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Britain and European relations, 1945-73
B. Attitudes of European States
1. Explain the difference between intergovernmental
and supranational organisations.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL: A voluntary organisation with no surrender of
SUPRANATIONAL: An organisation with federal control. Members have to
surrender national sovereignty and have no individual control.
2. What was the purpose of the OEEC and when it was
The purpose of the OEEC was to distribute Marshall Aid to European
countries, to try and rebuild European economies, and to promote trade. It
was set up in 1948, and was seen as the precursor to NATO as it addressed
the idea of a customs union in Western Europe. However, unlike the EEC, it
operated on a weaker intergovernmental structure.
3. What was the purpose of the Council of Europe and
when was it set up?
The purpose of the Council of Europe was to make decisions and
nonbinding conventions about human rights and environmental issues, and
was set up in 1949. It was the first attempt at a united Europe, although it
operated on an intergovernmental structure. Britain joined, and was happy
with the structure.
4. What was the Schuman Plan, and what was the UK
reaction to this plan?
The Schuman Plan was a plan to create a steel and coal community, which
would pool the coal and steel of France, Britain and Germany. Robert
Schuman, French foreign minister, created it in May 1950. This would make
France feel more secure. Britain did not like the idea of this as they had less
to gain from The Schuman Plan, and saw Germany as less of a threat. Their
coal and steel industries were also very strong and had just been
nationalised, so they were unwilling to share this.
5. What was the aim of the Pleven Plan and when was
it set up?
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The Pleven Plan was set up in 1950 and aimed to create a European army,
to make France feel more secure. Britain didn't like the supranational
structure and was unwilling to surrender troops to the army.…read more