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The Case for Europe: Unity, Diversity, and Democracy in the European Union

Philippe de Schoutheete
The Case for Europe: Unity, Diversity, and Democracy in the European Union
ISBN: 978-1-55587-898-6
ISBN: 978-1-55587-900-6
2000/118 pages/LC: 99-089753

"The Case for Europe reveals a deep knowledge of, and insight into, the workings of the European Union.... This is a book to be highly recommended."—Stanley Crossick, Challenge Europe

From the reviews of the French edition:

"De Schoutheete sketches neatly the unusual features that make the EU such an interesting experiment."—The Economist

"The Case for Europe offers something that has long been missing in the avalanche of information (and misinformation) on how the EU works: perspective."—Financial Times

"This book will be a constant reminder to those who sit down to write about the EU of how to do so clearly, elegantly, stimulatingly and comprehensibly."—European Foreign Affairs Review


The Case for Europe sets out the basic rationales and characteristics of the process of European integration that we have been witnessing for half a century. Philippe de Schoutheete, for ten years Belgium's permanent representative to the European Union, demystifies the structures of the EU, the basic forces and reasons that make it work, and the strengths and weaknesses of what has been achieved. He also points to the difficult questions the Union now faces: When to act? How best (and whether) to project power? How to respect diversity and reconcile competition and solidarity?

De Schoutheete does not offer simple answers to these questions. But his penetrating analysis looks beyond the facade of institutions and the mountains of paper they produce to illuminate fundamental issues.


Ambassador Philippe de Schoutheete de Tervarent served in Belgium's Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1956 to 1997. He is author of La coopération politique Européenne. In 1997, he was awarded the Adolphe Bentinck Prize and the Medal of the European Parliament for his contribution to European Integration. He is guest professor at the Catholic University of Louvain.


  • Introduction.
  • Concept and Action.
  • Empire and Nation.
  • Structure and Network.
  • Law and Politics.
  • Subsidiarity and Intervention.
  • Democracy and Communication.
  • Cohesion and Diversity.
  • Power and Impotence.
  • Competition and Solidarity.
  • The End and the Means.