To unify Western Europe after World War II, France, Western Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. The Treaty of Paris was the first step towards a European integration. It was aimed at avoiding any other war between France and Germany, and at the same time it created a common market for steel and coal. This supranational organization let new members in and changed over the years. It became the European Economic Community in 1967 and the European Union in 1993. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland joined the European Economic Community on 1st January 1973. What were the principal factors behind Britain's late accession to the European Union? Both internal and external factors played a part in that late accession. On the one hand, the British focus after WWII was above all to re-build Britain as a world power; the personal views and inclinations of the British leading figures also contributed to Britain's late accession to the EU; and the public opinion both in the country and in the Government was not conducive to this union. On the other hand, the economic situation, the importance of the Western Alliance between the USA and the UK and the attitude of the EU members towards the UK were decisive factors behind Britain's late accession to the EU.
[...] Paris : Plon p. 66-71 Conclusions de l'Union nationale des Agriculteurs britanniques sur l'adhésion au Marché commun (London, November 1966), in Notes et études documentaires : L'adhésion de la Grande-Bretagne aux Communautés européennes, La seconde candidature 1967-1969. April 1972, 3 882- p. 30-31 BONATO, Corrado, "Per l'Inghilterra nel MEC, il più grave ostacolo è l'agricoltura", in Corriere della Sera 105; year 92, p www.wikipedia.org, General encyclopedia on the web http://www.ena.lu/, Historical folder about the European construction, European Navigator http://www.britannia.com/history/nar20hist5.html, History of England, the XX century http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/uk/2001/uk_and_europe/1945_ 1957.stm, General document about the UK and Europe http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1913522.stm, Article about the “special relationship”, Ben Wright April 2002 http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/MES/pdf/ecesTalk.pdf, “Britain and the European Coal and Steel Community” , Paper presented at Terni Conference on the European Coal and Steel Community, May 16- By Geoffrey Owen http://www.politeia.net/Newsletter/politeia_newsletter_46_october_2007/quart erly_theme_euroscepticism_in_europe/british_euroscepticism, Article about British euroscepticism published in Politeia Newsletter 46 - October 2007, Dr. [...]
[...] The personal views of the British leading figures The personality, the inclination and the views of the British leading figures in the Government, especially the Prime Ministers, represented an important factor in Britain's late accession to the EU. Between 1945 and 1951, Clement Attlee, the leader of the Labour Party, served as Prime Minister. He was hostile to the European construction, and refused to take part into the European Coal and Steel Community. The Labour Party was defeated in 1951. [...]
[...] In 1951, the British were invited to join the European Coal and Steel Community, but they declined. They were actually attempting to re-build Britain as a world power, after the six years of war, so they preferred keeping their distance from the ECSC. Moreover, Britain had not been on the losing side in the war, and its institutions had been efficient, so they believed that their extremely weak economic situation after the war was a temporary problem which would be tackled with the help of the USA. [...]
[...] In 1967, De Gaulle vetoed a second time Britain's accession to the Common Market. He actually accused Britain of a “deep-seated” hostility towards European construction. To him, the UK would require a “radical transformation” before joining the European Economic Market. As a consequence, only when De Gaulle was not president anymore, negotiations could begin again. The UK finally entered the European Economic Union on 1st January 1973. Conclusion Today the UK is an important and active member of the European Union. [...]
[...] It was actually the beginning of a British will to integrate European organizations. The public opinion both in the country and in the Labour and Conservative Parties In Britain, there was really a strong feeling against joining. Both British parties were very divided on the European issue. They feared that their power would move from Westminster to Europe. They did not want to take part into a project aimed at giving up the national sovereignty and surrendering to supranational European institutions. [...]
Lecture en ligneavec notre liseuse dédiée !
Contenu vérifiépar notre comité de lecture