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To write a book of Memoirs / Escribir un libro de Memorias

By former president of the EP Enrique Barón Crespo

Writing one’s Memoirs, telling a story in the first person, has both advantages and risks. How to ensure a balance between recounting your own role and a true narration of experiencing important events first-hand?

Enrique Barón  Crespo

By Presidendi kantselei / Office of the President [CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In my introduction, I define what drives me: “In my public life prevail two great passions: democracy and social justice in Spain and Europe. I share these passions with my wife, the painter Sofia Gandarias, and a cultural dimension enriches our interests. We are now experiencing a moment of crisis, where achievements are questioned and a wave of pessimism blurs the future”.

The 23 illustrated chapters narrate my experiences and the teachings which have informed my long and varied career. I started as a pioneer Erasmus student, leaving Spain for France, I then moved on to become a University lecturer, then a human rights lawyer under Spain’s dictatorship. I became a founding father of the new Spanish Constitution, parliament speaker and a Minister of the Government that achieved adhesion to the European Community.

In the “Europe” phase of my life, I was an MEP for 23 years, and President of the European Parliament at the historic moment when the Berlin Wall fell at the end of the Cold War. I was there for the Maastricht Treaty negotiations, introducing common EU citizenship and a single currency. I like to describe my work on the construction of the EU during the process of enlargement and deepening, as that of an architect and bricklayer. I helped to build up the EU’s stable economic and cultural stability, up to the Lisbon Treaty negotiations. After all this, I find myself now, back playing the part of a citizen of Europe, working for the university and in the non-profit sector of European culture.

Cover page of Baron Crespo's bookMy last chapter, “More Europe?” presents a Decalogue (or ‘Ten Commandments’) – the best way to present a program since Moses. My feeling is that launching a debate on these proposals could be a great exercise in European citizenship, if we refer back to Jean Monnet’s advice; “I always thought that Europe would be built through crises, and would be the sum of their solutions’.

I fully believe in EU construction as an open-ended process towards an EU as a supranational democracy, a pioneering Federation of Nations States in the G20 world. After all, Lula da Silva said of the EU: “The world cannot allow the end of the EU, because what the Europeans did after the end of the Second World War belongs to the democratic heritage of Mankind”.

Writing my Memoirs of a European socialist has been both work and pleasure. I hope that you will share this pleasure.

MÁS EUROPA, ¡UNIDA! Memorias de un socialista europeo (EP Internal)

Enrique Barón Crespo

Editorial RBA.

Premio Gaziel 2012

Versión española

Escribir un libro de Memorias, en el que la historia se cuenta en primera persona, tiene ventajas y riesgos. El posible exceso de protagonismo se debe compensar con la narración objetiva de importantes acontecimientos vividos en primera línea.

Enrique Baron Crespo

By Das blaue Sofa (CC BY 2.0)

Me defino en la introducción del libro: “En mi vida pública dominan dos grandes pasiones: democracia con justicia social en España y en Europa. En mi vida privada, comparto con mi esposa, la pintora Sofía Gandarias, estas pasiones, enriquecidas por su dimensión cultural. Unas ideas-fuerza que me siguen motivando hoy en día, en un momento en que la crisis pone en cuestión lo realizado y una oleada de pesimismo enturbia el futuro”.

Los 23 “capítulos-cuadros” narran mis experiencias y las enseñanzas que me han enriquecido a lo largo de mi vida y de mi variada  y extensa carrera.

En España, tras la escuela y ser uno de los primeros estudiantes Erasmus, fui profesor universitario, abogado defensor de los derechos humanos durante la Dictadura, uno de los diputados que redactó la nueva Constitución española, portavoz parlamentario y  ministro del Gobierno de España que consiguió la entrada en la Comunidad Europea.

En Europa, fui europarlamentario durante casi un cuarto de siglo, y Presidente del Parlamento Europeo en el histórico momento de la caída del Muro de Berlín al final de la guerra fría, y durante la negociación del Tratado de Maastricht que introdujo la ciudadanía europea y la moneda única. Me gusta describir mi trabajo en la construcción de la Unión Europea en los años de la ampliación y la profundización, que culminó con la negociación del Tratado de Lisboa, como el de un albañil y arquitecto político y social.

Pictures from Enrique Baron Crespo's bookActualmente, jugando esta vez el papel de ciudadano europeo, me encuentro de vuelta en la universidad y trabajando para las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro de la Europa de la cultura,

El  último capítulo del libro, titulado “¿Más Europa?,”  presenta un Decálogo -la mejor manera de presentar un programa desde Moisés- de propuestas. Creo que lanzar un debate sobre dichas propuestas es un ejercicio muy recomendable de ciudadanía europea,  si tenemos presente  el consejo  de Jean Monnet: “Siempre pensé que Europa se construiría entre crisis, y que sería la suma de las soluciones que diéramos a estas crisis”.

Un proceso, todavía abierto, de construcción de la Unión Europea como democracia supranacional, una Federación de Estados pionera en el mundo del G20. Como Lula da Silva nos ha recordado: «El mundo no tiene derecho a permitir que la Unión Europea acabe, porque lo que hicieron los europeos tras acabar la Segunda Guerra Mundial forma parte del patrimonio democrático de la humanidad».

Al final, escribir mis Memorias de socialista europeo ha  sido tanto un deber como un placer. Espero que compartido.

MÁS EUROPA, ¡UNIDA! Memorias de un socialista europeo (Enlace interno del PE)

Enrique Barón Crespo

Editorial RBA.

Premio Gaziel 2012

Enrique Baron CrespoEnrique Barón Crespo is a Spanish politician, lawyer, and economist. He was a Member of the European Parliament between 1986 and 2009, sitting with the Party of the European Socialists. He was President of the European Parliament during the years 1989-92 and while being an MEP also a chair of the committees on International Trade and Foreign Affairs and Security.

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This is a generic account for guest bloggers that have written for our blog. Here you will find posts from Members of the European Parliament, researchers and other professionals.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “To write a book of Memoirs / Escribir un libro de Memorias

  1. But, if we can stop the madness of perpetual grasping towards ANYTHING that appears to fill our need for love, we begin to FEEL
    the love that is already there waiting for us. What is
    best among songs as sources of love quotes is that they are easily accessible.
    Perhaps your hobbies or interests are different from his, but they’re exciting or refreshing
    in some way.

    Like

    Posted by me | October 8, 2016, 02:13
  2. Interesting

    Like

    Posted by CharlesJohnsonbrith | February 11, 2015, 08:39
  3. The book ” French American class it’s a long way to France” just received high praise from the President of the United States, Barack Obama and ” C’est mon Amérique aussi” from former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Like

    Posted by André Girod | May 28, 2013, 11:14
  4. To write a book of memoirs is to perpetuate an action of which you are proud and which brought a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction to many people. The book ” French-American class, it’s a long way to France” published recently in the United-States relate the fabulous adventure of ten year old American and French children who traveled during their school year to the other country to live 3 weeks like ” them”. The book in French is ” C’est mon Amérique aussi” by André Girod, the same author.
    Over 80 000 children participated in the program and the program touched more than one million American children who became acquainted with Fr&ance and its culture and language. It is still the largest ever exchange program between France and the United-States. A fascinating adventure!

    Like

    Posted by André Girod | May 27, 2013, 16:02

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The week on the EP Library’s blog: “We’re here, we want to work, let’s go!” | Library of the European Parliament - June 7, 2013

  2. Pingback: The week on the EP Library’s blog: A look back at harder times | Library of the European Parliament - May 31, 2013

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