Home // University // News // Latest News // New book tells history of EMU through previously unpublished sources

New book tells history of EMU through previously unpublished sources

twitter linkedin facebook email this page
Published on Friday, 22 February 2019

The prestigious academic publisher Palgrave Macmillan released a new book by Dr Elena Danescu (Research Scientist at the C²DH) entitled “Pierre Werner and Europe. The Family Archives Behind the Werner Report” as part of its Archival Insights into the Evolution of Economics series. The book features a foreword by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and a preface by Prof. Harold James (Princeton University).

Focusing primarily on the 1970 Werner Report, which served as a blueprint for the euro, this book examines a key period in European integration history and one of the major European achievements of Pierre Werner (1913–2002), former Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, who left his mark on the future of his country and is unanimously recognised as one of the architects of Economic and Monetary Union.

The author makes extensive use of Pierre Werner’s previously unpublished family archives, which were opened for the first time for research purposes, as well as a series of original interviews with eminent Luxembourg and European figures who were willing to share their views on the building of a united Europe. By exploring the archives that Pierre Werner began keeping in painstaking detail as early as the 1950s, and to which he added throughout his life, the book sheds new light on the history of European integration.

After a biographical overview and a brief description of Pierre Werner’s economic thought and European vision, the book analyses the Werner Report, the circumstances in which it was drafted, the people involved and the key principles and ideas on which it was based. It examines the context in which the committee of experts was set up following the 1969 Hague Summit and how Pierre Werner came to be appointed as chairman. The volume also looks more closely at the various members, analysing their views on EMU, their political commitment to a European currency, the similarities and differences between their ideas, their network-building skills and how the countries they represented influenced the design of EMU. The author identifies Pierre Werner’s vital intellectual input to the work of the Werner Committee, in terms of both method and substance, and the way he was able to build a consensus in theoretical and political terms that would culminate in a symmetrical EMU with political union as the ultimate goal.

The various chapters shed new light on specific aspects of the European integration process and on the role of Luxembourg and its European policy.

As well as presenting a historical account that has been carefully pieced together from these new sources, the book also offers readers a collection of photos and reproductions of previously unpublished documents from the Werner family archives, a chronology on “Pierre Werner, Luxembourg and monetary Europe”, brief biographies of the key figures mentioned, and an extensive bibliography on the topic.

The book will therefore be of interest and value to researchers, historians, EU policy-makers and students in the fields of political economics, political science, economic history, history of economic thought and history of European integration.


Bibliographical reference: Elena Danescu, Pierre Werner and Europe: The Family Archives Behind the Werner Report. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, series Archival Insights into the Evolution of Economics (ed. R. Leeson, Stanford University), (XXXIV + 520 pages), February 2019, ISBN 978-3-319-96294-8