European Integration

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European Integration

European integration


The creation of the 1992 single market programme and the Single European Act (SEA) remain one of the most important developments in the history of the European Community, because both developments were responsible for the creation of a single European market. This paper views the European integration process from a business perspective, because European business was one of the sectors that profited most from the creation of the single market. (Nollert, Fielder, 2000, 11-17) In 1984, the biggest European transnational corporations (TNC) united themselves in an influential forum, called the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), from which they tried to influence the European integration process.

This paper argues that business leaders from the ERT were largely responsible for relaunching and setting the agenda of the single market programme and how this led to the development of a trans-national capitalist elite that dominated(s) the content of the integration discussion with his neoliberal ideas and concepts. (Nollert, Fielder, 2000, 11-17)The thesis of this paper can thus be formulated as: What has been the influence of the European Roundtable of Industrialists on European integration and how did this influence the perceptions on European integration? The paper starts with the introduction of the theoretical framework, which draws on the concept of hegemony as described by Gramsci. In this chapter is argued that the ERT can be seen as a transnational capitalist elite with neoliberal ideas and concepts that participates in the social struggle for hegemony in European culture and as such influences the perceptions on European integration. (Nollert, Fielder, 2000, 11-17)

The second chapter elaborates on the historical context that gave rise to the creation of the ERT and what have been the reasons for the ERT to enter the social struggle for hegemony in Europe. The third chapter discusses the events leading up to the signing of the Single European Act, which give an inside in the accomplishments of the ERT in the field of European integration. In other words, this chapter shows the accomplishments of the ERT in their struggle for hegemony within the European integration process. The fifth chapter gives a description of the composition and working methods of the ERT and explains how these helped the ERT by influencing political executives. (Nollert, Fielder, 2000, 11-17)

This chapter explains how the ERT was able to gain so much power within the social struggle for hegemony in the European integration process. Chapter six explores the accomplishments of the ERT after the signing of the SEA and the treaty of Maastricht and shows that the ERT continues to play a role after the creation of the single market and thereby has not lost its power within the social struggle for hegemony within Europe. Chapter eight provides an overall conclusion, which states that, the ERT has had a great influence on the European integration process and shows that, until now, neoliberalism as promoted by influential actors as the ERT has gained the upper hand in the social power struggle for ...
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