By A. M. El-Agraa
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Extra resources for Britain within the European Community: The Way Forward
The work of these federalist authors, and that of many others on the Continent, did indeed fall on fertile ground in the public opinion of the founder members of the ECSC, where people were looking for a way to ensure that war among their countries would never recur and to rebuild their economies together. The federal principle was accepted by leading statesmen: not only Schuman, but also Adenauer, de Gasper! and Spaak, for example. The structure and self-confidence of each of these states had been undermined by defeat in war.
The founder of this school, Ernst Haas (1958), developed the idea by observing the ECSC in its early years; and the establishment of the EEC and Euratom appeared as a triumphant vindication. The theme was repeated in the early years of the EEC - see Lindberg (1963). The idea that such spillover could be more-or-less automatic was partly, no doubt, due to a vulgarisation of neo-functionalist ideas among people who were not careful scholars and who were over-impressed by the astonishing progress of the Community in the earlier years.
The power of any member government to veto any decision, became the normal practice for the following fifteen years. Thus brutally de Gaulle taught those who harboured any illusion that integration was an almost automatic process the power of the nation state. The state has the armies and the police, that is the power on which the enforcement of laws and decisions depends; and, despite the transfer to the Community of instruments of trade policy, agricultural policy and one or two others, the state retains the bulk of the instruments of economic policy.