After World War II, the Western European nations made a concentrated effort to consolidate their economies and lessen the political conflict, and also mark departure from the days in which European nations openly sought to undermine or destroy each other. European nations became closer tied due to many treaties and economic policies which stabilized the countries ravaged by World War II.
To the most important economic programs at the time where the ECSC, or the European coal and steel community, and the EEC, or the common market. The brainchild of French economic advisor Monnet and French Premier Robert Schumann, that ECSC abolished tariffs in the coal and steel industries. This program revitalized the coal and steel industries in Europe, and following a similar program of tariff elimination, the common market was created through the signing of the Treaty of Rome. More economic integration was achieved through the Treaty of Maastricht, which established the European Union and made the Euro standard currency in many countries.
Two political actions that were taken to stabilize Western Europe were the formation of NATO and the Helsinki Accords. NATO was originally formed to preserve international security. But it was eventually undermined by President Charles de Gaulle of France when he withdrew military support from the organization and went on to develop France's own nuclear weapons. The old rivalry between France and England surfaced when De Gaulle opposed Britain's entrance into the EEC.
The Helsinki Accords marked the high point of the Cold War détente between the US and Soviet Union, but it also encouraged Western European stabilization. The Accords clarified borders between European nations and formed a "watch committee" in which 65 nations agreed to watch out for the human and political rights' actions of other members nations.
Other than the occasional disagreement between Great Britain and France is Charles de Gaulle over...
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