The builders of the European Union and their project: 1950–1992
in Europe’s path to crisis
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This chapter examines the different ways in which the European Union seized the initiative from the European nation-state, from the formation of the Coal and Steel Community to the Maastricht Treaty. Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, unveiled a plan to modernise coal and steel production and form an economic 'community' to that effect, one which embraced Germany. The key departure was that, under Maastricht, every member state, except Britain and Denmark, in principle relinquished its long-term right to make its own monetary policy. It was agreed to create a European Central Bank to take the lead in managing a new single currency that would replace national currencies. The European Parliament was unable to call it to account after 2009 when it flouted the Maastricht Treaty by organising successive bail-outs of insolvent bank.

Europe’s path to crisis

Disintegration via monetary union

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