European Communities

  • Britain's Membership in the European Communities and the European Union

    One of the most important factors affecting British politics is its membership to the European Communities (EC) and latter the European Union (EU), which has already had massive implications for this country. Th e relationship between Britain and Europe has always been problematic. In Britain there has been little enthusiasm for European integration per se, and equally little understanding of the enthusiasm felt on the continent. Europe has been seen as a menace rather than an opportunity and very few British politicians have attempted to argue (as is commonplace on the continent) about monetary union, for instance, it is the only way of regaining control over financial policy. The European idea of pursuing economic integration as a means to political union has also been met with blank incomprehension, if not outright hostility. Britain has always been attempting to slow down the process of integration and, consequently, has often fallen behind and had no choice but to catch up. However, the portrayal of Britain as a “difficult partner” or “laggard leader” in European affairs is only partly justified. Based on its specific understanding of national sovereignty, Britain has developed a much more pragmatic and instrumental approach towards Europe than most of its partners on the continent. Nevertheless, the country was a strong driving force in favor of integration in many crucial policy fields like the single market or trade policy. According to Alan Milward, the process of European integration entails “pooling” the sovereignty in order to protect national interests and extend national governments’ control of their own destinies. In Britain, contrary to the continent, national interests dictated a different line and it was only when exclusion from the Communities appeared to threaten them that the then British government began to accept the need for membership. The very different motivation behind British entry ensured that the British aims inside the Communities would be limited or “defensive”. The most controversial aspect of Britain’s membership of the EC has always related to “erosion” of its sovereignty. 

  • Znaczenie traktatów wielostronnych w dziejach Europy

    The article discusses the importance of issues of multilateral treaties in the history of Europe since 1945. It is when a large number of international organi­zations were launched, including those that were regional like European Com­munities/European Union. The author tackles the issues of multilateral agree­ments between countries and international organizations and the European Union, that have been grouped according to scope. Verification of the scientist problem resulted finding that multilateral treaties are undeniable urge to reg­ulate new areas of relationships, but they do not replace the bilateral relations between the countries. Evidenced by the increase in the number of bilateral agreements together with the increasing number of multilateral agreements.

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