Re: ideology over commonsense
And here we are at some of the differences between the founder members and for example UK and Denmark. In the latter countries EEC/EU was sold as a practical trade arrangement, for Germany, France and I think Benelux (not sure about Italy) it was much more important than that.
I am Danish; in 1986 the then Danish PM (in connection with a referendum) stated that "the Union is dead as a rock". In 1989 I did a 4 month industrial placement in Germany and realised he lied. The ever closer union from the Treaty of Rome (1957) was taken seriously, and for that reason EU was seen as the natural continuation and update of this - an update of the paperwork for the same basic idea, but not fundamentally separate. And for that reason I don't think the focus of EEC vs EU is correct.
What a lot of Brits (and Danes) don't / didn't understand is how crucial it was for the Germans and the French to prevent war at almost any cost - a lot of German cities have hardly anything left from before 45*), and France and Netherlands had famine (which is why the CAP had so much support). All had national humiliation, and all this made "never again" very strong. EEC/EU was seen as an important part in this. Also, Mitterand had been in the French Resistance and Helmut Kohl was marked by loosing a brother in WWII
I can happily accept the Soviet Union might have been more important for peace in Western Europe (a common enemy is useful), but a long period of rising prosperity was very useful too - end EEC/EU helped that IMHO. The later errors with the Euro is another story.
*) Yes, I know Coventry and the blitz. Compare to Hamburg, Freiburg, Dresden, Berlin, Ruhr, ...