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The Fouchet Plan: De Gaulle’s Intergovernmental Design for Europe. LEQS Discussion Paper No. 117/2016 October 2016

Teasdale, Anthony (2016) The Fouchet Plan: De Gaulle’s Intergovernmental Design for Europe. LEQS Discussion Paper No. 117/2016 October 2016. [Discussion Paper]

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    This paper explores the politics of the Fouchet Plan, the unsuccessful initiative by French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961-62 to create a new ‘union of states’ for foreign-policy and defence cooperation among the six founding members of the European Community. The paper traces the origins of de Gaulle’s proposal – which was designed not only to parallel the existing Community, but potentially to subsume it – and analyses the complex and fraught course of the subsequent negotiations, which divided the Six and ended in stalemate. The struggle between intergovernmental and supranational visions of Europe thrown up by the Fouchet Plan represented an early, acute example of the recurrent institutional and political problems involved in developing structures to share sovereignty in areas of power which are central to the claim of larger nations to remain independent states, and it pointed to the limits of integration likely to be confronted by simple replication of the classic ‘Community method’ in increasingly sensitive areas of policy. Although the dilemma of how to incorporate a significant intergovernmental dimension within the European institutional structure was eventually resolved in the Maastricht Treaty two decades later, the Fouchet dispute had important consequences in the years that followed, notably in hardening de Gaulle's attitude to British membership of the Community and in seriously constraining the dynamic of the integration process more widely.

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    Item Type: Discussion Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > France
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > general
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > London School of Economics and Political Science (European Institute) > LEQS Discussion Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2018 15:42
    Number of Pages: 60
    Last Modified: 28 Nov 2018 15:42

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