European Union - Why did the European countries feel the need to unite?

Essay by jellenkoA, May 2004

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The question of what were the factors that drove the European Union to unite requires a lot of research on the European Union itself. My hypothesis consisted of several reasons for the unification of Europe. Reasons were both economical and political and they included the need for reconstruction after the World War II, the fear of inter-European wars, the fear of the Cold War, stopping the spreading of communism and for the future peace.

The first reason is the fact that the post World War II Europe was devastated. Countries of Europe wanted, more than anything to go back to the world scene as political and economical powers. They all needed reconstruction of economy and the countries themselves. When recreated in 1945 they no longer saw themselves as autonomous, so they saw the solution for these problems by uniting. First example of this is the Benelux Union. This way they would reconstruct their economies, make them stronger, build a singular Euro-market and become a real competitor in the emerging world-market.

The second reason is to prevent further wars between the European countries. These wars specifically address to France and Germany and their problem of coal and steel. This and the sole fear of Germany rising again as to provoke another great war made Europe make a union called Euro Coal and Steel community (ECSC) and later the European Union itself. In opinions of many this was the only way to assure future peace and stability of the region.

Another reason is the rapid spreading of communism which had to be stopped. Although feared, Western Germany was not communistic and thus acceptable to other Western European countries in their fight against communism. Communism rapidly spread from Soviet Union to Eastern Europe, including Eastern Germany and it also brought concern about the...