Peter J. Verovšek
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Counter-memory and generational change
Eurosclerosis (1959– 84) and the second phase of integration (1985– 2003)
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The first phase of European integration was followed by a period of institutional stagnation lasting through the 1970s. This chapter argues that this Eurosclerosis was the result of a counter-narrative brought to the fore by Charles de Gaulle, who sought to return the state to the centre of political and economic power in Europe. The expansion of Europe beyond its Franco-German core reinforced the Gaullist challenge by forcing Europe to confront new understandings of the past. This was reinforced by the accession of the United Kingdom, whose differing, more triumphalist memories of the war meant that the British took a fundamentally different view of the European project from the start. However, by the mid-1980s a new group of leaders reacted against this challenge to what the chapter refers to as the classic narrative by building on their own childhood memories of the Second World War. Commission President Jacques Delors, French President François Mitterrand, and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl set the second phase of integration in motion with a series of initiatives that once again combined the economic logic of prosperity with the moral logic of cooperation across borders.

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Memory and the future of Europe

Rupture and integration in the wake of total war


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