Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

De Gaulle as a Father of Europe: The Unpredictability of the FTA's Failure and the EEC's Success (1956–58)

  • LAURENT WARLOUZET (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

The failure of the Free Trade Area (FTA), a British ‘Greater Europe’ free-market project, has often been contrasted with the European Economic Community (EEC)'s rapid success. However, this article claims that the EEC's success was neither logical nor automatic. The FTA project was not bound to failure, but could easily have become the principal institution for European co-operation. Moreover, the French leader, Charles de Gaulle, played such a prominent role in the EEC that he could be described as a new ‘Father of Europe’. Without the EEC, France would certainly have been forced to reach agreement on the FTA, but conversely, without de Gaulle, the EEC would probably have been diluted into a larger FTA.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      De Gaulle as a Father of Europe: The Unpredictability of the FTA's Failure and the EEC's Success (1956–58)
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      De Gaulle as a Father of Europe: The Unpredictability of the FTA's Failure and the EEC's Success (1956–58)
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      De Gaulle as a Father of Europe: The Unpredictability of the FTA's Failure and the EEC's Success (1956–58)
      Available formats
      ×
De Gaulle, Père de l'Europe: L'impossibilité de prévoir l'échec de l'AELE et le succès de la CEE (1956–58)

On a souvent contrasté l'echec de la grande ‘zone de libre-échange’ européenne (ZLE), un projet britannique pour la ‘Grande Europe’, avec la réussite rapide de la Communauté économique européenne (CEE). Cet article soutient que le succès de la CEE n'était pourtant ni logique ni automatique. Le projet de la ZLE n'était pas voué à l'échec, mais aurait facilement pu devenir l'organe principal de la coopération européenne. Le dirigeant français, Charles de Gaulle, joua un rôle central dans l'affirmation de la CEE, si bien qu'il mérite l'appellation ‘Père de l'Europe’. En 1958, sans la CEE, la France aurait certainement été obligée de trouver un accord sur la ZLE; par contre, sans de Gaulle, la CEE se serait vue diluée dans une ZLE plus élargie.

De Gaulle als Vater Europas: Die Unvorhersehbarkeit des Scheiterns einer europäischen Freihandelszone und der Erfolg der EWG (1956–58)

Das Scheitern der Bildung einer europäischen Freihandelszone (FTA), eines britischen Projekts, ‘Groß Europa’ als freien Markt zu konstituieren, wurde oft dem raschen Erfolg der Europäischen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft (EWG) gegenüber gestellt. Dieser Artikel argumentiert dagegen, dass der Erfolg der EWG weder logisch noch automatisch war. Das Projekt einer Freihandelszone war nicht zum Scheitern verurteilt und hätte leicht zur Hauptinstitution für die europäische Integration werden können. Der französische Präsident Charles de Gaulle spielte eine solche wichtige Rolle für die EWG, dass man ihn mit einiger Berechtigung als den ‘neuen Vater Europas’ bezeichnen kann. Ohne die EWG wäre Frankreich gezwungen gewesen, eine Einigung zur Freihandelszone zu akzeptieren. Und umgekehrt wäre die EWF ohne de Gaulle zu einer größeren Freihandelszone geworden.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

John Maynard Keynes , The Economic Consequences of the Peace (London: Macmillan, 1971; 1st edn, 1919), 168

James Ellison , Threatening Europe: Britain and the Creation of the European Community, 1955–1958 (New-York: St Martin's Press, 2000)

Laurent Warlouzet , ‘Les identités économiques européennes en débat dans les années soixante: Europe arbitre et Europe volontariste’, Relations internationales, 139 (2009), 923

Tobias Witschke , Gefahr für den Wettbewerb? Die Fusionkontrolle der Europaïschen Gemeinschaft für Kohle und Stahl und die ‘Rekonzentration’ der Ruhrstahlindustrie, 1950–1963 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2009)

Sabine Lee , ‘German Decision-Making Elites and European Integration: German “Europalitik” during the Years of the EEC and Free Trade Area Negotiations’, in Anne Deighton , ed., Building Post-war Europe: National Decision-Makers and European Institutions, 1948–63 (London, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995), 3854

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Contemporary European History
  • ISSN: 0960-7773
  • EISSN: 1469-2171
  • URL: /core/journals/contemporary-european-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×