Profile of the Week
Andrea Bosco, Professor of Political Science and Chairholder on the History and Theory of European Integration at the University of Florence, has written a book, June 1940, Great Britian and the First Attempt to Build a European Union. As Britain takes steps away from the European Union today, this book is particularly timely, since it looks back to 1940, when Germany was threatening the French, and in a desperate move to preserve their fighting forces, Churchill and his cabinet made the offer of a “indissoluble union” to the French government. This was the first offer of a European Union.
More generally, Andrea Bosco looks at the birth of the Federal Union Movement, as well as it transition to a popular movement. Once it obtained the support of the people, the governments of Europe began to take that movement seriously, although there was still some hesitation. And it was against this backdrop that, once the Second World War broke out and the Phony War ended with the beginning of the Blitzkrieg and the fall of France, the British government began to consider a Federal Union as a way to check the power of Germany. Now that Britain is leaving the EU, questions naturally arise regarding the roles of Britain, France, and particularly Germany with regard to the European power structure in the coming years.
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