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FOREIGN OFFICE FILES FOR POST-WAR EUROPE
Series Two: The Treaty of Rome and European Integration, 1957-1960

Part 2: Files for 1958-1959 (Public Record Office Class FO 371/134482-134545, 137145, 141134-141139, 142425, 142504, 142561-142569, 142588-142600, 142609-142636)

The creation of a united Europe is without doubt one of the most important historical processes of the twentieth century. These documents will allow scholars and students to understand how the European Economic Community grew from the seeds of the prototype European Coal and Steel Community, to emerge as a major economic force.

Part 2 starts with files discussing the ECSC as a basis for the EEC. The pace of change in Europe and the speed with which the EEC took shape surprised British observers. Relations between the EEC and the proposed European Free Trade Area are well documented whilst a further nine files discuss French attitudes to EFTA.

A whole range of issues can be examined through the use of these documents:

  • To what extent was the EEC modelled on the trans-continental economy of the USA?
  • Did the growth of the EEC affect the Cold War and the balance of power in Europe?
  • Why was agriculture such a divisive issue in the EEC and EFTA?
  • Were the six signatories of the Treaty of Rome equally committed to federalist principles?
  • What were the economic advantages for the signatory powers?

"The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union…to promote throughout the Community a harmonious and balanced development of economic activities."
Article 2, Part 1 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community



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