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In Pursuit of Influence

The Netherlands’ European Policy during the Formative Years of the European Union, 1952-1973


Anjo Harryvan

As one of the six founding member-states of the European Union, the Netherlands has been at the heart of the European integration project from its inception. Looking back on the Netherlands’ role in European cooperation and integration during the 1950s and 1960s, Joseph Luns, the country’s long-standing Foreign Minister, depicted himself as an exponent of a «Dutch vision». This vision, Luns suggested, enabled the country to act as a leading force in Europe, thus demonstrating that in specific constellations in international affairs, a middle-sized or even a small country can play an important role.
What was this «Dutch vision» of Europe and was Luns right in ascribing so much importance to it? In this book, the author sets out to investigate whether, under which conditions and by what means the Netherlands has exerted an «engineering influence» on the economic and institutional architecture of the European Union. It sheds fresh light on the policies of the Netherlands and its Benelux partners in the process of making Europe as we know it today.
Achieving the Common Market may well be considered the ultimate success of contemporary Dutch diplomacy.
Contents: Small States’ Politics, the Netherlands and Engineering Influence – The Beyen Plan as the Dutch Response to the EPC Proposals – The Netherlands, Benelux, and the Relance européenne – Between Example and Spectre – Supranationality or Britain? The Netherlands and the Fouchet Negotiations 1959-1962 – A Successful Defence of the Communitarian Model? The Netherlands and the Empty Chair Crisis – Swan Song or Cock Crow? The Netherlands and the Hague Conference of December 1969 – Learning Interdependence the Hard Way. The Netherlands, European Political Co-operation and the First Oil Crisis – A Bumpy Road To Lomé. The Netherlands’ Policy on Association and the Yaoundé Treaties, 1956-1969 – A Note on the Making of the Netherlands’ European Policy during the 1950s and 1960s.