The Treaty of Rome follows a setback, that of the European Defense Community (EDC) in 1952, yet proposed by France but then rejected by its parliament. The construction of Europe thereafter focused on economic issues. As a matter os fact, the treaty of Rome in 1957 was inspired by the 3 countries of the Economic and Monetary Union of the BENELUX (BElgium, NEderland, LUXembourg).
The Treaty of Rome follows a failure, that of the European Defense Community (EDC) in 1952, yet proposed by France but rejected by the nationalist opposition in the French parliament and by General de Gaulle himself. This rejection urged to fall back on the American military protection of the European continent. For lack of being able to proceed on an European defense, through the fault of the French, the initiative was taken up in the economic field by the 3 BENELUX countries - Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg - which already had united their economies in a trade union (1944), and their currencies into a single currency for Belgium and Luxembourg (1935). It was therefore a proposal of a liberal inspiration which served as the foundation for the Treaty of Rome in 1957, namely to create a larger trade union, the European Economic Community (EEC). Back in government in 1958, General de Gaulle was forced to respect the newly signed treaty which he had previously opposed. He however claimed back the Common Agricultural Policy (PAC) as compensation. It is therefore out of spite that France accepted an Anglo-Saxon economic approach of which it is intrinsically wary, constantly adding corrective measures to protect itself from it, such as tax and social harmonisation, or industrial policy. For the Anglo-Saxon countries, on the other hand, the constitution of a free and open market is perceived as a good thing in itself. These countries hold as cardinal values the 4 freedoms enacted by the President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt in his address on the State of the (American) Union in 1941:
- freedom of speech
- freedom of religion
- the freedom to live free from want (poverty)
- the freedom to live free from fear (security)
In Anglo-Saxon countries, free and undistorted competition is perceived as a fundamental protection for individuals who can undertake, produce, buy and sell with equal opportunity. For the French, the economic treaty of Rome of 1957 was a last resort against which it was necessary to protect oneself by corrective measures such as fiscal, social harmonisation and industrial policy.
The synthesis of the two cultures kicked off the formation of the largest trade and economic union in the world.