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The European Community and the World

A Historical Perspective

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Edited By Giuliana Laschi

The European Community (EC) has taken on an outward-looking dimension over the years since its first establishment, developing structures and tools which are unprecedented in the history of international relations.
The original signatories of the Treaty of Rome accepted the idea of a «little» Europe only as a first step towards something that would be much bigger and more powerful; ultimately, they wanted to provide the EC with the international power necessary to realize the idea of the common market.
It is not possible to properly define the EC’s actions towards the rest of the world as «foreign policy» in every case and at every stage of its history; nevertheless, the EC has undoubtedly always played a strong and significant international role, even if this role has been expressed in an unconventional way compared to the international system.
This volume on European spaces and borders provides a meeting-point for a number of very different analyses and interpretations, from a variety of disciplinary, chronological and geopolitical perspectives, and in so doing develops a rich and complex debate.
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Insularity and Europe of the Islands (Carlos Eduardo Pacheco Amaral)

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Carlos Eduardo PACHECO AMARAL

Throughout the centuries, and until the outright devastation of the Continent as a consequence of the two World Wars in the twentieth century, to talk of Europe was to talk of the World, for Europe extended itself throughout the globe. It was only in a process that lasted, roughly, from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century that Europe shrunk to its continental borders. And, even so, the European nations did not fail, in the process, to maintain a series of holdings and possessions, mostly islands, although a few are enclaves (such as French Guyana and the Antarctic territories), scattered throughout the entire planet: from Svalbard in the North, to the Falklands and the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic territories, to the South, and from the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, in the East, to Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint-Martin to the West, as well as Reunion to the South (to refer but to the outermost islands of the Union), and also to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, on the mouth of the Hudson, Mayote, the British territories in the Indian Ocean, Pitcairn, New Caledonia and French Polynesia, in the Pacific.

Just as when rolling back, a major tidal wave leaves behind pockets of debris, shells, small rocks, fish, so too the European decolonization process of the 19th and 20th centuries left a string of territories attached to European countries. And, curiously enough, if we do not find more such...

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