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Consensus and European Integration / Consensus et intégration européenne

An Historical Perspective / Une perspective historique


Edited By Daniela Preda and Daniele Pasquinucci

Analysis of the formation and development of the consensus on European integration provides an interesting interpretative perspective for studying the history of the construction of a united Europe.
The authors of this volume examine the main reasons – ideological, political, cultural and economic – that have been advanced to encourage citizens to support the European project. The contributors also consider the initiatives proposed by the political and institutional actors involved for promoting this supranational project.
L’analyse de la formation et du développement d’un consensus pour l’intégration européenne représente une piste interprétative intéressante pour étudier l’histoire de la construction de l’Europe unie.
Dans ce volume, les auteurs examinent les principales raisons avancées – idéales, politiques, culturelles, économiques – pour obtenir le soutien des citoyens au projet européen. En outre, ils analysent les initiatives élaborées par les acteurs politiques et institutionnels impliqués dans le processus d’unification dans le but de promouvoir le projet supranational.


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Information or Propaganda? Supranational and Europeanist Strategies of Consensus Creation on European Integration, 1952-1972 (Alexander Reinfeldt)


257 Information or Propaganda? Supranational and Europeanist Strategies of Consensus Creation on European Integration, 1952-1972 Alexander REINFELDT Introductory Remarks European integration is widely perceived as an elite project.1 Creating consensus on European integration is a strategy to close the gap between what nowadays might be subsumed as “Brussels” and the European citizens.2 Since 1952 – not only since 1957/58 – supranational information policies have been considered a means to implement such a strategy;3 Europeanist movements began to publicize European integration even earlier. But what kind of information, or propaganda as often supposed,4 has been disseminated to this end? This contribution deals with the motivations and considerations of supranational actors and Europeanist non-state actors to pursue information strategies on European integration with an aim to foster consensus towards European integration in the formative years of supranational European integration. It focuses, in particular, on strategies of the European Commission and its institutional predecessors 1 Haller, M., European Integration as an Elite Process. The Failure of a Dream?, New York/London, Routledge, 2008. See Reitmayer, M., “Eliten, Machteliten, Funktionseliten, Elitenwechsel”, [Version: 1.0] in Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte, 11.01.2010, URL: 68904 [retrieved on 25.07.2010]. 2 For the concept of a “citizens’ Europe” see recently Nielsen-Sikora, J., Europa der Bürger? Anspruch und Wirklichkeit der europäischen Einigung – eine Spurensuche, Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009. 3 Cf. recently Rye, L., “The Origins of Community Information Policy. Educating Europeans”, in Kaiser, W., Leucht, B., Rasmussen, M. (eds.), The History of the European Union. Origins of...

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