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The European Council in the Era of Crises

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Format: Book- Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781838089849
Author: Jan Werts
Publication Date: 25-Oct-2021
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Jan Werts brings a unique perspective to the European Council. As a journalist, he has reported on the spot from virtually every European Council meeting since 1975, a witness to countless episodes of last-minute arm-twisting and creative compromise. As a scholar, he wrote the first ever doctoral dissertation on the European Council, published in 1992. In 2008 he carried the story forward to the verge of the start of the permanent presidency. In this latest book, against the background of the broad sweep of the history of the European Council, he focuses especially on the sequence of crises that began around the time of his previous book the Greek debt and broader euro crises, the migration and refugee crisis, Brexit and Covid among them.
For this new book Jan Werts interviewed a galaxy of EU insiders whose assessments are extensively quoted in the text. He describes with realism, candour and some sympathy how the leaders, their officials and advisers battled against crises that at times seemed to threaten the European project itself. The institutional development of the European Council since its formal upgrading to an EU institution and the inauguration of the full-time presidency in 2009 is also a major theme. As Werts explains, while the European Council is by definition primarily intergovernmental in character, it has also become firmly embedded in the institutional architecture of the Union and in practice the main driver of EU integration, giving this the legitimacy that only the national leaders can provide.

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