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Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

5. The Triumph of Community Europe  

Craig Parsons

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.


Cover Politics in the European Union

6. The ‘Other’ European Communities and the Origins of the European Economic Community (the Early 1950s to the 1960s)  

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.