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Consensus and European Integration / Consensus et intégration européenne

An Historical Perspective / Une perspective historique

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Edited By Daniela Preda and Daniele Pasquinucci

Analysis of the formation and development of the consensus on European integration provides an interesting interpretative perspective for studying the history of the construction of a united Europe.
The authors of this volume examine the main reasons – ideological, political, cultural and economic – that have been advanced to encourage citizens to support the European project. The contributors also consider the initiatives proposed by the political and institutional actors involved for promoting this supranational project.
L’analyse de la formation et du développement d’un consensus pour l’intégration européenne représente une piste interprétative intéressante pour étudier l’histoire de la construction de l’Europe unie.
Dans ce volume, les auteurs examinent les principales raisons avancées – idéales, politiques, culturelles, économiques – pour obtenir le soutien des citoyens au projet européen. En outre, ils analysent les initiatives élaborées par les acteurs politiques et institutionnels impliqués dans le processus d’unification dans le but de promouvoir le projet supranational.

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Spanish Political Parties and the Accession to the European Community. Consensus or Coincidence? (Carlos López Gómez)

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181 Spanish Political Parties and the Accession to the European Community Consensus or Coincidence? Carlos LÓPEZ GÓMEZ Spain’s accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) on January 1, 1986, is considered the most important point in recent Spanish history. It signalled the end of a period of isolation and lack of definition in Spain’s foreign policy, anchoring the country in the democratic environment of Western Europe, and thus solving the historical debate about Spanish identity between Europe and the Americas.1 Spain did not take part in the construction of Europe due to the political rejection of General Franco’s regime, but by the time the dictator died in 1975 most Spaniards tended to see Europe as a paradise of political freedom and material welfare: the “solution to the Spanish problem”, to put it in Ortega’s words. Democratic opposition forces both inside the country and in exile adopted the European institutions as a reference of freedom and democracy, preaching their Europeanism in stark contrast to the isolated official Spain. The death of Francisco Franco in November 1975, and his replacement by King Juan Carlos I, opened up a period of democratic transition that in just three years led to an amnesty for all political prisoners, the legalisation of political parties, a call for free elections and the promulgation of a democratic constitution guaranteeing all fundamental rights and liberties. In the field of foreign policy, Spain became fully integrated into Western Europe by joining the Council of Europe (1977), NATO (1982)...

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