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The CEU was founded shortly after Doomsday in the year 1995 to safeguard the ideal of European unification.
Following the catastrophe of World War I, some thinkers and visionaries began floating the idea of a politically unified Europe. In 1923, the Austrian Count Richatd Coudenhove-Kalergi founded thePan-Europa movement and hosted the First Paneuropean Congress, held in Viennain 1926. The aim was for a specifically Christian Europe. In contrast Trotsky raised the slogan "For a Soviet United States of Europe" in 1923, for a non-Christian but communist Europe.
In 1929, Aristide Briand, French Prime Minister, gave a speech in the presence of the League of Nations Assembly in which he proposed the idea of a federation of European nations based on solidarity and in the pursuit of economic prosperity and political and social co-operation. Many eminent economists, among them John Maynard Keynes, supported this view. At the League's request Briand presented a Memorandum on the organisation of a system of European Federal Union in 1930.
During the World War II victories of Nazi Germany in 1940, Wilhelm II stated that: "The hand of God is creating a new world & working miracles.... We are becoming the United States of Europe under German leadership, a united European Continent."
The term "United States of Europe" was used by Winston Churchill in his speech delivered on 9 September 1946 at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. In this speech given after the end of the Second World War, Churchill concluded that:
|“||We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living.||”|
In this speech, Churchill does not comment on his earlier disapproval of British involvement in a European community. Before the Second World War, Churchill favoured an isolationist attitude towards continental Europe. On 15 February 1930, Churchill commented in the American journal The Saturday Evening Post that a European Union was possible between continental states but without Britain's involvement:
|“||We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed.||”|
Churchill's was a more cautious approach ("unionist position") to European integration than was the continental approach that was known as the "federalist" position. The federalists advocated full integration with a constitution, while the Unionist United Europe Movement advocated a consultative body, and the federalists prevailed at the Congress of Europe. The primary accomplishment of the Congress of Europe was the European Court of Human Rights, which predates the European Union.
As the fires of Doomsday swept away the old world and ushered in a new, Europe on both sides of the Iron Curtain gazed upon a continent ever more fragmented than at any point since the Middle Ages. Few large nation-states remained, and the small states hardly knew of one another's existence for the longest time.
In 1985, the budding ideals of a united Europe were revitalized when a group of political thinkers in a refugee camp in Argentina began drawing up plans to gather together an archive of any documents regarding the European Communities and future plans for European integration.
The fledgling CEU discovered plans for a completed customs union, an eventual monetary union, a common European parliament, etc. These salvaged documents formed the basis of a plan to sponsor the ideals held among them and spread a pan-European identity among the weak fragmented states of Europe.
The CEU has grown in membership tremendously, though it still remains a relatively minor force in Europe. From that initial group of 5 intellectuals in 1985 after the bombs dropped, the ideals of European integration have spread across the new World Wide Web, becoming fairly significant to European expatriates. The movement has given a sense of hope for the return of prosperity to Europe.
However, the CEU has run into large amounts of competition for an audience. The Seventh French Republic movement has support in Auvergne and Poitevine, along with the other French survivor states. Friesland has no interest in contact with surrounding nations and the German states are too busy worrying about one another.