This chapter explores attitudes towards the new European Economic Community (EEC) with a view to determining how these attitudes helped to shape and set conceptions of an integrating Europe, it will inevitably miss several aspects of the discussions. The institutions of the EEC were usually discussed in conjunction with another topic, that of the 'European idea' ? that is, the concept that the unification of Europe represented a value in its own right. The chapter examines the attitudes of the elite with respect to the four subject areas discussed in European institutions, agriculture, social policy and the association of the overseas territories. The Christian trade unions advocated strong European institutions, whereas the Communist unions, of course, rejected the idea of any European community. The Communist party also insisted that German social security benefits were much lower than the French, and that in a common market, French benefits would fall to the German level.