- Ever since the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, the progress of the Six, or "Little Europe" as the Community was called, had evoked mixed emotions. Many nations outside the Six —and even some within —felt skeptical about the project. Though the Initial vigor of the new movement was surprising, the defeat of the European Defense Community by the French Assembly seemed to confirm the sceptics' opinions. Yet the Six were undaunted by the setback, and, less than a year later, were busily planning further economic integration. Their intention to create, within the boundaries of the EuropeanCoal and Steel Community, a common market extending to all fields of commerce was viewed with deep misgivings by some other European nations. These "outside" nations felt that an open market within and a common tariff wall around the area involved might be a serious threat to existing trade patterns. Further, these antagonists felt that the concept posed a severe political threat to the solidarity of Europe and the western world. Using as its platform the existing Organization for European Economic Cooperation with its seventeen-country membership --which included the Six —the antagonists proposed to form a European Free Trade Area whose members would gradually eliminate existing trade barriers among themselves.
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