Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
In 1973, the United Kingdom entered the European Community, joining the two other West European powers of France and West Germany in the organization. With the addition of Britain, a new nucleus developed within the EC. The traditional Franco-German alliance which was driving the Community, gave way to a triangular association which included the United Kingdom. However, the three countries have often found it difficult to coordinate their policies to advance European unity. Indeed, EC integration was characterized by "Eurosclerosis" for much of the 1970s and early 1980s since the three major member states were unwilling to abandon independent national policies in favour of Community programs. Nonetheless, in recent years the organization has made several noteworthy advancements towards integration as changing domestic and international environments required the three countries to reevaluate their strategies, including their views regarding Community policies. Thus, under this setting the core member states were willing to use Community solutions to problems plaguing their countries and proceeded to advance EC integration through the signing of the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty. This thesis advances the hypothesis that it is the triangular relationship which shapes the integration process. For European unity to occur, the agreement of France. Germany and Britain is required. Chapter One discusses the theoretical aspects of the triangular model. The strength of the bilateral ties are explored as are other factors which influence the model. Chapter Two provides the historical background material to the shaping of the association and examines the reasons behind the Eels years of stagnation. The movement towards increased EC integration, as demonstrated through the SEA is highlighted in Chapter Three, followed by a fourth chapter exploring the Maastricht Treaty. Finally, in the concluding chapter. the main points of the thesis are reviewed. In the end, the reader will recognize the validity of the triangular association and its importance to European integration.
Gelleny, Ronald, "Towards European Integration: and the United Kingdom France, Germany" (1993). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6158.
McMaster University Library