Montesquieu Instituut: van wetenschap naar samenleving

Churchill: 'We must build a kind of United States of Europe'

Sir Winston Churchill, premier van het Verenigd Koninkrijk en Nobelprijswinnaar, gaf op 19 september 1946 een historische toespraak over de toekomst van Europa, na het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, in Zürich (Zwitserland):

 

"What is the (...) remedy?

It is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and 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.

(...)

Can the free peoples of Europe rise to the height of these resolves of the soul and instincts of the spirit of man?

If they can, the wrongs and injuries which have been inflicted will have been washed away on all sides by the miseries which have been endured.

Is there any need for further floods of agony?

Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?

Let there be justice, mercy and freedom.

The peoples have only to will it, and all will achieve their hearts' desire.

I am now going to say something that will astonish you.

The first step in the re-creation of the European family must be a partnership between France and Germany.

In this way only can France recover the moral leadership of Europe.

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."