May 30, 2011
I first met Stanley twenty years ago in Kitty O’Shea’s, then used as the canteen for EPC as it had offices upstairs. When Stanley found out that I was a foreign policy expert he asked if he could send me a draft he was writing on the new common foreign and security policy (CFSP). I said of course and a few days later the draft arrived. This was the era before word processing so I commented rather extensively in red ink and sent the manuscript back to Stanley. A few days later he called me and asked if I thought the paper was worth publishing. I said yes – if a number of changes were made. He thanked me and put the phone down. I thought that this was the end of our acquaintance but in fact it proved to be the start of a 20 year exchange of drafts and papers on which we both commented in a very frank manner.
Stanley was never slow to seize an opportunity. I remember him being in our house on 9/11. He had spent a week in Washington with us and was due to fly back to Brussels that very afternoon. Flights were cancelled but this gave Stanley time to reflect and write one of the first articles on the implications of 9/11. He was a good house guest, only complaining that we were unable to find a fourth bridge partner at the drop of a hat.
Stanley was our bridge secretary and did a great job of organising what the US ambassador rightly describes as the most intellectually charged and high powered bridge group in Brussels.
As others have noted Stanley was no angel. He did not suffer fools gladly and had a quick temper. Some of his verbal and e mail exchanges with John Palmer at EPC were classic encounters. Neither gave an inch in defending their point of view.
But Stanley did not hold grudges. Anyone who shared his ambition of a closer, united Europe was an ally. He was immensely proud that his commitment to the European cause was recognised by the French government before the British.
Stanley was also aware that the EU had an important role to play in global politics. He was one of the first to recognise the importance of China and in his latter years was a strong advocate of closer relations between the EU and China. He was not uncritical of China but stressed the importance of each side making more of an effort to understand the other’s point of view.
Stanley was fun to be with. He had many interests but above all he loved a good argument.
How would he like to be remembered? I think he would be pleased with the epitaph ‘he was a good European’. One of the best.
Fraser Cameron is Director of the EU-Russia Centre and Senior Advisor to the EPC.Author : Blogactiv Team