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For a Sovereign Europe

Sophie Heine

While anti-European forces are still raging, pro-Europeans seem impotent and deprived of a strong, clear and convincing alternative. This book is an attempt to fill that void: reacting to the anti-European wave, it also outlines a strong criticism both of the current EU and of its advocates. Far from the Europeanist defence of the status quo, it proposes an original and radical project of European sovereignty. Its message is both critical and propositional.

This book is therefore original in its method, approach and content. It distinguishes itself from most of the literature on the subject by going beyond the narrow cleavage opposing mainstream anti- and pro- Europeans. In this general polemic, anti-European arguments usually promote a return to sovereignty at the national level, while pro-Europeans justify the existing EU configuration and its so-called "sharing" or "division" of sovereignty. Despite being clearly in favour of a deeper European integration in some fields, Sophie Heine refuses to throw away the classical concept of sovereign power. Relying on a rich literature and deploying a theoretical and strategic argument, she proposes to rehabilitate this notion at a supra-national level while avoiding the common traps of national sovereignty. This allows her to propose a redefinition of European federalism connected to her broader liberal approach.

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This book could never have been accomplished without the support and involvement of several key individuals who I would like to briefly acknowledge here.

First of all, thank you to Mark James Kelly, the man I love and the father of my children, for always believing in my intellectual value, for his love and for his tremendous energy. This book would not have been produced without his presence.

Secondly, I would like to thank my father, Hubert Heine, whose strong pro-European views have inspired me for many years and who is a wonderful co-militant within the movement Stand Up for Europe.

Thirdly, thank you to the founder of Stand Up for Europe, Richard Laub, for supporting this project all along and for his trust in my ability to finish it.

I am also grateful for the precious feedback I received on a preliminary version of the manuscript from several key members of Stand Up for Europe: Pierre Defraigne (Professor at the College of Europe and Sciences Po – Paris and honorary Director General at the European Commission), Francois Denuit (Dr in Politics, Warwick University and Université Libre de Bruxelles), Renaud Denuit (Professor at Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis – FUSL) and Paul Goldschmidt (blogger on European political and financial issues and former Director at the European Commission).

Finally, an enormous thank you to my friends, who have heard me talk relentlessly about the project for the past two years. They...

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