Jaap Hoeksma

150 150 Time To Talk

Jaap Hoeksma is a professor of law and the director of EuroKnowHow. He is also the creator of the board game Eurocracy.

Born in the aftermath of World War II, he started his career as a manager of the Dutch rock band Focus. He went on to study political theory and the philosophy of law and worked for 14 years with the Refugee Office of the United Nations [UNHCR].

At the time of the conclusion of the Maastricht Treaty he realised that he was unable to explain what the European Union was. He therefore followed the advice of Friedrich Nietzsche to the effect that, when a problem is too difficult to solve, you should turn it into a game. After the rejection of the Constitution for Europe by the French and the Dutch electorates in 2005, he used his game, Eurocracy, to help develop a new theoretical framework for understanding the EU. He argues that the EU is neither a federal state, nor a confederal union of states, but rather forms a new phenomenon of international law, best described as a union of states and citizens. For Jaap the unique selling point of the EU as an international organisation is that the Union has citizens.

Information valid as of winter 2012.