The Premature Ambition for a European Political Community

Europe: the Union, from Rome (1957) to Rome (2017) – 1

Namur, 25 March 2017

The signing of the Treaty of Rome on 25 March 1957 was not an isolated act. It should be seen in two contexts: that of a series of plans dreamt up in the late 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century (1) , and that of ambitious decisions taken immediately after the Second World War with the intention of restoring confidence, stabilising political, economic, social and financial relations between nations and bringing about the rebirth – or perhaps the birth – of true interdependence.

Interdependence among nations

The already old concept of economic and social interdependence was contrasted at this time by the journalist Emery Reves with the myth of total political independence, which he believed had produced the evils that were ravaging the globe, and might do so again in future (2). As François Bayrou recently wrote, ‘We Europeans (…) having travelled to the limits of hatred, having lost to it our cities and our boys, our violated daughters, our burned cities, the half-dead prisoners in the camps, utterly worn out and dishonoured, concluded that we turn back and take the other road; we had to choose peace and the human chain with which fires are put out and houses, factories and cathedrals built’ (3). By the end of the war, the main ambition was, first and foremost, to exist. Thus the determination to reaffirm or regain sovereignty was mingled with the desire for cooperation and the determination to build and regulate a world that, it was hoped, would be better, but whose limits and borders were hard to discern.

As early as July 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreement attempted to put an end to the monetary and financial muddle created by the Second World War. The international conferences at the end of the conflict culminated in the drafting of the Charter of the United Nations, signed by fifty states at the San Francisco Conference on 25 June 1945. Similarly, the effort to rebuild Europe undertaken in the European Recovery Program launched by US General George C. Marshall in 1947 required the establishment in 1948 of the body known from 1961 as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). From 1950 to 1958, the European Payments Union (EPU) was also part of the so-called Marshall Plan. 1949 saw the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with the objective of ensuring its members’ security. Meanwhile, the Council of Europe, set up by ten European countries in London on 5 May 1949, sought to promote human rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights, and to develop and define convergent policies on education, culture and so on through intergovernmental action. Its Consultative Assembly can be regarded as the first European parliamentary assembly.

In this way a multilateral institutional context took shape, integrating Western Europe once more in a context of globalisation, and seeking to banish the old internal perils and guard against the new ones: as Churchill said in a speech given on 5 March 1946, ‘An iron curtain has descended across the Continent’ (4). It has also sometimes been pointed out that Stalin was the true founding father of the European project… perhaps we should add the name of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, given the decisive nature of his views on the continent from 1942 to 1961?

Moreover, since the first Congress of Europe in The Hague on 8-10 May 1948, bringing together numerous European activists and leading politicians, the idea had been taking hold of giving some substance to the concept of a ‘United States of Europe’ that had been dear to Victor Hugo, Winston Churchill and others. The former British Prime Minister had made a deep impression with his speech at the University of Zurich on 19 September 1946, following as he did in the footsteps of figures such as Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi and Aristide Briand – not to mention Jules Destrée (5) and many others – in the search for a remedy for war and the misfortunes that had afflicted Europe: ‘What is this sovereign remedy?’ asked Churchill. ‘It is to recreate the European fabric, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, safety and freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong and to gain as their reward blessing instead of cursing’ (6).

All that is needed… Yet no one except for nation states seemed able to express this resolve forcefully enough, to speak truly and legitimately on behalf of these men and women, and to open a constructive dialogue on these issues. Moreover, the divide between European federalists and unionists was even then well defined (7). And it would never really be closed.

A proactive and pragmatic process

Nevertheless, economic, political and social circles everywhere were aware of the need to extend their sphere of action to the international sphere. As the Economic Council of Wallonia – at that time a non-profit organisation – stated in its famous 1947 report to the Belgian Government, ‘It has now become indispensable to do so, and this enlargement can only be achieved through numerous economic agreements, or even unions. It is essential for our country to become part of a larger economic area and to find a market there that provides a stable outlet for a high percentage of its output.’ (8)  We may recall the phases of a proactive and pragmatic process. They proceed through the declaration – inspired by Jean Monnet (9) – of the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 concerning a Franco-German agreement that was open to other European countries (10) , and that initiated the process leading to the signing on 18 April 1951 of the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) between six partners, in order to contribute, over 50 years, to ‘economic expansion, the development of employment and the improvement of the standard of living in the participating countries’ (11) ; the foundation of the European Defence Community (EDC) on 27 May 1952; and the resolve of the Six to create a European Political Community as an overarching political structure for the ECSC and the EDC. Altiero Spinelli succeeded in incorporating an Article 38 into the EDC Treaty, the purpose of which was to entrust the Assembly with the task of studying the creation of a new assembly elected on a democratic basis so as to constitute one of the elements of an ultimate federal or confederal structure, based upon the principle of the separation of powers and including, particularly, a bicameral representative system (12) . It is hard to believe that such a resolve could have been manifested in a forum of such importance at such a moment, and in any case, so soon after the war.

The premature ambition for a European Political Community

On 10 September 1952, on the basis of a proposal by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, the six Foreign Ministers of the ECSC, meeting in Luxembourg, asked the Assembly of that institution, chaired by the former Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak, who was also president of the European Movement, to draw up a draft Treaty establishing the European Political Community (EPC) . The ECSC-EDC Joint Assembly had not yet been constituted, but nine additional delegates, members of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, were co-opted into the ECSC Assembly to make a total of 87 members. This new assembly, chaired by Spaak, was named the Ad Hoc Assembly and met in plenary session at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg. It appointed a Constitutional Committee from among its members, chaired by the German parliamentarian Heinrich von Brentano, then Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (13) . The Committee received input in the form of work done by the Action Committee for the European Constituent Assembly, and more particularly by the Study Group for the European Constitution, an initiative launched by Altiero Spinelli and Spaak in February 1952 to promote ‘the convening of a European Constituent Assembly’ (14) . It was Fernand Dehousse, Professor of International Law at the University of Liège, who gave permission for the Study Group’s reports, presented – following the American example – in the form of resolutions (15), to be used as working documents for the Constitutional Committee.

The draft treaty took the form of a draft European Constitution, or rather, more cautiously, of a draft Statute, probably following the use of this term for the Council of Europe. The text, however, echoes the manner of the American Constitution:

We, the Peoples of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Belgium, the French Republic, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Kingdom of the Netherlands,
Considering that world peace may be safeguarded only by creative efforts equal to the dangers which menace it;
Convinced that the contribution which a living, united free Europe can bring to civilization and to the preservation of our common spiritual heritage is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations;
Desirous of assisting through the expansion of our production in improving the standard of living and furthering the works of peace;
Determined to safeguard by our common action the dignity, freedom and fundamental equality of men of every condition, race or creed;
Resolved to substitute for our historic rivalries a fusion of our essential interests by creating institutions capable of giving guidance to our future common destiny;
Determined to invite other European peoples, inspired with the same ideal, to join with us in our endeavour;

have decided to create a European Community.

The articles of the treaty recall the supranational character of the Political Community, founded upon a union of peoples and States, upon respect for their personality and upon equal rights and duties for all. It shall be indissoluble. The Community has the following mission and general aims: to contribute towards the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Member States; to co-operate with the other free nations in ensuring the security of Member States against all aggression; to ensure the co-ordination of the foreign policy of Member States in questions likely to involve the existence, the security or the prosperity of the Community; to promote, in harmony with the general economy of Member States, the economic expansion, the development of employment and the improvement of the standard of living in Member States, by means, in particular, of the progressive establishment of a common market, transitional or other measures being taken to ensure that no fundamental and persistent disturbance is thereby caused to the economy of Member States; to contribute towards the endeavours of Member States to achieve the general objectives laid down in the Statute of the Council of Europe, the European Convention for Economic Co-operation, and the North Atlantic Treaty, in co-operation with the other States parties thereto.

The text also states that the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and the supplementary Protocol signed in Paris on 20 March 1952 ‘are an integral part of the present Statute’ (16) . The document displays federalist conceptions: a bicameral parliament consisting of a Peoples’ Chamber elected by direct universal suffrage and a Senate whose members are elected by the national parliaments. The Parliament controls the Executive and has a genuine legislative function, which until then has been the responsibility of the Council of Ministers of the ECSC. Executive power is exercised by a Council answerable to the Peoples’ Chamber. Its president is chosen by the European Senate. The Constitution also includes the creation of a European Court of Justice and an Economic and Social Council. The EPC’s powers and competence relate to the coordination of the foreign, economic and financial policies of the Six.

The draft Treaty was adopted almost unanimously by the Ad Hoc Assembly on 10 March 1953 and handed over to the foreign ministers, who gave it a mixed reception (17) . The evident lack of commitment of Pierre Mendès France and the rejection of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community by the French National Assembly on 30 August 1954 led to the abandonment of the plans for the Political Community (18). The efforts of the United States, which wanted Europe to take over its own defence and mobilise Germany’s military potential for the purpose, ultimately led to the establishment of the Western European Union (WEU), the Treaty for which was signed in Paris on 23 October 1954 between the Six and the United Kingdom (with headquarters in London) (19), within the framework of NATO, which Germany joined on 9 May 1955 – something that France had hitherto ‘always obstinately refused to do’ (20).

Towards the Treaty of Rome of 25 March 1957

At the Conference of Messina on 3 June 1955, on the proposal of Jean Monnet, the foreign ministers of the Six entrusted a committee of independent politicians chaired by Paul-Henri Spaak with the task of considering a relaunch of the process on the basis of the idea of a European atomic energy community and the creation of a large common market. The Diplomatic Conference of Val Duchesse (Brussels) in July 1955 opened the door to the creation of the European Economic Community.

It was therefore in a more favourable European political context (though at a time of serious international tensions), in which, besides Jean Monnet, the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the French President Guy Mollet played a decisive role, that it was possible for the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community to be signed on 25 March 1957. The six signatory States – Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – defined as the purpose of their project ‘the economic and social progress of their countries’ and ‘the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples’. Their actions were to be carried out in common and would consist of ‘eliminat[ing] the barriers which divide Europe’. Through ‘concerted’ action they sought to ‘guarantee steady expansion, balanced trade and fair competition’. They also affirmed that they were ‘anxious to strengthen the unity of their economies and to ensure their harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less favoured regions’. These countries affirmed their desire to conduct ‘a common commercial policy’, and to contribute ‘to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade’. Finally, the signatories intended to ‘confirm the solidarity which binds Europe and the overseas countries and desir[ed] to ensure the development of their prosperity, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations’, affirmed their resolve ‘by thus pooling their resources to preserve and strengthen peace and Liberty’, and called upon ‘the other peoples of Europe who share their ideal to join in their efforts’ (21).

Thus, the Treaty of Rome created a new plurinational space, with its own institutions producing legal norms applicable to the signatory Member States, their governments and their citizens. Nevertheless, it was clear from the institutions that were set up that this was a long way from the Churchillian idea of the United States of Europe, as well as from the experience of the ECSC. The High Authority became a Commission. Although it continued to express a common point of view, an interest that was European and as independent as possible, along with its monopoly over initiatives it yielded up its decision-making power to the Council of National Ministers. The latter was required to decide on proposals put to it by the Commission, and was often suspicious, regarding them as having been produced by a sphere that it often saw as technical, if not technicist or technocratic. As for the Parliamentary Assembly, its role was confined to the deliberative process as well as to the possibility of tabling a motion of censure against the Commission, the ECSC High Authority or Euratom (the European Atomic Energy Community), which were established at the same time as the Common Market.

European integration was obviously set to be a long-term process. Nearly twenty years passed between Fernand Dehousse’s report of 30 April 1960 on the election of the European Parliamentary Assembly by direct universal suffrage – a fresh impetus derived from the 1953 Statute – and the implementation of this essential step. The European Council, ‘the last incarnation of deviations from the Community spirit’ as Dehousse described it (22), decided at a meeting in Brussels in 1976 to take a step towards the democratisation of Europe, despite French and British reluctance. The first election took place in June 1979. In the third edition of his book on the political system of the European Union, Paul Magnette sees this as ‘the only real “systemic shift” in the history of the European project’, by means of the creation of ‘a genuine space for parliamentary expression and the confrontation of world views’ (23).

Conclusion: Europe, a positive global force

Geneviève Duchenne reminded us in 2000 how ahead of his time Jules Destrée was when the former minister wrote that he advocated European economic integration rather than political integration, warning of the risk of ‘romantic illusions’ and the difficulty of the political path: ‘We may believe,’ he wrote, ‘that economic achievements are not impossible. It is quite remarkable that the authors of the Treaty of Versailles, in creating new nationalities, failed to see that they were causing Europe to bristle with customs barriers. To lower and eliminate such barriers among all the peoples of Europe is to bring down the cost of living and increase output and wages (24)’ . Whether we like it or not, it is this path that has been chosen since 1951, and even more since 1957, although the initial aims have not necessarily faded away.

Over time, the excessively weak elements of supranationality contained in the Treaty of Rome have been considerably reinforced by the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice which, as Fernand Herman indicated in 1993, has finally gained acceptance, ‘not without reluctance or resistance, of the hierarchical superiority of the Community’s legal order over the national legal order, the possibility for citizens to obtain direct recognition and respect for the rights conferred on them by the Treaty or by Community legislation, the direct application of the rights contained in the directives, even where they have not been transposed into national law, the pre-emptive character of Community legislation, and the controls over the compatibility of national laws with the Community’s legal order’ (25) . The MEP also noted that the Single Act of February 1986 and the Maastricht Treaty of 7 February 1992 went further by increasing the powers of the European Parliament, ‘but above all by introducing the concept of European citizenship and guaranteeing citizens a series of fundamental rights as in a genuine constitution’ (26).

In fact, the Maastricht Treaty also opened up a major debate on the future of Europe and a period of chaos from which Europeans have definitely not yet emerged. In 1994, according to one of his former collaborators from the Foresight Unit, Jacques Delors said that ‘if in the next ten years we have not managed to breathe life into Europe and give it a soul, the game will be over’ (27) . Almost twenty-five years later, the debate remains open. Is the game over for the EU? It is probably true to say that never before have so many citizens rebelled against the functioning of the European Union, and never has the European project been so little defended by political leaders, as Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Guy Verhofstadt noted in 2012, at a time when there was still no talk of an acute refugee crisis or of Brexit. They were probably right to call for the defusing of the false rhetoric of Europe’s enemies, ‘those who recycle old nationalist, conservative and populist refrains’ (28) . But diatribes are not the best response to those experiencing doubts. It probably takes more to convince them.

In his book Europe: le continent perdu?, Philippe Maystadt has clearly shown that the European Union, and in particular the Eurozone, is the most appropriate level of coordination for the three reasons he explains at length: first, because it constitutes an economic space and a relevant market; second, because ‘it offers an efficient area for monetary policy’; and finally, because it is able to create a better balance of power with the rest of the world than the countries of which it is composed (29) . As the former president of the EIB says, ‘the issue is essentially a matter of political choices. One can play with semantics and avoid the term “federalism”, but one cannot hide the reality: a monetary union cannot work without harmonisation of economic and budgetary policies – in other words, without political union’ (30) .

It seemed to me a useful exercise to recall the attempt that was made to launch a European Political Community starting before 1957, based on the liberal and democratic values of Europe and the United States. Guy Verhofstadt was right to point out the importance of this experiment recently (31). Nevertheless, despite the EPC’s failure, it would be wrong to see the Treaty of Rome as too much of a fundamental step back from the fervour of Fernand Dehousse, Altiero Spinelli, Heinrich von Brentano and a few others who were particularly attached to these values. To quote a group of researchers who worked under the Secretary General of the Commission of the European Communities and President of the European Institute in Florence, Émile Noël, ‘when one takes into account the qualitative leap that the conferral of legislative power on the Community institutions represents, the Treaty of Rome was a substantial step forward and corresponded to an increase rather than a dilution of Community powers’ (32). During the past seventy years, whatever some people claim, these values have not ceased to be at the centre of European concerns and of its integration process. The debates on the European Charter of 2000, the Treaty of Rome of 2004 and the European Constitution have clearly shown that the democracy of the Member States’ governments is not that of the Europeans represented in the EU Parliament. This is a point to which we will definitely return.

Contrary to what certain candidates for the French presidency would have us believe, and even some friends or politicians who are close to us in Wallonia, neither Europe nor our countries will withdraw into self-sufficiency, restrictions on movements, narrow patriotism or parochialism. Whether they form states or regions, federated or otherwise, we must always bear in mind the formula that the former European Commissioner Jean Rey made his own and shared with his political friends in 1976: ‘Without European unity, regionalisms are merely separatisms, forever incomplete, which wear themselves out in their exasperation’ (33). ‘European integration is the only right way forward for the countries of the EU and those which could become associated with it in future,’ (34) said German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel much more recently . Of course, much of the construction work remains to be done, and we would be wrong to think that it is only the French who are in the situation of complaining ‘regularly about Brussels, Germany, the whole world at times’, but of failing to ‘make any public and precise proposal that would lead to the creation of a more democratic and social Europe’ (35) . My experience over the past two decades has shown that the European Parliament, the Commission with its various Directorates-General, the Economic and Social Council, the Committee of the Regions, and even the European Council, far from being the smooth, cold, ungrippable wall often described, open up spaces of governance and consultation that are not fundamentally different from those we know in our countries, regions and territories. To be sure, democracy is not optimal on either side. But I do not believe that bureaucracy or technocracy are any worse at European level than at other levels of government, and I am convinced that arbitrariness, especially political arbitrariness, is less pronounced there, or at least better controlled. The major weakness on all sides is, fundamentally, the lack of understanding as to how the institutions work on the part of the citizens and also of some politicians. It is also acknowledged that the lack of knowledge of the European institutions has probably reached a point beyond the reach of any – or almost any – educational effort (36).

It is not an act of provocation to quote today the President of the European Commission which, on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, wrote that ‘A positive global force, Europe’s prosperity will continue to depend on its openness and strong links with its partners’ (37). For me, a European who is convinced of the rightness of the path that has been taken and determined to continue along it, it is simply a path of common sense.

Surely, in today’s world, as at the end of the war, we cannot enter the fray alongside women or men who are cautiously European… ‘Woe to the lukewarm,’ Diderot proclaimed, alluding to The Book of Revelation. ‘Those without enough material to make honest people or rascals from’ (38) added the philosopher of the Enlightenment.

Philippe Destatte

(1) See for example Geneviève DUCHENNE, Visions et projets belges pour l’Europe, De la Belle Epoque aux Traités de Rome (1900-1957), Brussels, Presses interuniversitaires européennes, 2001.
(2) Emery REVES, Anatomy of Peace, New York, Harpers and Brothers, 1945. The concept of interdependence is of course older. In particular, it is found a century earlier in Marx and Engels: ‘In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.’ K. MARX & Fr. ENGELS, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), p.18, Marxists Internet Archive ( 1987, 2000, 2010.
(3) François BAYROU, Résolution française, p. 273, Paris, L’Observatoire / Humensis, 2017.

(4) Speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, 5 March 1946. (BBC Archives)

(5) ‘Socialists are certainly internationalists, and I agree with my friends that it is good to multiply agreements between peoples, to generalise the conquests of civilization, to strengthen the ties between all members of the great human family. But the International, by definition, supposes nations. The more logically constituted, strongly organised, independent and free these nations are, the more fruitful and solid the agreements they form among themselves will be. A centralist despotism which suppressed the life of the nationalists by force would be the precise antithesis of the International. One may therefore dream of the United States of Europe and cherish one’s country.’ ‘Letter to the King about the Separation of Wallonia and Flanders’, in Journal de Charleroi, 24 August 1912, p. 2. In 1916, the parliamentarian from Charleroi wrote: ‘And we can see more clearly the magnitude of the consequences of the present war: it will lead us either (which seems unlikely) to the despotic hegemony of a sovereign people by Force, or to a Federation of United States of Europe by Freedom and Law ‘. J. DESTREE, Les socialistes et la guerre européenne, 1914-1915, p. 130, Brussels-Paris, Librairie nationale d’art et d’histoire, G. Van Oest & Cie, 1916. See Geneviève DUCHENNE, Jules Destrée diplomate, de la Grande Guerre à l’idée d’Europe, in Patricia VANERCK (ed.), Musée Jules Destrée, p. 145-171, Charleroi, Echevinat de la Culture, 2000.
(6) Zurich, 19 September 1946:

(7) Bertrand VAYSSIERE, Vers une Europe fédérale ? Les espoirs et les actions fédéralistes au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Brussels, Presses internuniversitaires européennes, Peter Lang, 2007.

(8) Economie wallonne, Rapport présenté au Gouvernement belge par le Conseil économique wallon, 20 May 1947, p. 210, Liège, Ed. CEW, 1947.

(9) Jean Monnet (1888-1979), a French economist, former Deputy Secretary-General of the League of Nations, author of the first French Modernisation and Equipment Plan, initiated the Coal-Steel Pool and inspired the Schuman Plan. After chairing the Conference which drafted the ECSC Treaty, he directed the ECSC’s High Authority. He resigned in 1954 to set up the Action Committee for the United States of Europe and to prepare the Treaty of Rome.

(10) ‘Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries. With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point. It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe.’ The Schuman Declaration, 9 May 1950.

(11) Signed by Paul Van Zeeland (BE), Konrad Adenauer (DE), Robert Schuman (F), Carlo Sforza (I), Joseph Bech (LU), Dirk Uipko Stikker (N). Jean-Claude ZARKA, Traités européens, p. 6, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Gualino, 2016.
(12) Résolution adoptée le 10 septembre 1952, à Luxembourg, par les six ministres des Affaires étrangères sur l’élaboration d’un projet de traité instituant une Communauté politique européenne. Assemblée ad hoc. Débats – compte rendu in extenso des séances, Documents relatifs à la création de l’Assemblée ad hoc, Luxembourg: Service des Publications de la Communauté européenne, 1954. 584 p. p. 6-8.
Resolution adopted on 10 September 1952 at Luxembourg by the six Ministers for Foreign Affairs – by

(13) Heinrich von Brentano (1904-1964), a member of the Bundestag, became Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs under Konrad Adenauer, succeeding the latter in this position when he became Chancellor (1955-1961).

(14) Comité d’études pour la Constitution européenne, Projet de statut de la Communauté politique européenne, Travaux préparatoires, p. 9, Brussels, Mouvement européen, November 1952. – Claudi Giulio ANTA, Les pères de l’Europe, Sept portraits, p. 110, Brussels, Presses interuniversitaires européennes – Peter Lang, 2007. – B. VAYSSIERE, Vers une Europe fédérale ? Les espoirs et les actions fédéralistes au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale…, p. 306-308. The Study Committee for the European Constitution was composed of P-H Spaak (chairman), Fernand Dehousse (secretary general), Altiero Spinelli, Piero Calamandrei and Hans Nawiasky, as well as four parliamentarians, Max Becker and Hermann Pünder (Bundestag), Pierre de Félice (French National Assembly), Lodovico Benvenuti (Italian Chamber of Deputies), a lawyer, Cornelis Van Rij, and an adviser to the Supreme Court of Justice of Luxembourg, Arthur Calteux, joined by Henri Frenay. The Committee also received assistance from two Harvard lawyers, Robert Bowie and Carl Friedrich, who were specialists in federalism.

(15) Resolutions adopted by the Study Committee for the European Constitution, Brussels, November 1952. First Resolution: Preamble and General Proposals. ‘An indissoluble European Community is instituted by the present Statute. This Community, created on the initiative of the Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Defence Community, is concluded between their peoples. It has the aim, through establishing a closer bond between the said peoples, of guaranteeing the common well-being, existence and external security of the Member States and of protecting the constitutional order, democratic institutions and fundamental freedoms.’ Comité d’études pour la Constitution européenne, Discussion sur le préambule, Séance du 30 septembre 1952, in Bernard BRUNETEAU, Histoire de l’idée européenne au second XXème siècle à travers les textes, n°28, coll. U, Paris, A. Colin, 2008. – Comité d’études pour la Constitution européenne, Projet de statut de la Communauté politique européenne, Travaux préparatoires…, p. 234. – A first-rate lawyer, Fernand Dehousse was born in Liège in 1906 and died there in 1976. He co-wrote L’Etat fédéral en Belgique with Georges Truffaut from 1938, and worked on numerous international initiatives both at the UN and at European level. A senator from 1950 to 1971, he was Belgian Minister of Education (1965-1966) and of Community Relations (1971-1972).
(16) Draft Treaty embodying the Statute of the European Community adopted by the Ad Hoc Assembly, in Strasbourg on 10 March 1953, p. 1.
Communauté politique européenne, Projet du 10 mars 1953. – Richard T. GRIFFITHS, Europe’s First Constitution: the European Political Community (1952-54), London, Federal Trust, 2000 & 2005.

(17) Etienne DESCHAMPS, La Communauté politique européenne,, 8 July 2016.
(18) Christophe REVEILLARD, Les premières tentatives de construction d’une Europe fédérale. Des projets de la Résistance au traité de CED (1940-1954), Paris, F.-X. de Guibert, 2001.
(19) The Western European Union was also an enlargement to Germany and Italy of the 1948 Treaty of Brussels, which already united the other partners, but the military powers included in this treaty were transferred to NATO in 1950.

(20) Paul-Henri SPAAK, Combats inachevés, De l’indépendance à l’Alliance, p. 292, Paris, Fayard, 1969.

(21) Traité instituant la Communauté européenne, signé à Rome le 25 mars 1957, in Union européenne, Recueil des Traités

(22) Fernand DEHOUSSE, ‘Élection du Parlement européen au suffrage universel’ in Eur-Info, August-September 1976.

(23) Paul MAGNETTE, Le régime politique de l’Union européenne, p. 14, Paris, Presses de la Fondation nationale des Sciences politiques, 2009.
(24) Jules DESTREE, ‘Les Etats-Unis d’Europe’, in Pour en finir avec la guerre, p. 54-55, Brussels, L’Eglantine, 1931. – G. DUCHENNE, Jules Destrée, diplomate…, p. 168.

(25) Fernand HERMAN, ‘Une constitution pour l’Europe’, in L’Echo de la Bourse, 8 October 1993, reproduced in Fernand HERMAN, Europa Patria Mea, Chronique de 15 années de vie politique, économique et sociale européenne, p. 67-68, Brussels, Didier Devillez Editeur, 2006. – Paul Magnette seems to take a more nuanced view of the evolution of the Court’s positions since the Maastricht Treaty: P. MAGNETTE, Le régime politique de l’Union européenne…, p. 205 ff. See also Renaud DEHOUSSE, La fin de l’Europe, Paris, Flammarion, 2005.
(26)  Ibidem.

(27) Marc LUYCKX, ‘Réflexions prospectives sur l’identité européenne’, in Nathalie TOUSIGNANT (ed.), Les identités de l’Europe: repères et prospective, p. 129, Louvain-la-Neuve, UCL, Institut d’Etudes européennes, 1998.

(28) Daniel COHN-BENDIT and Guy VERHOFSTADT, Debout l’Europe !, p. 8 and 36, Brussels, Actes Sud – André Versailles, 2012.
(29) Philippe MAYSTADT, Europe, le continent perdu ? , p. 66 ff, Waterloo, Ed. Avantpropos, 2012.

(30) Ibidem, p. 128.

(31) Guy VERHOFSTADT, Le mal européen, p. 36-37 and 382 ff, Paris, Plon, 2016.

(32) Lambros COULOUBARITSIS, Marc DE LEEUW, Emile NOEL, Claude STERCKX, Aux sources de l’identité européenne, p. 123, Brussels, Presses interuniversitaires européennes, 1993.

(33) CRéER, Manifeste, Liège, Club pour les Réformes, l’Europe et les Régions, n.d. (1976), p. 4.

(34) Sigmar GABRIEL, ‘Pour une Europe plus forte !’, in Le Figaro, 23 March 2017, p. 16.

(35) Stéphanie HENNETTE, Thomas PIKETTY, Guillaume SACRISTE, Antoine VAUCHEZ, Pour un traité de démocratisation de l’Europe, p. 42, Paris, Seuil, 2017.
(36) ‘Institutions, Democracy and its dilemmas, The EU institutions need reforms’, in The Economist, Special Report, The Future of the European Union, March 25th-31st 2017, p. 14. ‘National politicians in many countries remain shamefully ignorant of the EU and its rules, and too few MEPS see it as a part of their role to help educate them.’

(37) Commission presents White Paper on the Future of Europe: Avenues for unity for the EU-27, European Commission, press release, Brussels, 1 March 2017.

(38) Lettre à mademoiselle Volland, 18 October 1760, quoted in Pierre HERMAND, Les idées morales de Diderot, coll. Biblothèque de la Faculté des Lettres de l’Université de Paris, Paris, PuF, 1923.


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