Richard Maynes and John Pinder’s book, Federal Union: The Pioneers, A History of Federal Union records that during the 1960’s the Federalist Trust’s focused on the EU’s economic, institutional, and political development. Those attending its conferences included a wider range of EU policy makers. Former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing spoke at their conferences. By the late 1960s, the Trust studied ways to improve Community institutions and policy. Federalists advised a common set of foreign, security, defense, and monetary policies.
Many of the staff members of the Trust regarded European federalism as the first step in establishing a new world system. Most of them later became leading political figures. Some became members of the EU Commission. Others became editors for European affairs journals, and. held other influential posts.
EU countries in the early 1980s suffered high unemployment and low growth. Europe barely recovered from the 1982 recession, unlike the US. This ignited a stronger commitment. European leaders felt it imperative to rebuild their economies for their companies to compete in the global market. Two major decisions helped them to accomplish this goal:
On June 1985, the EU published a white paper entitled, “Completing the Internal Market.” It contained 285 directives and specific laws. It assigned each order an expected date of adoption ranging from 1985 to 1991. The mandates removed fiscal, technical, and physical barriers. They also harmonized product standards, diplomas, insurance and credit regulations, and taxation from country to country.
On January 1, 1987, The European Single Act came into force. Except in cases involving health and environment, the Council of Ministers now voted a yes vote by weighted majority. Previously, all Council decisions required voting by unanimous decision. This method slowed the EU’s growth. The EU could now move forward.
In 1987, the Trust examined the idea of a European Security Community. The group’s report proposed:
The Union pools their defense forces. The EU partners with the U.S. as the European pillar NATO.
Seeks a common security relationship with the Soviet Union
Reforms the UN into a more effective peacekeeper.
The report views the Union as world community made up of nations. This will lead it to a world government one day. The Trust produced a set of proposals on how the EU might forge federal institutions. They suggested instituting a European federal bank to underpin economic and monetary union. The Trust also proposed a common security and foreign policy. The Union adopted all of these proposals, and they are now Union policy. The European Central Bank under the Lisbon Treaty became an official EU institution.
1973- Britain, Denmark, and Ireland joined the EU, (total members 9).
1981-Greece (total members 10)
1986-Spain and Portugal became the Community’s next two members. (total members 12)
1995-Austria, Sweden and Finland became members of the Union. (total members 15)
2004-10 new countries, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, plus the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Cyprus joined the Union.
2007-Romania and Bulgari followed. (total members 27)
For more from Erika Grey On the EU and EU Federalism see: