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
EMU at the Crossroads: Quo Vadis?
← 326 | 327 →EMU at the Crossroads: Quo Vadis?
Sir Brian UNWIN
President of the European Investment Bank (1993-1999)
It is a great honour and pleasure to be invited to speak at this conference in honour of Pierre Werner. As one of the few voices in the United Kingdom (UK) speaking up for the European Union (EU), I am glad to be given an opportunity to present a pro-European view in public, but my special pleasure is to do so to commemorate the centenary of Pierre Werner, whom I was privileged to know well during my seven years here in Luxembourg as President of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Having gone through many of the traumas of the UK’s relationship with the EU during the Thatcher years – particularly in those arguments about the budget and “getting our money back” – and having sat alongside her (though out of range of the handbag!) at some stormy meetings with Jacques Delors and your own Gaston Thorn, it was for me a moving and enlightening experience to take up residence in Luxembourg and meet the “father” of EMU on his own ground, and to count him as a friend. I recall with pleasure that one of the earliest conferences which I organised at the EIB was an economic one to mark Pierre’s 80th birthday. The principal guest speaker I invited from the UK was former Prime Minister Ted Heath – an old friend of Pierre’s. After his defeat as leader of the Conservative Party by Margaret Thatcher, Ted...
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