Does economic integration generate the momentum for political integration? Or does political integration create a space for economic integration to flourish? FRG Chancellor Konrad Adenauer saw economic integration as a step forward to a more important political integration.
One of the characteristics of German nation building throughout the modern era is that political structures often followed the creation of economic institutions. It was easier at crucial points to develop authorities for economic exchange among the German subdivisions than to unite them politically.
The origins of the European idea and of the European unity movement lie further back, and the earlier plans for some form of political, economic or cultural European unity where of course directed towards the whole of Europe - irrespective of the fact that in the past there has always been disagreement how Europe should be defined in the geographical political or cultural sense.
Chancellor of the Federal Republic, Adenauer fought for the European integration process in order to release the Federal Republic from the occupation statue and lead it back to an equal position among the Western European states.
His European policy was an instrument to regain international respect and avoid Soviet control over Germany. He used integration policy to bring West Germany's economy back into the world market, to have a security guarantee against pro-German tendencies toward neutralization of Germany and to ensure a military coalition of the Western states with West Germany against the danger of Soviet expansionism. The European organizations were a platform for normalizing the German relationship with the West and, specially, to overcome German-French rivalries and create a fallback position to avoid the incalculable risks withdrawal of American forces from the European continent.
The success in the EEC negotiations was, above all, dependent on the acknowledgement of leading French politicians and diplomats that EEC would be the best way to modernise their own economy, combined with the advantage of gaining a comfortable instrument with which to control the German economy.