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September 18, 2018
“The Engine of European Integration”
For the longest time, the European Union had been trying to end the violent wars between neighboring countries, which culminated in the Second World War. These events resulted into the European Coal and Steel Community then later the European Economic Community associated with the ‘common market’. When these crises were solved and the European Union was made stronger, it resulted in a surplus of food production and a good economy. Following this progress, the Berlin wall fell and the East and West Germany united once again after 28 years. And as of today, 28 countries are now part of the European Union. This is the result of the functional spillover effect. Positive spillover effect is the notion that integration between states in one economic sector will create strong incentives for integration in the further sectors.
We use the term “hybrid institution” to connect common interests within and between diverse property regime. What makes institutions hybrid is agreement. The agreement between two or more countries that have settled their disputes and set aside their differences to create an institution that will help keep their agreements in place. Historical conflicts, laws and procedures shape these “hybrid” natures of institutions. An advantage of having a hybrid nature in a constitution is that, it serves as a written agreement. This agreement then links the countries and keeps their peace. This ensures the unlikeliness of wars to happen in the future. This also ensures the assistance of other countries in times of need. By having a hybrid nature of institution, this ensures the fair establishment of laws and institutions between countries.  Having a shared institution will therefore force the countries to trade fairly and more easily resulting in a balanced economy. A disadvantage of this, specifically in the Euratom is that most activities that don’t follow the norm will therefore be hidden and will be outside the Euratom in opaque ways. When an institution has a blind side, people will then have a mind set that this is only voluntary and you can exit the framework by hiding your nuclear distribution activities. When a partner country then discovers that there was something going on behind their back, this will result in a dispute or even an intense conflict.

Neofunctionalism is the perspective that all integration is the result of past integration. This perspective has been subjected to change and be revised; it is a perspective that has been brought to the modern day. While reading the definition of the different institutions made through the perspective of neofunctionalism, you get a glimpse of what has happened in the past as to why these institutions were made. For example, the Euratom, it is said that it’s aim is to research about atomic energy, encourage the construction of nuclear-power installations, establish safety and health regulations, encourage the free flow of information and the free movement of personnel, and establish a common market for trade in nuclear equipment and materials. Without knowing the history nor reading the books, you would say that EU created this in order to ensure that they will not become scarce of nuclear weapons in times of need.
Neofunctionalism can also explain the growing economic interdependence. The biggest contributor of this interdependence is simply, trade. In the early years, they were forced to venture across seas in order to seek out food. Trade played an important role through the years of integration. The establishment of the common market is in the perspective of neofunctionalism. Trade has contributed remarkably in the history of European integration because this is where everything else started. Another factor that neofunctionalism is contingent on is the organizational capacity to resolve disputes and build international legal agreements. Without this there wouldn’t be any peace. Knowing how much capacity the involved nations have in making nuclear weapons, the world would still be at war. Therefore without this factor, there would not be any European integration at all.

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The hybrid nature of the institutions was effective, despite some minor errors it may have. The strongest advantage it has is that it is a formal agreement that cannot be abolished in a second. This will ensure peace; lessen competition between countries and guarantee fair trade. On the other hand, Neofunctionalism sums up how the European Integration took place. This is a perspective of how one act led to another. In the end, the goal of European Integration is to set as an example for the world. Integration is a continuous movement. In light of this, the Philippines should be making more positive laws and institutions so it leads to a positive outcome as well and hopefully, create a positive spillover.
References:
Caparaso, J., (1998). “Regional Integration Theory: Understanding our past and anticipating our
future”, Journal of European Public Policy, 5 (1): 1-16;
Peterson, J., (1995). “Decision-making in the European Union: Towards a Framework for
Analysis”, Journal of European Public Policy, 2(1): 69-93;
Staab, A. (2011). The European Union Explained (Second Edition). Bloomington, IN: Indiana
University Press.

Wallace, W., (1990). The Dynamics of European Integration, (London, Royal Institute of
International Affairs);
Wallace, H.; Wallace, W. ; Pollack, M. (Eds.). (2005). Policy-Making in the European Union
(Fifth Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (I. 2, I.3)

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