European Union

Following the end of World War II, several movements began advocating a European federation, such as the Union of European Federalists or the European Movement, founded in 1948. Those organizations were influential in the European unification process, but never in a decisive way.[citation needed] Although federalism was mentioned both in the drafts of the Maastricht treaty and the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, it was never adopted by the representatives of the member countries, all of whom would have to agree to the term. The strongest advocates of European federalism have been Germany, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg while those historically most strongly opposed have been the United Kingdom and France; while other countries that have never campaigned specifically for a particular means of governance in Europe are considered as federalists.[citation needed] Some would consider this to be the case with states such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Hungary. It is also remarkable that in recent times the French government has become increasingly pro-European Union, while countries like the Czech Republic have taken on the roles of primary opponents to a stronger EU. Those uncomfortable using the УFФ word in the EU context should feel free to refer to it as a quasi-federal or federal-like system. Nevertheless, for the purposes of the analysis here, the EU has the necessary attributes of a federal system. It is striking that while many scholars of the EU continue to resist analyzing it as a federation, most contemporary students of federalism view the EU as a federal system (See for instance, Bednar, Filippov et al., McKay, Kelemen, Defigueido and Weingast). (R. Daniel Kelemen) The Union of European Federalists (UEF) is a non-governmental European organisation, campaigning for a federal Europe. It consists of 20 constituent organisations and it has been active at the European, national and local levels for more than 50 years. It was founded shortly after World War II with the belief that only a European Federation, based on the idea of unity in diversity, could overcome the division of the European continent that had caused the suffering and destruction of the two W rld Wars. Federalists believed that only a common effort of European citizens working towards this goal could create a peaceful and democratic Europe guaranteeing freedom and the protection of human rights. The Czech Republic (i/?tk/ chek; Czech: Ceska republika, pronounced [?tska? ?r?pu?bl?ka] ( listen), short form Czechia in English, Cesko Czech pronunciation: [?tsko]) in Czech, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the north. Its capital and largest city, with 1.3 million inhabitants, is Prague. The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia and a small part of Silesia. The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under the dominance of the powerful Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power was transferred from Moravia to Bohemia, under the Premyslids. Since 1002 it was formally recognized as part of Holy Roman Empire. In 1212 the duchy was raised to a kingdom and during the rule of Premyslid dukes/kings and their successors, the Luxembourgs, the country reached its greatest territorial extent (13thЦ14th century). During the Hussite wars the kingdom faced economic embargoes and crusades from all over Europe. Following the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts, alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Bohemian Revolt (1618Ц20) lost in the Battle of White Mountain, led to the further centralization of the monarchy including forced recatholization and Germanization. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian kingdom became part of the Austrian Empire. In the 19th century the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. After 1933, Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in central and eastern Europe.