Prerequisites for The European Union Formation and Its Development

At this stage in history, and despite realization of the importance of integration, only six European countries, Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, signed the Treaty of Paris (Biggs, 110-111). Great Britain, possibly encouraged by the fact that it was not part of continental Europe, refrained from signing this treaty.
The second major stage in the formation of the EU came in the form of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and the subsequent creation of the European Economic Community. This treaty, as Gordon Weil explains, established the principles, laws and institutions for much closer economic cooperation, leading towards integration, between the member states. Again Britain refused to sign the treaty and rejected the prospect of European integration. As Loukas Tsoukalis explains, Britain’s resistance, as was the case with other European countries, was based on the simple fact that it feared that it would loose its national identity and that the British state would loose its sovereignty over the country. Quite simply stated, resistance to integration was based on the fear of the consequences of integration to national identity and sovereignty (439-441). …
Britain is, needless to say, one of the EU’s most prominent members and within the framework of the union, is a power in its own right. Despite the fact that it is a fully integrated EU member, not to mention an extremely influential one, and has benefited both politically and economically from its membership, Britain remains resistant to the deeper economic and political integration which monetary unification represents. Lee Miles, conceding that "Economic and Monetary Unification has always been a sensitive policy area" due to the fact that it entails the resignation of a substantial amount of sovereignty over domestic economies, argues that the economic benefits outweigh the loss to sovereignty (3). Even though monetary integration would necessitate Britain’s conceding large parts of its economic sovereignty to the EU, the facts seem to indicate that Britain, as a signatory of the Single European Act and as a member state which is obligated to accept the supremacy of EU law, is not safeguarding its sovereignty over its domestic economy through its rejection of monetary unification. Quite simply stated, it has already resigned a significant amount of that sovereignty and has already accepted the supremacy of EU law. This leads to the conclusion that rejection of monetary unification, while partly related to domestic fiscal and monetary policies, expresses Britain’s commitment to its national identity and heritage and its refusal that this identity is overwhelmed by the European one. Through an examination of the implications of the Single Europe Act and the doctrine of supremacy, the paper shall seek to prove this point.

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