Courtesy Reuters

The Politics of Europe: Europe Between the Superpowers

For anyone who is a believer in the integration of Europe the present political conjuncture must appear somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, there is a discernible thaw in relations within the Community itself. The resignation of President de Gaulle and a change in French foreign policy (which is none the less real for being denied) have permitted the completion of the Common Market's agricultural policy, some sort of a start has been made on planning a common monetary policy with the Werner Report, and the crucial negotiation for the enlargement of the Community is now under way. After seven years of relative stagnation it might seem as though the creation of an integrated Europe had been resumed-to end perhaps in the emergence of a larger and stronger economic entity which, by the very fact of its greater freedom of action, will hardly be able to avoid political decisions and, hence, concerted political action through appropriate institutions. (By "Europe" is meant not only the Six of the Common Market but also those other West European countries with whom they have close political, economic and cultural relations. Such a definition, moreover, does not exclude the so-called "neutrals," or Spain and Portugal, and it might be hoped that at some point it would be possible to extend it to countries in Eastern Europe.)

This is what a "European" might hope, and, to introduce a personal note for a moment, particularly an English "European" who has seen his own country notably suffer from isolation and lack of creative political tasks over the last seven years. But it would not be realistic to let the more cheerful atmosphere at present reigning in Brussels conceal the fact that, in the seventies, European integration will be something of a race against time. In the past history of the Community timing has, of course, always been important. The creation of the Coal and Steel Community in 1951 and the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 depended upon the

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.