A Brief History of European Integration

3394 Words May 28th, 2008 14 Pages
NATO and European Union

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION

Until it crystallized into a political concept and became the long-term goal of the Member States of the European Community, the European idea was unknown to all but philosophers and visionaries. The notion of a United States of Europe was part of a humanistic-pacifistic dream which was shattered by the conflicts which brought so much destruction to the European continent in the first half of this century. The vision of a new Europe which would transcend national antagonism finally emerged from the resistance movements which had sprung up to resist totalitarianism during the Second World War. Altiero Spinelli, the Italian federalist and Jean Monnet, the man who
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The Community expanded southwards with the accession of Greece in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986. These enlargements made it even more imperative to implement structural programmes designed to reduce the disparities between the Twelve in terms of economic development.
During this period the Community began to play a more important role internationally, signing new agreements with countries in the southern Mediterranean and countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which were linked to the Community by four successive Lome Conventions (1975, 1979, 1984, 1989).
With the agreement signed in Marrakesh on 14 April 1994 , between all the member of GATT, world trade has embarked on a new phase of its development. The European Union, negotiating as a bloc, endeavoured throughout to put its stamp on the negotiations and to have its interest prevail.
On 1 January 1995 three new countries joined the European Union. Austria, Finland and Sweden endow the Union with their distinctive contributions and create new dimensions for it in the heart of central Europe and in northern Europe.
Already the world’s major trading power, the Union is now working on developing structures which would give it higher profile on the international stage, the aim being to introduce a common
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