The Netherlands and European Integration: Does the Lion Grow Weary?
INDIANA UNIV AT BLOOMINGTON DEPT OF WEST EUROPEAN STUDIES
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This thesis has presented a broad analysis of Dutch social, economic, and political conditions in an attempt to provide information to answer the two questions posed in the introduction. First, why have both the Dutch government and people remained among the staunchest supporters of the European integration process Second, is Dutch support for the integration process likely to change in the future, and if so, how The first section of this conclusion will summarize the information presented in the thesis, highlighting the answers developed for the first question and emphasizing the continued importance of those answers today. In addition, it will review the information and evaluation presented regarding the current Dutch debate on integration. In the second section, the author provides an estimation, based on the information presented in the thesis, of the likely future direction of Dutch policy in the field of European integration. This thesis has presented two primary reasons for the Dutch push for European integration. First, their long tradition of capitalism coupled with negative experiences with protectionism have led to a strong preference for liberal trade policies. An examination of Dutch history showed the development of this preference from its roots in Dutch religion and geography in the Middle Ages through its full realization following the Second World War. As a result, the pro-capitalism preference of the Netherlands remains a primary reason for the continued Dutch push for deepening in the EU. The second reason presented for Dutch support of the integration process was that Dutch war experiences, particularly those of the Second World War created an intense desire for peace and stability, especially in regards to Germany.
- Government and Political Science