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The European UnionHow does it work?

The European Union: How does it work? (6th edn)

Daniel Kenealy, Amelia Hadfield, Richard Corbett, and John Peterson
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date: 20 July 2024

p. 282. How Did We Get Here?locked

p. 282. How Did We Get Here?locked

  • Desmond Dinan


This chapter focuses on the historical development of the EU. The history of the EU began when European governments responded to a series of domestic, regional, and global challenges after World War II by establishing new transnational institutions in order to accelerate political and economic integration. These challenges ranged from postwar reconstruction to the Cold War, and then to globalization. Driven largely by mutually compatible national interests, Franco-German bargains, and American influence, politicians responded by establishing the EC in the 1950s and the EU in the 1990s. The chapter examines the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community, the European Community, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), enlargement, Constitution-building, and the Eurozone crisis.

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