Teaching guide 10 (2016)Ejercicio Inglés
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Teaching guide 10.
Teaching guide 10.- The European way: the community method or step by step integration.
Inter-Allied Maritime Transport Council (1917). It was a council, vested with full powers, to organize the transport of troops and supplied between the Allied countries during the First World War. It was created at the initiative of Jean Monnet, who decided to propose it to the French President Raymond Poincaré. This council contributed decisively to tipping the balance in favour of the Allies during the last months of the war, as it solved the lack of coordination between the French and British fleets, and allowed for all the transport operations to be run jointly.
US Neutrality Acts (1935 to 1939). They were the US acts, passed in the 1930s, which prohibited the sale of weapons to any belligerent nation, especially in what concerned Europe, in order for the US not to become entangled again in foreign conflicts. In 1938 France’s Prime Minister Daladier asked Monnet to buy warplanes from the US, thus making him to convince US President Roosevelt to allow the sale of planes, which finally he achieved.
Monnet Plan (for France, 1945). Also known as the France Plan or France’s post-war Re-equipment and Modernization Plan, it was a plan designed by Jean Monnet at the request of General De Gaulle in order to modernize and equip France after the end of World War II. It aimed at restoring France as a major power and the bulwark of democracy on the European Continent. In it, Jean Monnet served as its High Commissioner, and after its approval he set up Modernization Commissions for various industries and these in turn delivered proposals and sectoral plans.
Ruhr and Saar Regions. These two regions were part of Germany after the Second World War and, along with the regions of Alsace and Lorraine, they are the bases of European coal and steel production. In 1949, Jean Monnet had the idea of integrating these four areas into a community that would encompass French and German production, although it was to be open to more states, thus preventing a potential “Versailles Effect”, and equalling Germany with France in the constitution of a supranational entity binding upon both states.
Alsace and Lorraine Regions. These two regions were part of Germany until the Armistice of November 11, 1918, when the two provinces were integrated into the French state. Both regions are, along with the Ruhr and Saar regions, the bases of European coal and steel production. In Monnet’s idea of 1949, they were to be integrated under the authority of a supranational entity as part of French territory together with the Ruhr and Saar regions as part of Germany, thus preventing a potential “Versailles Effect”, and equalling both states.
Schuman Declaration (1950). It was the declaration issued by France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Schuman, on 9 May 1950, in which he advanced the main outlines of the Schuman Plan. The declaration proposed a method for the construction of a common Europe, with concrete achievements that first create real solidarity. The first tangible achievements was going to be built on the basis of the Franco-German union, thus giving the European nations an opportunity to surmount historic antagonisms that were fast becoming irrelevant.
Schuman Plan. First advanced in the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, it constituted a diplomatic revolution through which European peace and integration was looked. It had three main objectives: 1) prevent confrontation between regions dedicated to the manufacturing of weapons through a shared production, 2) economic development through the pooling of coal and steel, and 3) 1 Teaching guide 10.
constructing the first step towards European integration, as the coal and steel common authority was open to all other European countries wishing to participate in it. The Germans were the first to ratify it, with Italy and the Benelux countries following suit.
High Authority. It is an authority placed higher than that of the countries, invested with that power through an agreement between them. Therefore, countries are the ones creating a High Authority through the pooling of their sovereignty, whose decisions will be binding upon all of them. The proposal of a High Authority over France, Germany, and the other states who wanted to join the European Coal and Steel Community led to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace, thus creating the precedent of nowadays’ European Union.
Community method. It is the method, aimed at integration, followed by the European Union. It aimed at supranationality by assigning the High Authority power that superseded that of the member states.
This common institution has sovereign authority over states’ parliaments, as they all have agreed to it. By following this method, European states avoided the federal model followed by the United States, which was difficult to achieve in Europe due to the difference in culture, religion, and language, and achieved a peaceful union, which was the first aim of the Schuman Plan, as a precursor of the idea leading to this method.
B. General questions.
a. On text 1.
1.- Jean Monnet never went to college. As his father was a businessman, he learned with him how to do business, especially in their travels to London and the United States, as they travelled together. As a result, he developed an international spirit and extensive experience in business negotiations, thus developing more his pragmatic part, maybe as a result of the experience with his father, or as a result of not going to college, where the theoretical part is more taken into account and developed. So we can say that the experience with his father made him to focus on the practical part of issues and how to solve them, and less in the theories and norms that lie behind them.
2.- The essence of the Community Method, as seen in the model of Monnet’s Coal and Steel Community, was the freely consented cession of sovereignty in certain and decisive sectors to common and independent institutions. The revolutionary character of states pooling freely their sovereignty in certain aspects to a High Authority made the method a revolutionary one, as states agreed on what aspects to pool and what aspects to retain under their sovereignty, thus creating a peaceful union in which all would be equal to all, with no one being superior. This last idea would be guaranteed by common and independent institutions, decided by the member states, and with binding jurisdiction over all of them, with no one escaping to its control and decisions.
3.- Robert Schuman was born in Luxembourg but spent his childhood and youth in Germany, studying in many German cities. During World War I, although he did not qualify for military service, he served the Second Reich in the War Administration. However, as he lived in Metz, he became a French citizen after the Treaty of Versailles, as this city became French. He entered politics in France, being minister and then Prime Minister of the country. So, as the passed his life between France and Germany, we can say he was a convinced European integrationist who looked for the peace of Europe but, especially, among the two countries he inhabited, thus fighting for peace among them and doing all he could to achieve it.
4.- The first aim of the Schuman Plan according to the Schuman Declaration was preventing confrontation between regions which had long been dedicated to the manufacturing of weapons, of 2 Teaching guide 10.
which themselves had been the first victims. It was to be achieved through the joint implementation of coal and steel production. The objective, essentially, was to demonstrate that the shared production thus created would show that any war between France and Germany was not only unthinkable, but also materially impossible. So we have that although the aim was not economic, in order to achieve it some economic issues were involved, as the production of coal and steel, which had traditionally been a source of confrontation between Germany and France, and especially between the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine and the German regions of Ruhr and Saar.
5.- The Schuman Plan pretended to become a tool for economic development by the pooling of coal and steel, as it ensured the merging of markets and the expansion of production through the modernization of production and the improvement of its quality. The provisioning of coal and steel under conditions identical to the French market and the German markets, and to those of member countries, would assure the development of common exports to other countries, giving equal opportunities and improving living conditions for workers in these industries. This was all to be achieved while respecting free market rules.
6.- The third aim of the Schuman Plan was subjecting the production of coal and steel to a common authority, which was also open to all other European countries to participate in it. Therefore, a High Authority above the member states would be created, whose decisions would be binding on France, Germany, and the other member countries, in order to guarantee that the decisions regarding the competences pooled would be fulfilled, and that all countries would have the same treatment and power inside the organization. In this sense, the Schuman Plan can be considered as a seed of European integration, not only because of its aims of maintaining peace and achieving a greater cooperation between the European countries, but also because the free and democratic character of the organization, in which countries would enter because they want to do so, and in which they pool the competences they deem appropriate.
7.- The transfer of sovereignty by the states would be done , according to the Schuman Plan, legally in two main steps. The first one states that the concrete transfer of sovereignty was to be incorporated into a treaty as a way to bind member states, and that the treaty has to be submitted for the ratification of their parliaments, thus having the same validity as any other international treaty, bound by international public law. Secondly, the “High Authority” was to be fully independent from the member states so its decisions would have executive force in the signatory states. This High Authority would be entrusted with the management of the scheme, which would be composed of independent persons appointed by the governments, giving equal representation. Finally, a chairman would be chosen by common agreement between the governments. The High Authority’s decisions would be enforceable in the member states, and appropriate measures would be provided for means of appeal against the decisions of the High Authority.
b. On text 2.
8.- Monnet’s Plan for the Modernization and Equipping of France was unique as it provided the government with a strategy and levers for actively fostering certain favoured objectives, and not with output figures and quotas to be achieved. It provided the how to do it, and not the how much to do, the amount that was to be fulfilled. It depended heavily on assumptions about French access to German raw materials and markets, and thus the story of its success is part of the narrative of France’s relations with Germany. It was also the product of a political culture already favourably disposed to authoritarian decision-making and consensus building by governmental fiat. Under its auspices France became the first western country to commit itself wholeheartedly to economic growth and modernization as public policy.
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9.- Although in both the Monnet’s Plan of 1945 and the Marshall Plan of 1947 Jean Monnet had something to do, in the first as its father and in the second as its General Commissioner, both plans had some differences. The first one aimed at addressing France’s post-war crisis, while the second one looked for the alleviation of Europe’s suffering and misery after the war. Monnet’s Plan, although having some aspects leading to European integration, was mainly focused on how to alleviate France’s economic situation and how to improve its relation with Germany so as to get access to German raw materials and markets. On the other hand, the Marshall Plan was aimed at all Europe, but in order for it to benefit from the program, certain degree of European cooperation was required, as the resources were not to be sent to individual countries but to Europe as a whole, with countries having to organize in how to share it. Therefore, we have that the Marshall Plan was more aimed at European integration and cooperation than Monnet’s Plan, although at the end the latter extended and adapted to the terms of the Marshall aid.
10.- The difference between Monnet’s planning philosophy and the Soviet planning model was concerning the objective of the plan. In the French case, they looked for targets and how to achieve them, while Soviets set production quotas without setting a plan to achieve them. So we have that French planning was merely indicative, while Soviet’s planning characteristic was its insistence upon arbitrary and rigid output figures by sector and by commodity. The Monnet Plan confined itself to providing government with a strategy and levers for actively fostering certain favoured objectives, without setting any kind of quotas, as was the Soviet case.
c. On text 3.
11.- The rupture of the west countries with Stalin in 1948 and its 1949 aftermaths, essentially the creation of a West German political entity, made France to think about how to contain and mobilize the resources of the new Federal Republic to French advantage. Then, the US asked France to incorporate the new West Germany into European affairs. As France saw in Germany a threat to its steel production, even triggering a retreat to trade wars and affecting badly the Monnet Plan, the Schuman Plan was conceived, looking for European concert at the steel issue, especially between France and Germany. Therefore, we have that the European integration brought about by the Schuman Plan was a result of the threat Germany posed by France’s economy.
12.- The dilemma the French government faced to implement the Monnet’s Plan was that the US would surely encourage the newly-independent West Germany to increase its steel production, at which point it might well flood the market, thus forcing France to protect its own steel industry and thus triggering a retreat to trade wars. This would curtail Monnet’s Plan and the revival of France, as its effects could not be completely achieved, and as cooperation with Germany would not be possible.
13.- Robert Schuman did not give advanced notice of his May 9th 1950 declaration to the British Government in retaliation for Anglo-American decisions taken without consulting Paris, as they used to take measures without even letting France know. The most recent of these had been Britain’s unilateral devaluation of the pound sterling by 30 percent just eight months before, when only the Americans had been pre-advised and the rest of Europe had been obliged to follow suit. So, as the United Kingdom had acted in self-interest and maybe looking for surprising and damaging France, it decided to do the same to the UK, thus taking revenge.
14.- Konrad Adenauer, German chancellor, welcomed Schuman’s initiative so openheartedly because of the bad circumstances Germany was going through at that moment and because it was the first time that the Federal Republic of Germany was entering an international organization on equal terms with other independent states, thus freeing Germany from the bound of the Western Alliance.
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Adenauer also saw in the agreement a way to prevent a potential “Versailles Effect”, as Germany would be placed on an equal footing with France in the constitution of a supranational entity binding upon both states, thus kind of forgetting who were the losers and winners of the war.
15.- After the ratification of Germany and France of the Schuman Plan, Italy and the Benelux countries followed suit. However, the British declined Schuman’s invitation, which made the Dutch to be at first reluctant to commit themselves, as they had great respect for the British, having them as a role model.
The same happened with the Scandinavian countries, who did not want to sign on if the British were out of the deal.