By Wilfried Martens

Wilfried Martens - Europe: I fight, I conquer Foreword by way of Angela Merkel

Wilfried Martens has dedicated his whole existence to politics: as scholar chief, adolescence activist, President of the Flemish Christian Democrats, best Minister of Belgium, President of the eu People's get together and ecu statesman. In his autobiography Martens deals the interior tale on working a posh kingdom like Belgium, struggling with for eu integration and unification, and reworking the ecu People's get together right into a powerful, united centre-right move and prime eu political kinfolk. principally, this is often booklet concerning the intricacies of eu politics and its guiding rules, values and rules.

The processing of the manuscript used to be concluded in 2008.

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As president of the youth organisation, I set myself the task of carving out an independent space for our movement within the party. In keeping with the spirit of rebellion of the times, I refused to lapse into becoming a well-behaved servant and admirer of the party bosses. One of the first things we did was to challenge the institutional programme of the then unitary Belgian Christian Democratic Party (CVP/ PSC) – which did have a Flemish and Walloon section, nonetheless. In the mid-sixties, the party and its doctrine were far removed from federalist thinking.

Each member of the royal family was given a role to fulfil in this historic event. Baudouin saw to it personally that everything ran perfectly. After he said farewell to the Pope, following a flawless and indeed enthusiastic reception in our country, the King was so relieved and pleased that he drove around with me for an hour along the avenues and laneways of the royal grounds in Laeken. My last conversation with Baudouin was in Ghent in March 1993. Queen Fabiola was present along with my family.

We had to hurry because the Socialists, to whom we had lost the relative majority in the European Parliament since Great Britain’s membership, had already founded their Federation of Socialist Parties in the European Community in 1974. The Liberals had also wasted little time in setting up the European Liberal and Democratic Federation in 1976. However, there was considerable discord within our ranks about the scope of a prospective European party. Would it be open to other non–Christian Democratic parties?

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