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European integration is the process of political, legal, economic (and in some cases social and cultural) integration of states wholly or partially in Europe. In the present day, European Integration is primarily achieved through the European Union and the Council of Europe.



One of the first to conceive of a union of European nations was Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi, who wrote the Pan-Europa manifesto in 1923.[1] His ideas influenced Aristide Briand, who gave a speech in favor of a European Union in the League of Nations on 8 September 1929, and in 1930, who wrote his "Memorandum on the Organization of a Regime of European Federal Union" for the Government of France,[2] becoming the first European government formally to adopt the principle.

We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only, will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living.
—Winston Churchill[3]

At the end of World War II, the continental political climate favoured unity in Western Europe, seen by many as an escape from the extreme forms of nationalism which had devastated the continent.[4] In a speech delivered on 9 September 1946 at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, Winston Churchill postulated a United States of Europe.[5] The same speech however contains remarks, less often quoted, which make it clear that Churchill did not see Britain as being part of this United States of Europe: We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations ... And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent and why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings in shaping the destinies of men? ... France and Germany must take the lead together. Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America and I trust Soviet Russia-for then indeed all would be well-must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.

Council of Europe

Against the background of the devastation and human suffering during the second World War as well as the need for reconciliation after the war, the idea of European integration led to the creation of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 1949.

The most important achievement of the Council of Europe is the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 with its European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which serves as a de facto supreme court for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Europe. Human rights are also protected by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the European Social Charter.

Most conventions of the Council of Europe pursue the aim of greater legal integration, such as the conventions on legal assistance, against corruption, against money laundering, against doping in sport, or internet crime.

Cultural co-operation is based on the Cultural Convention of 1954 and subsequent conventions on the recognition of university studies and diplomas as well as on the protection of minority languages.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, former communist countries in central and eastern Europe were able to accede to the Council of Europe, which now comprises 47 states in Europe with the exception of Belarus due to its still non-democratic government. Therefore, European integration has practically succeeded at the level of the Council of Europe, encompassing the whole European continent.

European integration at the level of the Council of Europe functions through the accession of member states to its conventions as well as through political coordination at the level of ministerial conferences and inter-parliamentary sessions. In accordance with its Statute of 1949, the Council of Europe works to achieve greater unity among its members based on common values, such as human rights and democracy.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is a trans-Atlantic intergovernmental organization whose aim is to secure stability in Europe. It was established as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in July 1973, and was subsequently transformed into its current form in January 1995. The OSCE currently has 56 member states, covering most of the northern hemisphere.

The OSCE develops 3 lines of activities, namely the Politico-Military Dimension, the Economic and Environmental Dimension and the Human Dimension. These respectively promote (i) mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution; (ii) the monitoring, alerting and assistance in case of economic and environmental threats; and (iii) full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Regional integration

Several Regional integration efforts have effectively promoted intergovernmental cooperation and reduced the possibility of regional armed conflict. Other initiatives have removed barriers to free trade in European regions, and increased the free movement of people, labour, goods, and capital across national borders.


Baltic region

The following political and/or economic organisations have been created in the Baltic region in the post-modern era:

The Baltic Assembly aims to promote co-operation between the parliaments of the Baltic states, namely the Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The organisation was planned in Vilnius on 1 December 1990, and the three nations agreed to its structure and rules on 13 June 1994.

The Baltic Free Trade Area (BAFTA) was a trade agreement between Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. It was signed on 13 September 1993 and came into force on 1 April 1994. The agreement was later extended to apply also to agricultural products, effective from 1 January 1997. BAFTA ceased to exist when its members joined the EU on 1 May 2004.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) was founded in 1992 to promote intergovernmental cooperation among Baltic Sea countries in questions concerning economy, civil society development, human rights issues, and nuclear and radiation safety. It has 12 members including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland (since 1995), Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the European Commission.

Low Countries region

Since the end of the First World War the following unions have been set in the Low Countries region:

The Benelux is an economic and political union between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On September 5, 1944, a treaty establishing the Benelux Customs Union was signed. It entered into force in 1948, and ceased to exist on November 1, 1960, when it was replaced by the Benelux Economic Union after a treaty signed in The Hague on February 3, 1958. A Benelux Parliament was created in 1955.

The Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) can be seen as the Benelux forerunner. BLEU was created by the treaty signed on 25 July 1921. It established a single market between both countries, while setting the Belgian franc and Luxembourgian franc at a fixed parity.

Black Sea region

Several regional organisations have been founded in the Black Sea region since the fall of the Soviet Union, such as:

The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) aims to ensure peace, stability and prosperity by encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations among the 12 state members, located mainly in the Black Sea region. It was created on 25 June 1992 in Istanbul, and entered into force on 1 May 1999. The 11 founding members were Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Serbia (then Serbia and Montenegro) joined in April 2004.

The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states, which aims to promote cooperation and democratic values, ensure stable development, enhance international and regional security, and stepping up European integration. Current members include the four founding ones, namely, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. Uzbekistan joined in 1999, and left in 2005.

British Isles

Since the end of the First World War, the following agreements have been signed in the British Isles region:

The British-Irish Council was created by the Belfast Agreement in 1998 to "promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands". It was formally established on 2 December 1999. Its membership comprises Ireland, the United Kingdom, three of the constituent countries of the UK (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), and three British Crown dependencies (Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey). Because England does not have a devolved government, it is not represented on the Council as a separate entity.

The Common Travel Area is a passport-free zone established in 1922 that comprises the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

Central Europe

The following cooperation agreements have been signed in Central Europe:

The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a trade agreement between countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe, which works as a preparation for full European Union membership. It currently has 8 members: Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK-administered Kosovo province.

It was established in 1992 by Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland, but came into force only in 1994. Czechoslovakia had in the meantime split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Slovenia joined in 1996, while Romania did the same in 1997, Bulgaria in 1999, and Croatia in 2003. In 2004, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia left the CEFTA to join the EU. Romania and Bulgaria left it in 2007 for the same reason. Subsequently, Macedonia joined it in 2006, and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK (on behalf of Kosovo) in 2007.

The Visegrad Group is a Central-European alliance for cooperation and European integration. The Group originated in a summit meeting of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland held in the Hungarian castle town of Visegrád on 15 February 1991. The Czech Republic and Slovakia became members after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Switzerland and Liechtenstein participate in a customs union since 1924, and both employ the Swiss franc as national currency.

Nordic region

Since the end of the Second World War, the following organisations have been established in the Nordic region:

The Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers is a co-operation forum for the parliaments and governments of the Nordic countries created in February 1953. It includes the states of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and their autonomous territories (Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland).

The Nordic Passport Union, created in 1954 but implemented on May 1, 1958, establishes free movement across borders without passports for the countries' citizens. It comprises Denmark, Sweden and Norway as foundational states; further, it includes Finland and Iceland since September 24, 1965, and the Danish autonomous territories of Faroe Islands since January 1, 1966.

European Free Trade Association

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a European trade bloc which was established on May 3, 1960 as an alternative for European states who didn't join the EEC. EFTA currently has four member states: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein; just Norway and Switzerland are founding members.

The EFTA Convention was signed on January 4, 1960 in Stockholm by 7 states: Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Finland became an associate member in 1961 and a full member in 1986; Iceland joined in 1970 and Liechtenstein did the same in 1991.

The United Kingdom and Denmark left in 1973, when they joined the European Community (EC). Portugal left EFTA in 1986, when it also joined the EC. Austria, Finland and Sweden ceased to be EFTA members in 1995 by joining the European Union, which superseded the EC in 1993.

European Communities

In 1951, a few Western European states agreed to confer powers over their steel and coal production to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in the Treaty of Paris, which came into force on 23 July 1952.

Coal and steel production was essential for the reconstruction of countries in Europe after the second World War and this sector of the national economy had been important for warfare in the first and second World Wars. Therefore, France had originally maintained its occupation of the Saarland with its steel companies after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1949. By transferring national powers over the coal and steel production to a newly created ECSC Commission, the member states of the ECSC were able to provide for greater transparency and trust among themselves.

This transfer of national powers to a "Community" to be exercised by its Commission was paralled under the 1957 Treaty of Rome establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (or Euroatom) and the European Economic Community (EEC) in Brussels.

In 1967, the Merger Treaty (or Brussels Treaty) combine the institutions of the ECSC and Euratom into that of the EEC. They already shared a Parliamentary Assembly and Courts. Collectively they were known as the European Communities. In 1987, the Single European Act (SEA) was the first major revision of the Treaty of Rome that formally established the single European market and the European Political Cooperation. The Communities still had independent personalities although were increasingly integrated, and over the years were transformed into what is now called the European Union.

The six states that founded the three Communities were known as the "inner six" (the "outer seven" were those countries who formed the European Free Trade Association). These were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The first enlargement was in 1973, with the accession of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Greece joined in 1981, and Portugal and Spain did the same in 1986. On 3 October 1990 East Germany and West Germany were reunified, hence East Germany became part of the Community in the new reunified Germany (not increasing the number of states).

A key person in the Community creation process was Jean Monnet, regarded as the "founding father" of the European Union, which is seen as the dominant force in European integration.

European Union

European Free Trade Association Council of Europe Switzerland Albania Croatia Liechtenstein Iceland Norway Armenia Schengen Area European Economic Area Azerbaijan Bosnia and Herzegovina Austria Germany Malta Georgia (country) Belgium Slovenia Greece Netherlands Cyprus Eurozone Moldova European Union Finland Italy Portugal Spain Sweden Republic of Ireland Montenegro France Slovakia Luxembourg Lithuania Republic of Macedonia Poland Hungary Bulgaria Denmark Russian Federation Czech Republic Romania Latvia Estonia Serbia United Kingdom Ukraine European Union Customs Union Monaco Turkey San Marino Andorra Vatican City International status and usage of the euro#States with issuing rights
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational European organisations.

The European Union (EU) is an association of twenty-seven sovereign member states, that by treaty have delegated certain of their competences to common institutions, in order to coordinate their policies in a number of areas, without however constituting a new state on top of the member states. Officially established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community.

Thus, 12 states are founding members, namely, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden entered the EU. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined in 2004. Finally, Bulgaria and Romania gained access in 2007. Official candidate states include Croatia, Macedonia[6], and Turkey. Applications have been submitted by Albania, Iceland and Montenegro. Morocco's application was rejected by the EC and Switzerland's is frozen. Norway's membership was rejected in two referenda.

The institutions of the European Union, its parliamentarians, judges, commissioners and secretariat, the governments of its member states as well as their people, all play a role in European Integration. Nevertheless, the question of who plays the key role is disputed as there are different theories on European Integration focusing on different actors and agency.

The European Union has a number of relationships with nations that are not formally part of the Union. According to the European Union's official site, and a statement by Commissioner Günter Verheugen, the aim is to have a ring of countries, sharing EU's democratic ideals and joining them in further integration without necessarily becoming full member states.

Economic Integration

The European Union operates a single economic market across the territory of all its members, and uses a single currency between the Eurozone members. Further, the EU has a number of economic relationships with nations that are not formally part of the Union through the European Economic Area and custom union agreements.

Free Trade Area

The creation of the EEC eliminated tariffs, quotas and preferences on goods among member states, which are the requisites to define a Free Trade Area (FTA).

Numerous countries have signed a European Union Association Agreement (AA) with FTA provisions. These mainly include Mediterranean countries (Algeria in 2005, Egypt in 2004, Israel in 2000, Jordan in 2002, Lebanon in 2006, Morocco in 2000, Palestinian National Authority in 1997, and Tunisia in 1998), albeit some countries from other trade blocs have also signed one (such as Chile in 2003, Mexico in 2000, and South Africa in 2000).

Further, many Balkan states have signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with FTA provisions (such as Albania (signed 2006), Croatia (2005), Montenegro (signed 2007, entry-into-force pending), Macedonia (2004), Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia (both 2008, entry-into-force pending).

In 2008, Poland and Sweden proposed the Eastern Partnership which would include setting a FTA between the EU and eastern countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.[7]

Customs Union

The European Customs Union defines an area where no customs are levied on goods travelling within it. It includes all European Union member states. The abolition of internal tariff barriers between EEC member states was achieved in 1968.

Andorra and San Marino belong to the EU customs unions with third states. Turkey is linked by the European Union-Turkey Customs Union.

Single Market

A prominent goal of the EU since its creation by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 is establishing and maintaining a single market. This seeks to guarantee the four basic freedoms, which are related to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and people around the EU's internal market.

The European Economic Area (EEA) agreement allows Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to participate in the European Single Market without joining the EU. The four basic freedoms apply. However, some restrictions on fisheries and agriculture take place. Switzerland is linked to the European Union by Swiss-EU bilateral agreements, with a different content from that of the EEA agreement.


The Eurozone refers to the European Union member states that have adopted the euro currency union as the third stage of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Further, certain states outside the EU have adopted the euro as their currency, despite not belonging to the EMU. Thus, a total of 22 states, including 16 European Union states and six non-EU members, currently use the euro.

The Eurozone came into existence with the official launch of the euro on 1 January 1999. Physical coins and banknotes were introduced on 1 January 2002.

The original members were Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Greece adopted the euro on 1 January 2001. Slovenia joined on 1 January 2007, Cyprus and Malta were admitted on 1 January 2008, and Slovakia joined on 1 January 2009.

Outside the EU, agreements have been concluded with Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City for formal adoption, including the right to mint their own coins. Andorra, Montenegro and Kosovo have also used the euro since its launch.

Social and Political Integration


The ERASMUS programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) seeks to encourage and support free movement of the academic community. It was established in 1987.

A total of 31 states (including all European Union states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Turkey) are involved. Switzerland is again eligible for membership as from 2007, after a period of absence following the rejection by that country of closer links with the European Union.

The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) aims to integrate education systems in Europe. Thus, degrees and study periods are recognised mutually. This is done by following the Bologna process, and under the Lisbon Recognition Convention of the Council of Europe.

The Bologna declaration was signed in 1999 by 29 countries, all EU members or candidates at the moment (except Cyprus which joined later) and three out of four EFTA countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. Croatia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, and Turkey joined in 2001. In 2003, Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Holy See (a Council of Europe permanent observer), Macedonia, Russia, and Serbia signed the convention. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine followed in 2005. Finally, Montenegro joined in 2007. This makes a total of 46 member states. Monaco and San Marino are the only members of the Council of Europe which have not adopted the convention. The other two European nations that are eligible to join, but have not, are Belarus and Kazakhstan.


The SOS project, also known as Smart Open Services, aims to promote free movement of patients.[8] It will allow health professionals to electronically access the data from patients from another country, to electronically process prescriptions in all involved countries, or to provide treatment in another EU state to a patient on a waiting list.

The project has been launched by 12 EU states, including Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Charter of Fundamental Rights

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is a document enshrining certain fundamental rights. The wording of the document has been agreed at ministerial level and has been incorporated into the Treaty of Lisbon. The Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom have negotiated an opt out from this Charter.

Right to vote

The European integration process have extended the right of foreigners to vote. Thus, European Union citizens were given voting rights in local elections by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. Several members states (Belgium, Luxembourg, Lithuania, and Slovenia) have extended since then the right to vote to all foreign residents. This was already the case in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. Further, voting and eligibility rights are granted among citizens of the Nordic Passport Union, and between numerous countries through bilateral treaties (i.e. between Norway and Spain, or between Portugal and Brazil, Cape Verde, Iceland, Norway, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina), or without them (i.e. United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland). Finally, within the EEA, Iceland and Norway also grant the right to vote to all foreign residents.

Schengen zone

The main purpose of the establishment of the Schengen Agreement is the abolition of physical borders among European countries. A total of 29 states, including 25 European Union states (all except Ireland and United Kingdom) and four non-EU members (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), are subject to the Schengen rules. 26 states have already implemented its provisions, leaving just Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania to do so among signatories states. Liechtenstein still has to fully implement the rules.

Further, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are de-facto members.


The European Union is not a state and as such does not have its own dedicated military forces. However, there are a number of multi-national military and peacekeeping forces which are ultimately under the command of the EU, and therefore can be seen as the core for a future European Union army[9]. These corps include forces from 25 EU states -all except Denmark, which has an opt-out clause in its accession treaty and is not obliged to participate in the common defence policy; and Malta, which currently does not participate in any battlegroup-, Norway and Turkey. Further, the Western European Union (WEU) capabilities and functions have been transferred to the European Union, under its developing Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)[10].

The WEU was created on the basis of a mutual intergovernmental self defence treaty, the Treaty of Brussels. This was signed by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom in 1948. In 1954 the WEU was established by the Paris Agreements with the incorporation of Italy and the then West Germany. Currently, the Western European Union has 10 member countries, 6 associate member countries, 5 observer countries and 7 associate partner countries. Member states include the 7 founding ones, plus Portugal and Spain, since 1990, and Greece since 1995.

The EU also has close ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to the Berlin Plus agreement. This is a comprehensive package of agreements made between NATO and the EU on 16 December 2002. With this agreement the EU is given the possibility to use NATO assets in case it wanted to act independently in an international crisis, on the condition that NATO does not want to act itself – the so-called "right of first refusal".[11]

In fact, many EU member states are among the 28 NATO members. The Treaty of Brussels is considered the precursor to NATO. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. in 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states, as well as the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Greece and Turkey joined the alliance in 1952, and West Germany did the same in 1955. Spain entered in 1982. In 1999, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland became NATO members. Finally, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia joined in 2004. In 2009, Croatia and Albania joined. Ukraine and Georgia were told that they will also eventually become members in 2008. The Republic of Macedonia's application process is finished, but it is blocked by Greece. Thus, 21 out of 28 NATO states are among the 27 EU members, another two are members of the EEA, and two more are EU candidates (one of those is member of the EU customs space).


On 22 May 2007, the member states of the European Union have agreed to create a common political framework for space activities in Europe by unifying the approach of the European Space Agency (ESA) with those of the individual European Union member states [12].

However, ESA is an intergovernmental organisation with no formal organic link to the EU, indeed the two institutions have different Member States and are governed by different rules and procedures. ESA was created in 1975 by merging ELDO with ESRO. The 10 founding members were Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland joined on 31 December 1975. In 1987, Austria and Norway became member states. Finland joined in 1995, Portugal in 2000, Greece and Luxembourg in 2005, and the Czech Republic in 2008. Thus, currently, it has 18 member states: all the EU member states before 2004, plus Czech Republic, Norway and Switzerland. Further, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State under a cooperation agreement since 1979.

ESA is likely to expand in the coming years with the countries which joined the EU in both 2004 and 2007. Thus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Romania have already signed a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement; Cyprus, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia have signed Cooperation Agreements with ESA; and finally, Lithuania and Malta have also announced its aim to join ESA.

Membership in European Union agreements

     EU, All agreements (EMU, Schengen, WEU, ESA, ESDP, EHEA, ERASMUS, NATO...): 9 countries      EU, Main agreements (EMU, Schengen, ESDP): 4 c.      EU, EMU, ESDP: 2 c.      EU, Schengen, ESDP: 6 c.      EU, Schengen, ESDP, refused EMU: 1 c.      EU, Schengen, refused EMU: 1 c.      EU, ESDP: 3 c.      EEA, Schengen: 3 c.      Special bilateral treaties: 1 c.      Microstates, some agreements (Customs Union/Schengen de-facto/Euro): 4 c.      Candidate, Customs Union, ESDP, EHEA, ERASMUS, NATO: 1 c.      Candidates, SAA: 2 c.      SAA with FTA: 5 c.      AA with FTA: 11 c.

A small group of EU member states have joined all European treaties, instead of opting out on some. They drive the development of a federal model for the European integration. This is linked to the concept of Multi-speed Europe where some countries would create a core union; and goes back to the Inner Six references to the founding member states of the European Communities.

At present the formation of a formal Core Europe Federation ("a federation within the confederation") had been held off at every occasion that such a federation treaty had been discussed. Instead supranational institutions are created that govern more areas in "Inner Europe" than the existing European integration provides for.

Among the 27 EU state members, nine states have signed all integration agreements. These are Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

The agreements considered include the fifth stage of economic integration or EMU, the Schengen agreement, the European Security and Defence Policy, and education initiatives such as the ERASMUS programme or the European Higher Education Area. They are also members of the European Space Agency and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Thus, among the 27 EU countries, 16 have joined the Eurozone, 25 have joined Schengen, and 25 compose the European Military.

Further, some countries which do not belong to the EU have joined several of these initiatives, albeit sometimes at a lower stage such as the Customs Union, the Common Market (EEA), or even adopting unilaterally the euro; by taking part in Schengen, either as a signatory state, or de-facto; or by joining some common military forces.

Thus, six non-EU countries have adopted the euro unilaterally, three the Schengen agreement officially and another three ones as de-facto, and other countries have joined common military corps.

The following table shows the status of each state membership to the different agreements promoted by the EU. It lists 43 countries, including the 27 EU member states, 3 candidate states, 3 non-EU countries members of EEA, and also 3 countries (not exactly the same ones) signatories of the Schengen agreement, 3 members of the Customs Unions, and 5 countries with some soft ties, such as an SAA or participation in agreements.

Hence, this table summarises some components of EU laws applied in the european states. Some territories of EU member states also have a special status in regard to EU laws applied. Some territories of EFTA member states also have a special status in regard to EU laws applied as is the case with some European microstates. For member states that do not have special-status territories the EU law applies fully with the exception of the Opt-outs in the European Union.

European Union Agreements
State EU EEA Customs Union EMU (Euro) Schengen WEU ESA ESDP
Albania Albania SAA, EU application submitted No No No No No No No
Andorra Andorra No No Yes [13 ] Unilaterally adopted No No No No
Austria Austria Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observer Yes EU BGs
Belgium Belgium Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps, EU BGs
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina SAA No No No No No No No
Bulgaria Bulgaria Yes Yes Yes No Not yet implemented Associate partner No EU BGs
Croatia Croatia Candidate No No No No No No No
Cyprus Cyprus Yes Yes Yes Yes Not yet implemented No No EU BGs
Czech Republic Czech Republic Yes Yes Yes No Yes Associate member Yes EU BGs
Denmark Denmark Yes Yes Yes No Yes Observer Yes No
Estonia Estonia Yes Yes Yes No Yes Associate partner No EU BGs
Finland Finland Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observer Yes EU BGs
France France Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps, Eurofor, EU BGs, EGF
Germany Germany Yes [14] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps, EU BGs
Greece Greece Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs
Hungary Hungary Yes Yes Yes No Yes Associate member No EU BGs
Iceland Iceland EU application submitted Yes No No Yes Associate member No No
Republic of Ireland Ireland Yes Yes Yes Yes No Observer Yes EU BGs
Italy Italy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurofor, EU BGs, EGF
United Nations Kosovo under UNSCR 1244[15] Early talks No No Unilaterally adopted No No No No
Latvia Latvia Yes Yes Yes No Yes Associate partner Yes EU BGs
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein No Yes No No Not yet implemented No No No
Lithuania Lithuania Yes Yes Yes No Yes Associate partner No EU BGs
Luxembourg Luxembourg Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps, EU BGs
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia Candidate No No No No No No No
Malta Malta Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Monaco Monaco No No de facto, with France Adoption agreement de facto, with France No No No
Montenegro Montenegro SAA, EU application submitted No No Unilaterally adopted No No No No
Netherlands The Netherlands Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes EU BGs, EGF
Norway Norway No [16] Yes No No Yes Associate member Yes EU BGs
Poland Poland Yes Yes Yes No Yes Associate member No Eurocorps, EU BGs
Portugal Portugal Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurofor, EU BGs, EGF
Romania Romania Yes Yes Yes No Not yet implemented Associate partner No EU BGs, EGF
San Marino San Marino No No Yes Adoption agreement Open border No No No
Serbia Serbia SAA, EU application submitted No No No No No No No
Slovakia Slovakia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Associate partner No EU BGs
Slovenia Slovenia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Associate partner No EU BGs
Spain Spain Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Eurocorps, Eurofor, EU BGs, EGF
Sweden Sweden Yes Yes Yes No Yes Observer Yes EU BGs
Switzerland Switzerland Application frozen Bilateral treaties [17] No No Yes No Yes No
Turkey Turkey Candidate No Yes [13 ] No No Associate member No EU BGs
United Kingdom United Kingdom Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes EU BGs
Vatican City Vatican City No No No Adoption agreement Open border No No No

Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership or Barcelona Process was organised by the European Union to strengthen its relations with the countries in the Mashriq and Maghreb regions. It started in 1995 with the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Conference, and it has been developed in successive annual meetings.

The European Union enlargement of 2004 brought two more Mediterranean countries (Cyprus and Malta) into the Union, while adding a total of 10 to the number of Member States. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership today comprises 43 members: 27 European Union member states, and 16 partner countries (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia, as well as the Palestinian Territories).[1] Libya has had observer status since 1999.

The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EU-MEFTA) is based on the Barcelona Process and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It will cover the EU, the EFTA, the EU customs unions with third states (Turkey, Andorra, San Marino), the EU candidate states, and the partners of the Barcelona Process.

The Union for the Mediterranean is a community of countries, mostly bordering the Mediterranean Sea, established in July 2008.[18]

Ties with Partners

Morocco has already a number of close ties with the EU, including an Association Agreement with FTA provisions, air transport integration, or the participation in military operations such as ALTHEA in Bosnia.

Further, it will be the first partner to go beyond association by enhancing political and economic ties, entering the Single Market, and participating in some EU agencies.[19][20][21][22]

Theories of Integration

The question of how to avoid wars between the nation-states was essential for the first theories. Federalism and Functionalism proposed the containment of the nation-state, while Transactionalism sought to theorize the conditions for the stabilization of the nation-state system. One of the most influential theories of European integration is Neo-functionalism, developed by Ernst B. Haas (1958) and further investigated by Leon Lindberg (1963). The important debate between neofunctionialism and (liberal) intergovernmentalism still remains central in understanding the development and set-backs of the European Union. But as the empirical world has changed, so have the theories and thus the understanding of European Integration. Today there is a relatively new focus on the complex policy making in the EU and Multi-level governance (MLG) trying to produce a theory of the workings and development of the EU.

Future of European Integration

There is no fixed end result of the process of integration. Integration and enlargement of the European Union are major issues in the politics of Europe, both at European, national and local level. Integration may conflict with national sovereignty and cultural identity, and is opposed by eurosceptics.

See also


  1. ^ Ben Rosamond, Theories of European Integration, Palgrave Macmillan, 2000, pp. 21-22.
  2. ^ D. Weigall and P. Stirk, editors, The Origins and Development of the European Community, Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1992, pp. 11-15.
  3. ^ Churchill, Winston. "Speech to the Academic Youth" Zürich, Switzerland (1946).
  4. ^ "The political consequences". European NAvigator. Retrieved 2007-09-05.  
  5. ^]
  6. ^ Officially referred to by the EU and most other European organisations by the provisional appellation "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", due to an ongoing naming dispute.
  7. ^ "EU Looks East as Foreign Policy Council Convenes" 25 May 2008 Link accessed 25/05/08
  8. ^ "Smart Open Services".  
  9. ^ New force behind EU foreign policy BBC News - 15 March 2007
  10. ^ Marseille Declaration 2000
  11. ^ Bram Boxhoorn, Broad Support for NATO in the Netherlands, 21-09-2005, [1]
  12. ^ European Space Policy
  13. ^ a b Excluding agricultural products
  14. ^ 3 Oct. 1990 for East Germany
  15. ^
  16. ^ accession rejected in two referenda (1972 and 1994)
  17. ^ Switzerland and the European Union
  18. ^ Sarkozy sounds out basis for Mediterranean Union 16/07/07. Accessed 2007-07-19.
  19. ^ [2]. Accessed 2008-10-15.
  20. ^ [3]. Accessed 2008-10-15.
  21. ^ [4]. Accessed 2008-10-15.
  22. ^ [5]. Accessed 2008-10-15.


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