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Economics play an important role in International Relations. Traditionally regulation and control of industries is in the hands of individual countries. The United States may be the free-market economy. According to Roskin, Cord, Medeiros and Jones (2014), “The Europeans construct large and expensive welfare states whose controls and taxes work against starting new enterprises.” British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher was a promoter of capitalism and attacked the welfare state. Her ideals, which stretched to other countries became known as “Thatcherism” and led to freer markets (Roskin et al., 2014). Some countries had major objections from domestic interest groups and refused to go along with advancement of free markets. For these countries quotas and tariffs were a good place to hide behind. Other countries simply prohibited imports from abroad (Roskin et al., 2014).

The first half of the 20th Century brought two World Wars. After World War II there was a desperate need for peace and resolution. The forward thinking leaders searched for a way to bring about peace and resolution to the continent. In 1950 the French Foreign Minister, Robert Shuman, made a proposal. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (2018), “French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed pooling the production of coal and steel in Western Europe and setting up an organization for that purpose that would bring France and the Federal Republic of Germany together and would be open to other countries as well.” In 1951 the Treaty of Paris was signed and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was formed. Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the treaty. The ECSC was a success.

Shortly after The European Coal and Steel Community’s success further rudiments of the countries economies were integrated, (cia.gov 2018). Various treaties followed which in turn brought the union closer. These treaties included, the European Economic Community, the European Atomic Energy Community and trade barriers were eliminated and a common market was formed. Eventually the European Community was formed. Through this merger a single Commission, single Council of Ministries and the European Parliament were created. Members of the European Parliament have been elected every five years since 1979 (cia.gov 2018). According to europa.eu (2018),

“The goals of the European Union are: promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens, offer freedom, security and justice without internal borders, sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive market economy with full employment and social progress, and environmental protection, combat social exclusion and discrimination and promote scientific and technological progress, enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU countries, respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity and establish and economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro.”

Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., & Medeiros, J. A., Jones, W. S., (2014). Political Science: An Introduction (13th ed.). Pearson. Boston.

Cia.gov (2018). Retrieved from

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ee.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

europa.eu (2018). Retrieved from


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