European Integration Essay
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European integration is the political, economic, social, cultural, and legal integration of European states.
Throughout history, various causes pushed forward ideas about organized cooperation between European countries. Already in the 1400s, the Bohemian King George Podiebrad advocated a union of Christian European countries to prevent the continued Ottoman conquest. In the centuries thereafter, philosophers, writers, and politicians proposed a unification of European countries, often as a means to prevent the wars that periodically erupted on the continent, or inspired by the economic and political developments that followed the formation of the United States of America. The idea of the United States of Europe was performed by George Washington and has been addressed by, among others, Victor Hugo, Leon Trotsky, and Winston Churchill.
Only after the World War II, it became possible to carry out an integration of the countries of Europe as organized when the main subject was to prevent a recurrence of a similar war, but also a desire of the western European nations present a clear alternative to the communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe. In recent years, economic and political causes, such as energy, environment, and education, become strong drivers for deeper European integration.
The main institutions of European integration today is the Council of Europe, which includes all European countries (except Belarus and Vatican City) and mainly power issues in law, human rights, and democratic development, and the European Union (EU) which consists of 28 European states, aimed to a deepening of political and economic cooperation, for example in the form of a single market, a monetary union, and a common parliament with legislative powers in limited areas. Schengen cooperation allowing European citizens to travel within Europe without a passport is another practical example of European integration, although it does not cover all EU countries, while also some non-EU countries included in this collaboration.
Alongside the Council of Europe and the EU, there are a number of more or less independent organizations promoting cooperation in Europe, such as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Football Association (UEFA). Furthermore, there are numerous regional cooperation organizations, such as the Nordic Council, which promotes regional integration in Europe.
Ideas about the different ways of European integration were expressed in history on several occasions and by a variety of causes. In 1464, the Bohemian King George Podiebrad suggested unification of Europe’s Christian states to resist the conquering Ottomans. A plan which is attributed to the French king Henry IV (1553-1610), probably largely drafted by his chief minister Sully, who described it in his memoirs in 1632, that Europe be should divided between the continent’s major powers in such a way that “jealousy or fear not occur at one of them by the power of the holding of the second.” Subsequently, they are united in a Christian republic governed by a council representing the constituent states. Although this proposal was a clear cape against the Ottomans. The British philosopher and Quaker William Penn described in an essay in 1693 an assembly or parliament as a means of peace in Europe. A similar idea put forward in 1713 by the French political writer Charles- Irénée Castel Saint-Pierre.
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