Interview with Hänsch, Klaus

From the The European Commission 1986-2000. Memories of an institution Collection

Identity Statement

HAEU Reference Code
Interview Informations

Recorded in 30 June 2016 Erkrath
Interview by Anjo Harryvan and Jan van der Harst in English

Access Level
Open Transcript, Open Audio

Electronic File



During the interview, Dr Hänsch discussed the following topics:
- his views on European integration over time;
- the impact of cooperation and co-decision procedures on relations between the European Parliament (EP) and the European Commission (EC);
- the Cooperation and conflict between EC and EP;
- their roles in EU external relations and German unification;
- the fragmentation of EC external influence by separate portfolios for commercial, foreign, development and security and defence policies;
- the working relationships with EC presidents Delors and Santer, their personalities;
- the launching of public hearing procedures for designated Commissioners;
- the making of a more political EC;
- Delors' transformative leadership;
- personal relationships with Kohl and Schröder;
- the support for Santer;
- Santer’s policy “do less, but do it better”;
- improved EU governance;
- the views on EU enlargement;
- the 1992 Hänsch Report on enlargement;
- stressing the need for institutional reform;
- EC’s political instinct or lack thereof;
- successful and weaker Commissioners;
- the link between doing well in the hearings and subsequent performance as a
- the downfall of the Santer Commission.

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