Briefly explain how the European Union (Communities) began. Which were the original founding members? Why these countries? Why didn’t other countries participate?
European Union aimed at ending bloody wars between countries. The first six countries that became part of it were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The European Union was born after World War 11 that occurred between 1939 and 1945. It aimed at uniting all the countries with coal and steel industries in Europe.
In 1950, the European Coal and Steel Community commenced bringing together these countries both politically and economically. The European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community were born after the 1957 treaty of Rome and the 1951 treaty of Paris. The European Community came to existence after the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. The treaty also contributed to the development of a single European currency in 1999.
Several countries in Europe are not part of the European Union, for example, Belarus, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, and Herzegovina. Belarus does not have a good relationship with the European Union. Albania, North Macedonia, and Turkey are in the process of integrating European Union Law into national law. Joining the European Union is complex. A member state has to abide by its rules and regulations.
Dinan, Desmond. Europe recast: a history of the European Union. Vol. 373. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Kaiser, Wolfram, Brigitte Leucht, and Morten Rasmussen, eds. The history of the European Union: origins of a trans-and supranational polity 1950-72. Vol. 7. Routledge, 2008.
Consider Neo-Functionalism, Liberal Intergovernmentalism, and Federalism. Explain the factors each approach identifies as the main driver of integration.
Federalism is a form of government that shares power between two or more different tiers. Federalism brings entities together, and it respects the integrity of each entity. It involves bargaining and negotiations in decision making. Although federalism promotes segregation, it also prevents the misuse of power. Spinelli proposed a federalist framework in which the international organizations in Europe monitored inter-state issues, and the member states handled local problems.
Earns Haas was the founder of neo-functionalism. It came into existence in the mid-1950s when the theory of regional integration in Europe began. Neo-functionalism aims at establishing economic interdependence between different nations and creating harmony by developing an organization for resolving disputes. It also aims at creating supranational market rules. Critics argue that it declines the relevance of nationalism. The driving forces of integration are technocratic automaticity, positive spillover effect, and domestic alliances.
Andrew Moravcsik developed liberal intergovernmentalism in 1993. Liberal intergovernmentalism argues that the establishment of the European Union was due to different factors, and there various approaches that can help understand its complexity. It perceives states as main actors and analyzes the process by which they negotiate and bargain to achieve their goals. In his book The Choice of Europe, Andrew states that the European Union derives its relevance from economic choices various national leaders make.
Moravcsik, Andrew. “Preferences and power in the European Community: a liberal intergovernmentalist approach.” JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 31.4 (1993): 473-524.
Fredborn Larsson, Johan. “A Theoretical Understanding of the Treaty of Lisbon-Neo-functionalist and liberal intergovernmentalist approaches.” (2010).