A European Life
Michael's first memories relate to his childhood in Scotland during the war of 1939-45; then to experiences - not always agreeable - at a well-known public school (Fettes College in Edinburgh). At Cambridge University, he studies Modern Languages, then Economics, and this opened the door to appointments with the United Nations in Geneva, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Geneva. Then, for ten years, he was a Director in the Council Secretariat of the European Union in Brussels, gaining first-hand insights into the workings of the Council of Ministers, the EU's decision-making body. He also pursued an academic career, writing on agricultural policy and economics and lecturing in various European universities, including the College of Europe in Bruges, and what was still called the "Karl Marx" economics university in Budapest. In Moscow in 1991, as part of a World Bank mission, he witnessed at close quarters the collapse of the Soviet Union. Subsequently he was involved in a new institute in St. Petersburg, and had advisory and teaching roles in several countries of Central/Eastern Europe during their transition to market economies and accession to the European Union. The final chapter of his Memoirs assesses the issues currently facing both the European Union and Russia. Taking the story up to May 2010, it discusses the prospects for the eurozone, and the implications of Britain's new coalition government for Britain's relations with the EU - a subject which he has followed from the outset in the late 1950s. Graham Dalton of the University of Aberdeen has written a foreword in which he admires the depth of knowledge at the heart of Michael Tracy's memoir and concludes: "His thoughts on Europe are well-founded, rounded and are to be taken seriously."
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