A Grand Illusion?: An Essay on Europe by Tony Judt

By Tony Judt

“I am enthusiastically eu; no educated individual may possibly heavily desire to go back to the embattled, together adversarial circle of suspicious and introverted international locations that used to be the ecu continent within the really contemporary earlier. however it is something to imagine an final result fascinating, relatively one other to think it truly is attainable. it really is my competition really united Europe is adequately not likely for it to be unwise and self-defeating to insist upon it. i'm therefore, i assume, a Euro-pessimist.” — Tony Judt

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If anything, the interdependence of European trade and capital flows in the years 1850-1913 was probably greater than that achieved by the European Economic Community, at least until very recently. What is more, and despite the contribution of Marshall Aid, GATT, OECD, EFTA, and the EEC itself, the West European economies did not regain 1913 levels of import and export (as a percentage of GNP) until the mid-1970s. Until then they were simply making up for the cataclysmic collapse in trade of the years in between.

Among these should also be counted the Marshall Plan, a coincidence of great American wealth and the Truman Administration's willingness to spend it on a program of credits, grants, and gifts to Europe. S. K. 9 billion). [37} TONY JUDT There is disagreement over the precise economic significance of this assistance to Western Europe—some scholars have argued that Europe would have "taken off anyway, but more slowly; the European economic crisis of 1947, the continent's inability to pay for its vital primary imports that triggered the Marshall program, is seen by such analysts as a crisis of growth: an expanding demand for raw materials encountering a shortage of dollars with which to buy them.

From the mid-1950s onward French governments of all political shades accepted the transnational aspects of the EEC that they would otherwise have found distasteful in return for "Europeanizing" their own policies of agricultural protection. For reasons of their own—largely to protect themselves against competition from Denmark—the Dutch went along. For the West Germans the CAP represented some domestic advantage, especially in the south, but was largely, once again, a price worth paying for the other benefits of an expanded trading community; besides, only in return for such a policy would France adopt common commercial policies, not to mention "ever- [21] TONY JUDT closer union," in the words of the preamble to the Treaty of Rome.

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