OUR EUROPE by Jacques Delors


The Community and National Development
Email this review


 An object lesson by European Commission President Delors, a longtime socialist, that ambitious European politicians are no more likely to say anything that means anything than are American ones. Delors, writing in conjunction with ``his research group Clisthäne,'' notes that his purpose ``is to find a path for Europe which will be both practical and ambitious.'' It's clear that Delors is unhappy about the present situation: ``Every economic policy has been tried, and every one has failed in the last dozen or so years to have any real effect on the course of events.'' He notes that studies have shown that the abolition of all obstacles to exchange in economic cooperation would increase the GNP of Europe by 4.5 percent, lower prices by 6.1 percent, and create nearly two million new jobs. But the EEC, Delors laments, has so far been ``unable to define a common destiny.'' The author is interesting on France's ``haunting sense of decline,'' which has led, in his view, to the rise of demagogues like Jean-Marie Le Pen. The problem arises when Delors tries to tell what he would do about that decline. He favors, for example, a shorter workday, but he doesn't want to see this lead to any lowering of industrial standards. He's against unemployment and in favor of competitiveness, but doesn't offer a very clear idea as to how the one will be diminished or the other increased. He boldly stands for ``strengthening the ties between Europeans''; he believes that ``women's activity should continue to progress''; and he wishes to ``let everything be put back in its rightful place.'' And to get the best out of all these new experiences, ``many meetings will be needed....'' Even the brightest socialist politician would have trouble trying to navigate the shoals of the decline of socialism. It's not surprising, then, that Delors deals with the problem by saying almost nothing.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-86091-380-5
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Verso
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1992