A convinced European, Venceslas Humeur first presents a critical review of European unification, the creation of institutions and the formulation (not without problems and delays) of Community policies. Without hiding the difficulties of the task, he evaluates its successes (mainly in the economic and monetary fields) and failures (conspicuous above all in foreign policy, security and defence), its weaknesses and its strengths.
After Acts I (the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community) and II (mainly the implementation of the single market and the adoption of the Euro), Venceslas Humeur marks the arrival in office of the new Commission by attempting to describe the key issues related to deepening and enlarging the Union.
He also highlights the main challenges facing the new Commission under its President, Romano Prodi. These are arranged in four groups:
- To give Europe "more soul", which is indispensable both for its legitimacy and for the emergence of a sense of European citizenship.
- To review the priorities, in particular so as to ensure that European institutions operate more efficiently and their key functions are made clearer.
- To give the executive branch precise yet ambitious goals, thus eliciting a new collective dynamism.
- To reform the Commission so as to improve its efficacy.
Thus, as the new Commission settles in, Venceslas Humeur tries here to outline what its programme could be.