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European Economic Community

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Essay title: European Economic Community

Britain's entry into the European Economic Community was a source of great conflict in Europe. There were suspicions that French President de Gaulle did not want Britain to enter in order to maintain his country's hegemony over the EEC. De Gaulle spoke of the cultural and institutional differences that would make Britain incompatible with the Six. The British governments motives were even questioned as to whether they only wanted to reap the economic benefits of the EEC. The following is my assessment of these situations according to the Salmon documents.

Throughout document 23, Prime Minister Macmillan continuously states, " I must remind the house that the EEC is an economic community, not a defense alliance, or a foreign policy community, or a cultural community. It is an economic community," Although it is clear throughout the document that the British were aware of the wider political agenda of the Six, their main focus was certainly economic benefits. I do think, however, that The United states had a great influence on Britain's desire to join the EEC. In document 23, Prime Minister Macmillan discusses how remaining outside the EEC could cause Britain to lose its influence not only in Europe but in Washington as well. He fears that the U.S. would pay more attention to the issues of the Six rather than Britain. On the other hand, Britain's conditions for entering the union suggest that they are only interested in the economic benefits. Britain wanted the Six to agree that Britain would be free to create their own foreign policy, fulfill their pledge to the EFTA, plan their own economy, and safeguarding of British agriculture. These conditions made me think that Britain still wanted to be their own country and handle their own affairs, but still benefit from the economic situation in the EEC.

It seems that deGaulle felt his country's hegemony over the EEC would be threatened if Britain were to enter the EEC. In document 29 a Gaullist minister gives reason for deGaulles veto of Britain's membership saying," Now, with six members, there is five hens and a rooster. If you join [with other countries], there will perhaps be seven or eights hens. But there will be two roosters. That isn't agreeable," It is clear that because of Britain's financial status and power that deGaulle feared his country would no longer be the final say in the EEC.

French President deGaulle spoke of the cultural and institutional difference between Britain and the Six and used these reasons to keep Britain out of the EEC. He said the Treaty of Rome was signed by six states "of the same nature". These six are much more alike than different in things such as their habits, living and working conditions, and industrial and agricultural production. They are also geographically closer. In document 9 de Gaulle says, "[Britain has] very marked and very original habits and traditions. In short, the nature, structure, the very situation that are England's differ profoundly from those of the continentals," He also seems concerned that letting Britain in would make others they are tied

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