European Integration And Integration

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European Integration: The end of just the beginning?

Integration, Fragmentation (INRL30050)
Dr. Tobias Theiler

12th December 2014
Student Number: 11913321
Word Count (including bibliography): 2495

With reference to Neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism, compare and contrast these two international relations theories in relation to further integration and unification of the European Union.
There is much debate in contemporary society about the future of the European Union. The most recent 2014 election results to the European Parliament show an increase in the number of seats for many Eurosceptic parties. This is coupled with most recent Eurobarometer polls that show trust of the European Union is at an all-time low for
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Attempting to convince major European powers to agree as to what this common outlook should be is next to impossible. Intergovernmentalists contest the theory of economic determination in regards to the integration process, convinced that national governments will consciously make decisions that will not only be economically driven. Intergovernmentalists argue that extensive cooperation will continue to benefit all participants in as much as it enhances the mutual interests of all participants (Martell, 2009). Thus, they argue that decisions taken in regards to the EU integration process will always be political, despite if the motive is economical.
Neofunctionalism is a liberal theory of integration in that it focuses on human welfare needs. There is a focus on individuals mobilising and forming interest groups as the main actors of the EU integration process. Therefore the focus is on areas of low politics. This is shown by the areas which have become integrated within the European Union, such as environmental policies. In essence, one can see that there had been much more progress regarding economic integration than there has been on creating a common foreign and security policy (Center for European Studies,
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A notable influential character within the EU integration process was Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union. Monet envisaged a united Europe and continuously worked towards this aim. He played a significant role behind the 1950 Schuman Plan to create the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which would develop into the Common Market. A similar role was played by Jacques Delors with the creation of the Single European Act (SEA), signed in 1986, and the 1992 project that would lead to the completion of the single market and eventually the Economic and Monetary Union. The pressure from these actors was instrumental in further making the European integration process a reality and they represent an empirical example of cultivated
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