Tuesday, August 02, 2016


In the course of a mammoth tidying up job today, I came across some photos of Rudolf Regul.

He was my economics professor at the College of Europe in 1967/8 and a most important person in my life during that year. I had opted for the economics faculty and he would be the judge of my (minor) thesis at the end of the academic year in June 1968.

Photo: André Meulemans

Before coming to the College as head of the economics faculty he had been the Director of the Economics Division in the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the precursor of the Common Market.

In the photo above he is explaining the basing point system of pricing used in the ECSC. This system was introduced with the objective of maintaining production/consumption patterns as they had been previously. It was a collusive system which ran counter to the requirements for other sectors under the later EEC treaty. No wonder the stressed look on Regul's face and the perplexed look on those of his students.

My thesis was on whether there should be price measures included in the Single Treaty which was to cover the three Communities (ECSC, EEC & Euratom). We had many arguments over what constituted "price measures". I took a very broad view while he felt I should have been more specific. Clearly the ECSC Treaty was more specific in this than the EEC Treaty.

Photo: André Meulemans

Although he didn't suffer fools gladly, he thrived on argument and had very good relations with his students. He once took us all out to a superb dinner and I have never tasted such exquisite meat to this day.

John Mole on harmonica, me on guitar & in background
(l-r) Luiga Maggioni, Nuala Atkinson & Giovanni Ressman.
Photo: André Meulemans

The Rector of the College, Brugmans, was a strange man. He had a very paternalistic attitude to his students and more particularly to liaisons between male and female students.

He also defied the laws of statistical randomness or at least appeared to. And, given his experiences during WWII, he was easily provoked by Germans, of whom Regul was one.

At student sing songs (or parties as we would have called them) he insisted that I strike up Lily Marlene, which he sang with great gusto while the Rector fumed at the far side of the room. I'm sure this was very unfair on the Rector but it seemed great fun at the time.

Anyway, since I could find no photos of Regul on the internet I thought I'd post the above and then I couldn't resist the commentary.

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