from Robert Schuman’s book ‘For Europe’
Europe must acquire a soul
‘Europe seeks to understand her own existence: she knows that her future is in her own hands.’
‘The present arrangement cannot and should not remain a technical and economic enterprise. It requires a soul, the conscience of its historic affinities and its present and future responsibilities, a political will serving the same human ideal.’
Europe will acquire her soul in the diversity of its qualities and aspirations.
The unity of these essential conceptions can be conciliated with the plurality
of traditions and convictions and with the responsibility for personal
‘Christianity has taught the equality of the nature of all people, children of the same God, reconciled by the same Christ, without distinction of race, colour, class and profession. It has proclaimed the dignity of work and the obligation of all to submit ourselves to it. It recognized the primacy of inner values, the only ones that ennoble humankind.’
‘I conclude with Bergson that “democracy is in essence based on the
Gospel because it has love as its motor”.’
‘After our own generation has known suffering and hate to its highest degree, we are undertaking this great work together on an absolutely equal basis and in the trust and esteem of each other.'
‘Economic integration that we are in the process of realizing cannot
be conceived in the long term without a minimum of political integration.
It is a logical and necessary complement. The new Europe needs a democratic
foundation; councils, committees and other organs must be placed under
the control of public opinion, a control that should be efficient without
paralysing action nor useful initiatives. European integration must in
a general way avoid the errors of our national democracies, especially
in the excess of bureaucracy and technocracy. Making the machinery more
complex and multiplying employees won't provide protection against abuse.Therse
are sometimes just the result of favouritism and horse-trading. Ossification
of administrative flexibility is the prime danger that threatens our supranational
5. Politically integrated countries will take joint decisions on international matters
‘Another step which is foreseen in the present treaties would be much greater and more difficult. It would mean integrating not only the electors but the policies. Decisions on international matters could only be taken in common by the states together.
‘Thus the foreign policy would no longer be the sum total of opposing
points of view, one against the other, but the good-tempered conciliation
of existing divergences, a conciliation that prevents our differences from
becoming exacerbated when we openly admit them and discuss them.
‘This new policy is based on solidarity and progressive trust. It constitutes an act of faith in the common sense of peoples at last persuaded that their salvation lies in an agreement and cooperation so solidly organized between them all that no government so associated could any longer to refuse it.’
6. Political unity does not signify the absorption of the nation
‘Thousands of years ago in primitive tribes, the first human communities were formed beyond the family while based on it. Later villages were added and the city became more and more developed. Nobody claims that such an evolution runs against the role of the family. In the same way every supranational organization that extends beyond the nation, does not diminish or absorb it but confers on it a broader and higher field of action.’
7. Political integration does not mean that the nation should be dispossessed of sovereignty
‘It is not a question of a fusion of states in order to create a super-state. Our European states are a historical reality. It would be psychologically impossible to make them disappear. Their diversity is even a very happy circumstance and we do not want to bring them to a common level or equalize them.
But a union, a cohesion and a coordination is necessary. ... From the political point of view, a durable and developing understanding, instituted between different countries, must enhance the peace of our divided Europe.'
'Moreover, the idea of a federal government and that of a federal parliament would imply, it seems to me, a majority decision-making power binding the federated states. That I judge would involve burning bridges, and committing ourselves prematurely and imprudently on the road of dispossessing our national sovereignty on points of vital importance.
‘The close cooperation that is already instituted in the European Communities, however, will lead us to consider everything under the angle of the interest of shared responsibility. We would get used to examine everything from a point of view beyond that of the strictly national. We will of course not neglect national considerations, but we will necessarily find them again with equal significance when we take a collective outlook. We will incorporate them with others in the aspect of mutual interdependence. Thus it is necessary in proceeding from the national alone, to situate it as part of the whole where everything must connect and be complete.
‘We will have to learn and understand the point of view of our associate
as much as the associate will have to make the same effort as far as we
8. The European bond promotes the common interest
‘We are not in the business, nor will ever be, of bartering off our home country. Nor will we be forgetful of duties that we owe towards her. However beyond every homeland we recognize more and more distinctly the existence of a common good, above the national interest. In this common interest the individual interests of our countries are fused and intermixed.
‘This idea of ‘Europe’ will reveal to everybody the common bases of
our civilization and will create little by little the bond similar to that
which in ages past has forged our home countries. It will be a force that
will breach all obstacles.’
9. Europe must serve humanity
‘Europe has provided for mankind with a way to reach its full potential growth. It is up to Europe to demonstrate this new way, which, as opposed to subjugation, allows diverse civilisations to flourish, while showing mutual respect for each other.’
‘We have gained the conviction by the demonstration of facts that nations, far from being able to be self-sufficient, are interdependent and that the best way to serve one's own land is to assure that it has the cooperation of others by reciprocal efforts and pooling of resources.’
‘The continents and the peoples depend more than ever on each other.’
‘The political economy has become inevitably a world economy.’‘The consequence
of this interdependence is that the fortune or misfortune of one people
cannot leave others indifferent.’
‘All are united for the better or the worse in a common destiny.’
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