How European Integration Started Despite Ever-Present Disintegrative Forces

  • Hans Vollaard
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


After the Second World War, European states had various national and international alternatives at their disposal to assist in their revitalisation. Facing constrained voice for these alternatives, actors who perceived the European Community for Steel and Coal (ECSC) to be the best option prevailed in six states, as postulated in the first proposition. The UK and Scandinavia remained out, enjoying better available alternatives and less continental loyalty. The European Defence Community failed because of better alternatives that were also effectively expressed. The ECSC offered a platform for continued exchange, leading to the European Economic Community (EEC). Dissatisfaction with the EEC led to partial exit and the use of voice, with full withdrawal remaining unattractive due to the increasing costs associated with leaving the integrating communities and the lack of better alternatives. Therefore, internal construction continued, reflected by the build-up of a European power centre and parliamentary alignments.


European integration ECSC EDC EEC Empty Chair Crisis Partial exits 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Vollaard
    • 1
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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