By Oliver Bange

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But the particularly unmovable stand of the French in the bilateral soundings – which followed the decision in England in the spring of 1960 – gave rise to increasing worries and speculations on the British side. During these talks the French appeared extremely positive towards a possible British entry, which should necessarily include complete acceptance of the Treaty of Rome. They fully exploited the British government’s difficulties with home opinion, the Commonwealth, EFTA and domestic agricultural hobbies.

But the principle line of (de Volkskrant, 11 February 1961)13 1 The Europe of de Gaulle 23 24 Grand Designs his European policy was clear to all contemporary and recent commentators:14 de Gaulle was set to put France in the dominant position in Europe. Edmond Jouve, whose analysis of the General’s European policy still remains the standard work on the topic, concluded that the most important principle was not to ‘make’ a ‘Europe of Six’ or a Europe ‘from the Atlantic to the Urals’, or a Europe which would play a mediating role between the Big Two.

And Germany could expect equal treatment with the other two great European powers, at least in the field of international economic policies and conventional military strategy in the Alliance. Even nuclear consultation was now within reach of the German government. (de Volkskrant, 7 July 1962)28 2 Plastic surgery 43 5 Kennedy Reconsiders the American Offer There certainly was a major reconsideration concerning the nuclear aspects of this American Grand Design. But despite the surprising rate of change, especially in American policy terms, it came too late to save the idea from being shattered by de Gaulle’s veto.

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