TOWARDS A EUROPEAN UNION 5
TowardsA European Union
Towardsa European Union
Theend of the World War II and the Cold War era brought great prospectin the integration of the European nations. These prospects werefurther reinforced by the merging of the European trading blocs suchas the EEC, European Atomic Economic Community and the European Coaland Steel Community (Aldcroft,2001).These merges were aimed at providing the European democratic stateswith a common market for their agricultural and industrial product.According to Aldcroft,(2001),their other objective revolved around finding a common currency fortheir common larger European market. These two objectives were thecore values and aims upon which the European Union was based.
Thisbig dream took such a long period of time to achieve, considering theseveral official procedural differences that existed in the earlypost cold war era. Most of the delays were caused by not onlydistrust but also the need for caution to avoid benefiting someeconomies much to the detriment of others (Postan,2013).At the initial stages, the founding states enjoyed immense economicgrowth as a result of a wider integrated market. This successappealed to the other European state to later join in the quest toestablish a unified European union.
Withtime the EU become like a greater force of attraction for all thedemocratic European country. It was more significant in generouslycontributing towards the poorer regions and improving theagricultural products and inputs as per the Common AgriculturalPolicy of 1980s (Aldcroft,2001).However, this great fete was marked by high rate of unemployment,dwindling agricultural and industrial productivity as well as thechallenges to penetrate the overseas market.
Thesenegative factors denied the European Union the power to compete withother developing powers across the world in the global market(Feinstein,Temin & Toniolo, 2008).According to Feinstein,Temin & Toniolo (2008),the failures of the EU were directly linked to the failure by hermember states to embrace genuine trading integration. He points outat the several heavily financed state companies, the politicaldifferences and or official procedures, as well as the rampantunemployment being a tumbling block in making the EU a major playerin the global market. For instance, in places where the borders wereexpected to be free and open to the member states, the trucks andLorries spent weeks awaiting clearance to access the presumed freemarket (Feinstein,Temin & Toniolo, 2008).
Thesedifferences existed as each state tactfully delayed its legislationto accommodate the policy of free market. Mostly, the real intentionbeing the fear of each individual country losing its tax gains in thefree flow of goods, labor and capital. These under table movesgreatly hindered the successful integration of the EU countries tocomply with the treaty of Rome upon which the idea of an open marketwas conceived. According to Postan,(2013),these internal wrangles contributed greatly in the European Union’seconomy lagging behind other world powers like the USA, Japan andChina. This is despite the wider market for their agricultural andindustrial products that the Union provided.
Itwas with the help of the then EU president, Jacques Delors, whopushed for the single market concept with the removal of tradingtariffs especially at the borders (Aldcroft,2001).This facilitated the establishment of the EU as originally conceivedin the Treaty of Rome. There were also newly formulated EUguidelines to safeguard the autonomy of each individual member statefrom the influence of the developed country that priory, had the Vetopowers (Aldcroft,2001).The SEM was formulated to level the economic play field amongst themember states, as well as lowering the prices of the commodities togive the members a wide range of variety (Aldcroft,2001).Apart from improving the positive competitiveness amongst the memberstates, the SEM also aimed at placing the EU at a much competitiveposition in the global market.
By1993, the EU had through the SEM amassed a total of twelve memberstates, with 0ver 344 million customers commanding at least 25% ofthe world market (Aldcroft,2001).It was however observed by scholars that though the plan wasambitiously aggressive, its initiation was farfetched. This is in thesense that with all the enthusiasm that the SEM was launched, only afew member states moved with the same speed to formulate itsoperations in their respective legislature and statutory books(Postan,2013).What is clear though is that the SEM did not harmonize the prices asanticipated thus, the great variance in commodity prices as comparedto their USA counter parts. The lack of common culture and languageacross the European countries also places a surmountable impedimentto the workability of their single market as compared to the USA.
Onthe positive side, the SEM has facilitated a faster delivery of goodsthrough free tariffs across the member states borders (Postan,2013).It has as well facilitated the inter border trading merges thuslowering the trade tariffs though the greatest impacts is on thebiggest economies in the region. Though it is slow, the integrationof the EU has had great milestone both politically and economicallyacross the region.
Aldcroft,D. H. (2001). TheEuropean Economy 1914-2000.Psychology Press.
Feinstein,C. H., Temin, P., & Toniolo, G. (2008). The world economy betweenthe world wars. OUPCatalogue.
Postan,M.M. (2013). AnEconomic History of Western Europe 1945-1964.Routledge.