Theories Of European Integration

948 Words4 Pages
The whole process of European Integration was an outcome of major events in Europe. European states were struggling since the Napoleonic wars in early nineteenth century to unite. Following the First World War politicians and leaders realized the need of a united Europe and the need of new institutions to regulate this. After the end of WWI politicians started debates on how to proceed with this unification of the European states.
At the beginning two ideas or moreover strategies were introduced: the Functionalism and the Federalism. The former means to find a way of cooperation between the states through integration of common economic functions. The latter formulates the idea of a European Federation. The functionalist approach was highly
…show more content…
Those were federalism, functionalism and neorealism and they give explanations of the European integration. Those three grand theories will be explained with the people supporting them. Federalism describes a state structure in which different political levels cooperate together in order to solve state’s issues. In this theory a fundamental method is the distribution of the government power in a way that the tasks would be performed by central and regional governments coherently but they will still remain independent. The other function of federalism is to integrate structures such as economic, social or foreign policy. The concept of federalism represents the aim to build unity and to preserve the diversity. The main principle is to separate the powers between the different levels of government by creating common institutions. According to this theory the nationalist sentiments lead to political and military conflicts. One of the great thinkers on this theory was Altiero Spinelli. He was an Italian politician and one of the founders of the European Union. He was inspired with the publications of different theorist of federalism and in 1941 he created the Ventotene manifesto alongside other politicians. This Manifesto presents the idea of federalist future for Europe. In his work he proposed the creation of supranational European federation in order to bind the countries in such a way that it would be impossible to start a next war. His main goal was a sustainable peace. The “magic formula” that Spinelli introduces is the adoption of a Constitution that would define the role of the government. There are also people who were criticizing federalism. One of the critiques is that it would lead to reduction of national state power. Another critique is that the establishment of a centralized federal state would inevitably lead to a division between the ruling elite and the masses. Another concern is
Open Document