John Pinder: An Intellectual Leader in Politics


The pdf version of the lecture is available on The Federal Trust website.

John Pinder Lecture, held on 10th November 2016, by Professor Roderick Pace
TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference “Restoring Faith in the EU” in Malta

JohnPinder-270x270John Pinder brought much wisdom to the European integration project and when he passed away last year all who knew him or were familiar with his work were deeply saddened by his loss. But he did not leave a complete void behind him, since the Federal Trust where he worked for many years continues to be active, while his works are still with us as a point of reference.

Considering the turn of events this year, it was perhaps a benevolent twist of fate that his passing occurred a year before the Brexit referendum result which would have hurt him deeply. For John Pinder had dedicated almost his entire life to two important and connected causes: federalism, comprising the federal unification of Europe, and the UK’s membership of the European Union.

In this connection, I was struck by what Lord Jenkins had written in 1990 in his foreword to Pinder and Mayne’s Federal Union: The Pioneers:

Britain is now securely in Europe in the sense that no foreseeable government is going to come out of the Community”.[1]

Alas, that prognostication has now been invalidated, which reminds us how dangerous it is to assume that the impossible will never happen in politics or in the EU.

In this first lecture in memory of John Pinder, I will discuss some of the points which attracted my attention in his life and works.

Andrew Duff, who knew him much better than I did, could not have chosen his words better when he described John Pinder as a “rare thing: an intellectual leader in politics…”, which I chose as a title for this lecture. Andrew went on to liken his involvement in the European integration process, to that of a pilgrim, “trudging on in high spirits with stubborn perseverance towards a destination becoming ever clearer and nearer.[2]

John Pinder was a pragmatic federalist who believed in the goal of the federal unification of Europe, but at the same time understood and accepted, that when the attainment of this goal was not immediately possible, intermediate steps in its direction were still welcome. He seems to have harboured serious doubts from the early stages of his involvement in the European federalist endeavours, about the traditional approach of emulating what the Americans had done at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787.

He was a genuine follower of Jean Monnet and the logic of the Schuman Declaration which emphasized that “Europe will not be made all at once…(but) through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.” He synthesized the federalist and neo-functionalist approaches into what he later described as “neo-federalism”.[3]

My encounter with John Pinder began in the 1980s through his polemical 1963 monograph Europe Against De Gaulle in which he vented his strong criticism of the General after he vetoed Britain’s application to join the Common Market.[4] Pinder’s style could not be more pleasing to the ear of a young and rebellious student. Some years later I managed to acquire a copy of the book autographed by the author himself.

I met John Pinder for the first time in Malta, in 1987, when he participated in a two day conference organized by the European Movement at what was then the Dragonara Palace Hotel. The event was held in January and I vividly recall that the weather was not all that clement and was indeed wet and cold. He spoke to a large audience which included many leading European and Maltese personalities, among them some well-known speakers such as Robert Triffin. Some of the Maltese politicians attending were later to play a significant role in leading Malta in the EU. Pinder spoke on “A European Plan for the Development of the Mediterranean” in which he proposed that the European Community could become a stabilizing force in a polycentric world. After detailing the difficulties which the world was going through, it was the Reagan and Gorbachev era, he proposed that the Community could start with the Mediterranean in dealing with these problems and if it managed to achieve peace in the region it could go on to “other and wider things”.[5]

In later years I met Pinder several times at meetings of the European Movement and in 2005 I attended the Zagreb conference of the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES) when he was awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award. As many who knew him know, he loved walking and on the day of the award we chanced to bump into each other in the lobby of the hotel and he asked me to stroll with him to the venue, situated half an hour’s walk away.

Pinder claimed that he had written Europe against De Gaulle in three weeks, although it had been in his head for quite some time. Thirty-five years later he described the episode as “the only time he was let out of his cage.[6]

I suspect that after publishing it, Pinder must have had a few misgivings for the strong words he used, for he carefully omitted any mention of it in some of his bio-notes.

But I still value the book for two reasons, firstly because sometimes intellectuals need to “blow their top” and secondly because it sheds a great deal of light on Pinder’s world view.

His criticism of De Gaulle was biting, audacious for some and for others not very far from the truth. Pinder criticised him of continuously blocking the development of “Monnet’s Europe”, for acting like a chauvinist and for his hostility to the United States.

Pinder was troubled by De Gaulle’s intransigence on disarmament and what he saw as his attempt to undermine the United Nations. He called him a demagogue employing Machiavellian techniques and capped it all by comparing him with a “dinosaur fit for the museum”.[7], [8]

Pinder pointedly criticised De Gaulle’s l’ Europe des Patries on the grounds that it would weaken western European unity and increase the risk of American or Russian hegemony over Western Europe.

Unsurprisingly, Pinder took special umbrage at De Gaulle’s “realist” approach in international relations. Pinder held that surely the tools of foreign policy cannot be limited to passing coalitions of states, to the balance of power or to Machiavellian diplomacy. Not even well intended summits, intergovernmental conferences or non-aggression pacts were enough for Pinder. He advocated what he called the Monnet Revolution.

This rejection of realism is connected with one of the most haloed principles of the British federalists which is encapsulated in Lord Lothian’s 1935 essay [“Pacifism is not enough – Nor Patriotism Either”] which attributed the outbreak of war to “international anarchy”. Lothian had written:

“… the fundamental cause of poverty and unemployment, of the partial breakdown of capitalism, and of war, in this modern world”.[9]

For Lothian, what was needed to reduce international anarchy, was to put the international system under the rule of law which implied some form of international Governance.

Like many leading thinkers of the inter-war and post war period, Pinder strongly resented extreme nationalism because it tended to increase competition among states and stood in the way of inter-state cooperation, thus helping to strengthen international anarchy.

He accepted that national governments must look after their legitimate interests, but the pursuit of national interest and power cannot be the fundamental aim of policy. As such it must be replaced by the effort to identify the general interest and to embody it in common institutions that group the nations together.[10]

Pinder hoped that the Monnet Revolution could lead to the unification of Western Europe which would in turn open the door for a transatlantic Partnership, and hopefully to two other positive spinoffs: a new deal for emergent nations based on the mobilization of economic aid to spur on their development and a partnership with Russia, which was the key to real world disarmament.

The Monnet Revolution as seen by Pinder rested on three fundamental principles: (a) the search for common interests; (b) the creation of partnerships centred on agreements; and (c) the conversion of partnerships into communities based on institutions of supranational democracy, in the viability of which he profoundly, if controversially believed.

It was essentially pragmatic and hardly utopic, as he himself highlighted “not a reaching for the stars, but one step after another up the side of a mountain.”[11] On the other hand Pinder considered De Gaulle’s l’ Europe des Patries as a throwback to the politics of Europe in 1913.

In 1969, after De Gaulle left the political scene, Pinder co-authored with Roy Pryce a much less confrontational sequel to his 1963 book, appropriately entitled Europe after De Gaulle: Towards The United States of Europe.[12] The authors kept to the same principles and normative framework of the 1963 work, extending the argument by a broader treatment of the need for détente between Russia and the West, and not surprisingly, by a call for monetary integration in Europe. Pinder and Pryce underlined that only a united Europe could become an equal partner with the USA to catalyse world unity. The world had moved on after De Gaulle, and Pinder had moved on with it. One proposal which attracted my attention concerned the central role which he urged Britain to take in the process of European integration, namely to spell out a vision of an ‘ever closer union’ even before attaining membership.[13] He clearly saw Britain at the heart of the European integrative process and not in the role of an objector. Pinder maintained and developed this notion of an active EU in the world right to the end of his career. Never losing sight of the lasting peace and economic prosperity which European integration had led to, he held that the EU could indeed lead by example, by influencing other regions of the world to try and follow in its footsteps. At the same time he realistically believed that a global order based on the rule of law was only possible among democratic countries.[14]

Indeed, De Gaulle’s departure from power signalled the beginning of a new and more optimistic era for the European Economic Community. The December 1969 Hague Summit opened the door to the enlargement of the Community and the possibility of political and monetary integration. Europe after De Gaulle could not but reflect this new spirit of optimism and hope that had gripped Europe at the time.

Pinder the Federalist

Pinder’s “world view”, which I have briefly outlined, is very intimately connected to his attachment to federalism – and above all peace. What had ignited his enthusiasm with federalism was the promise of lasting peace. But how did Pinder become a federalist? And, what type of federalism did he subscribe to?

Pinder graduated in economics from the University of Cambridge, but it was not there that he became interested in federalism. He discovered federalism afterwards. Which reminds me of Jon Acuff’s witty advice to new graduates: “Don’t listen to people in their 40s who behave as if the intellectually creative part of life ends the minute you get your degree.“ For Pinder the most exciting and creative part started after he graduated.

Pinder encountered federalism, in 1950, through William Beveridge’s “The Price for Peace”[15] while completing a six month internment in a sanatorium in Scotland to recover from Tuberculosis.[16] That was also the year of the Schuman Declaration, which led to the first concrete step towards European integration. Following this initial encounter, Pinder could turn to a rich and varied British federalist tradition and a corpus of publications from the Anglo-Saxon world for more insights.

In time he would also comment on the work of several British and leading thinkers on federalism through his contributions to The Federalist, a political journal founded by Mario Albertini in 1959 and which was linked to the Union of European Federalists.[17]

The roots of the British federal literature can be traced to the influence which British political thought had had on the American Constitution, and to John Stuart Mill in the nineteenth century and in the 20th century to such thinkers as Harold Laski, Lionel Robbins[18], Ivor Jennings and Friedrich Hayek, Lord Lothian and the Australian constitutionalist Kenneth C. Wheare.

In 1950, Pinder also became active in both the Federal Union and the Federal Trust.[19] The Federal Union was founded in 1938 by Charles Kimber, Patrick Ransome and Derek Rawnsley. It gained much support in Britain and later played its part in the establishment of the federal movement in Europe.

The Federal Union Research Institute constituted by Beveridge and Patrick Ransome in 1940, was the forerunner of the Federal Trust for Research and Education (The Federal Trust) which was established in 1945. Pinder held the Chair of the Trust from 1985-2008. The formation of the Trans-European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) itself has been attributed to the meeting of minds in some of the weekend conferences organized by the Trust.[20]

From the start of his European journey, Pinder kept close contact with European federalists and in 1951 he travelled to Aachen to attend the fourth Congress of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) which had been founded by Altiero Spinelli in 1946.[21]

Altiero Spinelli and John Pinder shared the common goal of the federal unification of Europe and no doubt mutual respect, though at times they differed in tactics and approaches. Spinelli, who with Ernesto Rossi had co-authored the 1941 Ventotene Manifesto for the federal unification of Europe, had been influenced by the works of British Federalists, foremost among them William Beveridge and Lionel Robbins. This connection is recounted by Pinder in a 1998 monograph.[22]

It is evident from Pinder’s contributions to the The Federalist, that the federal influences worked both ways. Not only had the likes of Spinelli and Luigi Einaudi been influenced by British federalists but beginning in the 1950s, John Pinder and UK federalists were themselves gaining new insights from their European counterparts.

It is evident that Pinder’s notion of federalism was much broader and slightly less Eurocentric than Spinelli’s. To understand Pinder’s federalism, one has to cut through and understand the internal cleavages of the Federal Union and which must have influenced his approach.[23]

The Federal Union in the 1950s, had three internal tendencies, one leaning towards the establishment of a world or global federation, the other which prioritized European unification and a third which favoured a transatlantic union. In fact, in 1956, two internal structures were set up within the Union, the regional commission which focused on the construction of a European federation and the world commission which pursued world federalism. For a long time both commissions worked separately.[24]

For the greater part of his life Pinder worked in the regional wing of the Federal Union and focused mostly on the challenges of European integration and Britain’s role in that process. But he never completely turned his back on world federalism.[25]

This may be the reason why in several of his writings he refers not only to the benefits of creating a European federation, but also to the benefits that such a federation would have for global governance. In the 1970s, when Europe was negatively affected by the global economic turbulence, he urged the European Community to try and master its environment “by joining the other major economic powers in shaping a world economic order, as the United States did in the Bretton Woods period.[26]

He added:

if the world’s politics had caught up with the world economy, there would be functions of economic government at five or six levels from the local authority…to the world as a whole.[27]

Pinder cautioned the EU not to limit itself to trade and the dismantling of tariffs in its relations with the rest of the world, and from the beginning of his engagement with the process of European integration, he rejected the neo-liberal model or free trade ideology.  He welcomed and supported proposals to change the Community’s economic policy from a neo-liberal concentration on removing distortions to competition, towards objectives of structural development and social welfare. Externally, this implies a change from commercial to an economic policy.[28]

Pinder’s Neo-Federalism

I have already referred to Pinder’s acceptance of the Monnet approach to integration. But he was also aware of its weaknesses and sided with the federalists who wanted to strengthen the Community’s institutions along federalist lines. Indeed, a step-by-step economic integration could perhaps not make the leap to political union. That is why he supported Spinelli’s campaign for a European federal constitution, I suspect from the standpoint that no harm could possibly come out of such efforts. Had Spinelli succeeded, I am sure that Pinder would have been overjoyed.

Spinelli’s first constitutional initiative began in 1952, with the launching of the European Defence Community (EDC) when he succeeded in convincing the Six – through Italy’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Alcide de Gasperi – that a defence community needed to be accompanied by a European Political Community (EPC) to ensure democratic control.

The European Assembly, forerunner of the European Parliament, drew up a constitutional Treaty in which Spinelli participated in the drafting. However, the project fell through when the EDC was rejected. Pinder disagreed with some European federalists led by Spinelli who wanted to go into opposition and write a European Constitution through a Congress of the People of Europe.[29]

Eventually, Spinelli withdrew from politics and went to teach at the Bologna Centre of the Johns Hopkins University. In 1966 he again made the point that unless the EEC was provided with independent institutions capable of taking decisions the community was doomed to fail.[30] But it was only at the end of the seventies, following the first direct election to the European Parliament that he made a second attempt to launch a European Constitution.

Pinder supported this new initiative.[31] Under Spinelli’s dynamic leadership the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for a new European Constitution in February 1984, but which as we all know, was not supported by the member state governments, in the way Spinelli would have wished.[32] Spinelli in a fit of disappointment hit out with his famous words that:

‘‘the mountain of work of the Parliament, the Dooge Committee, the Milan and Luxembourg summits and the Intergovernmental Conference’’ had given birth to no more than ‘‘a miserable little mouse, which many suspect is a dead mouse’’.[33]

Spinelli had previously gone on record by saying that while Monnet had the great merit of having built Europe he also had the great responsibility of having built it badly.

Pinder adopted a more nuanced position, arguing that while it was not possible to ‘‘build Europe well’’ in 1950, Spinelli’s radical but ultimately unsuccessful initiatives of  1951–53 and 1981–84 not only kept the aim of a European federal constitution on the agenda, but also served as major impulses towards building the Union better.[34]

When the Treaty of Maastricht was ratified less than a decade later, most European federalists were not entirely content with it. Altiero Spinelli had already passed away and Pinder found words to praise it by claiming that the treaty contained most of the elements that a solid constitution would require.[35] Pinder was enthusiastic about Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and welcomed it as another important step in a federal direction, but cautioned that it was unlikely to be successful without a deeper federalizing reform of the Union institutions.[36] Later still, after the shelving of the European Constitutional Treaty and the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty which salvaged some of the key provisions of the Constitution, Pinder said that it was a significant step in a federal direction.[37]

Pinder never enjoyed the leadership stature and the front-line position which Spinelli had acquired in his life time as a member of the European Commission and later of the European Parliament. But hidden behind his unassuming character, he had political astuteness and a capacity to judge political situations well. Paradoxically, though he disowned the political theory of realism, he did not refrain from taking a leaf out of their recipe book whenever it made sense to do so. One of these was surely pragmatism and he must have subscribed to Bismarck’s famous dictum that “politics is the art of the possible”.

In sum, Pinder acknowledged on several occasions Spinelli’s unique contribution and political acumen in the cause of European federalism. But he was always ready to accept any positive step forward in this direction even when bolder steps were essentially rejected – rather than risk further confrontation with possible regress or stagnation. Every little step up the mountain brought Europe closer to the summit – until the next step.

Pinder the Thinker, Pinder the Actor

Pinder has bequeathed us a rich legacy in the form of the Federal Trust which he helped to develop as well as the array of ideas on European integration and federalism scattered in several publications and journals.

Above all he was an indefatigable defender of the authentic meaning of “federalism,” which in his and our time has been turned into a term of abuse by populists and Eurosceptics for their own political and ideological objectives. For Pinder, who was attached to no ‘ism’, federalism was not a dogma but a rational way of organizing society at the sub-national, national supra-national and global level.

In his untiring effort to defend the true meaning of federalism he attached a great deal of importance to the principle of subsidiarity and flexibility[38]  which in turn calls for a careful allocation of competences within the EU’s constitutional order, the development of which is evident in the treaties from Maastricht to Lisbon.


In my final remarks I would like to treat another issue which Pinder confronted all his life, namely the connection between academic or intellectual and political activism. The issue is how far should intellectuals venture into the political world without compromising their independence and objectivity. For many, the intellectual’s prime objective is to pursue knowledge and then leave it up to political elites to act or otherwise on what they propose.

Pinder believed that there were two kinds of activists in the field of European integration: those with “a political job to do” and those with “an intellectual job to do”, which he united together by emphasizing that there was significant overlap between the two worlds.[39]

He moved freely and effortlessly between the two worlds. Apart from his participation in the Federal Trust he also taught at the College of Europe for 30 years, helped to set up TEPSA, wrote several outstanding monographs and co-authored many important works with others. He participated in the work of the Union of European Federalists, which he chaired between 1984-1990, and the European Movement both in Britain and the rest of Europe.

His constant and consistent strivings should cause us to pause and reflect a little on our contemporary situation. Today Pinder’s two worlds have become more detached (though not completely) and intellectuals do not always rub shoulders with those who, in Pinder’s own words are engaged “in the field of battle”.[40] This is odd when the EU is embattled on all fronts.

I think that the academic community has to make its presence more felt in the public sphere, the Agora. Whether we do so or not, the public debate on the future of the EU continues to take place with unyielding intensity both in the traditional media as well as in the newer ones, on the internet blogs and mobile phones, often in the form of single sentence messages employing the social media for which many intellectuals are unprepared or else feel that these are not the adequate communication tools that they want to use. The discussion raises many questions such as whom are intellectuals addressing, members of their own ‘club’ or the public? A process such as European integration which has many facets and influences a wide range and variety of audiences does not allow for clear dichotomization between the activities of intellectuals and politicians. The question is the manner and medium in which intellectuals can engage in public debate without necessarily having to join the partisan political hustings.

Three years ago, Jürgen Habermas agreeing with Justine Lacroix and Kalypso Nicolaides (2010) warned that

conceptions of the European Union and ideas of its future development have remained diffused among the general population. Informed opinions and articulated positions are for the most part the monopoly of professional politicians, economic elites, and scholars with relevant interests; not even public intellectuals who generally participate in debates on burning issues have made this issue their own.[41]

I have little to add to this learned assessment.

Throughout his life, John Pinder was the embodiment of an intellectual leader in politics and I have argued today that even after his demise he still stands out as a role model for us, both as an activist and a pragmatic federalist.

I believe that federalism based on solidarity and subsidiarity, still holds the greatest promise for the European Union, if only for the sake of the freedoms which the peoples of the member states cherish and wish to preserve and the binding synergies that federalism can create.

In this respect I think highly of the effort that is being made by the Spinelli Group in the European Parliament to promote a fresh Constitutional impetus towards federal union. This initiative is in my opinion worth more support, if anything to keep the future of Europe on the agenda even if for the time being the conditions for further treaty changes do not exist.

The Spinelli Group keeps the federal concept alive in a Europe which is becoming more prone to retrying the disastrous courses of action “already tried”, such as the renationalisation of policies which could trigger the dismantling of the euro and in extreme the Union. This would indeed be a throwback to 1913.

Since the Union and its member states have failed to address serious socio-economic issues that affect large swathes of our populations, the EU is increasingly being questioned and challenged. Hence I side with many who pragmatically advise that our first task is to rekindle fresh enthusiasm in the European project by tackling these social disequilibria before we venture into a new round of treaty changes.

It is certainly time for more intellectual leaders in politics to join the public debate. Let us all in this room follow John Pinder’s example in doing so.


Beveridge William (1945). The Price of Peace. Pilot Press, London, 1945.

Briand Aristide (1930). Memorandum sur l’Organisation D’un Régime d’Union Fédérale Européenne. Paris, 1 May.

Coudenhove-Kalergi Richard N. (1926). Pan-Europe. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

Debates of the European Parliament (1986). OJ Annex No 2-334, Session 1985-86, Report of Proceedings from 13 to 17 January, Europe House, Strasbourg. Sitting of Thursday, 16 January. P.171 forward.

Discussioni del Parlamento europeo (1986). GU Allegato No 2-334, Sessione 1985-1986, Resoconto integrale delle sedute dal 13 al 17 gennaio, Palazzo d’Europa, Strasburgo. Seduta di giovedì 16 gennaio. P. 183 – 309.

Draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (1984). Official Journal of the European Communities, C77, 14 February. PP. 33-58.

Duff Andrew (2015). John Pinder: Like a Pilgrim. Union of European Federalists. 16 April. at (visited 23 October 2016).

Duff Andrew, Pinder John and Pryce Roy (eds.) (1994). Maastricht and Beyond: Building the European Union. Routledge.

Habermas, Jürgen (2013). Democracy, Solidarity and the European Crisis. Lecture, 26 April, Leuven University.

Smith Michael (1998) (Interviewer). Historical Archives of the European Union, European University Institute, Interview with John Pinder, London, 24 August.

Lord Lothian (1935). Pacifism is not Enough, Nor Patriotism Either.Federal Union, at (Visited 14.10.2016).

Mayne Richard and Pinder John (1990). Federal Union: The Pioneers – A history of Federal Union. Palgrave Macmillan.

Monnet Jean (1943). Note de réflexion de Jean Monnet, Alger, le 5 août. CVCE, Luxembourg. 73bf4d882549.html. (Visited 14.10.2016).

Pinder John (1963). Europe against De Gaulle. The Federal Trust for Education and Research. Pall Mall Press. London and Dunmow.

Pinder John (1975). “The Community’s Need for an Active External Economic Policy”, The World Today, Vol. 31, No. 9 (Sep.) pp. 368-375. Published by: Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Pinder John (1978). “A Federal Community in an Ungoverned World Economy” in Burrows Bernard, Denton Geoffrey and Edwards Geofrey (eds.). Federal Solutions to European Issues. MacMillan Press for the Federal Trust.

Pinder John (1986). “European Community and nation-state: a case for a neo-federalism?” International Affairs, Vol. 62, No.1 (Winter), Wiley on behalf of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, pp. 41-54.

Pinder John (1995a). European Community: The Building of a Union. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York. Second edition.

Pinder John (1995b). European Unity and World Order – Federal Trust 1945-95. Federal Trust.

Pinder John (1996). “Economic and Monetary Union: Pillar of a Federal Polity”. Publius, Vol. 26, No. 4, Federalism and the European Union (Autumn, 1996), pp.123-140.

Pinder John (1998). Altiero Spinelli and the British Federalists: Writings by Beveridge, Robbins and Spinelli. Federal Trust, London.

Pinder John (2007). “Altiero Spinelli’s European Federal Odyssey”. The International Spectator, 42:4, 571-588, DOI: 10.1080/03932720701722944.

Pinder John and Simon Usherwood (2013). The European Union: A short Introduction. Oxford University Press.

Pistone Sergio (1996). L’italia e l’ unità europea. Loescher Editore, Torino.

Robbins Lionel (1968). The Economic Causes of the War. First published 1939. Howard Fertig, New York.

Spinelli Altiero (1966). The Eurocrats: Conflict and Crisis in the European Community. Tr. C. Grove Haines. The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore.

The Federalist. A political Review. (1959 – ) at


[1] Mayne and Pinder (1990). P. viii. Significantly, this work was published in 1990, the year Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister, as if to underline and recall the enormous contribution which British federalists had made to the European integration process.

[2] Andrew Duff (2015).

[3] Pinder (1995a). PP. 240-242; Pinder (1986).

[4] Pinder (1963).

[5] I am indebted to my friend and colleague Mr Peter Cassar Torregiani, who was also a friend of John Pinder, for unearthing the proceedings of the 1987 Malta conference which was supported by the Banco di San Paolo of Turin, Italy.

[6] Smith (1998). P.18.

[7] Pinder (1963). Pp. 31-47.

[8] Ibid. p.45.

[9] Lothian (1935), p. 4.

[10] Ibid. p. 155.

[11] Pinder (1963). P. 156.

[12] Pinder (1969).

[13] Ibid. pp. 188-189.

[14] Pinder & Usherwood (2013). PP.140-142.

[15] Beveridge, 1945.

[16] Michael Smith, (1998). P.1.

[17] The Federalist.

[18] Robbins (1939, 1968 edition).

[19] Mayne and Pinder (1990). P.10 on the launching of the Federal Union;  the Federal Union Research Institute P.34 and the Federal Trust for Education and Research PP. 109-110.

[20] Mayne and Pinder (1990). P. 114. Pinder (1995b). PP. 13-14.

[21] Michael Smith (1998). P.3

[22] Pinder (1998)

[23] Mayne and Pinder (1990).

[24] Ibid. P.77.

[25] Pinder (1990). P. 209.

[26] Pinder (1975).

[27] PP. 219-220.

[28] Pinder (1975). P. 4. Pinder (1978).

[29] Smith (1998). P. 4.

[30] Spinelli (1966).

[31] Pinder (2007).

[32] Draft Treaty Establishing the European Union (1984).

[33] Pinder (2007). P.586. Spinelli use this expression in the European Parliament, when he said (P.219), “ha partorito solo un miserabile topolino, e molti sospettano anche che sia un topolino morto” which in the official English translation came out as (P.203), “the net result is what many people suspect, a dead duck anyway.” European Parliament Debates (1986).

[34] Pinder (2007). P.587.

[35] Duff, Pinder and Pryce. (1994). P. 284.

[36] Pinder (1996). P. 136.

[37] Pinder (2007). P.587. See also Palayre (2010).

[38] Pinder (2013). PP.51-53. Pinder (1995a). PP.188, 240.

[39] Ibid. P.20.

[40] Smith (1998).P.20.

[41] Habermas (2013).

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Luxembourg, 4-5 June 2015

PrintLuxembourg will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2015. In this context, the Centre d’études et de recherches européennes Robert Schuman, the Luxembourg TEPSA member, will organize the next TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference to be held in Luxembourg city Thursday 4th and Friday 5th June 2015. Please find the draft programme here.


TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference and General Assembly, 4-5 July 2013, Vilnius

DSC_0010The TEPSA Lithuanian Pre-Presidency conference was held on July 4th, 2013 in Vilnius. The next day the General Assembly gathering the TEPSA Members took place.

The Conference concentrated on the main priorities of Lithuanian EU Presidency covering the EU Eastern Partnership Policy, the common energy policy, European economic governance reforms and challenges of differentiation in the EU. Participants from Lithuanian governmental institutions and TEPSA institutions from all over Europe took part. Recommendations to the Lithuanian Presidency were presented.

The event featured the interventions of Her Excellency Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania and Linas Linkevičius, Minister for Foreign Affairs.DSC_0040

The Conference was organized by Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University (IIRPS VU) and European Integration Studies Center (Vilnius). It was financed by the Representation of European Commission and the Bureau of European Parliament in Lithuania.

Please click here to read the TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference Vilnius report and the Programme.

TEPSA Irish Pre-Presidency Conference 22 & 23 November 2012

Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D

Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D

The Irish Pre-Presidency Conference was organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and took place on 22 – 23 November 2012 in Dublin. The Conference notably included panels on the Internal and External Security of the Union, Economic Governance in Europe, Building a Smart and Green Economy, the Future of Europe and the Foreign Policy Agenda. Those key issues were presented by members of the Irish government and analysed by invited speakers and panellists, top officials and scholars from across Europe. During the Pre-Presidency Conference TEPSA also presented the Recommendations to the Irish Presidency.

The programme is available here.

See also the Dublin PPC Conference Final Report.

TEPSA Polish Pre-Presidency Conference 30 June-1 July 2011 and Recommendations to the Polish Presidency

Last Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July 2011, the College of Europe Natolin (Warsaw) campus hosted the Pre-Presidency Conference on the “Priorities of the Polish presidency of the European Union”. The conference was organized by members of the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), the European Institute Łódź and the College of Europe, in cooperation with TEPSA and under the auspices ofthe Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The conference concentrated mainly on the priorities of the Polish presidency and the recent and upcoming challenges for the European Union in the following themes: EU Presidency under the Lisbon Treaty, EU security policy, EU neighboorhood policy and economic governance. Those key issues were presented notably by top EU officials Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council, Jerzy BUZEK, President of the European Parliament, Former Prime Minister of Poland and Janusz LEWANDOWSKI, EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget. Members of the Polish government such as Radosław SIKORSKI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Jacek ROSTOWSKI, Minister of Finance and scholars from across Europe provided their inputs and exchanged fresh ideas during this fruitful conference.

During the Pre-Presidency Conference TEPSA presented the Recommendations to the Polish Presidency.

TEPSA Hungarian Pre-Presidency Conference Report, 2-3 December 2010 and Recommendations to the Hungarian Presidency

Given the incoming Hungarian Council Presidency starting in January 2011, the Institute for World Economics and TEPSA in cooperation with THESEUS organised the Pre-presidency Conference, which took place in Budapest on 2-3 December 2010.

This conference entitled Entering the New Decade: New Challenges and Priorities of the EU under the Hungarian Council Presidency (2011) brought together senior scholars and high level practitioners from across Europe who exchanged with the participants on the new challenges and priorities for the EU during the upcoming Hungarian Council Presidency: Institutional Innovations, European Economic Governance, Enlargement and Eastern Partnership, Sustainable competitive Challenges, Financial Perspectives, European Danube Strategy and the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (Citizens’ Europe). Please click here to view the conference report.

During the Pre-presidency Conference TEPSA presented the Recommendations to the Hungarian Presidency.

TEPSA Belgian Pre-Presidency Conference, 20-21 May 2010, Brussels

«Future Prospects for the Belgian Presidency of the EU: Global Challenges in a New Institutional Era»

The conference brought together senior scholars and high level practitioners from across Europe to focus on the 2010 Belgian Presidency of the European Union after the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The Belgian Presidency analysed in the light of a worried union facing both the recent global challenges such as the recent economic crisis and the various ongoing conflicts at its gates and an internal questioning about its role in a globalised world where compete emerging new powers.

It examined through exchanges between the participants and the 2010 Belgian Presidency both the particular Belgian vision, outputs and prospects for improving European efficiency in the following thematics: Security and Defense, Climate Change and Environment, Immigration and Development, Eastern Dimension and Energy supply, Lisbon Strategy and Economic Social Cohesion and finally the External Representation of the European Union.

The Conference was organised by the EGE Network in cooperation with TEPSA and Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations, with the support of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Please click here to view the conference programme; click here to dowload the conference report and click here to read the full speech of Prof. Christian Franck on the previous Belgian Presidencies.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference, 26-27 November 2009, Madrid

The beginning of the end of the serious, twin crisis – institutional and economic –that Europe has endured for more than a year, will dominate the 6-month Spanish presidency of the European Union and the term of the new team presidency – comprising the trio of Spain, Belgium and Hungary – starting 1st January, 2010. During this period, the seemingly endless processof ratifying the new Treaty which will govern the future workings of the EU must conclude, and a lasting economic recovery must start. As there is not much room left for special measures, the new productive model for growth and job-creation must be achieved through structural reforms based on the competitiveness of innovation and on sustainability, both social and environmental.

It is against this backdrop that the new post-Lisbon (post-Lisbon Treaty and post-Lisbon Strategy) period begins. With the proper political leadership, it could lead to a European Union that is more efficient and transparent in the political realm and more competitive and solidarity-minded in terms of economics, and therefore more secure and better adapted to the multi-polar, globalized world that is taking shape.

This conference was organised just five weeks before the Spanish presidency begins, and provided an excellent opportunity to debate the key issues and priorities that will make up the presidency’s agenda. It was organized with a multidisciplinary, trans-European approach, and featured renowned experts from the academic world, specialized analysts and important policymakers from all over the continent.

The Conference was co-organised by TEPSA and Real Instituto Elcano, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Office of the European Commission in Spain, and the Senate.


Pre-Presidency Conference Luxembourg 4-5 June 2015

lux-300x69Founding member of the European communities and seat of European institutions since 1952, Luxembourg has proven its sound European spirit over the last 11 presidencies it assumed. In 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency will have to face tough challenges. On June 4 and 5 2015, the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche Européenne Robert Schuman in cooperation with the Trans European Policy Studies Association organised the Luxembourg Pre-Presidency Conference to discuss these challenges and to describe the main goals of this Presidency Trio: Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg .

On June 4th 2015, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, presented the main stakes of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of EU agenda, during the “Luxembourg EU Pre-Presidency Conference”. TEPSA invited professors, researchers from diverse European institutes, but also European civil servants and former politicians, at the historical Robert Schuman building of the European Parliament.

The inaugural speech by Son Altesse Royale the Grand-Duc Henri, gave the opportunity to highlight the importance of this twelfth Presidency for Luxembourg, where “the European adventure began 63 years ago”. “Our national interest is linked to the progress of the European destiny”, judged the Grand-Duc. Recalling that the Luxembourg Presidencies have often been successful, and that the “research of compromise” has always been prioritized, the Grand-Duc wanted that the Luxembourg Presidency will be “a full success, not for personal glory but only to serve the astounding European project”.

Before describing the global stakes of the program, Minister Jean Asselborn revealed the common key priorities which will guide the Presidency: he affirmed that Luxembourg will exercise an “open presidency” which “will put citizens at the heart of the European project”.

At the heart of the program, which is based on the five objectives of the strategic agenda of the EU for the five coming years, is the will to “act in a determined way in the migration field”, especially following the recent tragedies which took place in the Mediterranean.

Another crucial stake consists of the EU economic crisis. The Minister assured that everything will be set up to create growth and employment. Going deeper into the European social dimension is one of the other priorities. The Presidency will pay due attention to the Investment Plan for Europe of President Jean-Claude Juncker. In his speech, Jean Asselborn emphasized the importance of the competitiveness of Europe, the dynamism of the internal markets and sustainable development (in particular with the upcoming COP21 in Paris).

As a conclusion, the Minister underlined the two topics which are in the current European news, the Greek and the Britain issues. He spoke in favor of keeping Greece in the Eurozone and he also affirmed that it will be possible to find some common ground with Great Britain to keep the country within the EU.

After these introductory speeches, the conference was separate into parallels panels.

During the discussion focused on the Brexit and Grexit questions, the speakers were unanimous to say that an exit is neither in the interest of London nor of Athens.

Graham Avery, honorary member of the TEPSA board, explained that the UK wants to be “exempted of the effect of an “ever closer union”, and to avoid “excessive interference of Brussels”. His main claim is that the British will take their decision whether to stay or not in the EU “as soon as they have analyze the alternatives of their permanency within the EU” which will be less favorable for them.

For Johannes Pollak, from the Institute for Advanced Studies (HIS), a new Member institute of TEPSA, Greece and the United Kingdom would be losers in case of an exit because the economic consequences would be “disastrous”. Additionally, the EU would also be weakened because an exit of the UK would risk creating a domino effect on countries like Hungary, which would begin to demand some conditions to stay in the EU.

Throughout the session on the Juncker Plan, the speakers have showed some criticisms about this new investment plan.

Iain Begg, professor at the London School of Economics and Member of TEPSA Board, was not sure that the Juncker plan constitutes the best answer to the problem of “growth deficit”. For him, the plan is not effective enough and it will not change the actual state of the EU economy. He also warned the assembly of the oppositions and inequalities between EU Member states.

Andras Inotai, professor and director of the Institute of World Economic in Hungary and Member of the TEPSA Board, warned against the risks of having a two-speed Europe. To improve Europe competitiveness, it will be crucial to improve efficiency of the institutions, to maintain real cohesion, to support the creation of “innovative societies” and to strengthen the capacity of social adjustment.

Adriaan Schout, researcher at the Institute of International Relations, Clingendael, a Member institute of TEPSA, affirmed that the Juncker plan creates a “political risk”. He criticised the fact that the EU and the European Central Bank (ECB) are more and more political and are losing their independence.

Another panel was organized on the neighborhood policies and their difficulties, on the EU-Russia relations and on the Ukrainian conflict.

Katrin Böttger, deputy director of the Institute of European Policies (IEP) of Berlin and Member of the TEPSA Board, began her intervention by reminding the historical relations between Russia and the EU since 1990. Since 2013 and the acceleration of the Ukrainian conflict, there has been a crisis in the relations. How long will this period last? And what will happen next? A full membership of Ukraine in the EU would allow putting in place reforms in the country but some skeptics think that it would rather offend Russia.

Atila Eralf, president of the Centre for European Studies, Turkey, a Member Institute of TEPSA, chose to talk about the changes in the Neighborhood policy of the EU. He acknowledged that the neighborhood policy has not been crowned with success because of its special characteristics. The global approach of the neighborhood policy should be revised to be inclined towards geopolitics and precisely to face Russian attempts to strengthen the Eurasian economic union, which competes with the EU policies.

This Pre-Presidency Conference of Luxembourg 2015 was a success thanks to the involvement of the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Européennes Robert Schuman. The TEPSA Board and Secretariat would like to express their gratitude to Jean-Marie Majerus and his team.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in the Hague, November 2015


The Pre-Presidency conference for the upcoming Dutch presidency of the Council of the European Union took place on 19 and 20 November 2015 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The conference was organised by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in cooperation with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), and with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Representation of the European Commission in the Netherlands, the European Cultural Foundation, the Municipality of The Hague, Leiden University and the PONT project.

Pre-Presidency conference is TEPSA’s key event, it is organized twice a year before the upcoming, rotating presidency period. The Netherlands will take up the presiding role during the first half of 2016, this will be the 12th time when the country is presiding.  The conference looked at the European Challenges and Dutch Priorities for the upcoming presidency.

On the first day of the conference TEPSA hosted a General Assembly, followed by the opening session of the conference and the first panel: ‘Deeper integration& better governance’. The second day of the conference opened with an initially unintended session reflecting on one week after the terrorist attacks in Paris. The panel discussions of the second day focused on the ‘First year of the Commission President Junker’ and the crisis on both Eastern and Southern borders of the EU, including the EU Asylum and Migration challenges. The conference ended with a public event in cooperation with Leiden University where recommendations of TEPSA to the upcoming Presidency were presented to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr.Bert Koenders. The minister gave a speech on ‘Challenges and Chances for European Cooperation’, which was followed by a question and answer session. The concluding remarks of the conference were given by the TEPSA chairperson Prof.Wolfgang Wessels.

The detailed programme of the event is available here and the final report here.

TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Bratislava, 2-3 June 2016


On the occasion of the first Slovak EU Council Presidency starting on 1st July 2016, TEPSA in cooperation with the Institute of European Studies and International Relations of Comenius University organised its traditional Pre-Presidency Conference in Bratislava, on 2 and 3 June 2016.

The conference was part of the long-standing tradition of TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conferences (PPCs), which take place twice a year in the capital of the country holding the EU Council Presidency prior to the beginning of its mandate.

The main aim of TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conferences is to bring together academics and researchers from the broad TEPSA network, policy-makers, media and civil society in order to discuss the agenda and challenges of the upcoming Council Presidencies.
TEPSA Pre-Presidency conferences represent a major platform for communication and exchange between policy-makers and academia. Prior to the event TEPSA researchers formulate recommendations to be presented to a high-rank official of the government concerned in a plenary session. Moreover, the conferences actively involve civil society and media actors, who are able to interact with practitioners and academia. Finally, the insights gained during these conferences and seminars directly feed into future research on the EU and into EU policy making.
Thanks to their genuinely European and transnational nature and to the involvement of civil society, TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency conferences actively contribute to shaping a European public sphere.


The June 2016 PPC was also an integral part of the TEPSA’s PONT project, aimed at providing a bridge connecting young academics and EU practitioners, in order to improve the employability of young researchers.

The final programme of the conference can be found here.

More information about the 2016 Slovak Presidency of the Council can be found here.