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  • WARNING! Rote ‘learning-off’ of my lectures and their verbatim reproduction will earn a student a very low grade in the exam. COPYING AND CITATION of this material for the purposes of essays is prohibited. SP483 EU policy 2012
  • January 25th 2012
  • Historical Overview of the EU project
  • Please note the importance of doing the basic introductory reading to go with and make sense of these notes. Moreover, to master this topic, you will have to do the more advanced reading that has been indicated as relevant for the exam. These readings are itemized in the course outline.
  • Lecture structure
  • I. Chronology of the EU’s evolution 1950-2009
  • II. Academic/Historical views on the EU’s origins and
  • Development-a few core authors (Milward & Moravcsik, etc.)
  • III. Discussion of the Franco-German Axis at the heart of
  • the EU-how accurate ? (review of arguments from Pedersen & Dahl-Marthinsen).
  • IV. Conclusions-what then has been driving the EU-national elites, utopian ideals of Europe, crude economic forces, etc.?
  • Main argument made today is that there is rather limited historical evidence for explaining European Integration/EU institution building as a conscious federal state-make project......
  • However, that does not mean the EU may not end up as such or developing ‘federal like’ political features either today or tomorrow (we’ll wrestle with that debate another time).
  • There is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that European Integration was historically a project pushed for by selfish European nation states to improve their position and influence....in particular a Franco-German relationship was then and remains a vital motor....but the explaining the EU is not simply reducible to a Franco-German ‘driver’...
  • Political moves
  • towards what became the EU cannot be
  • understood unless you are
  • prepared to ‘time travel’ back to postwar Europe-
  • a very different place!
  • Bottom left-a starving Polish boy enjoys rations from American soldiers after
  • his liberation insider Germany in April 1945. The photo on the bottom right is of a Dutch boy, one of many Dutch adults and especially children
  • who starved during the ‘hunger winter’ of 1944-45,
  • as Dutch food supplies and imports were cut off in the fighting between advancing allies and retreating Nazi forces.
  • The European states faced massive political problems.......
  • what to do with Germany (could it be trusted?);
  • How to face the Russian/Communist threat;
  • How much to rely on needed American aid/leadership-could they be always trusted?
  • These issue came to a head with the Berlin blockade of 1948 (below left); a map showing the military occupation zones of Germany 1945
  • CHRONOLOGY OF EU’S GROWTH 1950-2008
  • 1950-53 European Coal and Steel Community Agreed
  • On the left a photo of Robert Schuman delivering his speech on May 9th May 1950 which argued for a European ‘community’ of ‘de facto solidarity’. On the left a close up of the French Christian democrat who was part of a team and network of mainly French civil servants and politicians who came up with the idea of a ECSC.
  • Why?
  • 1.Was inspired by earlier BENELUX (1944) customs union idea
  • 2. Coal and Steel strategic materials for war
  • 3. To avoid future German dominated cartels in these industries
  • 4. An alternative French policy to military occupation of the Rhur
  • 5. Very much a French experiment to manage post-war Germany
  • 6. Internal French elite conflicts over how to manage Germany-ECSC was a gamble? 7. Some Idealist hopes for a United (Federal?) Europe.
  • 1957 Treaty of Rome established a deeper and wider European Economic Community (EEC) and also a treaty on nuclear energy (EURATOM).
  • The Treaty of Rome was signed on March 25th 1957 by just six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg). In fact the actual document they signed was a blank copy, as the Italian state printer had been unable to get a full text issued in time! For this bizarre story see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6483585.stm
  • WHY IS A BORING TREATY FROM 1957 SO VITAL IN
  • EXPLAINING THE EU TODAY?
  • The basic legal architecture remains-the legal DNA is from 1957!
  • The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg
  • The basic institutions were created-especially the Court (ECJ)
  • and the European Commission
  • EU today has a triangular institutional structure originating
  • from the Treaty of Rome (1957)
  • A bureaucracy/civil service-the Commission, which
  • proposes laws....(Commission’s HQ Berlaymont building in Brussels)
  • National Ministers who decided laws in the
  • Council of Ministers
  • (the Council’s HQ Justus Lipsius building just across the road from the Berlaymont)
  • A European Parliament...which although weak has grown to be directly
  • elected (1979) and can de facto co-legislate with the Council since 1999
  • Why a Treaty of Rome in 1957?
  • There almost wasn’t one!-internal French politics was very divided on the whole question of an EEC-they rushed it!
  • BUT....the ECSC model was there as a relatively successful example
  • AND.....European states (esp. France) had just failed in the area of ‘defence’ (a proposed European Defence Community/EDC) with NATO totally dominating and deciding the question of German re-armament.
  • (below one of the first parades of the New Germany army, the Bundeswher in 1956. They had been established with American and NATO support and control, but this move was emotionally very troubling for the French who felt they had lost control of the issue of German re-armament. That was what the idea of the EDC was supposed to be about.)
  • DE-COLONIZATION for France and the Netherlands were important ‘drivers’-Dutch had lobbied for a wider customs union in 1953 (Beyen Plan)
  • Post WW2, the Dutch found themselves embroiled in a very nasty ‘Vietnam’ like situation in Indonesia, and by 1949 they had conceded independence. Above is a picture of a round up of of Indonesian prisoners in 1947. Before WW2 income from Indonesia alone was estimated to be worth roughly 13.7% of Dutch national income and just after the war provided indirect employment to 100,000 Dutch in Europe and as many 72,000 Dutch in their colonies (Wesserling, 1980).
  • In fact the Dutch and Belgian political elite had as crucial an influence in getting a Treaty of Rome agreed between 1954-1957 as the French...who played a more tentative role.....this point is important when one considers those who argue that the EEC and EU was (is) merely a French plot to dominate Europe.....
  • NUCLEAR ENERGY was expanding, including a German domestic nuclear project! French and others wanted to partially control this.
  • Germany built their first atomic reactor research facility in 1957 at Garching near Munich. It was nick-named the ‘atom egg’. Such developments caused French leader De Gaulle, in power from 1958, considerable anxiety. However, ultimately, EURATOM did not become a major driver of national nuclear energy policies, although it did provide a network for control, supervision and sharing of costs and information.
  • French (and Dutch) urgently wanted access to German market for their FOOD EXPORTS, French and Germans all accepted that agriculture would have to be included in any Customs Union... Treaty of Rome was therefore a A FRANCO-GERMAN SWAP? French got high agricultural subsidies, Germans got free trade for their industrial exports
  • 1956 a key year: a new French government supported the idea of a new Treaty on atomic energy and a general customs union and the ‘SUEZ’ affair led to a resolve to get a European Treaty agreed fast!
  • 1962 Ireland, UK, and Denmark apply to join-but
  • vetoed by De Gaulle, because of British special
  • relationship with USA.
  • On the bottom left is a Polaris nuclear missile, then state of the art technology which the new
  • Kennedy administration gave the British (but not the French) in 1961. De Gaulle was not impressed, and he argued this action revealed that
  • when push came to shove the British would always side with the Americans, or act as their servants. Therefore he reasoned they would join
  • the EEC common market only to undermine it and make it serve American interests. This was one reason why he vetoed them (and us!).
  • 1963 De Gaulle proposes radical changes of EEC-
  • Fouchet Plan”-Rejected by others
  • (below the Hallstein Commisison of 1966-De Gaulle hated the Eurocrats, the Commission, and Hallstein!)
  • 1965-66 “Empty Chair Crisis” provoked by France/
  • De Gaulle. Over agricultural policy, but in fact over
  • dominance by France (or Big states) over Commission.
  • France had to back down but Commission also humbled.
  • 1970s-”Eurosclerosis period”-in fact a lot of policy
  • and law agreed-e.g. EU environmental policy.
  • On the left, a Slovenian environmental inspector implements EU environmental laws, which grew in the 1970s. On the right, Prime Minister
  • (Taoiseach) Jack Lynch and foreign minister Paddy Hillary sign the Treaty of Rome for Ireland in 1973. A referendum in 1972 had approved entry by 83% with a turnout of 70%.
  • 1972 Ireland, Britain and Denmark Join EEC
  • (Norway rejects membership)
  • 1975 British referendum of EEC (67% support staying in)
  • 1979 European Parliament directly elected
  • 1981 Greece Joins EEC
  • 1982 Conflict with Britain (Thatcher) over Budget
  • 1986 Spain & Portugal join
  • 1987 Single European Act deepens the Customs Union aspects of the Treaty of Rome and makes Commission and Parliament more influential....qualified majority votes....
  • 1988 Major increase of Cohesion Fiscal Transfers
  • to poorer states…under Delors, President of
  • the Commission.
  • 1991 Maastricht Treaty agreed after Unification of
  • Germany and end of Cold War/Berlin Wall
  • (agrees the Euro, and further Political Union).
  • 1995 Sweden, Finland and Austria join
  • (Swiss & Norway say ‘no’ (again))
  • 1997-98 Treaty of Amsterdam (Obscure but gives more legislative power to European Parliament.)
  • 1999-2001 Treaty of Nice agreed (to manage enlargement)
  • 2001 (June) Irish NO, and later Yes (Oct 2002). Nice comes into force 2003.
  • 2002-2004 Convention on the Future of Europe Concludes with a “Constitutional Treaty”.
  • 2004 10 east European, Cyprus and Malta join EU.
  • 2005 Majority of French & Dutch voters reject Constitutional Treaty.
  • 2007-2008 Treaty of Lisbon agreed (largely to salvage
  • elements of the Constitutional Treaty) ....BUT...
  • 2008 Irish voters reject Lisbon treaty-
  • Then in 2009 they approve it with some minor changes.

Puzzle: Why did European leaders agree a Convention and then a Constitutional treaty-why, when we now know how controversial it proved, and they had just agreed the Nice Treaty 1999-2001?

  • Puzzle: Why did European leaders agree a Convention and then a Constitutional treaty-why, when we now know how controversial it proved, and they had just agreed the Nice Treaty 1999-2001?
  • One answer is they almost didn’t agree-the idea of a convention and later a constitutional treaty emerged tentatively-there was no clear plan or strategy evident. Norman describes it as ‘the accidental constitution’.
  • (Norman, Peter (2003) The Accidental Constitution: the story of the European Convention. Brussels: EuroComment, For a more critical view see Hirschl, Ran (2004) ‘Preserving hegemony? Assessing the political origins of the EU constitution’, pp.269-291 in Europe’s Constitutional Moment. Hirschl suggest it was much less accidental, rather an attempt to preserve (Franco-Germany) hegemony-the truth probably lies somewhere between such accounts)

One can say that a variety of factors were at

  • One can say that a variety of factors were at
  • work….in explaining why the Constitutional/Convention idea took off….
  • 1. Nice Treaty had been unsatisfactory (they wanted to return to many issues-voting, reform of the Commission, Council)
  • 2. Enlargement was the big ‘threat’ in EU leaders’ minds-EU needed institutional surgery otherwise there might be gridlock. Franco-German axis in particular could in longer term be threatened…
  • 3. Ideological competition over EU leadership-German Foreign Minister Fischer’s speech May 12th 2000 calling for a move towards an overt ‘lean Federation’ for the EU; French reply by President Chirac in June 2000, which argued for the EU to remain a Confederation of EU States, and Blair’s speech in October 2000 which argued in a similar way for an EU that would be ‘a superpower but not a superstate’.
  • 4. Disconnect between citizens and EU was a consideration-how to make the EU more relevant and democratic…the 2002 Laeken European Council declaration put the emphasis on democratic reform and limited simplification….clarification…..a pruning and PR exercise is what they maybe intended at this stage…..?
  • 5. January 2003 was a crucial phase-Joint Franco-German position taken on major issues-small states responded-detailed negotiations on minuate followed….

Whose Europe? What Europe?

  • Throughout 2000, various leaders of Europe put forward their views of a post Millennium EU, with controversy
  • notable over whether an openly federal model should be adopted.....only the German Green Party foreign minister,
  • Fischer (on the left) was bold enough to suggest that what was needed was an overtly lean federal
  • architecture, whereas British PM Blair (centre) and French President Chirac (right) wanted nation states to
  • retain their institutional dominance....can one not then interpret the Convention/Constitution experiment as a botched
  • attempt to maintain the essential intergovernmental confederal character of the EU whilst conceding needed
  • changes, but avoiding open federalism? We’ll return to this topic next week.

Summing up one could explain much of the final result (a constitutional Treaty….and the subsequent chaos…and Lisbon Treaty as a salvage job) as a product of a bureaucratic pressure-cooker effect…. the Convention approach itself led to over-ambition…’group think’ set in…and the (mostly elected) political elites obsessed on details…forgetting very much the concerns of ‘ordinary citizens’…..

  • How the Part II-what the historians say?C evolved in the 1950s Andrew Moravcsik’s perspective:
  • Martin Dedman’s arguments on
  • Federalism
  • Alan Milward’s arguments:
  • “Does the evolution of the Community imply the
  • replacement of the Nation-state as an organizational
  • framework and its eventual supersession?…
  • …there is no such antithesis and…the evolution of the
  • European Community since 1945 has been an integral
  • part of the reassertion of the nation-state as an
  • organizational concept…without the process of
  • integration the west European nation state might
  • well not have retained the allegiance and support
  • of its citizens the way it has….To supersede
  • the nation-state would be to destroy the Community.
  • To put a finite limit to the process of integration would
  • be to weaken the nation-state, to limit its scope and
  • to curb its power…
  • Milward, Alan. S. (1992) The European Rescue of the
  • Nation State. London: Routledge, pp.2
  • “the historical evidence shows that the real argument has never been about whether it is desirable that a supranational Europe should Supersede the nation-state, but about whether the state can find a political and economic base for survival…The Community was the European rescue of the nation-state. Since all history is change,
  • that rescue could only be temporary and
  • the process of economic Development itself has
  • eroded the political consensus which
  • sustained both nation and supra-nation after the war…anything may happen in the future…
  • (although) abandonment of integration…is less likely…”
  • Milward, Alan. S. (1992) The European Rescue of the
  • Nation State. London: Routledge, pp.438-439
  • Lessons from Milward’s analysis?
  • Beware assumptions that technology and globalization necessarily make European nation states redundant and a European federation an inevitability-NOT true!
  • (European states have in the past, and might in future,
  • retreat to protectionism, autarky, etc.)
  • We should ignore or downplay Federal Rhetoric of 1950s. Diplomatic history reveals national elites negotiated EEC for Pragmatic short-term goals
  • Decolonization an important factor for economic co-op-might globalization play a similar role today?
  • From EEC to EU…has been essentially an
  • economic confederation and not a Federalizing drive
  • Historical evidence suggests Federalism not very important in explaining how EU evolved
  • In 1962 De Gaulle Visited Bonn and received a warm reception, including political activists with posters demanding ‘we want a European federation’. Such popular federalist sentiments were and remain rare. The activists were likely political party members encouraged to give a strongly pro-European message. Note, De Gaulle was strongly opposed to the idea of a European federation and would have found this whole experience disagreeable in the extreme. The photo serves to underlie the marginality of the federalist movement and ideas in European integration, an argument which Dedman refines and supports.
  • Martin Dedman:
  • “Federalism has had nothing to do with European
  • Integration to date. The temptation to presume and present 45 years of European Integration as an inexorable slide towards political federation is to misrepresent what is was actually for….Integration has not occurred as a result of some intrinsic mechanism or inherent process within the EC system…” (p.131-132).
  • Dedman, Martin. J. The Origins and Development of the European Union, 1945-1995: A history of European Integration. London: Routledge.
  • Andrew Moravcsik’s arguments
  • “European Integration resulted from a series of
  • rational choices made by national leaders who
  • consistently pursued economic interests-primarily
  • commercial interests of powerful economic producers
  • and secondarily the macroeconomic preferences of
  • ruling governmental coalitions that evolved slowly
  • in response to structural incentives in the global
  • economy. When such interests converged, integration
  • advanced” (p.3).
  • The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State
  • Power from Messina to Maastricht.
  • (London: UCL Press, 1998)
  • Moravcsik’s arguments challenge some theorists of EU Integration by stressing the importance of national governments and national interests….the EEC institutions, for example, the Commission, were
  • much less influential…
  • European Integration does NOT appear to be an
  • Institutionally self-replicating system…..
  • “negotiations managed by governments were efficient, whereas Interventions by the Commission and other supranational actors were at best redundant and futile” (p.160)
  • Even for the more recent Single European Act (1986)
  • “Commission and Parliament entrepreneurship failed
  • to shift any major aspect of the interstate bargain”
  • (p.374)
  • Qualifications of Moravcsik’s account
  • Tends to focus on key turning points-whereas day to day European Integration proceeds without so much
  • national control…institutions incrementally more important then?
  • He downplays Franco-German peace process, although
  • he admits without it, that EEC would have likely
  • been merely a customs union… (p.90)
  • He may seriously exaggerate De Gaulle’s support for
  • agricultural policy, rather than his desire for France
  • to dominate EEC-a policy in which he failed.
  • Some importance of elite ideas remains-
  • Europe as a third force between USA and USSR,
  • importance of Franco-German peace…
  • Was European Integration driven by a secretive conspiracy? NO!
  • Booker, Christopher and Richard North (2003)The Great Deception: The Secret History of the European Union. London: Continium.
  • (this book is not in the library but you can read quite a bit of it online through Google Books)
  • 1. Most of the sources used are not secret-they've been known about for years by serious historians!
  • 2. A key approach of the book is to chart various ideological, often utopian and quite potty, ideals for European Unification and Federation which go back to to the inter-war period (1920s). The suggestion is that European Integration can be traced back to these 'utopian' projects by secretive non-elected elites. The actual historical evidence does not really support this when it comes to the detailed history of who negotiated the various Treaties and why.
  • 3. One dramatic and correct assertion is that the American CIA funded various pro European Integration think-tanks and lobby groups. However, this needs to be understood in a context whereby the CIA in the late 1940s was funding many European parties, newspapers, and trade unions that were non-Communist, precisely to build up democratic civil society in a Cold War context. They seriously feared large domestic Communist parties in France, Italy, Belgium and West Germany, and the possibility of Russian invasions. Such revelations are not new nor secret either-see article by Barnes (1982, p.667)
  • 4. By their account Monnet was supposedly pivotal, whereas Schumman was merely a 'front man' (p.59). Most other historians do not agree.
  • 5. Their analysis totally downplays the role and rationales of national governmental elites in negotiating for specific Treaties.
  • 6. They mention the Benelux Beyen Plan only in passing, which was a crucial move to get to the EEC Treaty, and this ommission fails to acknowledge that the Beyen plan revealed that Monnet, or other idealistic federalistis were NOT driving the agenda, even if at times they had some influence.
  • 7. They arguably get it wrong about the significance of French Socialist Prime Minister Guy Mollet. Rather than slow down moves towards a deal he speeded it up and his becoming Prime-minister in 1956 meant the French would now back the EEC and EURATOM treaties whereas in 1955 they had played tough. If Guy Mollet had not been French Prime-Minister there might well have been no Treaty of Rome.
  • 8. They also suggest that the German elite by mid 1956 had gone lukewarm on EURATOM, fearing it as a French ruse to control German access to atomic technology. In fact, Charles Williams, the biographer of German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, points out that he specifically backed EURATOM as the safest political way to have eventual German access to Atomic technology (and weapons!). (Williams, 2003, p.438, p.440). Moreover, Williams suggest that the internal German debate on the Customs Union idea of the Treaty of Rome was much less divisive and more easily accepted. Williams, Charles (2003) Adenauer: the father of the new Germany. London: Abacas. (this book is not in the library but you can read quite a bit of it online through Google Books)
  • 9. They exaggerate the importance of the Suez crisis (see for a contrasting view, Middelmas, 1995, p.34-35).
  • Middlemas, Keith (1995) Orchestrating Europe: the informal politics of European Union, 1973-1995. London: Fontana.
  • Part III
  • How important is a Franco-German axis within EU?
  • Dahl-Marthinsen, Karre. (2005) ‘The End of the Affair? Germany’s Relationship with France’, German Politics, Vol.14, no.4, pp.401-416 & Pedersen, Thomas (2003) ‘Recent Trends in the Franco-German Relationship’, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol.41. Annual Review, pp.13-25.
  • A. 1963 Franco-German Treaty reveals a bilateral logic which underpins but sometimes rivals(undermines) EU policies
  • B. Continuing idea of a Franco-German CORE/HIGH SPEED to drive EU (in wake of Lisbon?)
  • C. Bush presidencies (2000-08) have driven French-German elites together-Germans are less American supporting than they were in the 1960s…
  • D. They agreed a defensive CAP reform in 2002-in the face of enlargement-with Germany footing the budget bill…But also disagreement on CAP today….
  • E. Issue of Turkey-Franco-German axis is vital
  • E. They usually agree common ideas for EU reform-idea of a Council President/EU foreign minister
  • F. French fear German influence in Eastern Europe
  • G. Conclusion the Franco-German axis is but one ‘motor’ among others…cannot simply dominate the others..maybe fragile enough over longer term.. Historically was v. important…but not the whole story (remember the role of the Benelux in the 1950s to make the EEC).

Conclusions

  • Conclusions
  • 1. History of the EU complex: no v.clear plan or direction: selfish national
  • interests and national elites centre-stage in the big punctuated negotiations (but bureaucratic politics fills out integration on a day to day basis-producing banal or ubiquitous European integration)
  • 2. The political logic driving European integration in the 1950s was quite different from what is driving it now….post-Berlin war Europe is challenging…Globalization (China) painfully makes the relative small size, and relative weakness, of all European states v.obvious…..
  • 3. Less evidence of conspiracy theory accounts…..rather more of ‘cock-up’ theory…’pressure cooker’ bureaucratic politics effects…
  • 4. Franco-German axis explains much and is vital for understanding-but does not explain it all…nor is the EU merely reducible to Franco-German high politics.
  • 5. EU’s evolution’s appears historically to be very tentative….at certain junctures it could have failed dramatically…and still may…or may slowly weaken and wane (Eurosclerosis)…equally clear that EU could evolve towards some weak form of federation… (next week we’ll consider if the EU already is such?)


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