Posted on 19 February 2018
The Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre (ADGRC) attracts a larger crowd for the second workshop of its seminar series held on 12 February 2018 on the topic of Forging Europe: Vichy France and the Origins of the European Coal and Steel Community.
Dr. Luc Brunet, lecturer in twentieth century European history at the Open University and former Max Weber Fellow at the EUI, was the main speaker at this event. Brunet presented his book, entitled ‘Forging Europe: Industrial Organisation in France, 1940-1952,’ in which he examines continuities in the industrial organization of the French wartime Vichy regime to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the forerunner to today's European Union, and what this means for current debates about Europe.
Following his seminar, Brunet said: “It was wonderful, I’m really glad I came. I got some useful feedback from Laura, the discussant, and the questions that were raised. And it’s always great being back at the EUI to discuss my research.”
Prof. Laura Lee Downs, Professor in the Department of History and Civilization at the EUI and discussant at the event, believes the seminar series is a great idea and the ADGRC should “keep it going”. She adds specifically about this seminar: “I thought it was a very interesting discussion. Luc presented his work extremely clearly and lots of interesting questions and observations were raised.”
This time the seminar exceptionally hosted Sir Graham Watson, former member of the European Parliament, who was visiting the Historical Archives of the European Union at the time to do research for his upcoming biography of Russell Johnston. The former British Liberal Democrat politician spoke about the papers he deposited at the Archives, which cover his work as an MEP between 1994-2014. Additionally, he shared his personal experiences working as an MEP on various Committees and delegations during this time, such as the Committee of Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs as well as the Committee of Foreign Affairs.
In this regard, Brunet adds: “I think it’s great that we had a practitioner who donated some of his own archives to the European Union Archives housed here and I think that made a great segue into my own talk. It’s great to see practitioners, historians and scholars of different backgrounds coming together to discuss the history of the EU.”
The next seminar of the ADGRC seminar series will be held on 23 March 2018 on the topic of “the Origins of a common European Middle East Policy, late 1970s-early1980s - The Case of the Venice Declaration and its follow-up initiative”.