France and Germany at Maastricht: Politics and Negotiations to Create the European Union

By Colette Mazzucelli | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III

The Maastricht Prenegotiation: French and German Domestic Contexts

In the course of my successive duties, I never had the feeling to follow a career or to belong to a hierarchy, whether it was French, English, American or European. If I acted, however, in the context of official mandates, I always carefully watched over their drafting. And if I had at my disposal administrative machinery, I limited its size or I only managed that part which was useful to a direct course of action.

It is a lot to ask most minds only to imagine something never seen and to accept the risk for it.

Jean Monnet, Mémoires

Prenegotiation is “the span of time and activity in which the parties move from conflicting unilateral solutions for a mutual problem to a joint search for cooperative multilateral or joint solutions.”1 Clearly the EMU preparatory work, dating back to the Delors Committee, was in a more advanced state than that of political union. Nevertheless, the Dublin European Council’s decision in June to call a second IGC, to run parallel to the first, indicated that discussions would commence in earnest that summer to “clarify ideas” and to make decisions on the organization of the two IGCs prior to the start of negotiations on 14 December 1990.2

1I. William Zartman, “Prenegotiation: Phases and Functions,” in Getting to the Table, ed. Janice Gross Stein (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 4.

2The two intergovernmental conferences actually opened on 15 December in Rome.

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