New Challenges for Europe: a recent lecture of mine at INSEAD, Fontainebleau Campus

Here is a quote about Europe from the late Ludwig Erhard, with which I  agree.  Erhard writes:

“Wehe dem, der glaubt, man könne Europa etwa zentralstaatlich zusammenfassen, oder man könne es unter eine mehr oder minder ausgeprägte znetrale Gewalt stellen. Nein-dieses Europa hat seinen Wert auch für die übrige Welt gerade in seiner Buntheit, in der Mannigfaltigkeit und Differenziertheit des Lebens.”

“Woe to whoever thinks that Europe can be grouped together under a centralized state, or can be placed under a more or less pronounced central authority. No, this Europe also has its value for the rest of the world, especially in its variety,  in the multiplicity and differentiation of life. ”

Wise words. Also wise words by Jean Monnet, with which I agree:

Heath reports Monnet as saying: “You must remember that the Community is composed of states, some with deep roots and that it will be always impossible for its members to ignore what a member state considers to be a vital national interest. If this were to be attempted, the Community would be subject to unsustainable tensions and would break”.

And here is a third quote, from Ken Clarke:

“After he (Heath) had lost office I remember a Conversation in the corridors of the House of Commons when I had for some reason been stressing the need to explain that the European Community was not a federal organization but was destined to be a Union of Nation States bound together by a treaty. Ted angrily dismissed this. He brusquely said that in his opinion the age of the Nation State was now over. He never gave himself the opportunity of undertaking the Herculean task of selling that proposition to the British political class and the public, and he would never have succeeded in persuading even me”.

Yet the German Constitutional Court states categorically in its judgement on the Lisbon Treaty that the EU is no more than an alliance of sovereign states. Here is the url:

As I have written elsewhere on this blog, the root of the UK’s difficulties with regard to the EU is that Heath’s official definition of the EEC/EU, in the 1972 European Communities Act, is of the EU as supranational. It is not, and I consider, it cannot be.

My argument is that the supranational/federal vision, the vision of President Junker and Guy Verhofstadt, is an impossibility, given the diversity of Europe, as Erhard points out, and given the different traditions and histories of the member states.

We are where we are in Europe because of misguided ambition.

Here is my talk.



About Jonathan Story, Professor Emeritus, INSEAD

Jonathan Story is Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy at INSEAD. Prior to joining INSEAD in 1974, he worked in Brussels and Washington, where he obtained his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has held the Marusi Chair of Global Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Graduate Schoold of Business, Fordham University, New York. He is preparing a monograph on China’s impact on the world political economy, and another on a proposal for a contextual approach to business studies. He has a chapter forthcoming on the Euro crisis. His latest book is China UnCovered: What you need to know to do business in China, (FT/ Pearson’s, 2010) ( His previous books include “China: The Race to Market” (FT/Pearsons, 2003), The Frontiers of Fortune, (Pitman’s, 1999); and The Political Economy of Financial Integration in Europe : The Battle of the Systems,(MIT Press, 1998) on monetary union and financial markets in the EU, and co-authored with Ingo Walter of NYU. His books have been translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Arabic. He is also a co-author in the Oxford Handbook on Business and Government(2010), and has contributed numerous chapters in books and articles in professional journals. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, and has been four times winner of the European Case Clearing House “Best Case of the Year” award. His latest cases detail hotel investments in Egypt and Argentina, as well as a women’s garment manufacturer in Sri Lanka and a Chinese auto parts producer. He teaches courses on international business and the global political economy. At the INSEAD campus, in Fontainebleau and Singapore, he has taught European and world politics, markets, and business in the MBA, and PhD programs. He has taught on INSEAD’s flagship Advanced Management Programme for the last three decades, as well as on other Executive Development and Company Specific courses. Jonathan Story works with governments, international organisations and multinational corporations. He is married with four children, and, now, thirteen grandchildren. Besides English, he is fluent in French, German, Spanish, Italian, reads Portuguese and is learning Russian. He has a bass voice, and gives concerts, including Afro-American spirituals, Russian folk, classical opera and oratorio.
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8 Responses to New Challenges for Europe: a recent lecture of mine at INSEAD, Fontainebleau Campus

  1. Mark A says:

    Very interesting lecture. As an American, the perspective about Gerhard Shroder “usurping” the traditional French position and thereby shattering the traditional European unity in 2003 was fascinating.


  2. Thanks. The Iraq war fall out had a Major Impact in Europe, and not in the way that is usually Thought. The usual story is that Schröder and Chirac stood up for international law etc. In fact, their stanze was pure power play, with Germany moving to lead the latent anti-Americanism in Europe. Blair was left high and dry. This European aspect of Blair and the war has hardly been mentioned in the UK. The result of Schröder’s electoral gambit(which paid off)was to give a free run to the und ho Warriors in Washington DC. Marxists(Schröder used to be one) call this an “objective” alliance.


    • Mark A says:

      Something that has kind of just occurred to me…the narrative is that IF there was a USE at the time of the 2003 Iraq invasion, Europe would have had the clout to counter American “adventurism.” Now, there was no substantive disagreement at the time between intelligence agencies in Europe and the U.S. about Iraq WMDs (we now know that we misread Saddam’s intent). And, as you have mentioned, Chirac and Schroder opposed Bush for political reasons, what makes the supporters of this theory conclude that the USE WOULD NOT have gone with the US? Ostensibly, the intel community of the USE would be similar in form and function then the current national parts. There is no reason to suppose it would come to a different conclusion. There would have been no French president to come for the anti-American award and Germany would have been a small part of the USE, so there would have been no German chancellor to stir up anti-Americanism for electoral reasons.


      • An interesting alternative history. This could have happened. But there are some Stones to throw into the pond of your story. Most people would agree that foreign policy initiatives can be more divisive than anything else, especially in a non existent European Demos. The advice, as you say, would have been pro-Atlantic Alliance. What would have been the politics of this? The leaders of 2002-3 were heading in direction of responsible policy. They were clown off track by Schröder’s electoralism. He won but at a great cost-the totally unnecessary division of the Alliance and of Europe. And the Victor was German nationalism.


  3. Mark A says:

    In your opinion, what could have happened if they did leave Blair out to dry?


  4. That’s what they did do. Spain and the Poles went along with Bush in Order to demonstrativ loyalty to the Atlantic Alliance. But the Point is that up to July -August 2002, a European Alliance had been Formung with a View to supporting Bush, but doing so conditionally. Schröder ran a Horse and cart through that prospect.


  5. Mark A says:

    I fat fingered my response. I meant “didn’t.” Whoops. Thank you for your responses though.


  6. My computer writes German, hence the Capital letters. Worse than a Fat Finger.


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