European Intergration

2200 Words9 Pages
The evolution of the European Union (EU) is almost unprecedented in history—an experiment in progress which has evolved and forced member states to change their policies and interests. European integration is when member states incorporate with other states economically, politically and socially. The first step to European integration was in 1950 when the Schuman declaration led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) . In 1951, the club of six joined the Franco-German production to sign the agreement of the ECSC. European integration was once a subdued dialogue amongst analysts and theorists but, over the years, it has evolved into a full-scale topic concerning the nature and dynamics of integration. This essay will focus on two leading approaches in the debate—neofunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism (LI). Both competing approaches contain strong theoretical integration arguments. By unravelling their context, arguments and looking at empirical evidence to support their claim, it will be shown that aspects from each approach provide an account for European integration. Then by scrutinising each approach, it will be argued how neither approach solely provides a compelling account for European integration. However, it is also important to look at middle-range theories in order to understand European integration because such theories provide an explanation of the process. Therefore, historical institutionalism (HI) and historical materialism¬ will similarly be examined. The neofunctionalist approach to European integration emanates from the works of Ernest B Haas (1950). In his seminal book , Haas explained how the club of six came to initiate a new form of supranational cooperation. The theory,... ... middle of paper ... ... Moravcsik, A. (1993), Preferences and power in the European Community: A Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach, Journal of Common Market Studies 31 (4): pp473-419. Puchala, D J. (1999), Institutionalism, Intergovernmentalism and European Integration, Journal of Common Market Studies, 37 (2): pp317-331. Jensen, C J. (2000), Neo-functionalist theories and the Development of European Social and Labour Policy, Journal of Common Market Studies, 38 (1): pp71-92. Moravcsik, A. (1991), Negotiating the Single European Act: National interests and conventional statecraft in the European Community, Journal of International Organisation, 45 (1): pp19-56. Pierson, P. (1996), The Path to European Integration: A Historical Institutionalist Analysis, Comparative Political Studies, 29 (2): pp123-163. Cini, M. (2007), European Union Politics (2nd Ed) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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