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By Alan Milward

The Graz-Schumpeter annual lectures have grown in recognition through the years with outstanding figures from academia akin to Ian Steedman, J. Stanley Metcalfe and Duncan ok. Foley contributing their very own notable sequence of lectures. The books produced because of those lectures are not any much less extraordinary and this newest quantity from Alan Milward is a regularly authoritative read.

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Its neutrality was a gesture against Britain. Its only value may have been as a substitute for ruminating over the failure of the Irish nationalist movement to convince the whole island of its cause. This was not a central issue for a threatened western Europe or, indeed, the USA. By the time of Ireland’s application for accession to the Community, leading Irish politicians were only too ready to assure the leaders of the Six that they would not hesitate to take their part in the defence of the ‘West’, with which they wholly belonged and sympathised, should it be attacked.

In one respect these prescriptions may be seen as no more than a repetition of earlier scenarios in which successful applicants had to accept the existing set of practices and policies of the West as represented by the Community. In their case these now included Economic and Monetary Union. If eastern bloc countries joined the Community, they would have to accept in full the acquis communautaire, which now had the status of a definition of democracy. Although much of what the acquis was composed of would not have appeared in any way in 1947 as integral to democratic government, it remained the case that what was at stake was the outlines of the European political settlement reached in 1950.

It was merely a channel through which national policies flowed. Nevertheless, this literature, whether conceived as political theory or history, does not regard the symbolism of the High Authority and the ECSC as hollow. It emphasises its importance to the achievement of the political goals of the participants. There was very little supranational governance emanating from the ECSC, but the existence of the supranational institution in itself was essential to what was achieved. From that point onward political science and history diverge into two schools of political interpretation of European integration.

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