EVOLUTION OF THE IDEA OF A UNITED EUROPE:
SOME LEGAL CONCLUSIONS
This article examines the legal aspects of the evolution of the idea of a united Europe from ancient times to the present. It provides the periodisation of the history of the European idea and argues that throughout all historical epochs this idea developed under conditions of constant struggle between opposing visions on how to fulfil it: initially, between secular and theological concepts of universal monarchy; then, between universal monarchy and the concept of union of States; subsequently, between the concepts of union of monarchs and union of republics; and currently between confederation and federation. It is also argued that the European idea is closely related to the maintenance of international peace and security, the prosperity of all humankind and the effective protection of human rights and the vision that all States must (or at least should) comprise a common, law-governed and peaceful community.