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This chapter examines the competition of ideas in France for intra-European cooperation in the 1950s, ranging from traditional intergovernmental arrangements to the sharing of national sovereignty. In particular, it considers how strong political leadership and the formation of crosscutting coalitions that commanded a majority of parliamentary support at critical junctures contributed to the triumph of Community Europe, in the form of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The chapter argues that the future of European integration, which followed the Community model, hinged on electoral outcomes and parliamentary manoeuvrings in France that had less to do with the forcefulness of the ideas at issue than with unrelated political developments. It also looks at the demise of the European Defence Community (EDC) that paved the way for the ECSC and EEC projects.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the ‘other’ European communities and the origins of the European Economic Community (EEC). Negotiations over a plan for a European Defence Community (EDC) ran parallel to those over the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Connected with the EDC was a proposal to create a European Political Community (EPC) to provide democratic European structures for co-ordinating foreign policies. This chapter first considers the Pleven Plan for an EDC, before discussing the development of the EDC/EPC plan and the ultimate failure to reach agreement in 1954. It also analyses the Messina negotiations and the road to the Treaties of Rome. Finally, it looks at the experience of the other organization that was created at the same time as the EEC, the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), which, like the ECSC, was institutionally merged with the EEC in 1967.

Chapter

13. A Special Case  

The United Kingdom and the European Union

Desmond Dinan

This chapter examines the United Kingdom's troubled relationship with the movement for European integration and with the European Union more generally. Citing speeches made by leading British politicians over the last seventy years, including Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher, and David Cameron, the chapter outlines four distinct stages of British association with the EU: a period of detachment in the early years; involvement in a lengthy accession process and renegotiation of membership terms; engagement in effort to reform the budget and launch the single market programme; and growing disillusionment as the EU strengthened along supranational lines and extended its policy remit, notably by embracing the economic and monetary union (EMU). These periods cover a range of important developments, such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), the EMU, and the Single European Act.

Chapter

This chapter reviews the historiography of European integration, focusing on how scholars have interpreted the process and explained key events and developments. It first considers the federalist narrative and its critique of intergovernmentalism, along with its claim that the Hague Congress of 1948 and the European Defence Community of the early 1950s were great opportunities lost; the nation state was in long-term decline; and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC) presaged the eventual emergence of a United States of Europe. At the same time, some scholars and analysts of the European Community (EC) presented a more realistic picture of the process of European integration that foreshadowed the revisionism of Alan Milward in the 1980s. The chapter also examines the views of scholars such as Altiero Spinelli, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, and John Gillingham.

Chapter

This chapter examines how European integration contributed to the so-called German Problem — the problem of managing Germany's political rehabilitation and economic resurgence after World War II. The achievement rested not only on the Schuman Plan and the ensuing European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), but also on cooperation among French and German coal and steel producers in the interwar period. The adoption by the new Federal Republic of homegrown economically liberal policies, which complemented and implemented the wartime vision of American postwar policy, was another decisive factor. The chapter first provides an overview of the postwar framework for Germany's economic recovery and political rehabilitation, focusing on the Marshall Plan, the German economic boom, and Jean Monnet's role in shaping postwar Europe. It also considers the evolution of French Ruhrpolitik, the Schuman Plan negotiations, and the eclipse of Monnetism and the founding of the European Economic Community.

Chapter

This chapter charts the long history of plans for European unity, from the end of the Second World War to the Hague Congress, the Cold War, the Schuman Plan, and the Treaty of Paris. It also considers European federalism and the practical reasons why some moves to European unity found favour with the new governments of the post-war period: the threat of communism and the emergence of the Cold War; the so-called German Problem; and the need to ensure adequate supplies of coal for the post-war economic reconstruction. As a solution to these intersecting problems, Jean Monnet, came up with a proposal that paved the way for the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community. The chapter examines Monnet’s proposal, national reactions to it, and the negotiations that led to the creation of the first of the European communities.