The Evolving Community

  • Josephine Shaw
Part of the Macmillan Professional Masters book series (PAPRMA)


This chapter uses the title ‘the evolving Community’ rather than the more customary phrase ‘the evolution of the Community’ in order to emphasise the dynamic and changing nature of the Community, and to highlight the fact that it has not yet reached a final stage of evolution. A basic knowledge of the history of the Community offers a number of benefits to the student:
  • it gives a context to contemporary events, demonstrating that the current debates on the integration process have a long pedigree, and that ideas such as monetary union are not simply novelties dreamt up by Jacques Delors in the late 1980s;

  • it puts the Community firmly in the context of other developments within and outside Europe, recognising the significance for the European Community of events such as the end of the Cold War and the unification of Germany;

  • it highlights the ebbs and flows of the Community, which have coincided quite closely with the low and high points of the European economy since the Second World War;

  • finally, the stop-start progress of political and economic integration emphasises the unparalleled contribution made by the Court at crucial points. Yet although the Court has been characterised as the ‘engine of integration’, when the events discussed in this chapter are reviewed subsequently in the context of developments in the Community’s legal system which form the main focus of this book, it will be seen that the work of the Court of Justice has not always run parallel to the political and economic evolution of the Treaty. In particular, there often appears to be a lag of some years between the point when work begins towards a new goal in the sphere of politics and correspondingly significant progress in the construction of the Community’s legal framework.


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Further Reading

  1. Allen (1992) ‘European Union, the Single European Act and the 1992 programme’, in Swann (1992).Google Scholar
  2. Artis (1992) ‘The Maastricht Road to Monetary Union’, 30 Journal of Common Market Studies, 299.Google Scholar
  3. Cass (1992) ‘The Word that Saves Maastricht? The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Division of Powers within the European Community’, 29 Common Market Law Review, 1107.Google Scholar
  4. Corbett (1992) ‘The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union’, 30 Journal of Common Market Studies. 271.Google Scholar
  5. Everling (1992) ‘Reflections on the Structure of the European Union’, 29 Common Market Law Review, 1053.Google Scholar
  6. Nicoll (1984) ‘The Luxembourg Compromise’, 23 Journal of Common Market Studies, 35.Google Scholar
  7. Nugent (1992) ‘The Deepening and Widening of the European Community: Recent Evolution, Maastricht and Beyond’, 30 Journal of Common Market Studies, 311.Google Scholar
  8. Pescatore (1987) ‘Some Critical Remarks on the Single European Act’, 24 Common Market Law Review, 9.Google Scholar
  9. Schoutheete (1990) ‘The European Community and its sub-systems’, in Wallace (1990).Google Scholar
  10. Swann (1992) ‘The single market and beyond — an overview’, in Swann (1992).Google Scholar
  11. Urwin (1991) The Community of Europe. A History of European Integration since 1945, Longman.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Josephine Shaw 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josephine Shaw
    • 1
  1. 1.Keele UniversityUK

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