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Is the Eu a Federal State?

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 48 
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The main objectives of this paper is, by looking at other federations to find out what makes a federation and compare the position of the European Union in regard to these concepts. But first, I will start with an introduction on the integration of Europe, in which federalists had an important say.

Federation - the ultimate peace treaty

Proposals for a federalist unification of Europe came already in the 18th century. For Immanuel Kant, the federation was a means of achieving a perpetual peace. He saw the solution to trouble not in treaties but in a federation of peoples.   This federation, he argued 'has no aim to acquire any power like that of a state, but merely to preserve and secure the freedom of each state in itself.'   This belief is, I think, what brought the first efforts towards European Integration in the post-war period. For Winston Churchill, a federation of states would ensure peace, safety and freedom. By 1943 he called for a United States of Europe.   The main thought behind Monnet's and Schuman's proposals for integration was also based on the principle of collective security and had as their main aim the   control of Germany. Like Kant, Schuman in his 'Declaration' states that the pooling of coal and steel will lead to the first concrete foundation of a European federation   - which, like Kant stressed, is indispensable to the preservation of peace.

There were two different 'federal' approaches in the post-War period. On the one hand we have Monnet's functionalism : a step by step construction of Europe, with successive layers becoming easier to achieve due to the concept of spill-over. On the other hand we have Spinelli's constitutionalism. He believed that solution was to prepare a constitution and ratifying it. He called upon the Americans to use Marshall Plan dollars to impose an American style federal model on Europe.

This second possibility proved to be impossible in the post-war period....


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