Changing the guard in Brussels: an insider's view of the EC presidency

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Watching the tortuously slow process of European integration in recent years has been akin to watching grass grow. Twelve European powers, most of whom have had a taste of global dominion in the past, are understandably reluctant to forsake their traditional sovereignty. But a process is under way that is beginning to acquire a new momentum, especially with the 1992 deadline so close. Changing the Guard in Brussels is an appraisal of the institutions of the European Community as seen by someone familiar with the daily activity of the Council of Ministers. It deals with reality and results from personal experience, not from an academic study. By 1992, all European Economic Community internal barriers are slated to come down, ensuring the free flow of persons, goods, and capital. European union, if ever achieved, will have profound political, economic, and security consequences for the world at large. U.S. policymakers should notice what is happening and what it could portend. Regardless of the outcome, the process is a unique and absorbing experiment in supranationality. Nothing quite like it has ever before been attempted. This book therefore is a story about 320 million free and prosperous people reaching for the next stage of European evolution. Despite its moments of comic relief, such a serious and historic adventure is likely to have worldwide impact.

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About the author (1988)

GUY DE BASSOMPIERRE is minister counselor (economic and commercial at the Belgian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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