A meeting of the Executive Committee of the European Movement (1949). From right to left: the fifth person is Paul Van Zeeland, then the Chair, Duncan Sandys and the Secretary General Joseph Retinger

It is in 1922 that Count Richard de Coudenhove-Kalergi publishes his celebrated work: Pan Europa, un projet [1]. The Austro-Hungarian aristocrat, recycling the analysis of a senior French official, Louis Loucheur [2], states that modern wars require gigantic industrial capacities. Conversely, conflicts between the big powers may be avoided if they pool their resources under a common authority. One can hope to prevent another war between Germany and France by placing German coal and French steel under the control of a bi-national authority. Extending this reasoning, but this time weaving in the thinking of Giovanni Agnelli [3] on European federalism as an antidote to retributive nationalism, Coudenhove-Kalergi proposes something more radical: creating a United States of Europe based on the US model. In this spirit, he also proposed to establish a powerful Europe, able to offset the new blocs: the USA, the URSS and the British Empire. So his Europe will stretch from France to Poland.

In 1926, Coudenhove-Kalergi establishes an association, the Pan-European Union. It holds a Congress at Vienna with more than 2,000 delegates. Its plan is peaceful cooperation between Sovereign States. It opposes the fascist vision of a Europe integrated by force where ethnic regions would be exalted and the nation state destroyed. It is supported by a host of intellectuals such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, José Ortega and Gasset, Pablo Picasso, Rainer Maria Rilke, Saint John Perse, etc.

Aristide Briand

It is the Nobel Prize Winner, Aristide Briand [4], that is elected president of the Union.

In the thirties, Aristide Briand and Edouard Herriot carry out the plan at the political level. Twenty six states are contacted to form part of a Federal European Union.

Moreover, the businessman Jean Monnet, Deputy Secretary General of League of Nations when it was first established, notes that this is becoming a de facto inter-governmental European organization and proposes to make it the framework for a European Union.

Unfortunately, these initiatives arrive too late: they cannot withstand the Wall Street Crash and escalating dangers.

The British-US plan for Western Europe

Count Richard de Coudenhove-Kalergi

Exiled to the United States at the end of the Second World War, Richard de Coudenhove-Kalergi undertakes extensive lobbying to convince Washington to establish a federal organization in Europe, once peace returned. His efforts were crowned with success when the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) adopted his idea in 1946 [5] [6]. The CFR takes one of his recommendations to the Department of State.

As for the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, in 1946 he denounces,
“the iron curtain that has come down on Europe” [7]. It is necessary to stabilize the Western Block and prevent communism from catching on.

On 8 May 1946, which marks the first anniversary of Reich’s surrender, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA or “Chatham House”), a British organization, sister to the CFR, presents the common position of London and Washington. It is set out by Joseph H. Retinger, former adviser to the Polish fascist government, who is in exile in London [8]. He became an agent of Her Majesty’s Secret Services. This position is democratized by Winston Churchill, when he coins the phrase “the United States of Europe” [9].

However this plan bears no relation to Coudenhove-Kalergi’s and the inter-war democrats. London and Washington envisage creating a common English-US citizenship to seal a great Anglophone empire. In this context, “Europe” would be a constellation of States invited to work together and to shift some of their industrial resources to the jurisdiction of a supranational authority, broadly identifiably structured along the lines of the Anglophone Empire. The ensemble would form a vast area for free trade, impermeable to the influence of communism.

Chaos: the beginnings of US-English Action in Western Europe

The process continues. The British services establish an Independent League for European Cooperation (ILEC). Joseph H. Retinger is the Secretary General and the former Belgian Prime Minister, Paul van Zeeland, the President. Its head office is Brussels. Branches are set up in Germany, France [10], Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and of course, the United Kingdom. At the initiative of the US Ambassador, Averell Harriman, another branch is set up in the US by Russell C. Leffingwell. He is president of the CFR. The role assigned to ILEC? To promote a European area of free trade with a single currency.

A few weeks later, in September 1946, Allen W. Dulles, the new president of the CFR, finances the establishment of the European Union of Federalists (EUF), at Hertenstein (Switzerland) [11] around personalist philosophers [12], notably Alexandre Marc and Denis de Rougemont, and Henry Frenay, the former head of the resistance network, Combat [13]. The role assigned to Union of Federalists will be to mobilize public opinion to accelerate integration (that is the surrender of State sovereignty) something no political leader in office can promote.

In January 1947, Churchill establishes the Provisional United Europe Committee. In March, at the initiative of Senator J. William Fulbright, the Senate and the House of Representatives vote a motion to support the “United States of Europe”. Congress asks the state beneficiaries of the Marshall Plan to undertake to participate in this “United States”.

Senator J. William Fulbright

And, in order to promote among the US elites the ideas of Count Coudenhove-Kalergi, Senator Fulbright establishes the Committee for a Free and United Europe with William J. Donovan and Allen W. Dulles [14]. This marks the beginning of misunderstanding: everyone is talking about the “United States of Europe” but they do not have in mind the same thing.

In July 1947, the Council on Foreign Relations Journal publishes an anonymous article, that in fact is authored by ambassador George F. Kennan. In it he describes the danger of the spread of communism and spells out the containment policy. The National Security Council outlines the strategy:
• “Phase I” aims at forming a federation of all the Western European states freed by the United Kingdom and the US;
• “Phase II” will consist in extracting the states of Central and Eastern Europe in the Soviet sphere and adding them to the “United States of Europe” [15]

On 17 March 1948, the United Kingdom signs a military cooperation treaty with France and the Benelux at Brussels. This treaty establishes the Union of Western Europe (UWE).

Churchill calls a para-governmental conference at the Hague to combine the Pan-European Union, ILEC, the Union of Federalists and many others. From 7 to 10 May, 800 personalities reply to his call and establish the European Movement. Duncan Sandys, Churchill’s son-in-law, is elected the Association’s president and Joseph H. Retinger, the Secretary General [16].

However, the success of this operation depends on retaining its ambiguities. The participants have been appealed to on various arguments, that are not always compatible. Thus it must not be left to Coudenhove-Kalergi and his Pan European Union to clarify matters. The European Movement leaders (i.e. the British) hurry to Washington to work with their US opposite numbers who have not entirely understood the subtleties of the old continent. A decision is taken to immediately close the Committee of Senator Fulbright and to side-line Coudenhove-Kalergi. A new structure is created to supervise European construction: the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE).

On the other hand, in light of “Phase II”, William Hayter, chairman of the Joint Committee on British intelligence, puts in place a network of agents that remained in place behind the Iron Curtain. These stay-behinds form the Assembly of Captive European Nations (ACEN).

Finally Saint-Siège invests in the anti-communist crusade. Pie XII hosts the Second Congress of the Union of European Federalists at Rome, in September 1948 [17].

The American Committee for a United Europe

ACUE is established on 5 January 1949 at the headquarters of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation at New York. Without much secrecy, its board of directors is a directory of the US Secret Service (US SS):
• President William J. Donovan (the former head of the US SS, who became an adviser to the CIA) ;
• Vice-president Allen W. Dulles (ex-US SS, Chair of the CFR and future director of the CIA);
• Executive director Thomas W. Braden (ex-US SS, future assistant director of the CIA); and also
• David Dubinsky, Arthur Golberg and Jay Lovestone, all three responsible for covert operations of AFL-CIO [18].

Allen W. Dulles

The Committee has its first public meeting on 29 March 1949, in the presence of Winston Churchill. It is a non-governmental window of the CIA that on a purely formal basis undertakes public activity. Its real purpose is to secretly finance all the European federal associations. In his inaugural speech, and welcoming the spokesmen of ACEN, Churchill declares:
“It is not possible to have sustainable peace while 10 Eastern European capitals are in the hands of Communists government of the Soviets. We have relations with these nations beyond the Iron Curtain. They have sent their delegates to our meeting and we know their feelings and how much they wish to be part of a new United Europe. Therefore our goal and ideal must fall no shorter than uniting Europe, the whole of Europe.”

On 4 April 1949, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France signed the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO).

ACUE finances the preparatory meetings for the Treaty of Westminster (5 May 1949) establishing an organization aimed at defining and expanding the norms of government of the “free world”, the Council of Europe. The Belgian Prime Minister, Paul-Henri Spaak, was elected its president.

In August 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first nuclear bomb. This, to the amazement of Washington. Truman is convinced that the URSS intends to use force to expand communism. General George F. Kennan is replaced by his second in command, Paul H. Nitze. Hereafter the world is split between the two nuclear powers. That puts into perspective the “special relationship” with London and consequently destines the United Kingdom to fall from its pedestal and to form part of Europe… A shock for London.

ACUE decides to re-seize direct control of the European Movement, that is, by firing the British management. A crisis is skilfully organized: the French of the Union of Federalists protest about their non-representation in management and slam the door. On this pretext, ACUE stops financing the European Movement. The President Duncan Sandys is forced to resign in March 1950. He is replaced by the Belgian Spaak, who relocates the headquarters from London to Brussels. Another Belgian, Baron Boël [19], becomes treasurer.

The Success of the ECSC and the failure of the CED

On 8 May 1950, on the fifth anniversary of the capitulation of the Reich, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Schuman, proposes to implement the plan of Louis Loucheur and Richard de Coudenhove-Kalergi and establish a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Schuman is a supernumerary member of Opus Dei. The secret catholic brotherhood rebranded him by erasing the memory of his participation in the cabinet of Philippe Pétain who signed the armistice of dishonour. In New York, Allen W. Dulles organises a press conference during which he makes public a list of 118 eminent US personalities, members of ACUE, who support the Schumann Plan.

Among this crowd, on 24 October 1950, the French Minister of Defence, René Pleven, proposes to establish a European Defence Committee (EDC). This announcement is supported by a Supervisory Committee, an emanation of Henri Frenay’s Union of Federalists, clearly financed by ACUE. Six States sign the EDC Treaty at Paris, on 27 May 1952. In contrast to Benelux, the Council of Europe and the ECSC, the EDC is not an old project of the Europeans but a structure supported by Washington. The opposite of the ideas of Aristide Briand envisaging a syndication of Defense modelled on alliances between Ancient Greek cities, the Pentagon visualizes a grouping of reserves along the lines of the Persian Empire. The Gaullists and the Communists are united to prevent the ratification of the Treaty for a National Assembly, that rejects it on 30 August 1954.

The beautiful structure collapses. It is necessary to change strategy and turn to Nato. London and Washington entrusts to Joseph H. Retinger, still Secretary General of the European Movement, the task of recruiting high-level European personalities to jointly further the integration of European States in a free trade zone starting with the ECSC, and their integration into NATO. The preparatory meeting for the establishment of this club took place on 25 September 1952 at Paris. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Paul van Zeeland, Alcide Gasperi, Guy Mollet, Antoine Pinay [20] and some others participate. Then Retinger and Prince Bernhard go to Washington to seek the blessing of General Walter Bedell Smith, the new director of the CIA [21], and Charles D. Jackson, the special adviser to the President. A US committee is formed with David Rockfeller, Dean Rusk, Henry Heinz II, Joseph Johnson, and others. The first meeting will take place from 29 - 31 May at the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands.

Anoosha Boralessa

[1In November 1922, Paneuropa, ein Vorschlag was published at the same time in the Neue Freie Presse , Vienna and Vossische Zeitung, Berlin.

[2Louis Loucheur, an entrepreneur in buildings and public works (1872-1931), introduced reinforced cement in France. A polytechnician, close to Clemenceau, he became the Secretary of State for Arms during the First World War. Then he was appointed Minister for Industrial Reconstruction in the Armistice. He completely reorganized French industry during these years of war and peace. Following this, he became Minister of Labour and was the first to build social housing.

[3Giovanni Agnelli (1866-1945), the founder of the Turinese dynasty, studied the Henry Ford’s model in the United States and established Fiat in Italy. In 1918, he published La Fédération européenne ou la Ligue des nations. An opponent to the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations, his proposal is a continental European Federation where most power is centralized. Just as Henry Ford admired Hitler, Giovanni Agnelli supported Benito Mussolini.

[4The radical French Minister, Aristide Briand (1862-1932), is given a place in History for negotiating in 1905 the agreement separating the Church and the State and because he was opposed to the policy of retribution against Germany, in the 1920s and injected life into the League of Nations.

[5Let us recall that for US historiography, the Second World War did not finish with the surrender of the Reich, on 8 May 1945, but with a presidential declaration of the cessation of hostilities, on 31 December 1946.

[6“Comment le Conseil des relations étrangères détermine la diplomatie US”, Réseau Voltaire, 25 June 2004.

[7Speech of Fulton (Missouri), 5 March 1946.

[8After Poland had been invaded by the Reich, the fascist government of Sikorsky positioned itself on the side of the Allies.

[9Winston Churchill speaking in Zurich on the United States of Europe”, by Winston Churchill, Voltaire Network, 19 September 1946.

[10The French branch takes the name the European League of Economic Cooperation (ELEC). It is chaired by Edmond Giscard d’Estaing, a member of Opus Dei and more importantly, father of the future president of the Republic and founder of the Ecu.

[11During the Second World War, Allen W. Dulles had directed the US SS (US Secret Services) in Europe since Berne.

[12Personalism is a doctrine articulated by Emmanuel Mounier, who was seeking to reconcile Christian respect for the human person and collective mobilization valued both by fascism and communism. This movement is developed around the revues L’Ordre nouveau and Esprit.

[13From 1943, Allen W. Dulles had financed the Combat network to sabotage the efforts of Jean Moulin who had excluded the pro-Francos and included communists in the National Council of the Resistance.

[14During the war, General Donovan had been the head of the US SS and Dulles, his second in command for Europe.

[15In reaction, URSS adopts the Zhdanov doctrine and establishes Kominform. The United States had broken the alliance concluded against the Nazis and supported henceforth both extreme right parties, right wing parties or non-communist left parties to contain the natural expansion of communism. Communists all over the world, must draw conclusions from this and break their partnerships with the Left. They cannot rely on the help of URSS, which becomes their de facto leader.

[16The following were appointed Honorary Chairs: Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, Léon Blum, Alcide de Gasperi and Paul-Henri Spaak.

[1726 delegates have been elected. For France these were: the former member of the Resistance, Henri Frenay, the former Head of Studies of École d’Uriage André Voisin, Germaine Peyroles, the philosopher Alexandre Marc.

[18See the enquiry of Paul Labarique “AFL-CIO ou AFL-CIA ?” and “1962-1979: The AFL-CIO and Trade Union Counterinsurgency”, Voltaire Network, 2 and 11 June 2004.

[19Moreover, Baron Boël was the president of the Belgian section of the Independent League for European Cooperation.

[20“Les gentlemen du Cercle Pinay”, Réseau Voltaire, 11 March 2004.

[21The stay-behind network has just been formally integrated to CIA.