European Integration

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After the tragedies of World War II, European leaders have made striving efforts to prevent such a catastrophic event from occurring on their continent again. The best solution seemed to be highly mechanized cooperation among the highest European powers to assure that future conflict, and perhaps war, could not arise between them. If all the states ran themselves in a manner cooperating with their neighbors, conflict could be avoided. To prevent other nations from not cooperating, treaties and institutions would have to be designed for each area of international interest such as trade, communications, security, and so forth. As the century progressed, more organizations, institutions and associations were developed and soon leaders recognized that maybe more good could come to Europe as a whole if cooperation as such could grow and eventually arrive at full European integration.

The "establishment of the European Union in November 1993 reoriented the European movement ." The union incorporates a good portion of Western Europe and fundamentally acts as an enforcer of all the agreements the included nations make with each other in terms of trade and the "economic, political, and social stabilization of the entire continent ." As we seem to get closer to Europe's achieving integration, the actual possibility of it ever really occurring has been in constant question among scholars. Liberals believe that cooperation on the level of integration is very possible and likely, as each nation essentially desires to maximize its own individual gains, and each nation gains more by cooperating more and banding together as one "state". However, as constructivists remind us, we cannot neglect the element of identity in this equation. Thereafter, we must recognize that lately it is more popular for nations to fight for their own established identity rather than to create a new one for the good of maintaining peace in their new state as we have seen in so many Eastern

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