A European Conscience: A biography of Hans-Gert Pöttering

By Michael Gehler, Marcus Gonschor
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Hardback: £28€35$45 USD

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Hans-Gert Pöttering, in the words of Donald Tusk, “dedicated his entire political life to the project of European unification”. A Christian Democrat from Lower Saxony in Germany, he was first elected to the European Parliament in 1979, going on to lead the powerful European People’s Party political group in the Parliament and then serve as the institution’s President in 2007-2009. He retired from the European Parliament in 2014, by which time in the scale of its powers and operations it was barely recognisable from the low-key body he had joined in the 1970s. After leaving the Parliament, he became chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, also chairing the board of trustees of the House of European History in Brussels, in whose creation he was the prime mover.

Michael Gehler and Marcus Gonschor’s biography was first published in German as Ein Europäisches Gewissen in 2020 and is now available for the first time in English in this translation by Sebastian Schnorrenberg.  Authoritative in its marshalling of evidence and measured in its judgements, their book casts much light not only on the “European life” of Hans-Gert Pöttering but also on many of the pivotal political episodes of the era. It powerfully demonstrates the truth of Jean-Claude Juncker’s judgement that: “What marks out Hans-Gert Pöttering is that Europe for him has always been a matter of conviction and never of political calculation…. since first elected to the European Parliament he has never ceased his work to make the European dream a reality.”

About Michael Gehler, Marcus Gonschor

Michael Gehler is an Austrian-born historian with interests in the fields of Austrian, German and European contemporary history, including the history of European integration. Since 2006 he has been head of the Institute of History and Jean Monnet chair at the University of Hildesheim.

Marcus Gonschor is a contemporary historian who has researched, taught and published on topics including US-German relations, European integration and transnational cooperation between Christian Democratic parties.

Product Details

Publication Date
1 Jun 2022
Page Count
240 x 167mm