Historical development of Unification ideas in Europe after World
War II---THIS IS THE TOPIC.
Please you can use this material as well.
The dominant approaches to understanding the early phase of European integration came from
international relations (IR). In particular, the study of integration was dominated by the competing approaches of neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism. Although neofunctionalist theory
neatly i tted events in the 1950s and early 1960s, subsequent events led to its demise and the
rise of intergovernmentalist explanations. While theorizing European integration has moved on
signii cantly from these early approaches, much of what followed was either framed by this
debate or developed as a rejection of it. The debate about whether the EU is characterized by
intergovernmentalism or supranationalism still informs much of the academic work on the
?International theory? has been too readily written of by contemporary writers seeking to of er
theoretical treatments of the EU . . .
(Rosamond 1999: 19)
The signing of the Treaty of Paris in April 1951 by the governments of Belgium,
France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands (Chapter 6, p. 92) began
the process commonly referred to as European integration (see Insight 1.1). This process has meant that the economies of participating states, and subsequently other areas,
have been increasingly managed in common. Decisions previously taken by national
governments alone are now taken together with other governments, and specially created European institutions. Governments have relinquished the sole right to make
legislation (national sovereignty) over a range of matters, in favour of joint decision
making with other governments (pooled sovereignty). Other tasks have been delegated
to European institutions.
It was something of a surprise to academic theorists of IR when governments in
western Europe began to surrender their national sovereignty in some policy areas.
For the ? rst half of the twentieth century, the nation state seemed assured of its place
as the most important unit of political life in the western world
, especially in Europe.
As such, the process of European integration constituted a major challenge to existing
theories and generated an academic debate about the role of the state in the process.
The two competing theories that emerged from IR to dominate the debate over early
1/29/2011 12:17:09 PMdevelopments in European integration were neofunctionalism (Haas 1958; Lindberg
1963) and intergovernmentalism (Hof mann 1964; 1966).
Before discussing these two main positions in the debate, it is necessary to consider
the intellectual context from which the idea of European integration emerged. Below
we look ? rst at the functionalist ideas of David Mitrany on how to avoid war between
nations, then at the ideas of the European federalists, and ? nally at the ?federal-
functionalism? of Jean Monnet. We then turn to look ? rst at neofunctionalism and
then at intergovernmentalism, before looking at two later contributions to this debate:
liberal intergovernmentalism and supranational governance.
The Intellectual Background
To understand the ideas that fed into the ? rst attempts to theorize European integration, it is useful to start with one of the approaches that was in? uential after the
Second World War
about how to avoid another war. This ?functionalist? idea, which
Insight 1.1 European Integration
European integration has a number of aspects, but the main focus of Chapter 1 is on political integration. Ernst Haas (1968: 16) provided a dei nition of European political integration as a process, whereby:
political actors in several distinct national settings are persuaded to shift their loyalties, expectations and political activities toward a new center, whose institutions possess or demand jurisdiction over the pre-existing national states. The end result of a
process of political integration is a new political community, superimposed over the
Implicit in Haas?s dei nition was the development of a European federal state. More cautiously, Lindberg (1963: 149) provided a dei nition of political integration as a process, but
without reference to an end point:
political integration is (1) the process whereby nations forego the desire and ability to
conduct foreign and key domestic policies independently of each other, seeking
instead to make joint decisions or to delegate the decision-making process to new central organs; and (2) the process whereby political actors in several distinct national
settings are persuaded to shift their expectations and political activities to a new
The i rst part of this dei nition refers to two ?intimately related? modes of decision making:
sharing and delegating. The second part of the dei nition refers to ?the patterns of behaviour shown by high policy makers, civil servants, parliamentarians, interest group leaders
and other elites? (Lindberg 1963: 149), who respond to the new reality of a shift in political
authority to the centre by reorientating their political activities to the European level.
was particularly associated with the writings of David Mitrany, informed the United
Nations movement. It was a theory of how to achieve world peace
, rather than a theory of regional integration, and it took a very dif erent approach to the question from
the European federalists, who wanted to subordinate national governments to an overarching federal authority. The ideas of both the functionalists and the federalists were
brought together in the ?functional-federalism? of Jean Monnet, which in turn provided one important source of intellectual inspiration for the neofunctionalist theory
of European integration.
Mitrany and Functionalism
David Mitrany (1888?1974) was born in Romania, but spent most of his adult life in
Britain and the United States. He was not a theorist of European integration. His concern was with building a Working Peace
System, the title of his Fabian pamphlet (Mitrany
1966; ? rst published 1943). For Mitrany, the root cause of war was nationalism. The
failure of the League of Nations to prevent aggression prompted debate about a new
type of international system even before the outbreak of the Second World War
those who blamed the failure of the League on its limited powers, the response was the
development of an international federation. In other words, the League had not gone
far enough and the same mistake should not be repeated: henceforth, nations should
be tied more closely together.
Mitrany did not agree with the idea of federation as the means of tying states
together. He opposed the idea of a single world
government because he believed that it
would pose a threat to individual freedom. He also opposed the creation of regional
federations, believing that this would simply reproduce national rivalries on a larger
scale. Any political reorganization into separate units must sooner or later produce the
same ef ects; any international system that is to usher in a new world
must produce the
opposite ef ect of subduing political division.
Instead of either of these possibilities?a world
federation or regional federations?
Mitrany proposed the creation of a whole series of separate international functional
agencies, each having authority over one speci? c area of human life. His scheme was
to take individual technical tasks out of the control of governments and to hand them
over to these functional agencies. He believed that governments would be prepared to
surrender control because they would not feel threatened by the loss of sovereignty
over, say, health care or the co-ordination of railway timetables, and they would be
able to appreciate the advantages of such tasks being performed at the regional or
level. As more and more areas of control were surrendered, states would become
less capable of independent action. One day, the national governments would discover
that they were enmeshed in a ?spreading web of international activities and agencies?
(Mitrany 1966: 35).
These international agencies would operate at dif erent levels depending on the
function that they were performing. Mitrany gave the example of systems of communication. Railways would be organized on a continental basis; shipping would be
organized on an intercontinental basis; aviation would be organized on a universal
basis. Not only would the dependence of states on these agencies for their day-to-day
functioning make it dii cult for governments to break with them, but the experience
THEORIES OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
1/29/2011 12:17:11 PMof the operation of the agencies would also socialize politicians, civil servants, and
the general public into adopting less nationalistic attitudes and outlook.
Spinelli and Federalism
A completely dif erent approach to guaranteeing peace
was devised during the war in
the ranks of the various Resistance movements. It was a speci? cally European movement, and whereas Mitrany aimed explicitly to depoliticize the process of the transfer
of power away from national governments, federalists sought a clear transfer of political authority.
The European Union of Federalists (EUF) was formed in December 1946 from the
war-time Resistance movements. It was particularly strong in Italy, where the leading
? gure was Altiero Spinelli. Federalism appealed to the Resistance groups because it
proposed superseding nationalism. It is important to bear in mind that whereas in
Britain (and Russia) the Second World War
was a nationalist war (in the former Soviet
Union, it was ?the great patriotic war?), in countries such as France and Italy it was an
ideological war. Resistance ? ghters drawn from communist, socialist, and Christian
democratic groups were in many cases ? ghting their own countrymen?Vichy supporters in France, Italian Fascists in Italy.
While being held as political prisoners of the Fascists on the island of Ventotene,
Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi (1897?1967) produced the Ventotene Manifesto (1941),
calling for a ?European Federation?. It argued that, left alone, the classes ?most privileged under old national systems? would seek to reconstruct the order of nation states
at the end of the war. While these states might appear democratic, it would only be a
matter of time before power returned to the hands of the privileged classes. This
would prompt the return of national jealousies and ultimately, to renewed war
between states. To prevent this development, the Manifesto called for the abolition of
the division of Europe into national, sovereign states. It urged propaganda and action
to bring together the separate national Resistance movements across Europe to push
for the creation of a federal European state.
The EUF adopted the Ventotene Manifesto, and began agitating for an international
conference to be called that would draw up a federal constitution for Europe. This
ambitious proposal was designed to build on what Milward called ?the wave of hope
for a better world
and a changed future for the human race which had swept across
Europe? and which included an ?extraordinary wave of enthusiasm for European federation? (Milward 1984: 55).
The strategy of the EUF was to exploit the disruption caused by the war to existing political structures in order to make a new start on a radically dif erent basis
from the Europe of national states. They aimed to achieve a complete break from
the old order of nation states, and to create a federal constitution for Europe. Their
Congress took time to organize, though. It eventually took place in The Hague in
May 1948 (see Chapter 5, p. 83). By that time, the national political systems had
been re-established, and what emerged from the Congress was an intergovernmental
organization, the Council of Europe, not the new federal constitutional order for
which the federalists had hoped. Many federalists then turned to the gradualist
approach that was successfully embodied in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
1/29/2011 12:17:11 PM7
Monnet and Functional-Federalism
The plan for the ECSC was known as the Schuman Plan because it was made public by
the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, but it is generally accepted that it was
drawn up within the French Economic Planning Commission (Commissariat du Plan),
which was headed by the technocrat Jean Monnet. It was the task of the Planning
Commission to guide the post-war reconstruction and modernization of the French
economy, and it was through his experiences in this task that Monnet came to appreciate the economic inadequacy of the European nation state in the modern world
saw the need to create a ?large and dynamic common market?, ?a huge continental
market on the European scale? (Monnet 1962: 205). He aimed, though, to create more
than just a common market.
Monnet was a planner: he showed no great con? dence in the free-market system,
which had served France rather badly in the past. He placed his faith in the development of supranational institutions as the basis for building a genuine economic community that would adopt common economic policies and rational planning procedures.
Coal and steel were only intended as starting points. The aim was to extend integration to all aspects of the western European economy?but such a scheme would have
been too ambitious to gain acceptance all at once. There had been a clear indication of
this in the failure of previous ef orts to integrate the economies of France, Italy, the
Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
There was also a new factor in the equation, the key factor prompting Monnet?s plan:
the emergence in 1949 of a West German state. For Monnet, the existence of the
Federal Republic of Germany posed two problems in addition to that of how to create
an integrated western European economy. The ? rst problem was how to organize
Franco?German relations in such a way that another war between the two states would
become impossible. To a French mind, this meant how to control Germany. The pooling of coal and steel production would provide the basis for economic development as a
? rst step towards a ?federation of Europe?. Stimulating the expansion of those industries
for peaceful purposes would provide an economic alternative to producing war materials for those regions of Europe that had been largely dependent on providing military
material. The second problem facing Monnet was the very practical one of how to
ensure adequate supplies of coking coal from the Ruhr for the French steel industry.
The idea of pooling Franco-German supplies of coal and steel would tie the two states
into a mutual economic dependency, in addition to taking out of the immediate control of the national governments the most basic raw materials for waging another war.
Mitrany (1966) described Monnet?s strategy as ?federal-functionalism?. It is not clear,
though, how far Monnet was a federalist at all. He might be seen as a supreme pragmatist who proposed the ECSC as a solution to the very practical problems described
above. To solve these problems, Monnet adopted a solution similar to that of Mitrany:
remove control of the strategically crucial industries?coal and steel?from the governments and put it in the hands of a free-standing agency. This was the High
Authority of the ECSC, and in Monnet?s original plan it was the only institution proposed. The development of other supranational institutions came from other pressures
(see Chapter 7). The High Authority was the prototype for the later Commission of
the European Economic Community (EEC), which became central to the neofunctionalist theory of European integration.
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