The Barroso Commission was the European Commission in office from 22 November 2004 until 31 October 2014. Its president was José Manuel Barroso. On 16 September 2009 Barroso was re-elected by the European Parliament for a further five years and his Commission was approved to take office on 9 February 2010. Barroso was at first seen as the lowest common denominator by outside commentators, but his proposed team of Commissioners earned him some respect before triggering a crisis when the European Parliament objected to some of them, forcing a reshuffle. In 2007 the Commission gained two new members when Bulgaria joined the European Union. Barroso's handling of his office was markedly more Presidential than his predecessors'. During his term the Commission passed major legislation including the REACH and'Bolkestein' Directives. Under Barroso, the civil service in the Commission became more economically liberal. Barroso was nominated as president and approved by Parliament in July 2004; however his proposed Commission met with opposition from the Parliament, notably concerning Rocco Buttiglione and his conservative comments which were seen as incompatible with his role as European Commissioner for Justice and Security.
The opposition plunged the EU into a minor crisis before Barroso conceded to the Parliament and reshuffled his team, removing Buttiglione, his Commission took office on 22 November 2004. The Commission was joined in 2007 by two further Commissioners when Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU; the Prodi Commission was due to end its mandate at the end of October 2004, so following the 2004 elections to the Sixth European Parliament, candidates for Commission President began to be considered. There was strong backing for Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt from Ireland and Germany who saw him as a "convinced European and a fighter"; however the federalist was opposed by Spain the United Kingdom and Poland due to his vocal opposition to both the Iraq War and the inclusion of God in the European Constitution. Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was a popular candidate but did not wish to take up the job. Due to the victory of the European People's Party in the previous election, EPP parties were keen to get one of their members into the post, including Luxembourgian Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who refused, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, in a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party of Austria which discredited him as a candidate to some governments.
A number of Commissioners were touted, notably Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, António Vitorino, Commissioner for JHA, Chris Patten, Commissioner for External Relations, Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Regional Policy. Other candidates were High Representative Javier Solana and President of the Parliament Pat Cox however both were light candidates; however Barroso emerged as a leading candidate despite his support for the Iraq War and being seen as the lowest common denominator following objections to other candidates. The Parliament approved Barroso as president on 22 July 2004 by 413 votes to 215 with most of his support coming from the EPP-ED group, he did however earn praise for his choice of commissioners. Barroso rejected the idea of a "supercommissioner" and desired 1/3 of the Commission to be women and that the most powerful portfolios should be handed to those most capable, not those from larger states, his sharing out of jobs between the larger and smaller states earned him some early praise.
Candidates were proposed by national governments for each of the Commissioners and Parliament held hearings for them, to determine their suitability, between 27 September and 11 October of that year. During the hearings, members found fault in a number of Commissioners. Committees questioned the suitability of Ingrida Udre, László Kovács, Neelie Kroes and Mariann Fischer-Boel; however the most controversial was Rocco Buttiglione as European Commissioner for Justice and Security due to his conservative comments which, in the eyes of some MEPs, made him unsuitable for a job securing civil rights in the EU leading to the civil rights committee to be the first committee to vote down an incoming Commissioner. The Party of European Socialists were the most vocal critics of Barroso and his proposed Commission, while the European People's Party backed the Commission with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe split. Barroso attempted to offer small concessions to Parliament but they were not accepted as the PES made clear they would vote down the Commission as it stood, leaving the divided ALDE holding the balance of whether the Barroso Commission would be the first Commission in EU history to rejected by Parliament.
The EPP demanded that if Buttiglione were to go a PES commissioner must be sacrificed for balance. Barroso gave in and withdrew his proposed college of Commissioners and, following three weeks which left Prodi continuing as a caretaker, proposed a new line-up. There were three changes to help his dented authority and win the support of Parliament: Buttiglione had been withdrawn by Italy and replaced by foreign minister Franco Frattini, László Kovács was moved from Energy to Taxation and Ingrida Udre was withdrawn and replaced by Andris Piebalgs who took over the now vacant post of Energy; however a further issue concerning Jacques Barrot was raised by Independence/Democracy
Ideas of European unity before 1945
This article aims to cover ideas of European unity before 1945. "Europe" as a cultural sphere is first used in the Carolingian period to encompass the Latin Church. Military unions of "European powers" in the medieval and early modern period were directed against the threat of Islamic expansion. Thus, in the wake of the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, George of Podebrady, a Hussite king of Bohemia, proposed in 1464 a union of European, Christian nations against the Turks. In 1693, William Penn looked at the devastation of war in Europe and wrote of a "European dyet, or parliament", to prevent further war, without further defining how such an institution would fit into the political reality of Europe at the time. In 1728, Abbot Charles de Saint-Pierre proposed the creation of a European league of 18 sovereign states, with common treasury, no borders and an economic union. After the American Revolutionary War the vision of a United States of Europe, similar to the United States of America, was shared by a few prominent Europeans, notably the Marquis de Lafayette and Tadeusz Kościuszko.
Some suggestion of a European union can be inferred from Immanuel Kant's 1795 proposal for an "eternal peace congress". The concept of "Europe" referring to Western Europe or Germanic Europe arises in the 19th century, contrasting with the Russian Empire, as is evidenced in Russian philosopher Danilevsky's Russia and Europe. In the 1800s, a customs union under Napoleon Bonaparte's Continental system was promulgated in November 1806 as an embargo of British goods in the interests of the French hegemony. Felix Markham notes how during a conversation on St. Helena, Napoleon remarked, "Europe thus divided into nationalities formed and free internally, peace between States would have become easier: the United States of Europe would become a possibility."The French socialists Saint-Simon and Augustin Thierry would in 1814 write the essay De la réorganisation de la société européenne conjuring up some form of parliamentary European federation. In the conservative reaction after Napoleon's defeat in 1815, the German Confederation was established as a loose association of thirty-eight sovereign German states formed by the Congress of Vienna.
Napoleon had swept away the Holy Roman Empire and simplified the map of Germany. In 1834, the Zollverein was formed among the states of the Confederation, to create better trade flow and reduce internal competition. An extension of this customs union may have become the model for a unified Europe, as alluded to by Fritz Fischer in Germany's Aims in the First World War; the current ideas of geopolitics and a Mitteleuropa were influential in providing an intellectual framework for European Union in Germany. United States of Europe was the name of the concept presented by Wojciech Jastrzębowski in About eternal peace between the nations, published 31 May 1831; the project consisted of 77 articles. The envisioned United States of Europe was to be an international organisation rather than a superstate. Italian writer and politician Giuseppe Mazzini called for the creation of a federation of European republics in 1843; this set the stage for the best known early proposal for peaceful unification, through cooperation and equality of membership, made by the pacifist Victor Hugo in 1847.
Hugo used the term United States of Europe during a speech at the International Peace Congress, organised by Mazzini, held in Paris in 1849. Hugo favoured the creation of "a supreme, sovereign senate, which will be to Europe what parliament is to England" and said "A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas." However, he was laughed out of the hall, yet returned to his idea again in 1851. Victor Hugo planted a tree in the grounds of his residence on the Island of Guernsey he was noted in saying that when this tree matured the United States of Europe would have come into being; this tree to this day is still growing in the gardens of Maison de Hauteville, St. Peter Port, Victor Hugo's residence during his exile from France; the Italian philosopher Carlo Cattaneo wrote "The ocean is rough and whirling, the currents go to two possible endings: the autocrat, or the United States of Europe".
In 1867 Giuseppe Garibaldi, John Stuart Mill joined Victor Hugo at a congress of the League of Peace and Freedom in Geneva. Here the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin stated "That in order to achieve the triumph of liberty and peace in the international relations of Europe, to render civil war impossible among the various peoples which make up the European family, only a single course lies open: to constitute the United States of Europe"; the French National Assembly called for a United States of Europe on 1 March 1871. As part of 19th c. concerns about an ailing Europe and the threat posed by the Mahdi, the Polish writer, Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski's original contribution was to focus not on nationalism and federation, but foremost on economics, monetary policy and parliamentary reform. His L'Avenir économique, politique et social en Europe – The Future of Europe in Economic and Social Terms – published in Paris in 1888 was in effect, a blueprint for a unified Europe with a customs union, a central statistical office, a central bank and a single currency.
Following the catastrophe of the First World War and visionaries from a range of political traditions again began to float the idea of a politically unified Europe. In the early 1920s a range of internationals were founded (or re-fo
10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street known colloquially in the United Kingdom as Number 10, is the headquarters of the Government of the United Kingdom and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, a post which, for much of the 18th and 19th centuries and invariably since 1905, has been held by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Situated in Downing Street in the City of Westminster, Number 10 is over 300 years old and contains 100 rooms. A private residence occupies the third floor and there is a kitchen in the basement; the other floors contain offices and conference, reception and dining rooms where the Prime Minister works, where government ministers, national leaders and foreign dignitaries are met and entertained. At the rear is an interior courtyard and a terrace overlooking a half-acre garden. Adjacent to St James's Park, Number 10 is near Buckingham Palace, the London residence of the British monarch, the Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of both houses of parliament.
Three houses, Number 10 was offered to Sir Robert Walpole by King George II in 1732. Walpole accepted on the condition that the gift was to the office of First Lord of the Treasury rather than to him personally. Walpole commissioned William Kent to join the three houses and it is this larger house, known as Number 10 Downing Street; the arrangement was not an immediate success. Despite its size and convenient location near to Parliament, few early Prime Ministers lived there. Costly to maintain and run-down, Number 10 was close to being demolished several times but the property survived and became linked with many statesmen and events in British history. In 1985 Margaret Thatcher said Number 10 had become "one of the most precious jewels in the national heritage"; the current tenants of 10 Downing Street are: First Lord of the Treasury Spouse of the Prime Minister and Family Chief Mouser to the Cabinet OfficeIt houses the UK Cabinet Room in which Cabinet meetings in the UK take place, chaired by 10 Downing Street resident Prime Minister Theresa May.
It houses the Prime Minister's executive Office which deals with logistics and diplomacy concerning the government of the United Kingdom. Number 10 Downing Street was three properties: a mansion overlooking St James's Park called "the House at the Back", a town house behind it and a cottage; the town house, from which the modern building gets its name, was one of several built by Sir George Downing between 1682 and 1684. Downing, a notorious spy for Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, invested in property and acquired considerable wealth. In 1654, he purchased the lease on land south of St James's Park, adjacent to the House at the Back within walking distance of parliament. Downing planned to build a row of terraced town houses "for persons of good quality to inhabit in..." The street on which he built them now bears his name, the largest became part of Number 10 Downing Street. Straightforward as the investment seemed, it proved otherwise; the Hampden family had a lease on the land. Downing fought their claim, but had to wait thirty years before he could build.
When the Hampden lease expired, Downing received permission to build on land further west to take advantage of more recent property developments. The new warrant issued in 1682 reads: "Sir George Downing... to build new and more houses... subject to the proviso that it be not built any nearer than 14 feet of the wall of the said Park at the West end thereof". Between 1682 and 1684, Downing built a cul-de-sac of two-storey town houses with coach-houses and views of St James's Park. Over the years, the addresses changed several times. In 1787 Number 5 became "Number 10". Downing employed Sir Christopher Wren to design the houses. Although large, they were put up and cheaply on soft soil with shallow foundations. Winston Churchill wrote that Number 10 was "shaky and built by the profiteering contractor whose name they bear"; the upper end of the Downing Street cul-de-sac closed off the access to St James's Park, making the street quiet and private. An advertisement in 1720 described it as: "... a pretty open Place at the upper end, where are four or five large and well-built Houses, fit for Persons of Honour and Quality.
The cul-de-sac had several distinguished residents: the Countess of Yarmouth lived at Number 10 between 1688 and 1689, Lord Lansdowne from 1692 to 1696 and the Earl of Grantham from 1699 to 1703. Downing did not live in Downing Street. In 1675 he retired to Cambridge. In 1800 the wealth he had accumulated was used to found Downing College, Cambridge, as had been his wish should his descendants fail in the male line. Downing's portrait hangs in the entrance hall of Number 10; the "House at the Back", the largest of the three houses which were combined to make Number 10, was a mansion built in about 1530 next to Whitehall Palace. Rebuilt and renovated many times since, it was one of several buildings that made up the "Cockpit Lodgings", so-called because they were attached to an octagonal structure used for cock-fighting. Early in the 17th century, the Cockpit was converted to theatre. For many years, the "House at the Back" was the home of Thomas Knevett, Keeper of Whitehall Palace, famous for capturing Guy Fawkes in 1605 and foiling his plot to assassinate King James I.
French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy. The ship is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel, the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy, she is named after general Charles de Gaulle. The ship carries a complement of Dassault Rafale M and E‑2C Hawkeye aircraft, EC725 Caracal and AS532 Cougar helicopters for combat search and rescue, as well as modern electronics and Aster missiles, she is a CATOBAR-type carrier that uses two 75 m C13‑3 steam catapults of a shorter version of the catapult system installed on the U. S. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, one catapult at the bow and one across the front of the landing area. Charles de Gaulle is the only non-American carrier-vessel that has a catapult, allowing operation of American aircraft such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the C-2 Greyhound; the carrier replaced Foch, a conventionally powered aircraft carrier, in 2001. Clemenceau and Foch were completed in 1963 respectively.
The hull was laid down in April 1989 at the DCNS Brest naval shipyard. The carrier was launched in May 1994 and at 42,000 tonnes was the largest warship launched in Western Europe since HMS Ark Royal in 1950, she was to be named Richelieu in 1986 by the French president at the time, François Mitterrand, after the famous French statesman Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu. On 7 February 1987, the name of the ship was changed to Charles de Gaulle by the Gaullist Prime Minister at the time, Jacques Chirac. Construction fell behind schedule as the project was starved of funding, worsened by the economic recession in the early 1990s. Total costs for the vessel would top €3 billion. Work on the ship was suspended altogether on four occasions: 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995; the ship was commissioned on 18 May 2001, five years behind the projected deadline. In 1993, it was alleged by The Guardian that a group of engineers inspecting the vessel during her construction were British Secret Intelligence Service operatives, believed to have been learning the method of shielding the nuclear reactors, amongst other technical details.
However, the newspaper published a denial by both the British government and the Direction de la surveillance du territoire that there had been any incident. Charles de Gaulle entered sea trials in 1999; these identified the need to extend the flight deck to safely operate the E-2C Hawkeye. This operation sparked negative publicity, however, as the same tests had been conducted on both Foch and Clemenceau when the F‑8E Crusader fighter had been introduced; the 5 million francs for the extension was 0.025% of the total budget for the Charles de Gaulle project. On 28 February 2000, a nuclear reactor trial triggered the combustion of additional isolation elements, producing a smoke incident; the ship left Toulon for her fourteenth and final sea trial on 24 October 2000. During the night of 9–10 November, in the Western Atlantic while en route toward Norfolk, the port propeller broke, the ship had to return to Toulon to have a replacement fitted; the investigations that followed showed similar structural faults in the other propeller and in the spare propellers: bubbles in the one-piece copper-aluminium alloy propellers near the centre.
Although the supplier, Atlantic Industrie, was not believed to have intentionally been at fault, it was blamed for poor-quality construction. A few hours after the French defense minister ordered an investigation on quality management, a fire destroyed the archives of the supplier; as a temporary solution, the less advanced spare propellers of Clemenceau and Foch were used, limiting the maximum speed to 24 knots instead of the contractual 27 knots. On 5 March 2001, Charles de Gaulle went back to sea with two older propellers and sailed at 25.2 knots on her trials. Between July and October, she had to be refitted once more due to abnormal noises, as loud as 100 dB, near the starboard propeller, which had rendered the aft part of the ship uninhabitable. On 16 September 2001 the French press reported higher than acceptable radioactivity levels aboard Charles de Gaulle, thought to be caused by a faulty isolation element, it was discovered that the radioactivity levels matched the design, but that the regulations concerning acceptable radioactivity levels had changed.
While the United States was preparing its response to the September 11 attacks in the form of Operation Enduring Freedom, French media complained about the lack of deployable French military power. At the same time, the Defence Commission reported the maintenance of the Fleet to be substandard. In this context, Charles de Gaulle under repairs, was again an object of criticism, with former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing describing it as a "half-aircraft-carrier" and requesting launching of the second carrier vessel in order to guarantee an availability rate of 100%. On 11 October 2001, the frigate Cassard, four AWACS aircraft and Charles de Gaulle were involved in a successful trial of the Link 16 high-bandwidth secure data network; the network allows real-time monitoring of the airspace from the South of England to the Mediterranean Sea. The collected data were transmitted in real time to the frigate Jean Bart through the older MIL-STD-6011 system. On 21 November 2001, France decided to send Charles de Gaulle to the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom against Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Task Force 473, with 2,900 men under the command of Contre-Amiral François Cluzel, sailed on 1 December 2001. The task force was composed of Char
The European Commission is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament; the Commission operates with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 28 is the Commission President proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.
The Council of the European Union nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, the 28 members as a single body are subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014, following the European Parliament elections in May of the same year; the term Commission is variously used, either in the narrow sense of the 28-member College of Commissioners or to include the administrative body of about 32,000 European civil servants who are split into departments called directorates-general and services. The procedural languages of the Commission are English and German; the Members of the Commission and their "cabinets" are based in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. The European Commission derives from one of the five key institutions created in the supranational European Community system, following the proposal of Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, on 9 May 1950.
Originating in 1951 as the High Authority in the European Coal and Steel Community, the Commission has undergone numerous changes in power and composition under various presidents, involving three Communities. The first Commission originated in 1951 as the nine-member "High Authority" under President Jean Monnet; the High Authority was the supranational administrative executive of the new European Coal and Steel Community. It took office first on 10 August 1952 in Luxembourg City. In 1958, the Treaties of Rome had established two new communities alongside the ECSC: the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community; however their executives were called "Commissions" rather than "High Authorities". The reason for the change in name was the new relationship between the Council; some states, such as France, expressed reservations over the power of the High Authority, wished to limit it by giving more power to the Council rather than the new executives. Louis Armand led the first Commission of Euratom.
Walter Hallstein led the first Commission of the EEC, holding the first formal meeting on 16 January 1958 at the Château of Val-Duchesse. It achieved agreement on a contentious cereal price accord, as well as making a positive impression upon third countries when it made its international debut at the Kennedy Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations. Hallstein notably began the consolidation of European law and started to have a notable impact on national legislation. Little heed was taken of his administration at first but, with help from the European Court of Justice, his Commission stamped its authority solidly enough to allow future Commissions to be taken more seriously. In 1965, accumulating differences between the French government of Charles de Gaulle and the other member states on various subjects triggered the "empty chair" crisis, ostensibly over proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy. Although the institutional crisis was solved the following year, it cost Etienne Hirsch his presidency of Euratom and Walter Hallstein the EEC presidency, despite his otherwise being viewed as the most'dynamic' leader until Jacques Delors.
The three bodies, collectively named the European Executives, co-existed until 1 July 1967 when, under the Merger Treaty, they were combined into a single administration under President Jean Rey. Owing to the merger, the Rey Commission saw a temporary increase to 14 members—although subsequent Commissions were reduced back to nine, following the formula of one member for small states and two for larger states; the Rey Commission completed the Community's customs union in 1968, campaigned for a more powerful, European Parliament. Despite Rey being the first President of the combined communities, Hallstein is seen as the first President of the modern Commission; the Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions followed with work on monetary co-operation and the first enlargement to the north in 1973. With that enlargement, the Commission's membership increased to thirteen under the Ortoli Commission, which dealt with the enlarged community during economic and international instability at that time; the external representation of the Community took a step forward when President Roy Jenkins, recruited to the presidency in January 1977 from his role as Home Secretary of the United Kingdom's Labour government, became the first President to att
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization, tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and The Hague; the organization is financed by voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law; the UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; the UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.
On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945; the UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted of unarmed military observers and armed troops with monitoring and confidence-building roles; the organization's membership grew following widespread decolonization which started in the 1960s. Since 80 former colonies had gained independence, including 11 trust territories, which were monitored by the Trusteeship Council. By the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.
The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly. The UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNICEF; the UN's most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 1 January 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work; the organization, its officers and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes. Other evaluations of the UN's effectiveness have been mixed; some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, biased, or corrupt. In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.
In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies; the League of Nations was approved, in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification.
On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations formally comes into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, takes effect. However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria, it failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed. After Italy conquered Ethiopia and other nations left the league, but all of them realised that they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.
When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U. S. State Department in 1939; the text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins