The New European Construction

Working paper

vanhove.jpgThe working paper of Pieter Vanhove kicks off with an in-depth discussion of how Europe’s mythic founding fathers’ own mistakes were at the basis of the structural crisis the Union is facing today. The famed Community Method of Monnet, Spaak, and their colleagues was a well-meant plan devised by an elite of largely unelected officials who believed that democratic legitimation for a market-driven policy strategy initiated in the common good of the community was not necessary—their belief in the federalist political trickle-down effects of mere economic integration has proven, however, to be unfounded. In the second part of the paper we learn that it was this same community method that was played out once again by the charismatic former President of the Commission, Jacques Delors (1985-1995), who presided over the establishment of the EMU, the re-unification of Germany and the post-1989 enlargement of the Union. Under Delors the first cracks in the community method of the founding fathers were starting to show, but the miraculous economic prosperity of those days silenced all criticism. The third and concluding part of this paper consists of a number of positive suggestions for how we might imagine a different Europe based on multi-level, competence-based governance and a renewed sense of pan-European solidarity.