Money, Banks and Finance in Economic Thought

Planning the European architecture: the contribution of Robert Marjolin

Caldari Katia, University of Padova

In his autobiographical notes, Robert Marjolin defines himself “architect of European Unity” (1986). He indeed played a pivotal role in the reconstruction of France after WWII and especially in the construction of the European Community. With a Keynesian formation, he was a strict collaborator of Jean Monnet far before the end of the war and vice-President of the European Commission from 1958 to 1967. He was a fervent advocate of European integration and, without being a doctrinaire planner, strongly believed in the urgency to develop a planning approach at European level that was coherent with his idea of economic and monetary union. Accordingly, he bustled about the attempt to spread and to make accepted his idea of Europe as “Europe organisée” by coordinating meetings and seminars and by creating a network of people that shared and sustained the idea of economic planning. He promoted a communitarian “action programme” which should go beyond the customs union and would take into account some long term communitarian targets. Marjolin’s “action program” and his idea of “Europe organisée” remained however mainly only on paper and the European integration followed a different path than that he had envisaged. Main aim of this paper is to inquiry into Marjolin’s idea of European unity and to underline his original and often neglected contribution.

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Keywords: Planning; European integration process

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