Washington Law Review


We have before us a subject that is more economic than legal. The important questions about that subject are more political than legal. Into such realms I venture only most warily. I find interesting Dennis Thompson's portrayal of the Common Market as "the only body in Europe that really matters." His characterization is as apt as it is pithy and, indeed, pertinent for his countrymen's consideration at this moment of economic and electoral decision. And it seems to me that we should ask: why is the Economic Community the only body that "matters"? It matters, I think, because it is the only European international organization that is dynamic—dynamic, not in its own institutional sense of accomplishment and activity, but dynamic as felt in the minds of ordinary people in Europe who perceive that it can affect their daily lives and their common future. The consultative organs, the partial free-trade area of the European Free Trade Association, the military instrument of N.A.T.O.—however well their officials and their member governments may think these bodies are fulfilling their purposes—do not impinge upon the lives of people, do not evoke grass-roots support and even emotion, do not hold promise for the citizen, as does the Common Market.

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