The PDU receives support from various European public figures who are in favour of a more democratic and federal Europe. Find out who our patrons are.
Javier Solana served as the first High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. He was Foreign Affairs Minister for Spain from 1992 to 1995 under Felipe Gonzalez’s Premiership before becoming the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1995-1999). His international experiences led him to be nominated as Secretary General of the Council of the European Union (1999-2009), Secretary General of the Western European Union (1999-2009) and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union for the same period.
Solana studied Physics at the Complutense University in Madrid and joined the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) clandestinely in 1964 during Francesco Franco’s dictatorship. Holder of a Fulbright scholarship, he visited the US while completing his PhD in Physics in the University of Virginia. On returning to Spain he became a lecturer at the Complutense University, where he was a member of the teachers’ union before being elected as a PSOE representative in the Spanish chamber of representatives in 1977. After the landslide victory of the PSOE in the 1982 elections he was nominated Minister of Culture and Official Spokesman of the Spanish Government before moving to the Ministry of Education in 1988.
As former head the EU’s diplomacy, Mr Solana shaped the post of High Representative and was particularly active in EU-led negotiations with Iran, Ukraine and during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Solana recently joined the ESADE Business School as President of its new Centre for Global Economy and Geopolitics.
Statement by Javier Solana
Being, as I am, a convinced European, I feel the construction of the EU remains one of the most important political constructions since the end of World War II. Europe has a tremendous appeal in the world today. We have become a global player whose voice is heard on every continent and the European Union is working hard across the world to make a difference into people’s lives. But the recent crisis shattered the vision our Founders had for Europe.
When the crisis hit Europe we were not ready. We didn’t have the appropriate structures: we did not have a treasury nor did we possess the institutions necessary to a balanced economy. I believe the solutions chosen during the crisis were not the right ones and as a result disaffection toward the Union has been growing among citizens.
We now have a fantastic responsibility. The EU is a very diverse entity but these differences are the challenges we have in front of us. Not only would a solid European Union with one voice, on message be better for the world but it would be a positive answer to the disillusionment felt by many European citizens. If we want the vision of our Founders to be carried out we need a more united and politically more integrated Union now.
No country can act on its own today and if we want to remain an important actor on the world stage we need to be united. In this domain, I believe the work of the PDU can contribute to enhancing the internal debate and help building the political union that we require.
Lord Anthony Giddens
Anthony Giddens is a British academic and one of the most important living sociologists. Having studied at Hull, the London School of Economics and King’s College Cambridge, he worked at Leicester and achieved a professorship at Cambridge in 1987. Director of the LSE between 1997 and 2003, where he is now an Emeritus Professor, he advised the British government during Tony Blair’s premiership and was created Baron Giddens of Southgate in 2004. His works include Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (1971), The Constitution of Society (1984), Europe in the Global Age (2006) and Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe? (2013).
Statement by Lord Anthony Giddens
In a global age, it is easy for the nation-state to lose out if it is locked out of strong international links and bodies. The EU is one such institution: I have no doubt that its members stand to gain a lot more together than they do separately. Moreover, the European social model is one which can and must survive to flourish in the 21st Century. I support a new stage of integration for the European Union, and therefore the work of the Project for Democratic Union.
Professor in political science and a prominent member of the social democratic party in Germany (SPD), Gesine Schwan was her party’s candidate for the German presidential elections twice, in 2004 and 2009. She was born in Berlin in 1943 and had a politically active upbringing. From 2005 to 2009 Professor Schwan served as the government’s co-coordinator for the co-operation with Poland. Professor Schwan is also a supporter of the Spinelli Group in the European Parliament, which aims to encourage the federalisation of the European Union.
Professor Schwan studied Romance languages, history, philosophy and political science in Berlin and Freiburg im Breisgau, as well as a studying abroad in Poland. From 1977 she served as Professor of Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin and was made President of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) in 1999.
For her work Professor Schwan has received numerous awards, such as the Marion Dönhoff Prize for International Understanding and Reconciliation as well as the order of merit of Germany.
Statement by Gesine Schwan
I feel we can be optimistic about Europe’s future. However, if this optimism is not to prove misplaced, we need to make some courageous decisions. Our European democracy can only function if all of us work toward a strong, thriving civil society. We need to be open for a new democratic style of politics that takes into account the growing importance of modern information technologies. Only then can the emerging pan-European public sphere be integrated with the further development of our continent. Within this framework we can achieve an emphatic Europe of and for the citizens, which stresses the manifold cultures within Europe and provides a rich basis for civil innovation. As it is, and if we cannot turn the tide, the grand vision of Europe shared by so many in the past and present will lose ground to an ever more aloof and technocratic state, in which individual member-state governments set the agenda instead of the people and their parliamentary representatives.
Civil society, the pan-European political debate, and the emphasis on democratic legitimation by Europe’s citizens are prominently featured in PDU’s principles and activities. I therefore support both the goals and the activities of the PDU.
Professor Balázs graduated in Budapest at the Faculty of Economics of the “Karl Marx” University (later: Budapest School of Economics, today Corvinus University). He is a ScD of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In parallel with his government and diplomatic career he lectures and conducts research on EU affairs. He regularly teaches at various home and foreign universities, lecturing in English, French, German and Hungarian.
After the democratic reforms of the early-1990s, Professor Balázs joined the Government of Hungary, serving as State Secretary for Industry and Trade (1992-1993) and later for European Integration (2002-2003). He was also the Hungarian Ambassador to Denmark (1994-1996), Germany (1997-2000) and to the EU in Brussels (2003-2004). He contributed to the European Constitutional Convention, forerunner of the Lisbon Treaty, as Government Representative of Hungary. In 2004 he was made the first Hungarian Member of the European Commission, responsible for regional policy, and in 2009-2010 served as Foreign Minister of Hungary.
Professor Balázs joined the Central European University as a full time Professor in 2005. His research activities focus on EU foreign policy and the problems of the late modernization and European integration of the eastern member-states. He also analyzes the questions of European governance and the future of European institutions. In 2005 he established a research centre at CEU for EU Enlargement Studies (CENS). Professor Balázs has published several books, including European Unification and Modernisation (2001) and Hungary and Europe (2011), as well as numerous chapters and articles.
Statement by Péter Balász
In the face of both internal and external challenges, it is now more important than ever to make the European Union simpler and to bring it closer to its citizens. Only then will it be able to play a real role in the world and speak with one voice. The PDU’s studies and events have the potential to help identify and address the opportunities and threats posed by the process of an ‘ever closer union’.
Giorgio La Malfa
Giorgio La Malfa is a Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Catania (ret.) He has been Member of the Italian Parliament from 1972 to 2013. He has been Chairman of the Foreign Affairs (1983-1987) and Finance Committees (2001-2005). He served as Minister of the Budget (1980-1982) and Minister for European Affairs (2005-2006). La Malfa was twice elected to the European Parliament, serving as MEP from 1989 to 1991 and again from 1994 to 1999. A member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (2008 to 2013), he was elected as the body’s Vice President in 2012. La Malfa has been Leader of the Italian Republican Party (1987- 2001), then Chairman of the Party (2001-2006). Presently La Malfa is member of the Executive Board of the London based European Leadership Network for Multilateral Disarmament and Non Proliferation (ELN).
La Malfa obtained a law degree from the University of Pavia in 1961 and a B.A in Economics in Cambridge (S. John’s College) in 1964. He was Harkness Fellow at the Department of Economics of MIT (Boston) (1964-1966). La Malfa has written extensively on European themes. He published a book on the prospects of the euro in 2000 (L’Europa legata: I rischi dell’euro, Rizzoli, Milano) and a number of articles on the same subject. See in particular: The Orphaned Euro, Survival 2002 and The Limping Euro, Survival, 2013.
La Malfa is the author of a book on John Maynard Keynes (G. La Malfa, Keynes, LUISS University Press, Roma 2006). He is also the Editor of two books of Collected Essays by Keynes (J. M. Keynes, Sono un liberale?, Adelphi, Milano 2010 e J.M. Keynes, Le mie prime convinzioni, Adelphi, Milano 2013). La Malfa is a regular contributor to the Italian dailies 24Ore and Il Foglio as well as to the weekly L’Espresso.
Statement by Giorgio La Malfa
Since the early days of preparation for the European Monetary Union, I have argued that the common currency could only be successful if it was part of a full political union in Europe. I also thought that it would be prudent to ascertain the willingness to move to a fully integrated Europe before embarking in a project of such complexity as the euro.
Unfortunately, the prevailing view at the time of the launch of the common currency, and for many years afterwards, was that these concerns were unfounded. Two main and rather conflicting arguments were used to claim that a political union was not a necessary precondition for the common European currency. Some would argue that money is not part of a wider economic policy context and that providing a framework for monetary stability is conducive to growth. Others would accept the link between monetary and political unification, but would argue that the euro itself would act as a propellant for further political union.
It has only been since the eurocrisis started in 2010-2011 that people have realized the design of the euro is at risk unless it is completed through a banking and fiscal union. But obviously, a fiscal union implies a full political union and a transfer of economic policy responsibility from national to European level.
I therefore support the aim of the PDU to promote full European political integration, i.e. a federal Government of Europe, democratically elected and accountable to the European peoples. Although the delay in arriving at this conclusion has already had a cost for Europe, I do hope that political action on PDU lines may be successful in leading Europe towards a full political union.