Experience has taught me that we cannot pretend to know the problems of others before making sure that we give the same meaning to words and use the same definitions. For this, I always came back to the method of seating people around a table.
It is often futile to attack problems which do not exist by themselves, but which are the product of circumstances. It is only by modifying these circumstances that one can unblock the situation of which they are the cause or the opportunity. Instead of using my strength on that which resists, I am accustomed to looking for that which, in the environment, creates the fixation and to change it: this is sometimes a secondary point and often a psychological climate.
Jean Monnet, Mémoires
Much of the credit for success during the EMU prenegotiation has been attributed to the personal contributions of Delors and the diligent efforts of finance ministers and their personal representatives. This would also be the case throughout the IGC as ministers and civil servants worked together to define precisely the more technical issues which their leaders in the European Council did not always grasp. These officials were presented with a unique opportunity to direct the course of integration. They used their collective talent to “seize the moment” of change.
This chapter opens with a focus on the working methods of the IGC. The goals of France and Germany, as stated in their proposals for draft treaties on EMU, and their bilateral consultations on specific negotiation issues follow. The main issues are then outlined prior to an analysis of the IGC using the three approaches presented in this book.