Mario Telò is professor at LUISS and l’ULB, President emeritus of the IEE-ULB. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium. 

 Jean-Louis Quermonne, the professor

Professor of political science in Grenoble and at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, Jean-Louis Quermonne died on January 17, 2021, at the age of 93. He was born in Caen in 1927 and his memories of the suffering and destruction of the war in Normandy are at the root of his deep European convictions.

A jurist and political scientist, he was the first President of the University of Grenoble, a founding member of the think tank “Notre Europe” created by Jacques Delors in 1996, President of the French Association of Political Science (AFSP) from 1995 to 2000 and Honorary President of the French Association of Constitutional Lawyers. 

He taught at the Universities of Algiers, Tunis, Rabat, New York, Laval (Canada), Geneva, Lausanne, as well as at the College of Europe (Bruges). Since 1994, he held regular conferences and seminars in Brussels, at the Institute for European Studies of theULB, notably in the framework of the new ULB Doctoral School in European Studies founded in 2000, where he alternated with personalities such as J.H. Weiler, Ph. Schmitter, B. De Giovanni, R.O. Keohane, B. Badie, W. Wallace and other eminent specialists.

A friend of the IEE  and the ULB

While we are deeply saddened by the death of a faithful friend, a great intellectual characterized by a rare humanity and gentleness, devoid of all arrogance, always listening, always open to dialogue, we would like to emphasize that he was a strong encouragement, supported and defended internationally the research of ULB’s political scientists and their openness to interdisciplinary collaboration, especially with jurists, encouraging in particular the one he publicly called in 2000 – on the occasion of the cycles of conferences that gave birth to our Doctoral School – “the Brussels School of European Studies”.  Jean-Louis Quermonne expressed his generous support especially for the innovative approach we shared: to reconcile a rigorous study of the EU, its political system and its contradictions, with a citizen’s commitment to the advancement of political union. First of all, according to him, it was a question of making the IEE of Brussels, at the crossroads of Europe and close to several EU institutions, the center of theoretical innovation of European studies, a center for the revival of European studies, between the often too normative approaches of Latin Europe and the coldest Anglo-Saxon comparative methodologies.

His commitment, which he lived mainly in Paris, at Sciences Po and at the “Notre Europe” Foundation, was expressed, on the one hand, by a Braudelian approach, allowing him to put into perspective “over time” the EU’s failures in its quest for legitimacy, such as that of the European Constitution in 2005 and, on the other hand, by his conceptual innovations at the level of the conception of the model of European integration beyond the divisions of the past: his idea of a “Federation of Nation States” influenced Jacques Delors and many researchers in several European countries.

We keep very vividly, with a feeling of intellectual debt, the memories of his conferences and seminars in Brussels, the many profound XIX style epistolary exchanges with which he honored us, his exceptional culture as well as his acute political sensitivity associated with his independence of spirit.  

Among his most important publications:

L’Union européenne dans le temps long, 2008. Publisher : Presses de Sciences Po.

Le système politique de l’Union européenne, many editions between 2005 and 2015. Publisher : Montchrestien, LGDJ.

Les régimes politiques occidentaux,  2006. Publisher : Seuil.

L’appareil administratif de l’État,  1991. Publisher : Points.

L’alternance au pouvoir, clefs politiques, 2003. Publisher : Montchrestien.

La V République, 2000. Publisher : Flammarion.

Photo: Jean-Louis Quermonne, in the 1960s. Université de Grenoble Alpes