With the exceptions of Britain, Sweden and Switzerland, every European state either had witnessed the relatively violent overthrow of its constitutional arrangements or had been militarily occupied by an enemy or both.By 1945, many people saw that it was the time to lay aside the old rivalries and create new bonds of cooperation and friendship between Germany and the other countries of the continent. In particular, it was necessary to ensure that France and Germany should live and work together in peaceful cooperation, for they had been at war three times in less than one hundred years.There was in 1945 and the years immediately following a most unusual willingness to think in European rather than in national terms, helped by the fact that politicians such as Adenauer in West Germany, De Gasperi in Italy and Monnet and Schuman in France were, in varying degrees, internationalists. If reconstruction was their immediate goal, they also realised the need for this to be underpinned by peace in Europe. Without this, economic recovery would merely serve to fuel the engines of future war. European leaders, therefore, had to address themselves to twin tasks:
[the] past failure and current weakness of nation states in 1945 is a prime well-
spring of what was to become known as the European movement, dedicated to
the broad notion of seeking to unite the states and people of Europe through
some new entity … which might have the size and strength to avoid the calami-
ties which had befallen the post-1919 state system.1
|1.||how to promote economic recovery and provide a decent standard of living for the people of Europe|
|2.||how to bring about reconciliation so that old hatreds would not resurface and move forward by creating a new political stability on the continent.|
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Publication information: Book title: The European Union. Contributors: Duncan Watts - Author. Publisher: Edinburgh University Press. Place of publication: Edinburgh. Publication year: 2008. Page number: 3.
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