Stanley's blog

Stanley Crossick

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with sadness that we write informing you of the death of Stanley Crossick on Saturday 20th November.

Stanley, in spite of his serious medical condition, recently managed to travel to China. He was able to continue working right to the end on the project he was devoted to – European integration. He fought against his illnesses with fortitude and resilience for over a decade and, we are pleased that he was able to keep active up until the last week.

He is greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues.

The funeral is currently being arranged for his close family members. Later, a memorial service will be organised, details of which will be published through this blog.

Yours faithfully,

Dahlia (his wife), Elizabeth (daughter), Jonty (son) and brothers Mervyn and Geoffrey.

European Policy Centre mourns the death of its Founding Chairman Stanley Crossick

Brussels: 22 November 2010: The European Policy Centre is mourning the death of its Founding Chairman, Stanley Crossick, at the age of 75. Stanley was the inspiration and driving force behind the EPC’s creation in 1997 in collaboration with Max Kohnstamm and John Palmer. His death comes little more than a month after that of Max Kohnstamm.

A lawyer by profession, Stanley will long be remembered for his passionate commitment to European integration. He took many of his precepts from Jean Monnet, one of Europe’s founding fathers, especially the axiom “thought cannot be divorced from action.”

Stanley was such a high-energy source of ideas that politicians and policy-makers of many nationalities sought out his analysis and recommendations for dealing with the problems of the day. He was not an intellectual interested in abstractions. He was a good listener, saw all sides of every argument and brought a penetrating intelligence to all his endeavours. In recent years, this was most evident in the energy and commitment he brought to building understanding and a mutually-beneficial political and diplomatic relationship between the European Union and China.

This was a constant theme of the 500 blogs he wrote for Blogactiv in three years. But his range was much wider; including the Middle East peace process, transatlantic relations and international law.

Despite recurrent ill-health for the last 10 years, Stanley’s love of life and iron determination enabled him to make an enormous contribution to policy discussion and debate in Brussels and around the world. He died very soon after his return from participating in a conference in China.

“This is a very sad loss for the EPC which would not be what it is today without the vision and guidance of Stanley Crossick. Coming so soon after Max’s death, this is truly the end of an era for us”, said Hans Martens, the EPC’s Chief Executive. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his wife Dahlia, daughter Elizabeth, son John and brothers Mervyn and Geoffrey.”

Milestones in the Stanley Crossick’s professional life

2000-present: Founding Chairman of The European Policy Centre
1998-2000: Chairman of the European Policy Centre
1990-1997: Chairman of the Belmont firms (Belmont European Community Office and Belmont European Policy Centre)
1987-1989: Chairman and Senior Partner, C&L Belmont
1979-1987: Founder and Managing Partner, Belmont European Community Law Office, Brussels
1974-1979: International Consultant, Franks Charlesly & Company, London
1961-1974: Partner and Senior, Administrative Partner in Franks Charlesly & Company, London

Principal Appointments and Memberships

1994-1997: Senior Vice-Chairman, American Chamber of Commerce EC Committee
1981-1984: President, European Secretariat of the Liberal, Independent and Social Professions (SEPLIS)
1979-present: Honorary Vice-President, International Union of Lawyers (UIA)
1977-1982: Deputy Secretary-general, Consultative Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Community (CCBE)

Author :


  1. Stanley knew that he was one of my role models.
    For his entrepreneurial spirit in EU circles, for his tackling international politics in novel ways, for his commitment to Europe, and for all the kind advice over years.

    And since three years for his blogging:
    – as an active member of Fondation EurActiv’s Advisory Council, he was most supportive of our decision to launch Blogactiv. As he put it then: ‘I can get a letter into the FT from time to time. But I want to decide myself, and publish what I think right away’
    – practicing Monnet axiom ‘thought cannot be divorced from action’, he became one of the most prolific and influential bloggers on EU matters. We were celebrating his 500th post: many readers here will have reacted in person or by email to his views.

    Actually, Stanley’s scope was much greater than the Brussels ring. He will be missed, notably, in London, in Paris (he had the légion d’honneur), in Washington, in Jerusalem, and in Beijing.

    I was aware of Stanley’s illness since many years, but had dreamed that, being so resilient and determined, he could live on for many years. Recently,, and EUX.TV interviewed him on Monnet, on China, and on EU communication. This turns out to be one of his valedactory pieces.

    Sharon and I thank Stanley deeply for all we learned from him,
    and extend all our sympathy to Dahlia and family.

    Christophe Leclercq
    publisher @

    Two practical hints:
    – Stanley’s blog will of course remain open, just like his ideas live on.
    – Should other friends (or indeed Stanley’s readers) wish to share feelings or testimonials online, they may do so, for example, by reacting to the same message.

  2. I’m very sorry to hear of Stanley Crossick’s passing, and my condolences to his family.

    I appreciate the informative views he expressed on this blog, and I will miss him from the Euroblogosphere.

    Rest in Peace.

  3. I’ve never met Stanley in person but having read his blog for years makes me feel as sad as if I had known him personally.

    For me he was part of the family of eurobloggers, and although this was just one part of what he was and what he did, I will remember him as one of the founders of the growing euroblogosphere – and I hope others will do so, too.

    Thank you, Stanley!!

  4. I am greatly saddened by this tragic loss. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. This is a loss not only to you but also to a wider community which has been benefiting enormously from his always insightful thoughts and comments about the EU and its relations with rest of the world, particularly China.

    Mr Stanley, I am moved by your courage and I thank you for all your efforts to bring better understanding between different peoples. May you rest in peace.

  5. Deeply sorry to learn this sad piece of news. Stanley was a key thinker of Europe, doubled with a great lawyer and consultant. His European idealism was always balanced with thoughtfulness and a very rigorous political analysis. He inspired many generations of lobbyists, academics, civil servants and simple citizens interested in European affairs.

    My deepest condolences to his family and colleagues.

  6. First of all I would like to extend my condolences to Stanley’s family and friends. Although I never got to know him personally, I was very impressed with his deep insight and understanding of the EU and the greater world. Stanley held a deep conviction in the potential of the European project, and we need to keep this conviction alive every day in order to overcome the challenges ahead.

  7. Dear Ms. Stanley,

    I am so sorry and surprised that Stanley has just left us. I am still waiting for the name of the hospital from Gustaaf, expecting to visit him very soon!

    We are still hope to join his lunch this Sunday! And I also plan to cook for him before my returning to China next month. His smile of enjoying my wife’s cooking of mussel is always in our minds.

    Stanley is the lovely tutor of mine. I sent him my English papers and always got his quick check of the grammar and his comments. Keeping in mind a Chinese saying “one day being your teacher, you should respect him like your father all of your life”, I always respect and love him just as my father.

    He is also a respected scholar and charming senior for many of my Chinese colleagues. We all love him very much and will remember him forever.

    His sprit, to promote Jean Monet’s European integration wish, and to bridge the perception gap between Europeans and Chinese, are always encouraging me to study and work harder to continue his endowers.

    I hope to attend his enterrement. Please inform me the time and place. Thanks.

    Best, Yiwei WANG

    Chinese Mission to the EU
    Fudan University

  8. I learned of Stanley’s passing this morning. My condolences to his family and friends.

    Over the past two years, I have had a great deal of contact with Stanley, culminating in this video interview filmed in September to celebrate his 500th blog post.

    I always found Stanley to have an incredibly sharp mind – he always seemed to ask me the one question that I couldn’t answer! – and once I had chance to get to know him, a real warmth of spirit.

    I’m sure there will be a great many people in Brussels and beyond that will have very fond memories of him. That is the real tribute.

    Stuart Langridge
    Director of

  9. On 20 November 2010, the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies lost a great colleague, mentor and friend in Stanley Crossick. Our young institute benefitted enormously from his experience, knowledge, and commitment to furthering the development of relations between Europe and China. Despite serious illness, Stanley continued to travel to China, exchange ideas and develop new initiatives.

    In an unpublished interview with Global Times on 15 October 2010, Stanley made important recommendations to the Chinese government in regard to political reform. “Freedom of expression is essential if innovation is to be promoted,” he stated, “A free media can help fight corruption. Excessive individual cases of violence, by local officials, need to be stamped out. Human rights should be treated as part of the rule of law, not as a separate, emotive issue.”

    Stanley maintained a widely consulted internet blog. In his 500th posting on 11 October 2010, he repeated his concern that the European Union had no adequate policy towards China. Cautioning that relations between the EU and China had been deteriorating rapidly since 2007, he urged leaders to develop an intensive programme to promote mutual understanding, remove misperceptions, reduce negative public opinion, improve communication, and involve the next generation in expanding the EU-China partnership. Furthermore, Stanley found that the institutional structure of the relationship had to be revisited so as to make the process more strategic and ensure rigorous follow-up of decisions taken. “The EU badly needs a strategy towards China,” he concluded.

    In another interview on 10 October 2010, Stanley explained how he sought to advance his case for a better EU-China partnership. One of the main problems, he posited, was the lack of contact and informal relations between both sides. “We have dozens of meetings and dialogues at all levels, but they are all set pieces. The one side takes position, then the other, there is some exchange, and then they go away for a few months. That’s not cooperation… The chemistry between the people is overlooked.” Referring to Jean Monnet, Stanley stressed that a precondition for cooperation is to understand how the other party sees a problem and its context.

    In dedication to Stanley, BICCS will enhance its efforts in making a contribution through research, advancing exchanges and creating a platform for debate. As he would have said with the words of Jean Monnet: “Thought cannot be divorced from action.”

    Our thoughts are with his family.

    Duncan Freeman
    Gjovalin Macaj
    Gunter Gaublomme
    Gustaaf Geeraerts
    Jonathan Holslag
    Kim Van Der Borght
    Lei Zhang
    Steffi Weil
    Xiaohong Tong
    Yuan Yu

  10. My deepest condolences. Stanley was a great friend of us and he taught us a lot on Europe. His suggestions on bridging over misperceptions between China and Europe inspired us to more effort across the field. Such efforts have been going on and will continue to grow, which shall provide the best reassurances to so great a wise man as Stanley.

    May dear Stanley rest in peace.

  11. My deepest condolences to Stanley’s family. I had the honour to know him and the pleasure to read him almost every day, also, perhaps without realising, getting some guidance. I will miss this great man and true European.
    Georgi Gotev

  12. Shocked and saddend. He is truly a man of conviction and devotion. He is highly respected and deeply missed and remembered. My condolences to Dahlia and his family. Jimmy

  13. A great loss. When I arrived in Brussels in 1990, he was already a legend and a very good friend of BEUC and a wise and warm friend.
    Jim Murray

  14. Dear Dahlia, Elizabeth, Jonty, Mervyn and Geoffrey,

    Please accept our condolences, but I am confident that you will take comfort and pride in the legacy that Stanley has left. Over a quarter of a century since I first met him at Belmont (in Brussels, not Italy) when he first introduced me to the intricacies of EU law-making and I have remained a student ever since, learning and gaining many insights and wisdom over the years. He was a tower of strength, ideas and initiatives during my time as Chair of what is now AmCham EU, in both Europe and North America. In turn, I felt honoured to be able to re-pay at least partially some of his generosity in supporting the EPC in its early days. More recently, we at EurActiv and Blogactiv benefited from his contributions to a variety of projects and especially his blogs. Thanks to a special trusted friend,

    Julian Oliver

  15. Brussels, 22 November 2010

    Respectful Madame Dahlia Crossick and family,

    I wish to convey on behalf of the China Mission to the European Union our deepest condolences to you and your family. It was truly sad and very tough for us to accept Stanley’s passing away.

    Mr. Stanley Crossick was an old friend of the Chinese people. He was very devoted to promoting friendship and cooperation between China and Europe. We will always remember his unremitting efforts to promote understanding of China in the European Union and among the people across Europe.

    Very truly yours,

    (Signed) Song Zhe

  16. I could not believe my eyes when I read this sad news about Mr Stanley’s death. I just want to say that he is a person who will never be forgotten and will remain in our hearts forever, as long as we live. I am a true believer in his thoughts and principle of “mutuality”. I am honestly very thankful to him to give me a bright spark in thoughts.
    I, hereby, would like to extend my deepest condolences to all his family members and friends. May God let him rest in eternal peace, Amen.

  17. To Stanley’s friends, family and colleagues,

    My deepest condolences for your loss. As a frequent reader of this blog I’ve long since admired his exemplary work in the service of Europe. He’s been a source of inspiration for me, as a recent university graduate, to become more involved with European politics in the UK at a time when such action is needed most. My condolences again, and please know that Stanley was a friend of many, and his actions will live on for a long time.

    Andrew Moriarty

  18. My condolences to Stanley’s family, colleagues and friends. We will all miss this great European who made a major contribution to free and open discussion of the great issues of Europe and the world and established several new means to do so.

  19. Dear Dahlia
    So sorry to hear the sad news of my cousin’s demise. I have fond memories of our childhood together in Stamford Hill. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

    Henry and June Backen

  20. A tribute in memory of Stanley Crossick, senior researcher of BICCS,
    by Ambassador Song Zhe, Head of the P.R. China Mission to the European Union

    It is really difficult to reckon with the fact that Mr. Stanley Crossick has passed away.

    Is it true that I will never be able to see him again, the septuagenarian with big stature and sparse silver hair, always a reddish handkerchief in his upper pocket? The frequenter of seminars in Brussels, walking around slowly with unsteady steps because of perpetural ill health? The eloquent pronouncer of his unique views, in his tradmark soft and low voice?

    In shock and sorrow, Stanley’s image keeps popping up in my mind.

    I first met Stanley when I just arrived in Brussels as Head of the Chinese Mission. Stanley briefed me in great details about the EU and his in-depth analysis of China-EU relations. I was very impressed by this old friend of the Mission and esteemed scholar.

    After that, I often met him on various occasions, mainly seminars related to China. He always seemed not in good shape but managed to take an intensive part. Last November, he travelled to Beijing for the Seminar on China-EU Strategic Partnership, when the European participants met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He told me after he returned that he was elated hearing the Chinese leader so staunch in supporting the growth of EU, so firm in promoting cooperation with Europe. I could never forget his beaming smile during our conversation.

    Stanley has been calling out loud for deepening understanding between China and Europe, believing that comprehensive and objective understanding serves the prerequisite for friendly and win-win cooperation. He was especially keen on promoting communications between the young people. He himself set an example, giving the young diplomats in my mission a lesson on European integration. Last month, during the China-EU Summit, it was announced that next year will be the EU-China Year of Youth. I believe it must be a consolation for Stanley, an old man ready to embark on an eternal journey.

    Stanley never hides what he thinks. He gave relentless criticisms to whatever policies or actions he did not approve, whether they were from the Chinese side or the European side. I may disagree with him on many issues, but I highly appreciate his outspokenness and candidness, knowing Stanley was always forward-looking and presenting constructive approach. Whatever he said, it was for the good of Europe, for the good of China, and for the good of a steady and healthy China-EU partnership.

    Stanley has many smart views. He is also smart in expressing them. He launched his blog in his 70s, which offers remarkable opinions and is widely read. I often browsed his blog for inspiring suggestions on China-EU relations, in a way to improve my work here. It was the care and contribution from Stanley and all our friends alike that helped push our relations moving forward.

    In Chinese culture, the elderly always receives high esteem. They capsulate their lifetime wisdom and experiences, presenting them as a beacon that sheds light upon our path, warning us against bumps and hurdles, making our journey safe and sound.

    In his early years, Stanley was among the pioneers working side by side with Mr. Jean Monet. Their dedication to European integration has made possible the accomplishment of the European Union today. In his late years, Stanley devoted himself to another cause, that is, to promote relations between China and Europe. Because he saw clearly how important it was to Europe, to China, and to the whole world. This is the valedictory message of a lifelong academian, the final appeal of a wise man, and the strategic foresight of an international researcher.

    Among the Chinese, nothing weighs more heavily than friendship. We say that, among friends, drops of water should be reciprocated with a fountain of spring. Stanley devoted his heart and mind to building China-EU ties. He worked until the final hours of his life. Now that he’s away, what shall we do in reciprocity to such a good friend?

    We have to work hard. We have to forge ahead and dismantle all obstructions ahead. We have to build an ever-stronger China-EU partnership which brings benefits to peoples in China, in Europe and in the world. Only this will serve an effective reciprocity, a grand memorial and the highest salute to our old friend, Stanley Crossick.

  21. Very sad news. Was an avid reader of Stanley’s blog and in particular his pieces on China.
    My condolences to his family and friends.


  22. I think the tributes here speak for themselves – I am grateful to have met Stanley.

    Our thoughts, on behalf of the European engineering industries association (Orgalime) are with those family and friends he has left behind. Our sincerest condolences to them.

  23. I have been following his blog for about 2 years. His posts were always very fair, objective and educational. He will be missed very much by this internet surfer.

    My heartfelt condolences to his family and to all who kept on coming back to his blog for his intelligent insights and advice.

    Steven Lee

  24. A sad event indeed, Stanley’s passing, although having attended at what most of us at the time believed to be his deathbed in 2000, the extra decade of hyper-activity, predictably devoted to the sacred cause of European integration, seems little short of a miracle. The way he coped with his chronic ailments bear eloquent testimony to Stanley’s extraordinary human and intellectual qualities. It was a privelege and a pleasure to have known – and at times crossed swords – with him.

  25. Stanley was one of the most remarkable personalities I have met in my life. He was an incarnation of wisdom and generosity. His zeal for knowledge was immense. He was always keen to discover unchartered territory and deepen his knowledge of what he knew.
    He never talked about his disease: it was something that should not prevent one from being active and creative. So he has lived in full mental activity until his very end. Few of us are capable of equalling his performanc, which was stronger than his frail body. His last trip to China was a proof of it. He simply felt he had to do though an inner voice should have told him to refrain.
    I am losing a mentor and great friend who has had a great influence on my life during the last 10 years. It was Stanley who brought me in touch with the EPC and thanks to him I discovered the pleasure of blogging.
    My deep sympathy goes to Dahlia who has always been his quiet and patient protector behind the scene, sharing his suffering.
    Adieu Stanley, I shall miss you and often think of you.
    Eberhard Rhein

  26. To all the members of Stanley’s family, my sincere condolences. I met this wonderful man just about one year, when I did a video interview with him about Europe. A mutual friend, former member of the European Court of Justice David Edward, introduced us. The afternoon I spent with Stanley was priceless. We began with tea in his living room and then moved to his office where I interviewed him. The URL to the interview is here.

    While interviewing Stanley, he often referred to Jean Monnet. I had earned a Master’s in EU Law several years ago so I knew of Jean Monnet. But it was not until I began to talk to Stanley that I fully understood why Jean Monnet was so important. Stanley advised me that I needed to also interview Max Kohnstamm, and then Stanley set about to make sure I had that meeting.

    Consequently, it was with much saddness that I learned just weeks ago from Stanley’s blog about Dr. Kohnstamm. And then to learn just a few days ago of Stanley’s death made me even sadder. On the other hand, Stanley opened a whole new world for me by encouraging me to explore Jean Monnet.

    I teach EU Law & Policy at an American law school, and I must say that this past semester has been filled with my comments about meeting Stanley and Max Kohnstamm. To be sure, my teaching will never be quite the same thanks to these two great men.

    From across the North Atlantic, I would like to tell the Crossick family of what a great husband and father they have lost. Moreover, all of us — from Europe to North America to Asia and every corner of the world — have lost a man who embodied a belief in respecting others and learning from history. I met him only once, and yet he has had an impact on my life. His legacy is one of peace, equality, and vision.

    Don C. Smith
    Denver, Colorado

  27. I was very sad to hear of Stanley’s passing. He was always very good to me throughout my career as a University lecturer and professor. David Edward was right to say that Stanley was always brimming with ideas and insights.

    Stanley was good enough to attend an event in Brussels in early September to disseminate findings of a research project (on multilateralism) for which I serve as Research Director. He contributed with great enthusiasm and imagination despite his health issues.

    I will miss Stanley, as will – I suspect – everyone who ever had the privilege of knowing him.

    John Peterson
    University of Edinburgh

  28. I have only just heard of the sad decease of Stanley Crossick, having been myself in hospital. I knew and worked with Stanley since his earliest days in Brussels. He was a supportive Vice chair when I was fortunate to be the Chairman of the Amcham EC committee. I also spent many hours with him before, during and after the transition of Belmont. Stanley will always be an iconic figure for all of us who worked in Brussels dueing these l

  29. It really is very difficult to believe he is not here with us. And, in a very real way, he still is, as so many of the above notes attest.

    I met Stanley when I was hired to launch He was ‘my first top blogger’, the person I pointed to when I wanted to show a (then) very sceptical audience that blogging was not for nerds, and could make a contribution to EU and European debates.

    But he was much more to me than that. He gave me an enormous amount of insight into what makes Brussels tick and – thinking back – I never thanked him properly for his time, which he always so generously shared.

    And that’s not just because I was remiss – he had the knack of imparting wisdom and advice through conversation, not lecture, and of making you feel he was talking to you as an equal, rather than the pupil to his master.

    My condolences to his family.

    Launch Director,

  30. Dear Stanley,

    Fine, principled, respected, cultured, inclusive and patient. He listened to and valued all opinions – even from less intellectual minds like mine. A gentleman.


    With my heartfelt sympathy to Dahlia and their family.

    Margaret Turner
    (I worked for one of EPC’s UK clients and I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions, with other colleagues)

  31. Dear Dahlia and family,

    Stanley was a great friend and helper to a Canadian sent to try to understand and influence the (then) European Community institutions. I enjoyed and benefited from our debates and discussions over the many years since 1993, when we first met.

    Branka and I are saddened by the loss of a good friend and we are all poorer for the loss of kind man.


    Charles Court

  32. Respectful Madame Dahlia Crossick and family,

    Mr. Stanley Crossick was an old friend of the Chinese people and our institute. We still remember those seminars and discussions we shared with him. It was a true lost for all the friends throughout China and EU doing research on bilateral relations. And we do want to see better understanding and mutual benefit relations between us as Stanley devote his life to.

    condolences to his family,

  33. Respectful Madame Dahlia Crossick and family,

    My sincere condolences for your personal loss.
    Stanley Will be remembered also by all of us who will miss his genunine contribution to the european project. It is sad for the wider European family to count one European Citizen less.
    Especially in these times. We will continue on his steps though and in my humble opinion by doing so we will follow one of his greater wishes.

    Evangelos Koumentakos

  34. Stanley Crossick’s death is a great loss for all advocates of a growing Euroblogosphere’s strength and influence.

    His pro-active and representative leadership will be extremely hard to replace. We can only hope to follow his steps.

    Our deepest condolences to his family.

  35. I have known Stanley for over 20 years. He was appointed as an adviser to H&K before I arrived and I had the pleasure to work with him. I always admired his street-wise awareness and his political acumen and that he did not take himself too seriously. He certainly was a true pioneer in terms of political thinking about the EU and a true believer in the cause of European integration. He will be much missed. Elaine

  36. Even after more than half a year without Stanley there is no way of getting used to it.
    I miss him often as a reliable compass to European and world affairs, miss his voice, his knowing smile, and his unrelenting interest in finding out what it all means.

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