Keith Middlemas

Fonds Creator
Fonds Inventory
Reference Archivists

Catherine, Previti


This deposit was made by Keith Middlemas following an agreement signed with the EUI in December 1992. It consists of summaries of 400 interviews conducted by a team of historians between 1992 and 1994 as research for his book "Orchestrating Europe: The Informal Politics of the European Union 1973-1995" (1995).
For each summary the name and function of the interviewee is given. The texts are organised by country. However one series is dedicated to the interviews made by high ranking officials, MEP’s etc of the European institutions. Interviews with members or former members of the EC/EU Permanent Representations are described in the country sections of the inventory: Butler, Nicoll and Palliser (United Kingdom), Heyman (Belgium), Mauch (Germany), Oosterhoss (Netherlands), Sellal (France), Vallera (Portugal), Leggeri e Varrichio (Italy).
The texts cannot be quoted directly as they are not verbatim transcripts, they can only be paraphrased.

Administrative and Biographical History

Orchestrating Europe: The Informal Politics of the European Union 1973-95” (published 1995) was written by Keith Middlemas, Professor of Contemporary History at Sussex University. The book was based on a transnational programme of interviews with ‘a range of practitioners’: Commission officials, Commissioners, member and candidate countries administrators, members of the EC/EU Permanent Representations, politicians, regional notables (Catalunya, Emilia Romagna, Rhône-Alpes etc.) and representatives of the industrial, financial and labour sectors. The study aimed to analyse the informal process behind the construction of Europe during a period characterised by the adoption of two important treaties after a decade of stagnation: the Single European Act (1986) completing the internal market and expanding Community competences (research and development, environment etc.); the Maastricht Treaty on the European Union (1992) establishing notably the Economic and Monetary Union in the framework of a Single Market. In that context, the team of historians focused their questions on the role of unofficial contacts between the European institutions and the various interlocutors (even if the conclusion was the tendency of the Commission to formalise these informal contacts). So strategies such as lobbying and bargaining were essential to comprehend the real distribution of power and its importance in the decision-making process.