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Additional info for A European Life: From War to Peace
But a visit to his home, now a museum, at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, and to his simple tomb in the village churchyard, is a moving experience. De Gaulle’s opposition to British overtures had less to do with the technicalities of the EEC negotiations than with basic political principles. e. principally her American ally) she would always choose the latter. And it was widely reported that in 1967, rejecting the conditions Britain was seeking in its second application, he had said: “L’Angleterre, je la veux nue…” (he denied this, amusingly but unconvincingly, at his subsequent press conference).
The Treaty of Rome established a unique institutional structure, unparalleled in any nation-state – which is probably why it is so often misunderstood. Most people know about the Commission, if only because its Berlaymont building in Brussels is conspicuous and architecturally interesting (its X-shaped structure is suspended from its frame rather than being built up from below). Basically, the Commission’s job is to prepare legislation and propose it to the Council of Ministers, and subsequently to implement whatever measures are decided.
As this meant cheap foodstuffs – good for consumers but not for farmers – the latter were supported by a unique system of “deficiency payments”, making up the difference between the market price and a guaranteed price for each main product. My main task in PEP was therefore to follow the preparations being made by the EEC for a common agricultural policy. The Treaty of Rome had defined the general objectives and the principles were developed at the Stresa Conference in July 1958. The Commission – responsible under the Treaty for proposing policy to the Council of Ministers – had a vital role to play in this as in other aspects.