At the European Conference on Culture held from 8 to 12 December 1949 in Lausanne, Carlo Schmid, Vice-President of the Committee of the German Parliamentary Council, gives an address in which he speculates on the fundamental nature of Europe and tries to identify what characterises ‘European man’.
On 9 May 1948, during the plenary session of the Cultural Committee of the Congress of Europe in The Hague, the Swiss philosopher and critic, Denis de Rougemont, rapporteur for the Committee, emphasises the importance of the cultural dimension of European unification.
In his memoirs, James F. Byrnes, former US Secretary of State, recalls the difficult negotiations with the Soviet Union on the subject of German reparations during the Potsdam Conference from 17 July 1945 to 2 August 1945.
In 1944, Winston Churchill jots down some notes on the division of influence between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in the Balkans. According to these notes, Romania was to be 90 % under Soviet influence and 10 % under British influence; Greece 90 % British and 10 % Soviet; Yugoslavia and Hungary 50 % British and 50 % Soviet; and Bulgaria 75 % Soviet and 25 % British.
On 14 November 1944, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Soviet Union sign an agreement in London amending the Protocol of 12 September 1944 on the Allied zones of occupation and administration in Germany.
On 25 September 1945, British cartoonist David Low illustrates the concern of the Western powers at the fate reserved by the Soviet Union for the countries of Eastern Europe, and particularly criticises the bringing to heel of these countries by Moscow. From left to right: James Byrnes, US Secretary of State, Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, and Molotov, Soviet Foreign Minister.
On 22 January 1948, addressing the House of Commons, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, condemns the Soviet Union’s political ambitions and calls for greater unity amongst the countries of Western Europe.
On 7 May 1948, at the opening session of the Congress of Europe in The Hague, Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister and Honorary President of the Congress, delivers an address from the platform in the Ridderzaal (Knights’ Hall) at the Binnenhof, home to the Netherlands’ Parliament, in which he warns of the threat which the Soviet Union represents for the future of European unification.
In June 1948, Denis de Rougemont, rapporteur one month earlier for the Cultural Committee at the Congress of Europe in The Hague, outlines what, in his view, determines the particular nature of Europe's cultural and personalist identity.
On 24 June 1948, at the end of the Warsaw Conference attended by the Foreign Ministers of the USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe, a declaration is adopted condemning the measures adopted in London by the Six-Power Conference on Germany.
On 28 July 1948, in Rome, Jacques Fouques-Duparc, French Ambassador to Italy, expresses the intention of the French Government to demilitarise the French–Italian border and to engage in good neighbourhood relations to elude further confrontations.
In January 1950, Max Richard, Editor-in-Chief of the French monthly publication Fédération, considers the European Conference on Culture held in Lausanne in December 1949 and gives an overview of the main debates which took place during the Conference.
On 6 March 1950, the regional daily newspaper Saabrüucker Zeitung gives a positive assessment of the Paris negotiations on the agreements between France and the Saar and considers the implications of these agreements for the Saar.
At its Congress, held in Hamburg from 21 to 25 May 1950, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) discusses, in particular, the issue of the Federal Republic of Germany's accession to the Council of Europe. While the party leadership is against accession, Willy Brandt, Member of the Bundestag for Berlin, declares his support for accession, despite some reservations.
On 30 January 1953, in Paris, the Government of the French Republic and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany reach an agreement to facilitate transit across the river Rhine and to solve the problems of construction and reconstruction of bridges. This initiative paves the way for regional cooperation between the two countries.
This document explains the conditions imposed on the French and Italian administrations in accordance with the Peace Treaty signed on 10 February 1947 concerning border changes. It also alludes to the changing nature of European identity borders in the aftermath of the Second World War.
This document gives details on the agreement between the French Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, key players in the changing nature of European borders, concerning the measures to facilitate the movement of their nationals and the promotion of good neighbourhood relations between both states.
On 14 May 1955, in Warsaw, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union sign a Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, known as the Warsaw Pact.
In this document, the representatives of the committee of civilian experts on the new French–Italian border adopt a compromise on cross-border cooperation as part of the developing European integration process.
During the night of 12 to 13 August 1961, the authorities of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) erect a wall which separates the eastern and western sectors of Berlin. As a sign of their support for the people of the West German enclave, Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President of the United States, and General Lucius D. Clay, organiser of the Berlin Airlift during the 1948 blockade, travel to Berlin. However, Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), will not be able to go to West Berlin himself until some days later, as the Americans do not wish to spark further provocation. The reunification of Germany seems to become a little more distant still.
On 12 August 1961, the East German Government issues a decree condemning the imperialist aims and aggressive policy of the West towards the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and providing for very strict border controls between East and West Berlin.
Starting on 13 August 1961, the Berlin Wall was built in the very centre of the German capital, separating the Soviet sector from the Western sectors. This hermetic seal aimed to prevent thousands of East German citizens from fleeing to the West. This photo, taken on the Harzer Straße, shows workers, closely monitored by soldiers from the German Democratic Republic, busy constructing the wall.
‘Quick Comrades, another wall — there are swarms of public enemies and spies!’ In August 1961, Walter Ulbricht, Secretary-General of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), orders the closure of crossing points to the West and the building of a wall to stem the exodus of East German nationals to the FRG.
The outer limit of the ‘Iron Curtain’ is symbolised by three former boundary posts which mark the meeting point between the territories of the former Duchies of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Meiningen and the former Kingdom of Bavaria.
This document refers to the French border region as established in 1964, as well as the ever growing importance of the cross-border circulation of workers as part of the European post-war recovery effort. It also addresses the decreasing importance of geographical borders in favour of more symbolic ones.
The Treaty between Germany and the USSR, signed in Moscow on 12 August 1970, launched German policy vis-à-vis Eastern Europe (Ostpolitik), paving the way for the normalisation of diplomatic relations and confirming the peaceful territorial status quo between the Soviet Union and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
Meeting in Copenhagen on 14 and 15 December 1973, the Heads of State or Government of the nine Member States of the enlarged European Community ‘declare their intention of converting their entire relationship into a European Union before the end of this decade.'
In this document the French Republic and the Kingdom of Spain, following the recommendation of the International Pyrenees Commission, decide to delimit their shared boundaries for easier identification and management. The document sheds light on the new cooperation scheme between these European states.
The treaty presents the mutually shared interests of peaceful cooperation and good neighbourhood policies of both the Italian Republic and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with the aim of creating a safe border environment that is vital for fruitful bilateral development.
By adding a new provision to the 69th article of the Treaty of Kortrijk, the signatory countries agree on the possibility of derogating from the provisions of the first paragraph on condition that surveillance of the border remains effective. The signing of the agreement represents progress in the cooperation process and contributes to the creation of a new border framework in both functional and symbolic terms.
On 8 October 1979, in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, King Juan Carlos I gives an address on European identity and human rights within the European institutions and within the new democracy in Spain.
In its communication dated 15 February 1987 entitled Making a success of the Single Act: a new frontier for Europe, commonly known as the ‘Delors I Package’, the Commission proposes the introduction of new rules governing budgetary discipline. Among other things, it recommends the establishment of multiannual financial forecasts to ensure the observance of budgetary discipline.
On 16 September 1989, two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Willy Brandt, Honorary Chairman of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), emphasises to the Congress of the Lower Saxony Section of the SPD the importance of the unification of Europe and comments on the role of a united Europe in helping to provide Germany with a future that is founded on a political order guaranteeing peace and security on the European continent.
On 10 November 1989, the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Willy Brandt, former Mayor of Berlin and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), delivers an address in the John F. Kennedy Platz in which he emphasises the historic dimension of the fall of the Wall and places the event in the context of European unification.
On 22 November 1989, François Mitterrand, French President and President-in-Office of the Council of Ministers of the European Communities, reaffirms before the Members of the European Parliament the determination of the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve to support the Movement for Democratic Reforms in Eastern Europe.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 28 February 1990, addresses Helmut Kohl’s refusal to discuss the Polish border issue before the German elections and outlines the response of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hans-Dietrich Genscher.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 7 March 1990, focuses on the link between the war reparations decision dating from the Second World War and the immovability of Polish border.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 12 May 1990, reports on the Spanish initiative for the dismantling of border controls between Spain and France and between Spain and Portugal and the implications for cross-border issues such as the fight against illegal immigration and terrorism.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 14 June 1990, analyses the impact of German reunification on the entry into force of the Schengen Agreement, which had to be postponed mainly because of opposition from France and the Benelux to the enlargement of the Schengen area up to the Oder-Neisse border.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 16 July 1990, analyses the impact of the pilot open border crossing point between Rosal de la Frontera (Spain) and Ficalho (Portugal), in anticipation of the forthcoming abolition of border controls in Europe.
‘Can you all see properly?’ In 1992, the cartoonist Behrendt denounces the wait-and-see attitude adopted by Europe and the rest of the Western world towards the acts of genocide perpetrated in former Yugoslavia.
Conclusions of the Presidency of the Lisbon European Council of 26 and 27 July 1992 concerning, in particular, the ratification of the Treaty on European Union, the forthcoming enlargement and the internal market.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 15 June 1993, reports on France’s decision to maintain border controls, primarily because Italy and Greece are unable to provide effective control at their external borders and the Netherlands seems disinterested in reducing drug trafficking. This decision by France jeopardises the free movement of people between Schengen countries, highlighting a lack of trust among European states despite the many measures taken to overcome national doubts and fears. The reappearance of de-bordering and re-bordering initiatives on the political agenda indicates the growing significance and relevance of borders for a so-called ‘borderless Europe’.
On 8 March 1995, the European Commission sends a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament in which it submits a series of proposals for the implementation of a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 26 March 1995, chronicles the implementation process of the Schengen Agreement from 1984 to 1995, identifying the main obstacles that have been overcome as well as the challenges that lie ahead.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 27 March 1995, reports on the entry into force of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement and identifies the challenges of the adaptation period.
On 20 July 1995, the European Commission publishes a notice in which it highlights the background and objectives of the Community initiative that is part of the special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. The Commission also highlights the five priority areas for action, the eligible measures and the contribution that the Community will provide to fund this initiative, and offers several considerations regarding the implementation of the initiative.
In November 1995, the French monthly newspaper Le Monde diplomatique analyses the implications of the Barcelona Conference due to be held on 27 and 28 November, which would lay the foundations for the Euro-Mediterranean Association initiated by the European Union.
On 31 May 1996, the conclusions of the Euro-Mediterranean ministeral conference on the information society held in Rome emphasise the importance of strengthening cooperation between the Euro-Mediterranean partners in the fields of telecommunications and information technology.
Opinion of the Committee of the Regions, dated 19 September 1996, in which the Committee stresses the importance of cross-border cooperation, defining it as a key part of the European integration process. The Committee highlights the aims of cross-border cooperation and what it takes for it to be successful, and welcomes the Commission’s report on the implementation of cross-border cooperation between the Community and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in 1994. Furthermore, it encourages the continuation of Interreg II and Phare/Crossborder beyond 1999 and emphasises the fact that cross-border cooperation has contributed to the strengthening of regional identity.
This Communication, dated 27 May 1997, sets out the European Commission’s policy regarding cross-border cooperation within the Tacis programme until 1999. The Commission aims to further cross-border development between the European Union (EU), the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs) and the Newly Independent States (NIS), and to support sustainable projects that have a cross-border impact and can generate sustainable regional cooperation. The Commission also highlights the fact that projects will be funded to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of border control and transit.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 5 July 1998, addresses the issue of border securitisation through the deployment of force and the construction of walls to curb the increasing wave of illegal migration in Ceuta.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 10 December 2000, addresses the issue of the ultimate borders of the European integration process in the context of EU’s eastward enlargement.
On 13 March 2002, the Committee of the Regions issues an Opinion regarding cross-border, inter-territorial and transnational cooperation. The Committee of the Regions underlines the importance placed on such cooperation by the EU as a means to achieve integration and lessen economic and social fragmentation. The Committee also offers various definitions of cross-border, inter-territorial and transnational cooperation, and identifies those factors which promote such cooperation and those which act as obstacles.
In this note dated 10 October 2002, the Council of the European Union focuses on the issue of illegal immigration, in particular the matter of aliens who are detained in Member States because their travel documents do not present a stamp that indicates the date on which they crossed the external border.
On 28 November 2002, Philippe Raynaud, Professor of Political Science at Panthéon-Assas University, Paris, throws light on the debate on Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union and on the borders in Europe by identifying three potentially conflicting concepts of Europe and calls for the development of a new form of cooperation between the EU and Turkey.
‘A chance for Europe.’ In the light of Cyprus’ forthcoming accession to the European Union, the cartoonist, Fritz Behrendt, considers the future of Turkish-Greek relations and speculates over the division of the island.
On 21 April 2004, on the eve of the referendum in Cyprus on the unification of the island, the European Parliament adopts a resolution on the plan proposed by Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General, and on the prospects for the unification of Cyprus.
One year after the French and Dutch ‘No’ votes on the Constitutional Treaty, the author of this article, published on 2 June 2006 in the French daily newspaper Libération, speculates on the lack of symbols, myths and rituals capable of uniting the European people.
In this interview, Jean-Jacques Kasel, Director of Political and Cultural Affairs at the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1986 to 1992, discusses the reservations and doubts expressed by several Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the European Communities regarding the question of German reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall during the night of 9 to 10 November 1989.
This article, published in the Spanish daily newspaper El País on 20 December 2007, analyses the enlargement of the Schengen area with the abolition of controls at the land and sea borders of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
In this interview, Bronislaw Geremek, Polish historian and politician, former member of the social movement Solidarnosc, former Foreign Minister and former Member of the European Parliament, discusses the question of a common identity for all the citizens of Europe.
With this Communication on 6 October 2008, the European Commission launches a debate regarding territorial cohesion in order to further the understanding of this concept and shed light on its implications for policy and cooperation. The Commission also highlights the key challenge of ensuring balanced and sustainable territorial development in the EU while reinforcing economic and social cohesion. It emphasises the necessity for an integrated approach, which may require the cooperation of local, regional and national authorities.
In this interview excerpt, Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities from 1985 to 1995, discusses the statement that he made for the television channel Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Transcription of the interview with Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities from 1985 to 1995, conducted by the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe (CVCE) on 16 December 2009 at the Paris-based premises of the think tank ‘Notre Europe’, of which Jacques Delors is the founding director. The interview, conducted by Hervé Bribosia, Research Coordinator at the CVCE, particularly focuses on the following subjects: the think tank ‘Notre Europe’, the concept of a ‘federation of nation states’ and the Community method, the Treaty of Lisbon and the institutional reform of the European Union, the role of the national parliaments, the European Convention and the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, the future of the procedure for the revision of the treaties, the spill-over effect, differentiated integration and reinforced cooperation, the EU’s borders and Turkey’s application for accession.
In this interview, Carlos Bru, Chairman of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement from 1986 to 1996 and since 2004, discusses the cultural and geographical boundaries of the European Union, the role of Turkey in the Middle East and in Europe, the neighbourhood policy and the globalist vision of a ‘cosmopolitan democracy' which needs to come about through a process of ‘global regionalisation'.
In this interview, José María Gil-Robles, President of the European Parliament from 1997 to 1999, describes the concept of unity in diversity as a definition of European cultural identity and of the linguistic equilibrium within the European institutions, as the European Union undergoes successive enlargements. He also examines the initiatives for a common educational curriculum in Europe.
In this interview, Jordi Pujol, President of Catalonia from 1980 to 2003 and President of the Assembly of European Regions from 1992 to 1996, gives his views on the common elements of European identity and culture with regard to the plan to provide the European Union with a constitution. He also discusses the principles and values underpinning the European idea and the European social model.
In this interview, Marcelino Oreja, President of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences since 2009, describes the need to involve citizens in the European integration process through the media and educational curriculums. He also examines the role of new information and communication technologies and gives his views on fundamental European values based on human respect and dignity. Finally, he analyses the development of a Europeanist sentiment in Spain and defines the European Union as a permanent construction which upholds freedom and solidarity as major European values.
In this interview excerpt, Philippe de Schoutheete, Belgian Permanent Representative to the European Union from 1987 to 1997, raises the issue of the lack of response by the European Union to the war that raged in the Balkans between 1992 and 1995, particularly in view of the ambitious wording in the Treaty of Maastricht concerning the common foreign and security policy (CFSP).
In this interview, Manuel Marín, Vice-President of the European Commission from 1993 to 1999, discusses European values as the result of a reflexion on a mixed past which resulted in the ‘historic success’ of the creation of an area of peace, progress and stability. He also mentions future European challenges, particularly the development of systems for citizen protection and the consolidation of a cooperation on the European continent that will supersede a history marked by domination.