Drakopoulos, Pan: The Way to Unity

1940: The Federal Union Research Institute

Founded by the Federal Union, the FURI set up in Oxford under the direction of Sir William Beveridge, master of University College at Oxford University, and former director of the London School of Economics. In 1945 FURI gave way to the Federal Trust, which still works on the European Unity and the Britain’s role within it.

1940: Federalism v. Racism

The first conference of Federal Union in London adopts the aims of the movement. Among them:

1. To work for an Allied Statement of Peace Aims challenging the idea of race superiority with a declaration of the rights of man, and the method of aggression with a declaration of readiness to federate with any people whose government is prepared to recognize these rights.

2. To welcome any steps towards such a federation of the Allies or any other groups of peoples, provided that at the time of its formation the federation is declared open to accession by other nations, including Germany.

1941, July: The “Ventotene Manifesto”\

Being interned on the Ventotene islet, Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi write the “Ventotene Manifesto”. Its main declaration is: “The first problem to be solved, and without whose solution progress of any kind is just an illusion, is the final abolition of the division of Europe into nation States”. The Ventotene Manifesto, spread by the Italian resistance movement, will be a classic text of the European federalism.

1942: Studying Federalism

Count Coudenhove-Kalergi and Arnold J.Zurcher establish the first graduate seminar exclusively devoted to the European federalism at New York University.

1942, September: Silone Calls for the European Unity

The writer Ignazio Silone, as the acting Secretary of the Partito Socialista Italiano, publishes a statement in which he declares that “the unity of European society which already exists must be buttressed by political union. The old and reactionary systems of national sovereignties must be abolished.”

1943: De Gasperi Favors the Unity of Europe

Alcide De Gasperi founds the Italian Christian-Democrat Party. Among the fundamentals of the new party is the establishment of a European federation.

1943, March 21: Churchill Proposes the Council of Europe

The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill speaks to BBC assuring that “we shall achieve the largest common measure of the integrated life of Europe that is possible”. And he continues: “We must try -I am speaking of course only for ourselves [scr. the British Government]- to make the Council of Europe, or whatever it may be called, into a really effective League, with all the strongest forces concerned woven into its texture, with a High Court to adjust disputes, and with forces, national or international, or both, held ready to enforce these decisions and prevent renewed aggression and the preparation of future wars.”

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