The European Union can be traced back to the 1940’s when British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill envisaged a United States of Europe. However, Churchill had no idea how powerful an institution it would become by the late 20th century.
The formation of the EU came just over a decade after the Second World War, 1957. For the EU’s originators the EU was a way of reducing national hostility, resentment and competition, which had driven the continent into war. The European Coal and Steel Community began to unite European countries not just economically but politically in order to prolong peace. The member states then consisted of just six, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. Now fifty years in the European Union consists of twenty-seven member states.
The ECSC in 1952 was the first step towards a supranational Europe, as the six member states relinquished part of their sovereignty in favour of the community. Integration came to a standstill in 1954 due to the failure of the European Defence Community. However, unlike some feared this was not the end of the ECSC as a committee of ministers submitted two drafts that agreed to the options selected by member states which were, the creation of a general market and the creation of an atomic energy community. The member states ratified the treaties on March 1957.
The first treaty established the EEC; the objectives are that of determination to provide a closer union among the people of Europe, also the establishment of a common market that removed trade barriers. However, limitations were placed upon the free movement of people, capital and services until the later major revision, the Single European act.
Another significant agreement included in the Treaties of Rome was the establishment of a Common Agricultural Policy. The CAP enacted a free market of agricultural products inside the European Economic Community and granted protectionism policies that guaranteed revenue from the EU, despite whether the product sold. This avoided completion from other countries outside the community. However, the CAP did and does in fact today absorb most of the EU’s budget.
The treaties of Rome, despite members being very few, could in fact be labelled the most significant as the treaty of Rome signified a realistic and gradualist approach to building the European Union. Britain was not a member state of the ECC as the government refused, mainly due to opposing to integrate into a community, which long term goal, was to relinquish all sovereignty of the member states to a supranational European institution. Britain has the largest eurosceptic party the United Kingdom Independence Party whose main policy is to withdraw from the EU; the European Political Union is a very controversial issue within the UK and support for the EU is the lowest as well as the UK, within Hungary and Latvia.
The single European act was the first major revision of the Treaty of Rome. The...