Pierre Werner et l’Europe : pensée, action, enseignements – Pierre Werner and Europe: His Approach, Action and Legacy
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 21
The Werner Committee in the Dynamics of the European Integration Process After the December 1969 Hague Summit
Robert Triffin Chair at the Institute of European Studies, Universitécatholique de LouvainSenior Adviser for Historical Studies in the Research Departmentat the National Bank of Belgium
The year 1969 was a turning point in the history of European integration. The 1960s had seen the birth of the common market project, with the abolition of tariffs and quotas. However, no major new attempts at European integration were undertaken at the time.
At the December 1969 Hague Summit, the Heads of State or Government decided on an ambitious programme to relaunch European integration, comprising both a widening of the European Community (enlargement) and a deepening, with economic and monetary union becoming an official objective for the EEC.
Several factors can account for this new and ambitious agenda. At the end of the 1960s, doubts about the future of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system became widespread, especially with the devaluation of the French franc in 1969 and the vulnerable position of the American dollar. The EEC countries feared that further exchange rate instability would lead to the disintegration of the customs union and the demise of the common agricultural policy. Moreover, and of fundamental importance, new political leaders had come to power. In 1969, de Gaulle resigned and Pompidou was elected President of France. He and his Finance Minister, Giscard d’Estaing, were more pro-European. In Germany, a new government was formed by the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats with the...
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