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Pierre Werner et l’Europe : pensée, action, enseignements – Pierre Werner and Europe: His Approach, Action and Legacy

Elena Danescu and Susana Muñoz

Le centenaire de la naissance de Pierre Werner (1913–2013) a offert une occasion privilégiée d’évoquer la personnalité et l’œuvre de cet homme d’État luxembourgeois qui a marqué de son empreinte le devenir contemporain du Grand-Duché et l’intégration européenne. Réunis lors d’un colloque international qui s’est déroulé les 27 et 28 novembre 2013 à Luxembourg, une trentaine de chercheurs et d’experts réputés d’horizons différents (historiens, économistes, juristes, politologues), ainsi que des grands acteurs de la pensée économique et monétaire ont analysé la vision européenne de Pierre Werner et ont mis en lumière, dans une perspective internationale, l’actualité de ses réflexions face aux défis du XXIe siècle. Sur le plan méthodologique, plusieurs contributions puisent leur originalité dans l’exploitation scientifique des archives familiales Werner. Par le message et les enseignements qu’il délivre, cet ouvrage a pour ambition de contribuer à approfondir l’étude interdisciplinaire de l’Union économique et monétaire sur le long terme et invite les lecteurs à découvrir davantage le projet d’intégration européenne à travers la vision et l’action de l’un de ses promoteurs, Pierre Werner.
The centenary of the birth of Pierre Werner (1913–2013) offered a timely opportunity to reflect on the personality and achievements of this politician from Luxembourg who left his mark on the future of his country and on the European integration process. On 27 and 28 November 2013, some 30 renowned experts and researchers including historians, economists, legal experts and political scientists, together with major players in economic and monetary affairs, assembled in Luxembourg for a conference during which they analysed Pierre Werner’s European vision and offered an international perspective on the relevance of his approach in light of the challenges facing us in the 21st century. Several of the papers provided new insights based on the authors’ exploration of the Werner family archives. The aim of these proceedings is to offer a series of observations and conclusions that encourage further interdisciplinary analysis of Economic and Monetary Union from a long-term perspective and invite readers to find out more about the European integration process through the vision and actions of one of its instigators, Pierre Werner.
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The New Economic and Monetary Order in the Aftermath of the Second World War

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René LEBOUTTE

Ad personam Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration Historyat the University of LuxembourgChairman of the CVCE’s Committee of Experts

This part of the proceedings is about the personality of Pierre Werner and his commitment to Europe. The contributors, who are all major specialists in the work of Pierre Werner, have described for us in great detail the boost which Pierre Werner gave to the process of European integration. I myself would like to look at the international context in which Werner developed his ideas from the end of the Second World War up to the 1970s.

In 1945, the economic and monetary situation in Europe was chaotic, with inflation soaring, unemployment, shortages of food, equipment, housing and much else. In every country, there was a pressing need for monetary reforms to put the national economies back on their feet and stamp out inflation. There needed to be worldwide action to re-establish some degree of monetary stability as soon as possible, so as to stimulate reconstruction and economic revival.1 In 1941, while the war was still on, Maynard Keynes put forward a “Proposal for an International Compensation Union” and, two years later, he defended the idea of an International Clearing Union as a means of helping countries over their ← 109 | 110 →balance of payments deficit.2 He also suggested establishing an international reserve currency, the Bancor, the value of which would be defined in terms of gold. In 1941, too, the United States Government...

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