Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

English publication of Mansholt biography

Johan van Merriënboer

Mansholt, a biography is the inside story of one of the founding fathers of the European Union. As a European Commissioner the Dutchman Sicco Mansholt (1908-1995) initiated the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). A federalist and a Eurocrat who forced through an allegedly bad policy that is still a millstone round the neck of European taxpayers, Mansholt was also every inch a politician who had the courage of his convictions. A charismatic leader and a model for EU-statesmanship.

The book offers a critical appraisal of Mansholt's life and work as well as a concise history of 20th century Europe. According to Chancellor Adenauer Mansholt - being a socialist and a farmer - was too much of a good thing. President Kennedy welcomed him as a good European, while de Gaulle denounced him as an enemy of France. And as far as President Nixon was concerned Mansholt was "that jackass in the European Commission in Brussels".

The biography about one of the founding fathers of the European Union was a dissertation of Johan van Merriënboer, reseacher of the Centre of Parliamentary History. It reached a broad audience and researchers, policymakers and students from outside the Netherlands showed a growing interest in the book.

The Montesquieu Institute therefore supports the English translation of this publication which was published in the fall of 2011.