Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale
Chapter 3: The Werner Report and the collapse of Bretton Woods
The follow up meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Six Member States in Paris on 6 March 1970 placed the creation of an economic and monetary union at the top of their agenda. This meeting formalised the rather vague statements in the Final Communiqué of the Hague summit about union by appointing an expert group under the direction of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Pierre Werner, which would flesh out the details of how this union would be achieved. The so-called Werner Plan was submitted to the Commission as an interim report on 20 May 1970 with the Final Report (Werner Report, 1970) presented on 13 October 1970. It outlined a comprehensive timetable for the creation of a full economic and monetary union by the end of the decade. The Council of Ministers formally endorsed Werner’s three-stage implementation plan on 22 March 1971. Willy Brandt told the Bundestag on 6 November 1970 that the Werner proposal was the ‘great common task of the 1970s’ and that it represented a ‘new Magna Carta for the Community’ (Deutscher Bundestag, 1970: 4269).
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