Pierre Werner

Pierre Werner (* 29 December 1913 in Saint André near Lille, France; † 24 June 2002 in Luxembourg) was born in France in 1913 to Luxembourgish parents. The family returned to Luxembourg at the outbreak of the First World War.

There Pierre Werner completed primary and secondary school and in 1934 began studying law and economics and finance at the "Ecole libre de Sciencs politiques" in Paris. He completed his economic studies there in 1937 with the "Diplôme Politique et Sociale". In January 1938, he was awarded a doctorate in law.

After working briefly as a lawyer, Dr Werner became an employee of the "Banque Generale du Luxembourg" in 1940. In 1945 he was appointed to the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance, where he first worked as "Commissioner for Banking Supervision" and from 1946 until the end of his government career represented Luxembourg at the highest level at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. At the end of 1953, Dr Werner became Minister of Finance in the government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg headed by Minister of State Joseph Bech. In the following years, Dr Werner held a number of other ministerial posts. At the same time, he was President of the Government and Minister of State of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for a total period of over twenty years (1959 to 1974 and 1979 to 1984).

On the occasion of his eightieth birthday, Dr Werner was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Trier on 19 November 1993.

The award of an honorary doctorate to Dr. Werner honours the work of a personality who has had a decisive influence on the course of European integration efforts. Since 1960, he has been a strong advocate of accelerated integration with the goal of a single market for the countries of the European Communities.

Dr. Werner's work for an economic and monetary union in Europe is of particular topicality and importance for this field.

In 1970, the Council of Ministers of the EC commissioned him to examine all aspects of the project for an Economic and Monetary Union, which had been decided on in December 1969, and to draw up a corresponding concept. The programme, according to which a gradual realisation of monetary union was to be achieved by the beginning of the 1980s, has gone down in economic history as the "Werner Report".

Even if, after initial implementation, the further realisation of the plan ultimately failed due to the international turbulence caused by the dollar and oil crises, the "Werner Report", as the first consensual and therefore politically enforceable concept, formed the foundation for subsequent integrative steps. Without the precise sequence of steps formulated in the report, which were to lead to a single currency area in the EC, the new attempt to complete economic integration through a monetary union, as manifested in the Maastricht Treaty, would hardly have been possible.

In the academic field, Dr. Werner's achievement is above all to have given impulses and to have pointed out possibilities, preconditions and problems of further economic integration with the goal of a monetary union, which, despite all remaining controversies, form the basis for an objective discussion.