Rebuilding Europe: Western Europe, America, and Postwar Reconstruction

By David W. Ellwood | Go to book overview
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Expecting Growth 1955-61


With the success of the West European economics in the 1950s came the canonisation of the growth idea and its propagation as a full-scale model of society. When the expansion gathered speed it was seen to depend on intra-European exports as much as any other factor. As a consequence the impulses to integration regained confidence and momentum. The processes which led to the Treaty of Rome and the founding of the European Economic Community in March 1957 sprang then not so much from supranational idealism or visionary Americanism as from the imperatives of expansion in the growth era. Article 2 of the Rome Treaty, defining the purpose of the EEC, states:

It shall be the aim of the Community, by establishing a Common Market and progressively approximating the economic policies of Member States, to promote throughout the Community a harmonious development of economic activities, a continuous and balanced expansion, an accelerated raising of the standard of living and closer relations betwen its Member States.

Just how far the development of the growth vision progressed in a very few years is well illustrated by a series of prestigious lectures put on by the outgoing OEEC in January 1961 in Madrid. Spain had become a full member of the organisation in 1959 as part of a milestone accord, also involving the IMF, which was aimed at launching a new investment and internationalisation process in what was a nearbankrupt and still largely autarkic country. 1 Emphasising the change from OEEC to OECD in Europe's 'spectacular postwar recovery and further remarkable progress', the Secretary-General, Kristensen, explained in technical terms the new prerequisites of progress. Each


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