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Process of Politics in Europe, The

The Rise of European Elites and Supranational Institutions

Process of Politics in Europe, The by Katja Seidel
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With the launch of the European integration process after World War II, a new type of administration emerged which was neither an international organisation nor a national administration. The new European administrations, the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC) Commission, were supranational as they were endowed with core competencies of nation states. These supranational administrations attracted young men and (a few) women to become European civil servants. Although acting mostly in the background, European civil servants had a vital influence on the European integration process. Working with role models such as Jean Monnet and Walter Hallstein, this European administrative elite devised and administered European policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy. Drawing on extensive archival records, contemporary sources and oral history interviews, this book is the first comprehensive study of the administrations of the High Authority and the Commission and their personnel. The book innovatively combines administrative and biographical history and gives a fascinating insight into the origins of Europe’s supranational institutions and the administrative cultures that developed within them. It uncovers the difficulties and conflicts faced by these European bureaucracies and their personnel during the institution-building process. Conflicts between Europe and the nation, and between supranationality and intergovernmentalism were (and still are) all pervasive. The European civil servants consisted of former enemies who in some instances had come face to face on the battlefields of World War II and who met only a few years later in Luxembourg and Brussels to build a united Europe. Despite this troubled past they developed a strong esprit de corps. This book explores the origins and mechanisms of this team spirit that evolved during the founding years of these organisations. Katja Seidel shows that European administrative elites and supranational administrations are vital to understanding the process of politics in Europe.
I.B.Tauris; July 2010
272 pages; ISBN 9780857718587
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Title: Process of Politics in Europe, The
Author: Katja Seidel