Master's Theses

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kucik

Keywords

European Union, integration, International Relations

Abstract

The community of Europe today is at a crossroads. Recent pressures, many of them external, are severely testing the integrity of the European Union, as well as the long-standing regional cooperation. Widespread inconsistencies in national policies across member states, especially with regards to economic culture and fiscal policy, have presented the EU with an existential crisis. My hypothesis is that successful regional integration in Europe, however gradual, was not a spontaneous reaction to acute external pressures. Instead, I argue that successful regional integration was the result of a shared vision and careful planning by policy makers and negotiators, who never shied away from addressing lofty ideals even as they attempted to resolve practical considerations. I will select three historical cases that represent foundational moments in the genesis of the modern European Union. These three cases are the Treaty of Paris (1951) that forged the European Coal and Steel Community, the Treaty of Rome (1957) that established the European Economic Community and finally the Treaty of Maastricht (1992) that called for the establishment of the European Union. I will employ a specific pattern in order to clearly and consistently analyze the cases relying on reports, speeches and other documents that demonstrate policy thinking. Each case study will focus on the agreement itself and how it addresses, historically and theoretically, the shortcomings of the status quo. Finally, each successful case will be "tested" according to a number of criteria for successful integration that I encountered in the writings of Ernst Haas and Bela Belassa. 3 The purpose of this exercise is to attempt to understand how European states were able, through the efforts of their leaders, to ultimately sacrifice sovereignty in the name of stability. It would be a stretch to suggest that these issues represent the gravest challenges that have ever divided Europeans, and that the past has nothing to teach us about contemporary conflict resolution. By studying the past, I will discern guidelines for formulating policy to maintain the integration movement in Europe.

 
 

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