Histoire contemporaine européenne

Network diplomacy in shaping European economic and monetary integration in the 1970s

The Werner Committee's work was characterised by political and doctrinal differences between “economists” (the countries with weak currencies – France, Belgium and, to a certain extent, Italy) and “monetarists” (the countries with strong currencies – Germany and the Netherlands)– namely, those who saw monetary integration as a means of economic integration and those for whom it was the ultimate goal. The conflict was ultimately resolved by the adoption of a parallel approach between economic cooperation and monetary coordination in the Member States, a principle of equilibrium on the basis of which Pierre Werner was able to secure a consensus.

This paper makes extensive use of Pierre Werner’s previously unpublished archives and a collection of original oral history accounts with key players of European monetary integration. An interdisciplinary approach, together with digital methodologies (network analysis and the TXM corpus analysis framework), will be used to explore the negotiations within the Werner Committee by examining the dynamics between group members, their emerging views on EMU, their political commitment to a European currency, the similarities and differences between their ideas, their personal networks, the influence of their respective countries, their theoretical and methodological input and their contribution to the political agreement.

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