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World Association of International Studies

Post An Alternative to an Ever-Expanding EU? The Delors Plan
Created by John Eipper on 12/09/19 2:45 PM

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An Alternative to an Ever-Expanding EU? The Delors Plan (Angel Vinas, Belgium, 12/09/19 2:45 pm)

I'm very busy working on an expanded version of my latest book. However, I cannot let pass without commenting José Ignacio Soler's post on the EU in response to Eugenio Battaglia (9 December). I haste to add that I fully share José Ignacio's views.

The EU was born out of the ashes of World War II and the fears of a possible WWIII. It grew under the umbrella of NATO and, a European Defense Community having been rejected by the French National Assembly, it started on the economic side. The interpenetration of national economies, particularly in those war-enabling sectors such as coal and steel, would make another war unthinkable on the Western part of the European continent. Its speed and innovative capacity defied all expectations. The economic growth of Western Europe since the 1960s is unthinkable without the EU and the will of Member States to jointly exercise sovereignty in ever-expanding areas.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the neutrals and the former Warsaw Pact members were very happy to join. The enlargement was a great success for the UK which wanted to dilute the trend towards ever more sharing of national sovereignties. This created new challenges and opportunities, particularly with an expanding single European market (energetically pushed forward by the Brits). The dilemmas between enlargement and internal strengthening of the EU were never solved. As soon as the international economy started floundering, old national rivalries emerged.

There was never the slightest intention of creating a super State, even less a new nation. The undefined idea was to aspire to "an ever closer Union."

The enlargement dreams turned sour. The former Communist countries had nationalistic-minded parties that were not keen on sharing wider parcels of sovereignty. I haven't forgotten the Czech case. The Hungarian and Polish cases came later on.

I gave a course on the economic, political and security developments of the EU until I retired from University in 2011. I always thought that Jacques Delors´ strategy of creating a wide economic area in Europe without the former Communist States becoming integrated into the EU institutions might have been more intelligent.

Now we have created a dynamic process in which the requests for admission are ever increasing, perhaps with good reasons. But some Member States have become wary of further enlargements (France at the fore). Once bitten...

JE comments:  So nice to hear from you and Happy Holidays, Ángel!  When time permits, could you give us a deeper overview of the Delors plan?  Wouldn't a (permanent?) exclusion of the former East Bloc nations from the EU have ensured the perpetuation of the old Iron Curtain?

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