Essay The European Union: The Development of Western Europe

Essay The European Union: The Development of Western Europe

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From the account of Gerhard Schroeder and Tony Blair, I interpret the social and political development of Western Europe after 1945 to be very close to that of the United States. This is obviously not an exact comparison, but there are similarities. It is most likely more fair to think of the European Union as the United States under the Articles of the Confederation, though obviously updated and slightly stronger. The participating nations operate mostly on their own, though there is a loose and mostly economic cooperation between them. To this effect, I find that the EU does represent the kind of “Third Way” that is discussed by Gerhard Schroeder and Tony Blair. In order to understand why the European Union embodies a new way of operating in the European community and is not the sort of continuation of nationalist policies, it is necessary to delve into Richard Kuisel’s arguments and contrast them with what Blair and Schroeder described.
Kuisel’s argument about the European community merely being old nationalist policies under an internationalist disguise seems contradictory to much of the evidence that he presents. In various cases, he demonstrates how France attempts to use the European community in order to fulfill its needs and desires, but is turned down by the other members of the community. One such instance is the controversy over whether or not to accept American investments and European monetary reform in the late 1960s. France did not like this idea and fervently fought against it, the European community overall, however, allowed it (Kuisel, 175). This demonstrates that, though there may be vast differences in the policies of the members of the European Union, a single nation could not use it to force its own polici...


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...ugh they are extremely free to act on their own and when they do come together it is mostly defined by political lines, rather than national/state lines (It is prudent to mention that the reason that the EU is working and the Articles of the Confederation did not is because the Articles of the Confederation were meant to tie together a single nation. The EU does not attempt this). The actual policies of the EU are created and enacted through very egalitarian means, assuring that all countries have the same amount of persuasion. This therefore disallows the sort of nationalist policies that Kuisel argues to exist within the European community. This is seen time after time in Seducing the French as the French attempt to enact policies that are not agreed upon by the other members of the European community and find themselves consistently not allowed to continue them.

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