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August 15, 2011 - Publication

European Union: Are the Founding Ideas Obsolete? - French Politics, Culture and Society

Contributions are available at: journals.berghahnbooks.com/fpcs/

 

Today’s world of European integration is far from the one that the founders faced. Yet amidst anxiety about globalization,  European competitiveness, the Euro, climate change, EU institutions, the Great Recession, multiculturalism, terrorism, and a host of other burning issues, today’s EU is the clear result of what the founders initiated. It is thus eminently worthwhile, and not only for commemorative purposes, to reflect on how their insights and innovations have stood the test of sixty turbulent years. That is what our articles do, each in its own way.  Michael Burgess begins by reflecting on the « federal legacy » of the Schuman Declaration. Isabelle Petit then argues that this legacy is still well alive today by showing that institutional reforms increasing the federal dimension of the European Union have been regularly introduced since the 50’s. Two essays on the Franco-German “couple” follow. The first is by the French analyst and practitioner Robert Toulemon and the second by German historian Sabine von Oppeln, and both reconsider the intimate relationship that was at the heart of the Schuman Plan and remains central to European integration today. The study by Grégoire Mallard and Martial Foucault as well as the text by George Ross focus mainly on policy/political processes broadly defined. Mallard and Foucault, through the lens of European security, explore the founders’ unique approaches to multilateral negotiation. Ross then reflects on an area, social policy that the founders decided to neglect, for sound political reasons, in their incremental approach to integration and analyzes the implications of this neglect in the EU’s history. Finally, Thierry Chopin assesses the state of play between the EU and the US sixty years after the Cold War 1950s when the new Europe was launched. 

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