“Discuss How European Integration Was Achieved Up Until the 1960’s and Comment on the Reasons for the Success of the European Community in This Period.”

Topics: European Union, United States, Europe Pages: 4 (1161 words) Published: February 28, 2013
“Discuss how European Integration was achieved up until the 1960’s and comment on the reasons for the success of the European Community in this period.”

The context of a united Europe was first officially coined in the aftermath of the Second World War. It was a theory born out of a Europe which had been brought to its knees by the greatest and most devastating conflict the world had ever seen. The post war period witnessed a complete upheaval of power and a renewal of world order. A new European community was a necessity in order to exist in solidarity in opposition of the fascist regime, to recover the tattered economy, and in support of the suffering population. This movement was led by the governing bodies and their leaders; and as is most often the case in large scale integrations, based on economics.

However, the union of Europe was not simply a masterstroke of the educated and higher authorities. The vision of a united Europe was developed within the democracy: it was born on the streets, on the front line, and in the concentration camps. De Boer (1993) further enhances this sentiment. “Many young intellectuals, who had either witnessed the senseless loses on the front line, or the famine deprivations and corruption at home, felt that the liberal system that had lead to all this warfare had lost all credibility.” From the ground up, it was understood that European society could not survive as it was. It was time for a reconstruction which had surpassed simple government policies and royal visits. This needed to be a cultural, economic and social integration of the states of Europe as there had never existed before.

Whilst the war had generated mass destruction, devastation and suffering it succeeded in providing the peoples of Europe a common goal. Conflict must be avoided at all costs. As early as 1941 the unification of the allied countries against the growing...
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