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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 Werner Plan After the Euro

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Lorenzo BINI SMAGHI

Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank(2005-2012)Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s WeatherheadCentre for International Affairs

Introduction

This conference celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pierre Werner. Other papers in this volume discuss the contribution that Pierre Werner made to the process of economic and monetary integration. I would simply like to make reference to a coincidence. Pierre Werner was born in the same year in which the Federal Reserve was created in the United States. It is an interesting coincidence, because American economic and political integration started much earlier, but it took quite a long time – over a century – for the US to agree to the creation of a central bank for the whole federation. The US economic and monetary union took a long time to be completed. The main message of my contribution is that it takes time to build up institutions. They do not always start as perfect constructions, and they sometimes need to be adapted over time. The Werner Plan initially failed, maybe because it was “too honest”, as Hanspeter Scheller suggested. But the euro nevertheless succeeded, maybe because it was a less perfect construction from the very start.

Is this a paradox? Is it unique to European integration? Or is this an intrinsic part of the process of institutional development inherent to democracies?

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