European Integration Through The Decades Essay

1386 Words6 Pages
In its historical context discuss why and how the EU was set up and the advantages and disadvantages of membership.

Europe was a politically and fragile continent after the Second World War that claimed millions of lives. It is in that background, that the first steps to European integration were taken with the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The celebrated Schuman Plan, laid the foundation for the first real supra-national economy in the world, that is, the ECSC. The European integration continued through the decades with the establishment of the European Economic Community (ECC) and the European Union (EU). In the recent period, the EU has come under intense questioning with the economic crisis in Europe starting 2007. The recent Brexit vote has put further questions on the future of the EU. This essay considers the process of European integration through the decades and also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the union.
The Second World War resulted in economic devastation; however, it is remarkable how fast Europe recovered after the war and economists do refer to this period as the “Golden Age of European economic growth” . Despite the economic recovery in Europe, there were few areas of discord, one of these being the French favouring a Customs Union and the English wanting a Free Trade Area. Moreover, there was distrust between France and Germany, which impacted the initial years of integration . Nevertheless, the European
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