Federalism vs. Functionalism

Topics: European Union, European Economic Community, European Coal and Steel Community Pages: 4 (1275 words) Published: April 28, 2011
October 8, 2010

First Writing Assignment

Europe was a disastrous place after World War II. Many countries were in agony because of their economy and military. Many feared Germany would rearm and try to take over again, while other feared the big “C”…Communism and the Soviet Union would attack. In order to rebuild the continent, leaders decided on one solution: the unification of Europe. What they couldn’t decide on was which path to take: federalism or functionalism. Federalism, on one hand, is the Big Bang Theory of Europe, the idea to rebuild the continent all at once. This comes from the notion of popular sovereignty. If there are European people, they can build an European government. This provokes the idea of supra nationalism; going beyond nationalism; something larger the nation states making decisions; this implies the loss of sovereignty as a nation state to a new institution as a world government. No one is French, German or Italian, they are strictly European. Functionalism, on the other hand, believes it is unrealistic to build Europe to its previous standing in a short amount of time. Functionalism focuses on individual problems such as security and economics. If organizations can be formed to solve these problems, then a unified Europe will follow. The mentality of Europe is should the government or the people be built first? As stated before, many leaders agreed on the unification of Europe, but have disagreed on the path in doing so. Aristide Briand, Prime Minister of France, was one of the first to suggest the idea of a European union under the League of Nations. The Briand plan reads, “The policy of European policy, towards which must tend the present search for the first link of solidarity between the governments of Europe, implies, in effect, a conception absolutely contrary to that which formerly led to the creation in Europe of customs unions, tending to abolish internal customs barriers in order to erect on the boundary...
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