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EEC (European Economic Community)

Subject History

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


A common market in industrial goods formed by members of the ECSC (France, Germany, Italy and the benelux countries) at the treaty of rome (1957). It changed its name to the European Community (EC) in 1986 and to the European Union (EU) in 1991. Its aim was to create a large market of 170 million people, in which there would be free movement of goods, labour and capital, though it was not till 1992 that all these aims were realized. Some founders saw the eec as a supranational body which would lead to the fiscal, monetary and even political union of the member states. The move to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) took even longer and is not due to be completed, according to the maastricht treaty , until 1999. The move to political union may never come about, as there is unremitting hostility, particularly from Britain, to the loss of national sovereignty this move would entail. Britain took no part in the discussions which led to the formation of the EEC, as 50 per cent of its trade was with the commonwealth and it did not want to jeopardize its ‘special relationship’ with the US, but it soon realized that it needed entry to such a large and thriving market as that of the EEC. Harold macmillan , the British Prime Minister, therefore applied for membership but de gaulle vetoed Britain's application in 1963 (and again in 1967) as he saw Britain as an American ‘Trojan Horse’, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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