Cleveland, Harold van B.
July 1969
Foreign Affairs;Jul1969, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p697
This article investigates the status of the European Economic Community following the retirement of Charles de Gaulle. The community's problems have indeed worsened. Basic assumptions previously unquestioned have been overtaken by events. The morale of that formerly optimistic and uniquely creative organization has declined. The community spirit has deteriorated. The community method no longer seems to work. Few qualified observers believe any longer that the ultimate creation of the single market or economic union is a reasonably sure thing. Certainly, de Gaulle's negative attitude toward the community and toward its underlying aim of political unification contributed to this state of affairs. But the community has problems more fundamental than de Gaulle. Conflicts of economic interest among the member governments have sharpened, while the community's ability to compromise differences and get on with economic unification has diminished. In consequence economic integration in Western Europe may have reached its high-water mark. Increasing difficulties and retrogression are likely. During its first years, the community enjoyed economic conditions peculiarly favorable to progress toward the goals set by the Rome Treaty. A second favorable factor was that the members of the community all had large overall surpluses in their international payments. The emergence of this particular payments disequilibrium within the community unfortunately coincided with a deterioration of the general international payments system.


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