chapter  10
21 Pages

A fool’s game or a comedy of errors?: EU enlargements in comparative perspective


The first five years after the Second World War saw several attempts at reconstructing the Western European economy and (up to a point) at overcoming the traditional nation-state system. The Marshall Plan of 1947 was successfully implemented. The Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was created and co-operated with the US Economic Cooperation Administration in distributing American economic aid to Europe.6 But in spite of the US$20 billion to be distributed by the OEEC, the organization-with its almost entirely inter-governmental structure-did not meet the expectations of European federalists.7 It is true that membership of the OEEC, which was to be transformed into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1961, contributed to the European socialization of some later ‘newcomers’ to ‘core Europe’.8 By 1948-50, however, most European states were obviously unwilling to hand over national sovereignty to this newly created organization.