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Year 1991 x

    The democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe, the speedy unification process of the two Germanies, growing economic disarray in the Soviet Union and the Gulf War put great pressure on the European Community - and raised high expectations throughout 1990. The external challenges initially seemed to slow down the internal integration process. But by the end of 1990 the Twelve (including Britain after Mrs. Thatcher's resignation) committed themselves to further European political union (stronger institutions, common foreign and security policy, new competences) and European economic union culminating into a central bank and a common currency. The two intergovernmental constitutional conferences on EPU and EMU were installed on December 15. The execution of the internal market programme is on schedule with 70% of the directives adopted by late 1990, although the Commission expressed concern about timely transposition of the directives into national law. The EC's record on external relations is mixed: appreciation for its stepped-up cooperation with Eastern Europe, criticism for its tough stand on agriculture at the Gatt-conference, weak diplomatie performance during the Gulf War.


Liesbet Hooghe

    A discussion of the political role of monarchs in contemporary Western Europe is complicated by three uncritical preconceptions: the traditionalist-monarchist view of Kings as transcendent sovereigns, the democratic-emancipatory view which assumes that Kings are by definition nothing but constitutional nonentities, and the media-view of members of a royal family as at one and the same time both superhuman and very human actors. A realistic analysis of the role of monarchs and monarchy focuses on at least five issues: whether countries remained monarchies in the wake of democratisation because of, or notwithstanding being monarchies; the relationship of monarchs to major social cleavages; the very real importance of Kings within the actions of the nominal Crown notwithstanding the importance of the principle of ministerial responsibility; the inevitably personal role of Kings in the making, the crisis and the fall of cabinets; and the unavoidable conflict between the personal rights and actions of monarchs and the limitations which constitutional monarchy implies.


Hans Daalder
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