VOTE TAKEN IN STRIDE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENT
BY Graham Bowley
International Herald Tribune, June 4, 2005
"But while the EU's leaders study the present for answers, Marcel van Herpen, director of the Cicero Foundation, a pro-EU research organization that has offices in the Netherlands and in Paris, suggests that some insight may come from the fact that there is precedence for such upheaval. The referendum in the Netherlands was the first chance the Dutch had to vote on the EU, such novelty perhaps explaining the relish with which they consigned the constitution to the trash can. But they also had a constitution imposed on them when, in the late 1790s, French revolutionary troops marched in to declare a vassal state, called the Batavian republic. But neither constitution nor republic lasted long when, after a couple of destabilizing coups, the troops went back to France. Van Herpen also remembers the EU's "Empty Chair" crisis of 1965 when President Charles de Gaulle boycotted meetings because he objected to the dilution of French power. "There was a crisis that was also caused by France," van Herpen said. Throughout its history, the EU has had periods of growth followed by stasis, he says. It tended to move forward when the economy prospered, so European integration developed fast in the 1960s, but during the 1970s when the world suffered two oil crises, "nothing happened in the EU. We spoke of eurosclerosis." This is instructive at a time when economic growth in the middle of the Continent is sluggish at best, while the rest of the world is humming along. "An economic downturn is a bad time for big projects,"van Herpen said. "So to put the constitution to a referendum now at a time when people are unhappy, it was a bit stupid."
GROWING SCEPTICISM FOR DUTCH ON EU CHARTER
By Graham Bowley
International Herald Tribune, May 13, 2005
"In the Dutch population there is a lot of anxiety about
threats in the world. People are cocooning themselves and going back to their
families,"said Marcel van Herpen, director of the Cicero Foundation,
a pro-EU research organization.
"This anxiety is transferring itself to international organizations like the EU."
The Financial Times
February, 23, 2005
CHIRAC SEEKS NEW BALANCE TO RELATIONS WITH THE US AND EUROPE
By John Thornhill
"But Marcel van Herpen, director of the Paris office of
the Cicero Foundation, a European think tank, said Mr Chirac realised he had
to end his disagreements with the US to help rebuild French influence in the
"Chirac has not changed his view of a multi-polar world. But he has realised that he went too far in his opposition to the US and the Iraq war and is coming back towards the US position. He needs better relations with the US to strengthen his own position within the EU, especially among the new member states," he said. "There is a new approach by Chirac. There is a new face to his foreign policy."
The Financial Times
February, 22, 2005
SPORADIC APPLAUSE FOR BUSH'S EUROPEAN OVERTURE
By James Harding and Daniel Dombey
"But Marcel van Herpen, director of the Cicero Foundation,
a European think-tank, said there was already a notable convergence of views
between the US and Europe on questions such as Lebanon and the Middle East;
"It is more than window dressing. There is a coming together of the two sides and a will among the Europeans, especially the French, to mend fences with the US. It is deeper than many people think it is," he said.
Auswärtiges Amt, Berlin (Website Ministry of Foreign
February, 16, 2005
(der) Direktor der Cicero Foundation ( ), Van Herpen meint, dass USA und EU ein gemeinsames Forum entwickeln sollten um ihre Außenpolitik zu "diskutieren und zu koordinieren". Dieses Forum sollte seinen Schwerpunkt auf globale Themen legen, die außerhalb des transatlantischen Rahmens lägen.
The Washington Times
December 29, 2004
ANALYSIS: NO EARLY THAW
By Richard Tomkins
UPI White House Correspondent
"Marcel van Herpen, head of the Cicero Foundation, a pro-EU
think tank, said US-European gaps spread over six broad categories. One of
the most striking is the gap in perception over the war on terror."
"Since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States is at war," he said. "This fact is evident for all Americans the war on terrorism is a real war" not like earlier metaphorical wars such as the war on drugs and the war on poverty, he said in a paper on the growing transatlantic divide.
Van Herpen continued: "For Europeans it is not. After the successful campaign in Afghanistan a general feeling in Europe emerged that enhanced vigilance and international police cooperation would be enough to contain the terrorist threat."
( ) Van Herpen ( ) pointed to divisions within Europe working to Bush's advantage. Many of the EU states have a troop presence in Iraq and Afhanistan, albeit token forces when compared to the United States, and many governments do not share Germany's militant pacifism or France's anti-U.S. sentiments. Government-to-government relations, where wrinkled, can be ironed out in the months ahead, but public opinion may take longer.
"I think most of the damage is with the populations of Western Europe, especially in France it is relatively deep, also in Germany. In the rest of Europe I think it is less. It is more or less anti-Bushism and not anti-Americanism," van Herpen said. "The best we can hope for is that the wave of anti-Bushism caused by the Iraq War will calm down and we will have some kind of normal cooperation. It won't become very warm, I think, but it will be less, not as bad as it was at the end of the Iraq War."
October 15, 2004
KERRY WIDELY FAVORED ABROAD, POLLS SHOW
FOREIGN OPINION MIGHT BE AGAINST BUSH, BUT WILL IT MATTER?
By David Strieff
"He is seen as the anti-Bush, but nobody knew who he was"
before the recent debates, said Marcel van Herpen, director of the Cicero
Foundation, described as a 'Pro-EU, pro-Atlantic' think tank.
"In fact, I don't think that there will be a big difference in the politics afterwards," if Kerry wins, van Herpen said in a telephone interview from Paris. "I think maybe it will be more in the details and in the presentation." ( ) "French President Jacques Chirac, of course, would welcome a President Kerry at the other side of the ocean. I'm quite sure," van Herpen said. But van Herpen said that while some governments - like Paris and Madrid - and most Europeans might be perceived as anti-Bush, that does not necessary apply to the leaders. "There is a divide between the governments and the populations," he said. ( ) I think the American voters will vote for their own interests and for U.S. interests and I don't think (international opinion) will have a big impact," van Herpen said.
Notre Europe (Think Tank headed by Jacques Delors)
EUROPE AND ITS THINK TANKS: A PROMISE TO BE FULFILLED
An Analysis of think tanks specialised in European policy issues in the enlarged European Union
Studies and Research No. 35
Directed by Stephen Boucher
"The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (
six think tanks altogether with a significant interest in European affairs
that meet our criteria. The Netherlands has always been open to the rest of
the world and a supporter of E.U. integration, for historic and geopolitical
reasons, which shows today in the strength of its think tanks specialised
in E.U. and wider-European and international affairs.
One of the four Dutch think tanks listed, the Cicero Foundation, is a generalist E.U. research centre ( ). Founded on average over 20 years ago, most Benelux think tanks are well established, ( ). Several are very influential and work actively, in particular Clingendael, the Cicero Foundation, the Centre for European Security Studies, and GRIP, thanks in part to their geographic proximity, both with E.U. institutions and their national governments. All seek to get involved in the policy-making process upstream and at the higher levels of E.U. and national decision-makers."