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USA responsibility for fostering the growth and development of the EEC - Article Example

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To gain some understanding of the process of economic integration in Europe and of its effects, as well as to see the participation of the United States in the European integration, I will begin with an examination of the origins of the European Economic Community…
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USA responsibility for fostering the growth and development of the EEC
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USA responsibility for fostering the growth and development of the EEC

Download file to see previous pages... In addition, they believed that an integrated Europe could play a greater political role in the world.

The economic gains to be derived from European integration were recognized long before the postwar era, but post-World War II developments made them greater and more visible. The benefits come from expanding the size of the market open to producers. They are thus able to obtain the economies of scale resulting from mass production and specialization, and the economy as a whole can gain from the effects of greater competition. The advantages of integration assumed greater importance in the 1950's because technological developments that occurred during and after the war increased the size of the market necessary to support efficient industry. Competition from large U.S. business firms seemed insurmountable to European firms faced with small, fragmented markets and equipped with obsolete machinery. Larger markets and protection from the competition of U.S. products were thought necessary to sustain rapid European growth. Both could be obtained through economic integration.

The political gains from integration seemed at the time to be even more important than the economic ones. The destructive war in Europe was not followed by peace but by cold war. Under Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union threatened the very existence of European governments. Germany was divided and faced a powerful Russian army on its frontier. Italy and France both experienced great uncertainties from having large Communist minorities within their borders. In this situation, only the military power of the United States maintained security. But the Europeans felt that they had to make an important contribution to their own defense, both to avoid being totally dependent on the United States, and to prepare for the day when U.S military forces would be removed from European soil. Integration through supranational institutions was thought to be both a means of ensuring efficient expenditure of the resources Europeans felt they could devote to security, and a way of downgrading independent military establishments. In Germany, particularly, integration was viewed as a means of providing sufficient strength in the West to convince the Soviet Union that nothing could be gained from a continued division of Germany, in the hope that reunification would eventually be permitted.
Conflicts over the goals of European unity and over the degree of supranationality of its institutions have marked the European movement during the postwar period. Indeed, the most far-reaching attempts to institutionalize unity through the European Defense Community (EDC) and the companion European Political Community (EPC) foundered on issues directly related to these conflicts. In order to circumvent this problem, the promoters of the "European idea" decided to concentrate their efforts on economic integration. European governments ( France in particular) could enter into agreements in the economic sphere, as demonstrated by the formation and continued existence of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), but were not prepared to accept a direct attack on national sovereignty, as shown by the defeat of the EDC proposal. Thus, the Rome Treaty establishing the EEC is devoid of provisions for political integration. (Nugent, 2006) However, political motives were paramount, and the ultimate objective of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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