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Economic Development

  • Date Submitted: 11/14/2013 04:25 AM
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History of the European Union
The “United States of Europe” were in the minds of many European writers, intellectuals, philosophers and visionaries of the last centuries.
In 1795, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (who lived in today’s Russian city of Kaliningrad) wrote in his essay “Towards heavenly peace” about a federation of European states for the purpose of securing peace; his objective was peace in the interior of European states, for which he proposed a voluntary federation. The French author Victor Hugo wrote in 1849: “A day will arrive, where all nations of this continent, without giving up their particularities or their well-known individuality, will come together closely to a higher community and lay the foundations of the big European brotherhood. A day will arrive where there will be no other battlefields than the markets, which open for trade, and the spirit, which opens for ideas. A day will arrive where bullets and bombs will be replaced by ballot papers”. And in 1925 the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aristide Briand, said at the occasion of the Locarno Pact (Locarno is a little town on the Italian sea, where a peace pact has been signed): “In Locarno we spoke European, this is a new language, which has now to be learned”.

In the first half of this century the European continent was the theatre of conflicts, which brought millions of dead humans and lots of destruction. For all of the centuries, Europe had a lot of bloody wars, only France and Germany for the period 1870 to 1945 fought three times. European leaders came to the conclusion that only economic and political integration can secure the peace between their countries. The vision of a new Europe, which would overcome antagonistic nationalism, finally emerged from the resistance movements, which had resisted totalitarianism during the Second World War. In 1950 the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed integrating the coal and steel industries of Western Europe, which...

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