Adjustment for the European Community

Consolidation and Fragmentation in the Coming Decade

by Marten van Heuven

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At the turn of the century, the European Community (EC) will not have advanced much beyond its current stage of power sharing. The enthusiasm for political and economic unity on the part of Europe's leaders has encountered reservations on the part of a European public which has begun to question both the objectives and the process of European unity. Also, prospective enlargement of the Community will change its composition, its nature, and its capacity to act together. The EC most likely will develop into a confederation of concentric circles. As a whole it will be a common market in which internal compromises could feed protectionism. Growth in the world economy, the attitude of Germany, the policies of the United States, and the reshaping of domestic political and societal patterns will all affect the outcome.

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