The Monnet programme

Jean Monnet

Letter published in the Economist, 17 September 2011

Sir – The suggestion that the crisis in the eurozone shows the limits of Jean Monnet’s approach to Europe is surely incorrect (Charlemagne, “The end of Monnet”, 3 September).

The essence of Monnet’s approach was that each step in European integration must make sense in its own terms, in other words, each step would solve a problem facing countries that they could not address adequately on their own, and also contribute towards the longer-term goal.  At any point a member state can decide that it has gone far enough and take no further steps.

In the case of the current crisis, if European Union member states borrowed money collectively it would lower their borrowing costs and restore some stability to the international bond market, a good idea by any standards.  You don’t have to be a federalist to see the sense in this.

Yours faithfully
Richard Laming
Chair, Federal Union

About the Author