united states of europe
The old Europe as we use to know has become the European Union with 27 members and over 500 million citizens. An economical juggernaut that seemed to challenge the supremacy of the United States at every economical aspect we came to believe as sole domain of the United States. What has happened that we did not realize is that across the Atlantic Ocean, a quiet revolution, slow but steady, transforming Europe from a loose steel and coal community (Ecsc) in 1950 to the European Union as we know today. The European Union grew from the original six countries to twenty seven today and represents nearly 500 million people and a collective Gross National Product in the range from fourteen to fifteen trillion dollars.
After the Second World War, Europe was completely devastated and relegated to second place in the international arena due to the rising power of the United States and the Soviet Union. In view of the growing rivalry between the two superpowers, several western European leaders came to the conclusion that lasting peace could be guaranteed only if their nations were to come together in both political and economic terms. Cooperation between states was seen as the best means to prevent armed conflicts. In 1950, the French foreign minister put forward the idea of a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). At that time, coal and steel production were the main war industries. Pooling these industries would prevent any new war between European neighbors. The ECSC was founded in 1951 by six countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Decision-making power was entrusted to the High Authority. With the visionary Jean Monnet at the helm, it thus became the first independent supranational authority in Europe. Even before the Second World War ended, Jean Monet had been giving speeches in Britain arguing that “a European entity, encompassing a common economic unit” was essential to create a cooperative atmosphere and avoid future mass slaughter on the continent. (p38) In 1955, the foreign ministers of the initial six states acknowledged that the internal logic of the enterprise started in 1950 was commanding an expansion of the economic integration into other sectors. In 1957, "the Six" established the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC). In this way, the Member States dismantled the trade barriers that separated them and formed a ‘common market’. In 1967, the institutions of the three European Communities merged. From then on, there was only one Commission, one Council of Ministers and the Assembly (European Parliament). Attracted by its success, the European Communities were joined by Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom in 1973, followed by Greece in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986, Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995. In May 2004, the European Union celebrated a historic event with its expansion into Central and Eastern Europe. Ten new countries joined the EU: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007, while Croatia and Turkey are also candidates. These 27 nations represent a demographic that outpaces the United States in economic power and regulatory power as well in foreign aid but not in military power and intentionally so. The last 50 years, Europe is taken for a ride on the NATO gravy train, meaning European nations have relied on American soldiers, American armory, and America's superior military technology as its first line of defense. This has translated into huge savings in the European military budgets, the mottos was save on tanks / ships and airplanes and spend it on schools, health care and pensions. The new European army does not break this pattern, because it amounts to self-defense on the cheap. Europe is not interested in becoming a military superpower, but they're interested in becoming a...
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