Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 32–43 | Cite as

Were the interests really parallel? The United States, Western Europe and the early years of the European integration project

  • Victor GavinEmail author


According to traditional historiography, the French were genuinely committed to creating an integrated Europe in the early 1950s, modelled according to the principles proclaimed in the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950. This article aligns itself instead with the thesis proposed by the British historian Alan Milward, according to which the aim of France’s European integration project was, from its very start, to strengthen the nation-state and not to substitute a federal European structure for it.1 Moreover, the article argues that the French government worked hard to convince the United States that it was genuinely committed to a European political and economic reorganisation along federalist lines in order to obtain Washington’s support for a project focused on solving the problems of French industry. For the French, federalism was a tool of policy rather than an end in its own right.


ECSE EDC Schuman Declaration Pleven Plan West German rearmament Adenauer Mendès-France 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BarcelonaSpain

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