This book is an historical investigation into the role of the
European Community in the overcoming of the East-West divide during
the Cold War.
Making use of recently released primary sources from a broad
range of European and U.S. archives, the work reveals the ability
of the EC and its member states to shape, implement and further
develop a coordinated Eastern policy and play a significant
transformative role in the Continent. It demonstrates that the EC
polity successfully managed to challenge Soviet bloc-keeping
imperatives, resist the US call for a confrontational stance
towards the Communist world, and promote instead new intra-European
relations based on cooperation and interdependence. The book argues
that the EC Ostpolitik contributed to undermining the socialist
integration, offered an alternative path of relations to Eastern
European countries, and established the influential role of the
Community in the continent, laying the ground on which to build
post-Cold War Europe.
This book is a thorough addition to both Cold War and European
integration historiographies, and sheds new light on the
interrelation between the two. It also adds to the broader history
and understanding of contemporary Europe in that it reveals a
pro-active role of the EC towards the East since the early 1970s,
whereas historians and political scientists generally admit an
effective role of the European institutions only in the
post-communist era. The book actively engages with Cold War
historiographical debates on detente and its alleged crisis, the
end of the Cold War, and the role of actors other than the
superpowers in shaping East-West relations. The EC is now
recognised as having played a determinant role in the Helsinki
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and the
elaboration of its Final Act. The volume demonstrates that the EC
was an important actor in the Cold War beyond the time and scope of
the Helsinki Conference, and actively and effectively contributed
to the overcoming of the bloc order in Europe.
This book will be of much interest to students of Cold War
Studies, European political history, foreign policy and
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