The roots of today’s European Union can be traced to the creation in 1952 of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). With this event began a complex process by which national interests came to be overlaid with collective European interests, leading to today’s EU. How and why this happened has been the subject of much debate. Multiple theories and approaches have been proposed, ranging from federalism to neofunctionalism and constructivism, but while they offer valuable insights, they have all been criticized in their own way, and no grand theory of European integration has yet won approval.
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