European unification in the sixties : from the veto to the crisis 

Camps, Miriam  

New York : McGraw-Hill


This title is unfortunately not available in full text for copyright reasons.
Further works by Miriam Camps

Miriam Camps (American, born 1917 - died 1995) joined the State Department during World War II after earning degrees at Mount Holyoke and Bryn Mawr colleges in the United States. She went on to work at the United States Embassy in London, and for the State Department in Washington from 1947 to 1953. From 1954, she lived in England, working as a research fellow on European-Atlantic affairs for the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Her writings include the books 'What Kind of Europe?' (1965) and 'European Unification in the Sixties' (1966).


In this book, Miriam Camps relates the history of the European Economic Community from the French veto of the British application for membership in 1963 to the crisis provoked by disagreement over financial regulation in 1965. The main source of tension in the Common Market was the determination of General de Gaulle, at the time President of France, to avoid any changes which might deviate from his idea of Europe. For him, Europe was to be a group of independent states from the Atlantic to the Urals, associated for their mutual advantage in an economic and defence organisation. In both in 1963 and 1965, this kind of Europe appeared to be endangered, and General de Gaulle took major action to turn the tide of affairs in a direction closer to his plans.

In 1963, for France, the danger was Britain, with its commitment to the Atlantic alliance and links with the Commonwealth. There was also the simple fear that Britain would emerge as a rival for the leadership of Europe.

However, in 1965, challenge to the leadership of Europe came from the Community process itself. With the new financial regulation proposed by the European Commission in 1964, the Community was to be financially independent with various new taxes and tariffs. The Commission would therefore become much more capable of influencing governmental policies in a way which favoured the Community over national interests. To counter the Commission's initiative, i.e. the direct presentation of the new financial regulation to the Council, the French began a boycott of the Community (the so-called 'politique de la chaise vide' or 'empty chair policy'). At the end of this crisis, there was a shift in the balance of power from the Commission to the national governments, but which also went against France.

This is an interesting and excellent work which explains the historical context of the French position on Europe during the early 1960's.