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Chapter

This chapter examines how the European Payments Union resolved the problem of currency convertibility and unlocked the potential of trade liberalization, thereby paving the way for the European Economic Community (EEC), which in turn spurred further intra-European trade. It first provides an overview of trade and payments before and immediately after World War II and goes on to discuss postwar approaches to convertibility and liberalization. It then considers the degree, speed, and commitment with which countries opened up their domestic markets to each other's exports under the Trade Liberalization Programme. It concludes with an assessment of Britain's efforts to join a wider free trade area with the members of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation.

Chapter

This chapter examines how policy towards the European Economic Community (EEC) fitted in with French leader Charles de Gaulle's broader European and international objectives and how the international constraints on his certain vision of France gave rise to his evolving, uncertain idea of Europe. Having denounced the Treaty of Rome before coming to power in 1958, de Gaulle ensured the EEC's survival by undertaking financial reforms in France and warding off Britain's effort to negotiate a wider free trade area. He linked these initiatives to implementation of the common agricultural policy (CAP). The chapter also considers de Gaulle's proposal for an independent and intergovernmental European Union and his role in the so-called Empty Chair Crisis of 1965–6. Finally, it discusses the impact of de Gaulle on the course of European integration.