ON 1 March 2017, the European Commission published its White Paper on the Future of Europe. According to the Paper Europe took off with the Manifesto of Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi; drafted in prison in 1941 and published in 1944. The full text in English translation is attached in the version of the European Union of Federalists. It was one of the ideas launched by the resistance movements. This particular one saw a united Europe based on democratic socialism.

It was not, however, the take off, as the Paper wrongly suggests. The true take off came later with The Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950. That document is on my website elsewhere under  European Union. The Schuman Declaration was the real foundation leading to the European Community for Coal and Steel in 1952. After the crisis of 1954, when the French National Assembly rejected the European Defence Community, Dutch Foreign Minister Beyen and Belgian Foreign Minister Spaak started what later was called the Relaunch of Europe. Sixty Years ago European Unification was relaunched with the Treaties of Rome. Community Europe (ECSC, EEC, Euratom) still kept Schuman's basic purposes: Reconciliation, Solidarity, Unity.

When the European Commission writes history it should do it correctly.

During the 1960's there was another crisis, made by President Charles de Gaulle. It gave us - much later - the French concept of a European Union, to be governed by Summits - that is European prime ministers around the French president. From the Treaty on European Union of Maastricht (1992) onwards, the Summits became institutionalized in the European Council. It was the era after the end of Europe's division with Britain as a troublesome member state since 1973. The European Union of Maastricht did open a new chapter, but a negative one from the point of view of the Schuman plan: Federal Unity was given up and Solidarity became optional. So: what are the drivers of Europe's future when unity and solidarity are no longer the shared purposes? I shall answer this question in the next entry to which the White Paper is attached.

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