Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2008

Thesis Advisor(s)

Michael Lubatkin


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations


Since France, Italy and Spain are neighboring Western European countries, whose languages and cultures have descended from Latin, it is inevitable that these countries share similarities on many levels. France, Italy and Spain share similar lifestyles, religious values and cultural heritages. Throughout history France, Italy and Spain have experienced many of the same historical events because of their geographical proximity. Now that all three countries are members of the European Union they have become further united by occupying a common area without border controls, and sharing a common market, laws, and currency.

While France, Italy and Spain share many commonalities, their opinions and relationships within the European Union are diverse. Although each nation struggles to balance its national identity with its European identity and to maintain its sovereignty while at the same time giving some of it up to the EU, each nation has its own ideas about how much its identity should change and how much sovereignty it should give up to the EU government. Each nation also has unique opinions about what it means to part of the European Union and what the requirements for becoming a member nation should be. Each nation has different goals it hopes to accomplish for its own country and for the European Union. The differing ideas amongst France, Italy and Spain are a result of the variance that exists amongst their political and economic relationships and institutions, which have been molded by the historical experiences of each nation.

The focus of this paper will be examining why France, Spain and Italy share many cultural similarities, yet differ so greatly in their roles as members of the European Union. After a brief background on the European Union, I will discuss the cultural similarities France, Italy and Spain share. I will then mention several economic and political differences between the three countries and use supporting evidence to explain why and in what context these differences have arisen