Essay about Major Events That Can Alter The Course Of The European Union

Essay about Major Events That Can Alter The Course Of The European Union

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Minor bureaucratic conflicts can often escalate into major events that can alter the course of the European Union (EU). Neo-functionalism has been one of the main focal arguments for enhancing where states give up their sovereignty and national interest in order to share the benefits of the EU project. However, the crisis during 1963, where integration efforts stalled, paved way for intergovernmentalist thought where scholars, such as Hoffman, argues that the national interest and sovereignty of individual member states had not been diminished (D’erman “Hoffman’s Intergovernmentalism”). The events that led to the Luxembourg Compromise, such as the “Empty chair crisis” and the 1963 crisis, a conflict between the French president De Gaulle and the rest of the EU members, could be argued to be the most significant event in the development of European integration.

Firstly, to understand the Luxembourg compromise, the historical development towards the “empty chair crisis” must be further looked at. In 1963, President De Gaulle unilaterally vetoed the UK’s application for the European Community, without the consent of other members of the council, led to a negative reaction by other member states. Additionally, the Commission proposed for enhancing its supranational authority along with extending Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) into other areas of the community. As a result, De Gaulle sees this new push for integration to be threatening the French “influence and sovereignty” (Cini, Perez-Solorzano Borragan 20). Therefore, he introduced the Fouchet Plan which attempts to decrease the Commission’s supranational authority and increase the importance of the national governments (D’erman “The 1963 Crisis). However, the Fouchet Plan was re...


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...inished the efforts to a higher supranational authority of the Commission, which reinforces the intergovernmentalism theory where at the end of the day, member states would never give up all of their sovereignty.

The buildup of tension that led to the Luxembourg Compromise could be argued as the Commission moving ‘too quickly’ for integration, which threatened member state’s comfort zone for giving up sovereignty. The crisis in 1963 and the empty chair crisis ended the momentum of European integration in the 50s, even though the Compromise resolved the issue between the French and the Council, the ability for the Commission to create proposals that would benefit integration had been reduced for the next few decades. Therefore, one could argue that the events leading up to the Luxembourg Compromise is the most significant event for European integration since 1945.

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