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Year 1977 x

    The Tindemans report on the European union and the decision to organize direct elections for the European Parliament have been two important events in European afjairs in 1976. This article analyses the origins, developments and bearing of these two events. Although his mandate was initiated and encouraged at the highest level - that of the European heads of state - , Mr. Tindemans' attempt to propose concrete steps in order to achieve a real political union in Europe did not get through. It received a rather cold reception from several states who opposed some of his proposals on different grounds. At the Conference of The Hague, Mr. Tindemans was able to get a formal support to his ideas, but no decision was taken to implement any of them. The decision to organize direct elections for the European Parliament, which can be seen as a concrete step toward the implementation of the long awaited European union, is facing the same kind of resistance at the national level. Although the Nine have all agreed to do everything possible to organize these elections in the spring of 1978, there are still unsolved problems which are both technical and political. Moreover, even if they are taking place, it is not at all sure that they will bring about substantive changes in the role and functions of the European Parliament.

Jean-Claude Willame
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