European Movement

European Movement

Infobox Organization
name = European Movement

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formation = July 1947
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type = Lobbying association
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location = flag|Europe
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The European Movement is an international lobbying association that coordinates the efforts of associations and private individuals desiring to work towards the construction of a united Europe.


The origins of the European Movement date back to July 1947, when the cause of a united Europe was being championed by notables such as Duncan Sandys in the form of the Anglo-French United European Movement. The UEM acted as a platform for the co-ordination of the organisations created in the wake of World War II. As a result of their efforts, the congress of The Committee for the Co-ordination of the European Movements took place in Paris on 17th July 1947 incorporating "La Ligue Européenne de Coopération Economique" (LECE), "l'Union Européenne des Fédéralistes" (UEF), "l'Union Parlementaire Européenne" (UPE) and the Anglo-French United European Movements. They met again on the 10th November 1947 and changed their name to The Joint International Committee for European Unity. They retained this name until after the 1948 Congress of The Hague.

From 7th to 11th May 1948, 800 delegates from Europe and observers from Canada and the United States gathered in The Hague, the Netherlands for the Congress of Europe. Organised by the International Committee of the Movements for European Unity and presided over by Winston Churchill, the Congress brought together representatives from across a broad political spectrum, providing them with the opportunity to discuss ideas about the development of European Union. Important political figures such as Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, François Mitterrand, Paul-Henri Spaak, Albert Coppé and Altiero Spinelli took an active role in the congress and a call was launched for a political, economic and monetary Union of Europe. This landmark conference was to have a profound influence on the shape of the European Movement, which was created soon afterwards.

The European Movement was formally created on the 25th October 1948, when the Joint International Committee for European Unity decided to change its name. Duncan Sandys was elected President and Léon Blum, Winston Churchill, Alcide De Gasperi and Paul-Henri Spaak were elected as Honorary Presidents.

The first major achievement of the European Movement was the setting up of the Council of Europe in May 1949. The European Movement was also responsible for the creation of the College of Europe in Bruges and the European Center of Culture in Geneva.

One of its major functions during the 1950s through to the 1990s was the setting up of think-tanks and a network of discussion groups across Europe, in countries both democratic and Communist.

Since 1948, the European Movement has lobbied for further integration, on numerous subjects. It worked in favour of the direct election of the European Parliament by all European citizens, in favour of the Treaty on the European Union (the Maastricht Treaty) and also for a European Constitution.


The Movement's stated objective is to "contribute to the establishment of a united, federal Europe founded on the respect for basic human rights, peace principles, democratic principles of liberty and solidarity and citizens' participation". Its various Councils and Associations, under the co-ordination of the European Movement International (EMI), work to influence major decision-makers across European civil society - its multitudinous associations, governments, politicians, political parties, enterprises, trade unions and individual lobbyists - to achieve these ends. The Movement focuses its attentions on seeking further integration in the political, social and cultural arenas, using its network of lobbyists to achieve those ends.

The EM also works as a study and information group operating through various projects and activities. It tries to involve larger segments of the public in the European project by disseminating information on European affairs and activities and getting them involved in its projects.

The association attempts to remain pluralist, and integrates into its management political personalities from both the Right and the Left.

As with many pan-European organisations that deal with European integration, the Movement (including its national organisations) has been divided for a long time between the "unionists", supporters of simple intergovernmental cooperation along the lines of the pre-Maastricht EU, and the "federalists", supporters of a federalised Europe governed along similar lines to the United States.


The Movement's central office, located in Brussels, is headed up by a President and four Vice-Presidents, all of whom usually hold significant offices in the European Union or other pan-European organisations. Honorary Presidents, generally prominent European politicians (for example Valéry Giscard d'Estaing), are also elected, but hold no executive powers.

The current President of the EMI is Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament and leader of Ireland's successful second referendum campaign to ratify the Treaty of Nice. The management of the organisation is drawn from across Europe, though currently mostly comes from the larger EU members (France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy).

Policy is formulated by a Steering Committee and executed by an Executive Committee, the chairmanship of both of which is held by the President. A 'Federal Council', made up of delegates from local Movements throughout Europe, foments policies for the EMI and is in charge of the organisation's Auditors. Several specialist committees, devoted to the discussion of individual policies such as Women and the Future of Europe, exist as well. Day-to-day office-work is performed by the staff, which is led by a Secretary General, currently Henrik Kroner.

At national level there are National Councils in 41 countries, and a further 21 Associations in non-member countries. The EM also has youth branches, such as the Young European Movement UK.

External links

* [ European Movement]
* [ European Movement Ireland]
* [ European Movement in the UK]
* [ Young European Movement UK]
* [ European Movement Armenia]
*For details of other members, visit the EM's own guide [ here]
* [ Europa] - the website of the European Union
* [ Pan European Movement in The Netherlands]

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