intransigence and deception, he managed to kill off what was feared to be a rival British ‘power-base’ that could inconvenience plans for a federal Europe. 27
Erhard was very much a Cassandra in his doubts about the EU. In the United States, there was cross-party and high-level elite backing for the project. Britain was too absorbed with managing imperial retreat and unfavourable economic trends at home to be able to be a coherent partner and Erhard had a boss who was a strong enthusiast.
Adenauer disarms the French
KonradAdenauer had never been an enthusiastic German
appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor in 1933, no fewer than three chancellors (Heinrich Brüning; Franz von Papen; Kurt von Schleicher) were appointed, each ruling by use of presidential emergency powers. In all, a total of sixteen chancellors (including Hitler) were appointed in the fifteen years from 1918 to 1933: a period briefer than the term in office as chancellor of Helmut Kohl (sixteen years), and only one year longer than the chancellorship of KonradAdenauer (fourteen years).
Because of this fatal flaw in the constitutional arrangements of the Weimar
delegation, which included KonradAdenauer, attended the Hague Conference, which paved the way for the creation of the Council of Europe in May 1949. The Federal Republic became an associate member of the Council of Europe in 1950, and a full member in 1951.
However, it was during the chancellorship of KonradAdenauer (1949–63) that the Federal Republic deliberately and, on the part of the governing Christian Democrats at least, energetically became involved in the process of European integration. In some respects, this was part of a wider process of tying the Federal
were not at all enthusiastic about the prospect of integration into a Euro-Atlantic framework, believing that it would destroy chances for eventual German reunification. In response to domestic criticism, Chancellor KonradAdenauer felt compelled to press for equal treatment for Germany in return for Germany’s willingness to join in the economic and military enterprises that were being designed mainly in Paris, London, and Washington. Adenauer had his own agenda: independent statehood for Germany. But Acheson apparently was convinced that the French government might
administration clearly hoped that closer cooperation among the NATO European allies would eventually relieve the United States of some of its European defense burdens—a theme of US policy that has persisted until today. In his 1953 New Year’s message to Chancellor KonradAdenauer, Eisenhower made a special point of saying that the development of an EDC “would contribute much to promote peace and the security of the free world.” 5 At a meeting at the Pentagon a few weeks later, Eisenhower argued strongly for support of the EDC, saying, “The real problem is that of getting
imposing a new ‘Fourth Reich’, indicated that many no longer believed that, within a eurozone where key financial decisions were made by the European Central Bank (ECB), their country enjoyed meaningful independence. One group of protesters sat atop a jeep dressed in Nazi uniforms, while another, clutching the Greek flag, lay underneath the wheels of the vehicle. 3 By contrast, when Merkel’s predecessor, KonradAdenauer, had paid an official visit to Athens in 1954, only a decade after the wartime German occupation, he had been greeted as a friendly head of state
Democratic party, which developed and remained as a separate party: the CSU, was very much a Catholic party, reflecting the predominance of Catholicism among the population, and one that was jealous of Bavarian particularism, so was also not seen as suited to providing leadership to other Christian Democratic parties. The Rhineland party, led by the aged but ambitious former lord mayor of Cologne, KonradAdenauer, was able to give such leadership, especially once Adenauer was elected as chairman of the Parliamentary Council which drafted the Basic Law and who then became
–3). Of course, all this has to be seen against the background of the German population’s experiences of the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, the Second World War and the occupation regime instituted at the end of the war. Such passive attitudes suited Chancellor KonradAdenauer, who was able to govern in a patrician, even authoritarian, style without much criticism from the electorate, and without any great need to explain and defend his decisions in the mass media or in election campaigns.
The period of the ‘grand coalition’, with its student demonstrations, its
Willy Brandt had come into government as foreign minister in a “grand coalition” with the Christian Democrats, assuming the position on December 6, 1966. He believed that the Federal Republic’s policy of non-recognition of East Germany and of existing European borders stood in the way of improving human conditions in Europe and particularly in the German Democratic Republic. Brandt’s concept of “Ostpolitik” represented a major shift from Germany’s orientation under Chancellor KonradAdenauer, and he brought this new philosophy to his first NATO foreign ministerial
. At one conference in Warsaw, organised by the KonradAdenauer Foundation, he recalled how:
speaker after speaker outlined what they called ‘the role of elites’ in promoting EU integration. That was the title of one of the sessions. The thesis was put forward, quite openly, that European Union was a great and noble idea which had always been moved forward by great visionaries among the elite, and that popular opinion may be relied on to catch up eventually, but should not be allowed to stop the project. 2
Such an outlook, conveyed by the official