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Enlargement of the European Union

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Essay title: Enlargement of the European Union

Enlargement of the European Union

Before the European Union was ever called that, it was entitled the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The European Coal and Steel Community was created in 1951 following the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty was seen as foundational in bringing together Europe in peace after the Second World War (Paris). The community had six founding members: Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, West Germany, France and Italy. The main goal of the European Coal and Steel Community was to “pool the steel and coal resources of the members states under supranational authority rendering another European war technically impossible while simultaneously spurring economic development” (European Union). A French civil servant name Jean Monnet was the creator of the European Coal and Steel Community. On May 9, 1950, French foreign minister Robert Schuman made a proposal that would create an integrated Europe. This proposal was titled the Schuman Declaration.

Followed by the creation of the ESC, the United States came up with the idea to create the European Defense Community (EDC) and the European Political Community (EPC). The European Defense Community was to create a European army with a joint high command. The EDC was going to be able to allow the troops to leave Germany. The European Political Community was created to make a federation of European states. In 1954, the French National Assembly did away with both the European Defense Community and European Political Community.

Following the failure of European Defense Community and European Political Community, the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) was brought into works. The European Defense Community was used to “establish a customs union among the six founding members, based on the �four freedoms’: freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and people” (European Union). The EURATOM was “created to pool non-military nuclear resources of the states” (EU).

The European Economic Community was called the European Community (EC), from there the European Union will be created. The European Community was created with two parallel processes. The first part of the process was the “structural evolution and institutional change into a tighter bloc with more competences given to the supranational level” (European Union). This process allow for the integrating the Union. The second process was enlarging the European Communities.

Enlargement is a very powerful policy tool for the European Union. It is defined by the Treaty on European Union. It says, “That any European State which respects the EU’s fundamental democratic principles may apply to become a member of the Union” (Commission). Countries that applied for membership had to meet the economic and political criteria, along with the other criteria. The basic principles of enlargement are consolidation, conditionality, and communication.

Other countries, like Britain who were unable to belong to the EEC, decided to create its own organization. This creation was called the European Free Trade Association. After joining this group, Britain saw that the EEC was much more powerful that the EFTA. Britain then decided to apply for membership, Ireland and Denmark also followed in the footsteps of Britain and also applied for membership. Britain’s first application was filed in August 1961, under Conservative government of Harold Macmillan; it was a good chance that Britain would be allowed in. French president Charles De Gaulle vetoed Britain’s membership, in January 1963. De Gaulle felt that Britain was not opened-mind to European and was unable to accept a common agricultural policy. De Gaulle thought that by allowing Britain in would make other countries want to join EEC and it will make it lose its unity. The second application took place under the Labour government of Harold Wilson, in January 1966. Once again De Gaulle vetoed Britain’s application claiming that although Britain improve its economy he feared would be the “US Trojan horse” (European Union). Britain’s third and final application was filed in 1969 under Georges Pompidou. Britain was granted membership to the EC, once the country answer questions of agricultural finance. Britain joined the European Community, finally on January 1, 1973.

Greece applied for membership in the European Community in June 1975, under president Constantine Caramanlis, it was granted membership in January 1, 1981. Portugal sent in its application for membership in March 1977, and Spain sent their application in July 1977. Both countries were accepted for membership on January 1, 1986. During this time, the Single European Act was being signed in Luxemburg. This act was to allow the single European market.

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