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European Parties and the European Integration Process, 1945–1992


Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori

The present volume brings together three different traditions of historical study: national politics, European integration, and political parties. Since the 1980s, there has been an enlargement of the scope of political history. This attempt to transcend national boundaries can intersect with the new strands of European integration history, paying much more attention to transnational perspectives and forces. The chapters comprised in this book attempt to forge a dialogue between these new methodologies and the study of political parties in manifold ways. Firstly, in the study of party foreign and European politics – how parties have perceived themselves as belonging not only to the national political game, but also to a wider transnational, and European one. Secondly, party history can transcend national boundaries through the study of international and European party cooperation. Thirdly, it can offer worthwhile avenues of study on how political families deal with European integration not along ideological cleavages but along national ones. This volume fills a crucial gap of European historiography by comparing parties’ discourses/platforms/policies on European integration and by developing national, comparative and transnational approaches.
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The Genesis of a Supranational Representation. The Formation of Political Groups at the Common Assembly of the ECSC, 1952-1958


The Genesis of a Supranational Representation

The Formation of Political Groups at the Common Assembly of the ECSC, 1952-1958


Associate Professor, Università Sapienza, Rome

The birth of the parliamentary groups and the affirmation of the Assembly’s political character

The increasingly close relations between the national and international dimensions in the setting of the reconstruction in the second postwar period led Europe’s political families to create or to reactivate forms of party cooperation on a transnational level. As regards the forces that belonged to the Western camp, 1947 saw the creation of the Nouvelles équipes internationales, a forum of dialogue for the Christian Democratic parties, and the Liberal International. And four years later, in 1951, the Socialist International was refounded after a complex preparatory phase.

The question of European construction was naturally one of the issues on which the three political families had to take a position. The debate developed on various levels. The Hague Congress of 1948,1 which triggered the process leading to the birth of the Council of Europe the following year, had begun a confrontation over the major political options – a confrontation that was to become quite heated when, following the Pleven plan of October 1950, the issue of a European Defence Community was featured on the agenda. In the meantime, following the birth of the ECSC, established by the Treaty of Paris signed on 18th April 1951, it became necessary to grapple...

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