The Evolution of the European Union
Why does the European Union exist?
Because its member states believe their national interests are best served by acting
collectively through EU institutions to achieve key socioeconomic objectives
Aim: ending frequent and bloody wars between neighbours which was initiated after the
Second World War. 1950, European Coal and Steel Community starts to unite the
neighbours economically and politically in order to secure lasting peace.
It was the solution to the German problem!
Six founders: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands
European Union: put forward May 9, 1950 by the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman
May 9 : Europe day and the Schuman Declaration
Robert Schuman proposed a new form of political cooperation which would make war
between European nations unthinkable
Creation of a supranational European institution that would control the production of steel
and coal, the materials used to make weapons for defense or war
The six nations mentioned above signed the treaty of Paris in 1951/ this was the formal
treaty establishing the European Coal and steel community
Pleven Plan (during the European defense community): Initiated by Jean Monnet=
Supranational European army as part of the European defense community. A
Supranational European Army means that the Germans cannot create their own army and
attack against the rest of Western Europe
1957: Treaty of Rome establish the European economic community and the European
atomic energy community
1961: Common authority in East Germany built a wall separating East Germany from West
Germany and inhibiting east germans from achieving a freer life in the west. Germans who
attempted to go past the wall were shot in attempt.
1962: common agricultural policy; giving the countries joint control over food production
1975: launch of the European Council
1979: Launch of the European Monetary System
1986: The Single European Act launch of the single market programme across member
1992: Maastricht Treaty sets the European union on a road to economic and monetary
union; launches intergovernmental cooperation on justice and home affairs; common
security and foreign policy
1997: Amsterdam Treaty extends community competence over areas like justice, home
affairs and sets a target date for completion of an area of freedom, security and justice;
absorbs the Schengen convention
1999: Launch of the common monetary policy and single currency (the euro)
2001: Nice Treaty reforms the EU’s institutions and decision making process 2004:Leaders agree on the constitutional treaty; it is put on hold due to the French and
Dutch voter’s rejection in 2005
2007: Treaty of Lisbon; after the constitutional treaty was rejected by French and dutch
voters, the treaty of Lisbon was created in order to address the issues brought up in the
constitutional treaty by just making amendments to the previous treaties. This was brought
into affect in 2009
How Many Times has the EC/EU Expanded, and on which dates?
Which states did each expansion include?
There have been 6 expansions/enlargements to the European Union
1973: Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom
1986: Spain and Portugal
1995: Austria, Finland, Sweden
2004: Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, Cyprus,
2007: Romania, Bulgaria
6 to 27 member states through enlargement
How many times, and when, did Britain apply for membership (both
successfully and unsuccessfully)?
Britain twice formally applied to join the communities in the 1960s (196163, 1967). Both
applications were ultimately rejected by the French government and it was left to the
government of Edward Heath in 1973, where Britain officially entered the Communities. The
conservative, labour and economic liberals could not stomach the sacrifices to British
sovereignty that would follow if Britain were to sign the treaty of paris or the treaty of rome.
What do we mean by federalism, as opposed to federation? Name
major federalist thinkers/practitioners.
Federalism is the original and driving force of federations. Federalism can be construed as
political ideology and/or political philosophy and it comprises the assorted identities and
interests that are grouped around historical, cultural, social, economic, ideological,
intellectual, and philosophical factors, making it effectively the sustaining dynamic that was
the federation’s original raison d’etre. Federation is therefore defined as an institutional
arrangement; composite states that constitute a single people. Power to govern is shared
between national and provincial/state governments. Process of political and economic integration and unity in diversity.
Major theorists: Spinelli vs Monnet
Spinelli’s federalist strategy was what he called the democratic radicalism, being built upon
the idea of a major role for a parliamentary assembly in drafting a new treaty for Europe.
This came to be known as the constitutional method.
Monnet became Spinelli’s greatest rival in the post war drive for championing a federal
Europe. Monnet believed a different strategy would be more effective in forming a federal
Europe. He believed in implementing federalism by installments and starting at the political
What are the main tenets of neofunctionalism? How did NF develop
through the decades, and who were the major theorists? The theory was
first established by Lindberg and Haas after the creation of the European Steel and Coal
community and the European Economic Community. Neofunctionalism combines
functionalist mechanisms with federalist goals. It contests that the states are the only
relevant actors. Political actors in several distinct settings are persuaded to shift their
expectations and political activities to a new center. Neofunctionalism is mainly a theory
about the dynamics of European Integration. The exchanges made in the community
setting are seen as a positive sum game and a supranational style of decision making. The
concept of spillover is introduced using this theory. Spillover is basically when problems
arise from the functional integration of one task and can only be solved by integrating yet
more tasks. The entire development of the European Union uses the spillover concept.
Once the European Coal and steel community was founded AND the European Defense