Since the advent of the European Community on to the stage of international economic summitry in 1977, the role of the Community as a whole, and particularly of the Commission President, has grown considerably in scope. Despite its unique and significant position as a supranational entity interacting among nation-states at the summit, and despite the increase in the Community's power and status in the international scene over the past thirteen years embodied in its summit diplomacy, few analyses of the EC's role in this crucial forum have been published. With this paper, I make an attempt to fill the gap in research which has been done on the EC's participation at the summits of the world's leading industrialised democracies.
This paper is a revised and updated version of a thesis that was originally submitted to fulfill the requirements for the Master of Advanced European Studies (M.A.E.S) at the College of Europe in Brugge, Belgium. I attended the College of Europe from September 1988 to December 1989, and completed the thesis with the help,criticism and advice of Dr. Wolfgang Wessels.
The present version of this paper could not have been completed without the help of Professor John Kirton of the University of Toronto's Centre for International Studies (CIS), nor without the fact finding missions which the CIS' Research Group on International Policy Coordination conducted at both the 1988 Toronto Summit and the 1989 Paris Summit. At these summits, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct numerous interviews with senior EC Commission officials, and with officials from other summit delegations, to sound out their views on the EC Commission's role in so called 'seven power summitry'. The views of journalists, many of whom have experience in covering economic summitry which spans a decade or more, were also immensely useful in formulating conclusions regarding the overall pattern of EC participation at the Economic Summits since its inclusion into the elite forum in 1977. Apart from research carried out at the summits themselves, I also interviewed senior officials in the EC Commission's Berlaymont headquarters, and in the Canadian Delegation to the European Communities in Brussels, in February and March 1989. The nature of all these interviews was confidential, and my sources remain anonymous in the text. I wish to thank everyone who has taken time to help me in my research endeavours.
Toronto, January 1990
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