Destination Europe

Destination Europe: The political and economic growth of a continent

Kjell M. Torbiörn
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Destination Europe
    Book Description:

    Destination Europe interprets and interrelates the major political, economic and security developments in Europe – including transatlantic relations – from the end of the Second World War up until the present time, and looks ahead to how the continent may evolve politically in the future. The book fills a definite lacuna in the current literature on Europe, as most studies cover only specific aspects, such as the European Union. Destination Europe by contrast weaves all the different strands of European events together into a single overall and up-to-date picture and gives the reader a deeper understanding of the continent and its current and future challenges. The first chapters trace European reconstruction and political, economic and security developments – both in the East and in the West – leading up to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Later chapters examine the European Union's reform efforts, enlargement, movement to a single currency and emerging security role; the political and economic changes in central and Eastern Europe, including Russia; the break-up of Yugoslavia and the wars that ensued; and NATO's enlargement and search for a new mission. Final chapters deal with forces affecting Europe's future such as terrorism, nationalism, religion, demographic trends and globalisation. Comprehensive, detailed and accessible, this book is a perfect introductory level text for undergraduate students of European Politics and European History

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-083-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-vii)

    In this book I attempt to describe, interpret and interrelate the major political and economic developments in Europe since the end of World War II to the present, and to look ahead to see how the continent may evolve in the future. ‘Europe’ is understood to be not only the European Union but the whole of the continent, from Iceland and Ireland in the west to Russia in the east, from Norway in the north to Turkey in the south. ‘Developments’ sometimes are dealt with so broadly as to touch on the ‘Zeitgeist’ of the different periods covered, and which...

  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. 1 1945: Europe’s ‘zero hour’
    (pp. 1-12)

    At the end of World War II, Germany – formerly the dominant power in continental Europe – found itself under the occupation of the victorious powers: the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and France.

    Although tensions would soon arise between the two emerging superpowers – the United States and the Soviet Union – and lead to the division of Europe into two hostile blocs, the new situation also offered a unique opportunity for reconciliation and budding co-operation especially between Germany and France, whose rivalry had underlain both world wars.

    The Marshall Plan launched by the United States in 1948 kick-started economic...

  7. 2 Europe’s 1950s: reconstruction and reconciliation; confrontation and oppression
    (pp. 13-30)

    Reconstruction in Western Europe, completed by the early 1950s, led to unbounded optimism about future economic growth and to a strong desire for closer integration. Following the creation of the Council of Europe in 1949 among ten West European countries, six went further in 1951 by founding the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). After attempts to set up a European Defence Community and a European Political Community failed in 1954, negotiations between the ‘Six’ (belonging to the overall successful ECSC) in 1957 led to the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC).

    However, West European integration projects and Central...

  8. 3 1960–75: the new Europe takes shape
    (pp. 31-45)

    Following the second Berlin crisis, which had led to the construction of the wall in August 1961, and the US–Soviet ‘nuclear brinkmanship’ over Cuba in October 1962, where the Berlin issue formed an important role, the two superpowers took various steps to diffuse tensions while continuing their ideological struggle with undiminished intensity. The new European Economic Community (EEC) made major progress toward free trade and a common external customs barrier among its members (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands), even though its Common Agricultural Policy also led to clashes among them.

    The United Kingdom, which had not...

  9. 4 1976–89: recovery and hubris; effervescence in the East
    (pp. 46-70)

    West European economic recovery after the 1973 oil crisis came quickly, although at the price of high inflation and sizeable government budget deficits. The US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975 did not lead to the feared ‘domino effect’ of communist takeovers in the region, but instead exposed rifts among communist powers. In Western Europe, too, communism became more diversified with the rise of more reformist ‘euro-communist’ movements in Italy and elsewhere.

    The nine-member EEC became the ‘Twelve’ as it accepted three new Mediterranean members: Greece in 1981 and Portugal and Spain in 1986. It thereby became more of a political,...

  10. 5 1989–92: Yalta farewell; how new a world?
    (pp. 71-98)

    The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 led, in rapid succession over the next two years, to German unification, Baltic state independence, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its replacement by Russia and other successor countries, the fall of communist regimes all over Central and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Capitalism, liberalised world trade and new electronics technology seemed to have carried the day.

    The West offered massive financial assistance to Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia, and also gave advice on how to go from a planned to a market economy ranging...

  11. 6 Challenges in waiting
    (pp. 99-124)

    While the Russian economy under its new leader, Boris Yeltsin, began to slide in the early 1990s as a result of an uncertain mix of change and standstill, economic reform in Central European transition countries started to bear fruit in the form of higher growth and adaptation to world markets. Military tensions diminished considerably with the ratification of the US–Russia START I Treaty reducing intercontinental nuclear missiles; the entry into force of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty limiting troop levels all over Europe; and NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, also including Russia.

    The European Union’s Exchange Rate...

  12. 7 The European Union’s dilemma: towards a union or not?
    (pp. 125-168)

    In March 1999 the European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch, resigned under accusations of fraud, nepotism and mismanagement, leading to intensive soul-searching as to what could be the right form of management for the EU. How could the democratic aspects of the emerging entity be enhanced? How could democracy be improved? How should power be shared among the governments of the member states as represented in the Council of Ministers, the peoples of the Union as represented in the European Parliament, and an appointed but political bureaucracy, the Commission? How open and transparentcouldthe EU be, given the...

  13. 8 A new NATO
    (pp. 169-189)

    The disappearance of the Soviet Union and the end of its hold over Central and Eastern Europe posed the question of the future of NATO. What continued purpose could NATO serve? How far east could it enlarge without upsetting Russia? NATO’s first enlargement in 1999 included the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, while various cooperative programmes with other countries in the region, including Russia and Ukraine, were expanded.

    NATO’s first ever armed conflict was with Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999 over the latter’s Kosovo province and over Serbian mistreatment of ethnic Kosovo Albanians. After three months of aerial attacks,...

  14. 9 A new European Union
    (pp. 190-235)

    A series of EU summits – Amsterdam in 1997, Berlin and Helsinki in 1999 and Nice in 2000 – focused on the need for inner reform of the institution against the prospect of future enlargement and new competences. The general tendency was for increased intergovernmentalism, that is, more power in the hands of the EU’s Council of Ministers and greater influence for the European Parliament.

    The Helsinki Summit decided to accept candidacies of thirteen countries (including Turkey) and to start negotiations with twelve (all but Turkey) on an equal basis, with 2004 as a possible date for joining by the first in...

  15. 10 Where is Europe heading?
    (pp. 236-290)

    As the EU and NATO enlarge, prospects for overall economic growth and peace are good, even if tensions both within and without the enlarged circle of EU and NATO member states could cloud the picture, as over Iraq in 2003. Prospects for peace and prosperity improved in South-Eastern Europe under a Stability Pact for the region, involving major international assistance.

    Continuing EU and NATO enlargement will mean an eastward shift of Europe’s ‘centre of gravity’, with a major role for Germany. That country is, however, embedded in an EU and a NATO that, through their inclusive and non-aggressive character, do...

  16. Appendix: seminal events since 1945
    (pp. 291-298)
  17. References
    (pp. 299-302)
  18. Index
    (pp. 303-316)