La República Catalana


A United States of Europe/UNS ESTATS UNITS D’EUROPA

A United States of Europe

by Winston Churchill


The great Churchill looms over little Englander Cameron. Churchill’s rival, little Englander Anthony Eden, walked out in 1955 at Messina where the Treaty of Rome of 1957 was written, claiming the Common Market “would be the end of Britain as an independent European state, the end of 1,000 years of history.” Below: Commemorative slab at the University of Zurich of Churchill’s post-war speech for a United States of Europe.

Cameron has once again delayed his “big” speech against Europe. He is no Thatcher, who knew England belonged in Europe, and even less a Winston Churchill, who called for the United States of Europe in 1946. Today’s Tories play the victim on Europe, forgetting that it was not De Gaulle who first kept them out, but Churchill’s rival Anthony Eden who boycotted the Treaty of Rome. Churchill’s brave pro-European and un-Cameron speech:

“I wish to speak about the tragedy of Europe. This noble continent, comprising on the whole the fairest and the most cultivated regions of the earth, enjoying a temperate and equable climate, is the home of all the great parent races of the western world. It is the fountain of Christian faith and Christian ethics. It is the origin of most of the culture, the arts, philosophy and science both of ancient and modern time. If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance, there would be no limit to the happiness, to the prosperity and the glory it would enjoy. Yet it is from Europe that have sprung that series of frightful nationalistic quarrels, originated by the Teutonic nations in their rise to power, which we have seen in our own lifetime, wreck the peace and mar the prospects of all mankind. And what is the plight to which Europe has been reduced? Some of the smaller States have indeed made a good recovery, but over wide areas a vast quivering mass of tormented, hungry, care-worn and bewildered human beings gape at the ruins of their cities and their homes, and scan the dark horizons for the approach of some new peril, tyranny or terror. Indeed but for the fact that the great Republic across the Atlantic Ocean has at length realised that the ruin or enslavement of Europe would involve their own fate as well, and has stretched out hands of succour and of guidance, but for that the Dark Ages would have returned in all their cruelty and squalor. Yet all the while there is a remedy which would make all Europe as free and as happy as Switzerland is today. What is this sovereign remedy? It is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. Why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent? And why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings and help to shape the onward destinies of men? In order that this should be accomplished there must be an act of faith in which millions of families speaking many languages must consciously take part. We all know that the two world wars through which we have passed arose out of the vain passion of a newly-united Germany to play the dominating part in the world. In this last struggle crimes and massacres have been committed for which there is no parallel since the invasion of the Mongols. There must be what Mr. Gladstone many years ago called «a blessed act of oblivion». We must all turn our backs upon the horrors of the past. We must look to the future. Can the free peoples of Europe rise to the height of these resolves of the soul and of the instincts of the spirit of man? Let there be justice, mercy and freedom? The people have only to will it, and all will achieve their hearts’ desire. I am going to say something that will astonish you. The first step in the recreation of the European Family must be a partnership between France and Germany. There can be no revival of Europe without a spiritually great France and a spiritually great Germany. The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause. If this is the wish of the Europeans in so many lands, they have only to say so, and means can certainly be found, and machinery erected, to carry that wish to full fruition. But I must give you a warning. Time may be short. At present there is a breathing-space. The cannons have ceased firing. The fighting has stopped; but the dangers have not stopped. If we are to form the United States of Europe, or whatever name it may take, we must begin now.  If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join the Union, we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and those who can. The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude must be established on solid foundations and must be guarded by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than submit to tyranny. Great Britain must be the friend and sponsor of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine. Therefore I say to you: let Europe arise!”

(“Steh auf Europa, Europe Arise,” by Winston Churchill, University of Zurich, 19 September 1946)


Uns Estats Units d’Europa

per Winston Churchill


Terra commemoratiu a la Universitat de Zuric del discurs de Churchill a la postguerra per uns Estats Units d’Europa. Primera foto: El gran Churchill empetiteix l’aillacionista Cameron. El rival de Churchill, l’aillacionista Anthony Eden, va marxar el 1955 de Messina on es redactava el Tractat de Roma de 1957, al·legant que el Mercat Comú “seria la fi de la Gran Bretanya com un estat europeu independent, la fi de mil anys d’història”.

Cameron de nou ha retardat el seu “gran” discurs contra Europa. No és cap Thatcher, que sabia molt bé que Anglaterra pertanyia dins Europa, i encara menys un Winston Churchill, que proposava uns Estats Units d’Europa el 1946. Els conservadors d’avui en dia van de víctimes d’Europa, oblidant que no fou De Gaulle qui primer els va excloure sinó el rival de Churchill Anthony Eden boicotejant el Tractat de Roma. El valent discurs proeuropeu i gens cameronià de Churchill:

“Voldria parlar de la tragèdia d’Europa. Aquest noble continent, que comprèn gran part de les més belles i cultes regions de la terra, i que gaudeix d’un clima temperat i agradable, és la llar de tots els més importants pobles creadors del món occidental. És la font de la fe i de l’ètica cristiana. És l’origen de la principal part de la cultura, les arts, la filosofia i la ciència, tant en temps antics com moderns. Si Europa estigués unida i pogués compartir la seva herència comuna, no hi hauria límits a la felicitat, la prosperitat i la glòria que podria gaudir. Malgrat tot el que té, Europa ha originat tot un seguit de terribles lluites nacionalistes, provocades per les nacions teutones al fer-se poderoses, com hem viscut durant la nostra pròpia vida, destruint la pau i malbaratant el futur de tota la humanitat. I quina és la situació en la qual Europa ha quedat reduïda? Alguns dels estats més petits s’han recuperat sense problemes, però en àmplies zones una gran massa tremola turmentada, famolenca, exhausta i desconcertada, testimoni mut de les seves ciutats i les seves cases en ruina, mirant l’horitzó ennegrit per si arriba algun nou perill, tirania o terror. Cal recordar que si no fos pel fet que la gran República a l’altra riba de l’Oceà Atlàntic s’hagués adonat més tard que d’hora que la ruïna i esclavitud d’Europa afectaria el seu propi futur i per això ha estès la mà en socors i guia. Si no fos per ella la foscor de la Caiguda de l’Imperi Romà hauria tornat amb tota la seva crueltat i misèria. Tot i això, sempre hem tingut a mà una solució que pot fer tota Europa lliure i feliç com Suïssa és avui. Quina és aquesta solució màgica? Es tracta de tornar a crear la família europea, o la major part que puguem, facilitant una estructura sota la qual visqui en pau, seguretat i llibertat. Hem de construir com uns Estats Units d’Europa. Només així centenars de milions de persones que pateixen podran retrobar les senzilles alegries i esperances que fan que la vida valgui la pena viure-la. El procés és simple. Per què no ha d’haver-hi un grup d’europeus que tingui un sentit patriòtic obert a una ciutadania comuna per a una gent marejada per aquest continent poderós però turbulent? Per què no pot ocupar el lloc que li correspon entre les altres grans potències i col.laborar en donar forma al destí futur dels homes? Per aconseguir-ho, cal un acte de fe on milions de famílies, que parlen moltes llengües, hi participin conscientment. Tots sabem que les dues guerres mundials que hem patit han sorgit de la vana pretensió d’una Alemanya acabada d’unificar per exercir un paper dominant al món. En la darrera lluita s’han comès crims i massacres per als quals no hi ha comparació des de la invasió dels mongols. Hi ha d’haver el que Mr Gladstone deia fa molts anys “un acte sant d’oblit». Tots hem de girar full als horrors del passat i mirar cap al futur. Podran els pobles lliures d’Europa aconseguir la volada per arribar a l’alçada d’aquestes ambicions de l’ànima i dels instints espirituals de l’home? Fer justícia, misericòrdia i llibertat? Només cal que la gent ho vulgui i serà realitat tot el que seu cor desitgi. Vaig a dir una cosa que us deixarà bocabadats. El primer pas per a recrear la família europea ha de ser la col.laboració entre França i Alemanya. No pot haver-hi un renaixement d’Europa sense una França gran d’esperit i una Alemanya gran d’esperit. L’estructura dels Estats Units d’Europa, si es fa bé i sòlidament, serà tal que la força material d’un sol estat perdi importància. Les petites nacions comptaran igual que les grans i se sentiran orgulloses de la seva contribució a la causa comuna. Si aquesta és la voluntat dels europeus de tantes terres, no tenen més que dir-ho i trobarem sense dubte els mitjans per a fer-ho i crearem la maquinària per dur-la a bon terme. Però he de fer un advertiment. No tenim massa temps. Actualment tenim una oportunitat perquè els canons han deixat de disparar. La lluita ha cessat, però els perills no. Si hem de formar els Estats Units d’Europa, o qualsevol nom que adoptin, hem de començar ara. I si d’entrada no tots els estats d’Europa estan disposats o són capaços d’entrar-hi, la Unió ha de procedir acoblant i combinant els que volen i poden. Cal establir sobre bases sòlides salvar el gruix de la gent de tota raça i de tota terra de la guerra i de la servitud. protegits per la disposició de tot home o dona de morir abans de sotmetre’s a la tirania. Gran Bretanya ha de ser l’amiga i patrocinadora de la nova Europa i liderar el seu dret a viure i brillar. Per això us dic: Europa aixeca’t!”

(“Steh auf Europa, Europe Arise,” per Winston Churchill, Universitat de Zurich, 19 setembre 1946)

19 January 2013 - Posted by | News comment/Comentari al dia, Politics/Política | ,


  1. Des de quan va ser de la Labour Party l’Anthony Eden? Salut!

    Note from the editor: Sorry my lazy mistake!


    Comment by Henry | 20 January 2013 | Reply

  2. 1.       Eden. I am sure your other friends will already have pointed out that Eden was not of the Labour Party. He was Churchill’s Foreign Minister in 1955 and his successor as Conservative Prime Minister. His only claim to fame was that he resigned from the Conservative government in the 1930s in protest against the policy of appeasement of the dictators. His claim to infamy is that he totally mishandled a matter of foreign affairs: the invasion of Egypt by France and Britain, supposedly to protect the recently nationalised Suez Canal, after they had persuaded Israel to invade Egypt, with the inevitable result that Col.Nasser’s Egypt sank several ships in the canal to block it for several months. I still cannot understand how a former Foreign Minister could make the mistake of not finding out beforehand how the US would react. He should have known that General Eisenhower would react negatively to what would appear to the Americans as naked imperialist aggression. He should either have given up the plan (probably the best policy) or he should have prepared to stick it out (refused to service the Marshall Plan loans and defied the Americans or the Russians to intervene with boots on the ground etc.) until the Jewish lobby in the US had worked on the US government; Eisenhower was up for reelection that year about two weeks after the Israeli invasion.
    2.       Churchill . It is more than likely that Churchill thought of “Europe” as most then, and many in England now, think of “Europe” as comprising only the continent ( Daily Mail headline: “Fog in Channel, Continent isolated”). Remember that Churchill had always been an imperialist and in 1946 Britain had won a war and governed the greatest empire in the world, however bankrupt,  ramshackle and ready to collapse it turned out to be. Churchill’s great insight, and the real thrust of his speech, was that France and Germany must become thoroughly reconciled and work together – and, thank God, they have learnt to do so.

    Note from the editor: Sorry about Eden. Somehow I was thinking of Bevan. Yes I found Churchill’s call for French-German reconciliation as the basis for a united, wealthy and peaceful Europe groundbraking. Churchill does not single out English German reconciliation. Today is the 50th anniversary of the Franco German pact but not a single Swiss German paper remembers Churchill’s speech in Zurich! Of course it makes uncomfortable reading at the Bullingdon Club too.


    Comment by Charles | 20 January 2013 | Reply

  3. Bit if a howler re Anthony Eden, Josep. By 1957 he had lost his job as Conservative Prime Minister following the Suez Crisis of November 1956.

    Note from the editor: Thanks John but I wasn’t howling at that moment of time. Please note I refer to the Messina meeting of 1955 when the Treaty of Rome was written and not when signed in 1957. However I made him Labour, when he would have been at home with today’s rabid anti-Europe Tories.


    Comment by John | 20 January 2013 | Reply

  4. Quite right. But Eden was Conservative.

    Note from the editor: Sorry about my slip. All corrected now online.


    Comment by David | 20 January 2013 | Reply

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