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The European Union originated as an economic, not political, alliance in 1957; thus, its creation naturally led to a deeper economic integration and was a ’great achievement’ towards the creation of a fully-fledged customs union 11 years later (Jovanović, 2005). In this…
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Download file to see previous pages... Total Economic Integration when monetary, fiscal, social and macroeconomic policy are entirely unified and a supra-national authority exists, whose decisions are binding for all member states (Laffan et al., 1999). The economic nature of this union determined its integration in the field of economy to an extent the European founding fathers never imagined; however, the ongoing process of EU enlargement provoked many controversies and problems related to the core nature of integration within the EU and the subsequent process of further expansion of the union. Two consecutive waves of enlargement after the 1990s led to visible economic, political and social problems and since then ’European integration was accompanied by increasing levels of Euroscepticism among European voters’ (Richardson, 2006). Without the present deep economic integration, the EU would have never emerged as a leading global player and economic power on par with the United States. On the other hand, problems related to its aggressive expansion in the past two decades leave many question marks about the future of the union’s economic and political integration and the ways this integration will be pursued. A key element in this process will be the convergence between the new member states and the old, and the richest, ones due to the significant income gap between them and this convergence could occur only ’in the presence of certain key growth factors and supporting policies’ as Andre Sapir (2005) wrote in his foreword to Economics and Policies of an Enlarged Europe.
Both theory and practice suggest that there was no other way of development for the EU but to pursue deep economic integration in order to establish a strong and viable union, its roots being in the European Coal and Steel Community created with the Treaty of Paris in 1951 by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – a purely economic alliance. In 1957, the Treaties of Rome gave birth to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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