Neil McNaughton
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The development of European integration
in Understanding British and European political issues

After two world wars, both of which devastated European industry and threatened permanently to sour relations between its states, Europe woke upto the belief that a lasting solution to continental conflict had to be found. This chapter reviews the progress towards greater integration in Europe since the 1950s. It explains different forms of integration which have emerged and explores the main issues concerning integration. While the Council of Europe was proving a disappointment to its supporters, the alternative institution moved from one level of integration to the next with relative ease. Most of its members shared a common goal and enjoyed a great degree of unity in achieving it. The chapter reviews the various stages by which European Union has evolved and integration has matured. It examines the various theories of integration which have guided the process and which are likely to inform the debate about future developments.

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