chapter  4
93 Pages

Foreign trade, economic and social advance, and the origins of the European Economic Community

Those who see the creation of the European Community as a special act of political will tell an essentially political story about its formation. After the successful creation of the Coal, Iron and Steel Community the political will to integration focused, they tell us, on the European Defence Community. The defeat of this project by national resentments in August 1954 could have been, they imply, a mortal blow to the idea of a united Europe. Gloriously, however, the idea was ‘relaunched’ (the favourite word in all languages of writers on this theme), albeit on a less ambitious scale, by the two great federalists Monnet and Spaak in the twin projects for Euratom and the common market. The Treaties of Rome were the culminating triumph of this relaunch. This is the story as usually presented in summary accounts for general readers and students.