Saturday, February 7, 2015

Interview with Andrew Duff –Architect of EU Politics

Interview with Andrew Duff –Architect of EU Politics

EU Architect Andrew U flag anDuff Graphic by Erika Grey of photo of Andrew Duff against the EU flag and with a title that reads Andrew Duff EU Architect
EU Architect Andrew Duff


I have an interview scheduled with 

Architect of EU politics: Andrew Duff and you are not going to want to miss the insights into EU policy and glimpses of the EU’s move forward from this EU political heavyweight and behind the scenes chief architect of EU legislation.


I learned of Andrew Duff years ago when the internet was dominated by Delphi and search engines had not yet been introduced. Yes, there was such a time. In that decade you studied the EU in part by reading its official publications that you had to order from Luxembourg. You gleaned insights from policy papers written by its think-tanks and decisions that were recorded in Agence Europe’s daily bulletins.   In that era there was The European newspaper, European Affairs journal and the monthly Crocodile newsletter from the Crocodile Club in the EU Parliament, all of which no longer exist. The European Union was also still called the European Communities.  I learned of The Federal Trust for Education and Research in London, the EU’s leading think-tank and as any student of the evolving EU I ordered the Federal Trust’s publications and policy papers. It was at this time I first came across Andrew Duff who was the Federal Trust’s director from 1993 to 1999.  His name is listed on the back of a report that is still in my library published in 1993. 

After leaving the Federal Trust Andrew Duff served in the EU Parliament for 15 years. It is an unspoken fact that many EU architects have served in the EU parliament, and it becomes a rite of passage for every EU engineer. Three of the European Union’s founding father’s all served as presidents of the European Parliament: Paul Henri Spaak, Aldice de Gasperi, and Robert Schuman. Founding father Alterio Spinelli was a member of the European Commission for 6 years and an MEP for 10 years right up until his death.   As other EU builders and engineers, Andrew Duff too served as a MEP until he was unseated by UKIP the diametrically opposing party to federal European integration.

In 2010 Andrew Duff founded the Spinelli Group named after his mentor. As a fellow EU builder Andrew Duff would help insure the EU would evolve along the same federalist path and this is the purpose of the Spinelli group.   As a European Federalist Andrew Duff is also a leading figure in the EU’s liberal left parties.

Jacques Delors helped catapult the EU from European Communities to European Union with the completion of the single market, the launch of the euro and preparations for the accession of the Eastern bloc nations. He is known as a block buster Commission President and the EU as we know it is “the house that Jacques built.” It was the Federal Trust and the European Movement that spawned Delors, and gave him his ideological platform. Andrew Duff as director would oversee the policy proposals that would arm Delors and others like him with the changes needed to move the European Union forward. While Delors and various former Prime Ministers in the spotlight have garnered EU acclaim, it was Andrew Duff who worked behind the scenes at the Federal Trust, and was no less instrumental in moving the EU forward along the federalist path.  It should be noted that federalism is the ideology on which Jacques Delors’ think-tank Notre Europe is based.

While a MEP Andrew Duff became a participant of the Convention on the Charter of Fundamental Rights  in 1999-2000 and of the constitutional Convention on the Future of Europe from 2002-03. He represented
the European Parliament in the intergovernmental conference, which concluded the Treaty of Lisbon.
In addition to helping to found the Spinelli group, Andrew Duff is also president of the European Union of Federalists and a founding member of the ECFR: European Council on Foreign Relations.

Andrew Duff is currently helping to forge the EU’s future and his projects make history.
He wrote the outline and oversaw the drafting of A Fundamental Law Treaty to amend Lisbon and all previous EU treaties, which will give the EU a full-fledged federal government.  

Andrew Duff is a prolific writer on EU affairs. He has helped edit and author several books on the EU treaties and his latest book is Pandora, Penelope, and Polity: How to Change the European Union. He also writes for several blogs “On Governing Europe” and his blogs are featured by EU think-tanks,  and on the EU’s leading policy website Euractiv. Mr. Duff also contributes articles to the Huffington post and to the Financial Times and his own personal blog.

 In Andrew Duff’s books and commentaries he is a teacher for his peers and professors on the EU treaties, and policy. In his report “On Governing Europe” he writes as a concise EU historian and it is no surprise that he served in the EU parliament as a rapporteur.   Andrew Duff is literally a walking text book of EU law, which comprises of articles. He both refers to articles that are within the treaties as well as offers how future revisions should be written.   It no wonder he is regarded as an EU constitution specialist and a key shaper of the EU’s political dimension.

As many great men, Andrew Duff is a paradox and at the same time his contradictions reveal his strengths.  Although he possesses significant speech impairment he stands before the European Parliament and other groups and publically speaks.  He heads what some might consider a ground-breaking group and movement in Europe and yet he is mild mannered and his peers and foes describe him as a perfect English gentleman. Andrew Duff is a man who lives for his mission and what comes across from his twitter account is not forcefulness for his cause but rather his wit. Andrew Duff’s books do not become best sellers, nor are his articles widely read and yet he is one of the most significant individuals of our times.

When I read in a tweet that Andrew Duff was going to be coming to the USA to speak at a URASMUS sponsored conference here in the United States and that the location of the conference is a 12 minute drive from my residence, I immediately wanted to set up a sit down interview with Andrew Duff. That interview is now arranged for mid February 2015.

Meanwhile, I am excited that of all people coming to the United States is the president of the Union of European Federalists and a key player in the European Movement, which in its early years was funded by our CIA. Americans do not have a clue what is European federalism and neither do many Europeans, which is a good reason for you to read the articles and see the video that will come from my interview with Andrew Duff.


The formation of the European Union is the greatest endeavor of men in our time. The European project is still evolving and when it is completed, the European Union is going to change the course of world events and history.  For this reason you need to check back for when these articles are completed and will be posted on my blog EU vs. US Commentary from the US on blogactiv eu. You will also be able to view the video version on this my new YouTube Channel Eye on The EU, where the EU is in the spotlight. I promise you exclusive information you will not find anywhere else.


Links to the Interview 
More from the Interview with EU Constitutional Specialist Andrew Duff