy”
- “all about national interests, all very cynical, nothing really unique about it”
- “it continues to grow because of the bureaucratic model…once you create an institution
you’ve created a Frankenstein”
a debate about how to think of the EU
If we want to judge the EU we have to look at the history of it.
- Go back to the end of 2nd world war: 1947 – the Marshal Plan OEEC (Organization for
European Economic Cooperation, 1948. Aim: European countries aimed to sit together and
divide the Marshall plan’s money)
- mentioned Marshall Plan before. US program to help rebuild destroyed Europe.
- 1949: establishment of NATO.
- 1950: Schuman Plan
Truman put the Schuman Plan forward in fron tof the OEEC members: rebuild the
economy and don`t go down into another great European war. How do we do this?
Tying down and integrating together the type of industries that are essential for
conducting warfare – steel industry, energy production (i.e. coal) – so these industries
will not be in control by national governments. Economically it`s better because now
all countries can enjoy an economy of huge size so it provides better economic
performance but at the same time it prevents individual countries from developing
their own types of products
1951: ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community) 6 members
The EU grows out of this. France, Germany (very important because these countries
were involved in both world wars so their acceptance of this plan is huge), Italy (also
involved in WWII), Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (these 3 were small
countries so it made absolute sense to join this)
- It’s a good way of integrating
- Other countries didn’t join because it feels threatening to give up such a huge part
- 1952-1954: EDC (European Defense Community) this fails, never comes into fruition
- What we see is a sort of parallel movement 0 the integration of militaries and defense
establishment. Sees that this integration works best when we’re dealing with economic side –
countries are more willing to give up their sovereignty when it has to do with economics.
Countries are less willing to give up their sovereignty in terms of their military or anything
to do with army security
- 1957: Treaty of Rome: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg (1967 –
- EEC common market in 12 years
- Euratom (an agency that would combine nuclear and mainly economic side of
nuclear energy in Europe)
- UK: free trade area in enough
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- 1959 – EFTA: UK, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Switzerland
- 1961 – the UK applies for EEC membership
1973 – 3 new members (UK, IRELAND, Denmark)
From 1965: you have to be a member of all three (ECSC, EEC, Euratom) in order to be part
of the EU
The problem for Britain, once it established EFTA it understood it made a big mistake. Why?
Because most off Britain’s trade was not with Norway or the market of Switzerland but
rather it was with Germany and France. So it built a trade area with these small economic
centers – not a powerhouse. So it didn’t work for British interest. So by 1961, only two years
later, Britain already applied for EEC membership and admitted they made a mistake.
The British appeal to join the EEC which happened twice, was also rejected twice.
They were only able to join the EEC after the goal was won
1970s-1980s From Europessimism to the SEA
- Oil crisis; stagflation; NTB’s Europessimism
- All these great ideas about more integration – there were a lot of problems that seemed to
not go away so the greet optimism that was about the rebuilding of Europe was replaced by
pessimism and the idea that Europe is nowhere closer to having a European hot market.
At the same time, we see the organization growing (EEC): 1981-1987: Greece, Spain, and
Portugal (The ‘late joiners’ who were suffering the most economic harshnesses)
- 1986: the Single European Act (by the EEC): remove remaining barriers, increase
harmonization; move from consensus to qualified majority; single market by 1992
- The Euro currency became fully operational in 2002 (17 of 27 EU members)
The Euro Zone
- Not all members of EU are members of EMU (European Monetary Union)
- National currency (attached to that is national identity); independence; economic interests
- Tension between monetary policy and fiscal policy (deficits; inflation; unemployment)
- Crises: Greece, Ireland…(Spain, Portugal)
- Who are the winners/losers (across countries / within countries0
- European integration works best when dealing with economic issues
- The process tends to get bogged down more easily when it moves to security or foreign
- However, harmonizing economic policies has social/political/security implications
- 1990s: a return to a more political agenda; enlargement; constitution (treaty of Lisbon)
- another thing EU is struggling with is a question of enlargement – following from end of
cold war, many more smaller countries joined and now that there’s 27 countries the way you
make big decisions is completely changed (since before it was only 6 countries)
The EU Enlargement Dilemma
- the more countries you accept into the EU, the more problems and issues you have to deal
with in terms of variance, etc
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