60 years of European federalism

Winston Churchill

“Between federal state and federation – historical foundation for the future of Europe?” – 22 – 24 September 2006, Zürich and Hertenstein (Switzerland)

What is it about?

1946 was a crucial year for the European movement: in September Winston Churchill gave his famous speech at the University of Zurich, in which he pleaded for the United States of Europe. At the same time, European federalists convened in a conference in Hertenstein at which they came up with twelve theses. These twelve principles became know as the “Hertensteiner program” which lay the political foundation for the Europa Union Deutschland (EUD) which was brought to life on 9 December 1946 in Lower Saxony. After two other conferences in Luxembourg and Basel, the Union of European Federalists (UEF) was founded in December 1946.

At the occasion of this 60th anniversary, NEBS (Neue Europäische Bewegung Schweiz), EUD, UEF and JEF (Young European Federalists) want to celebrate together and critically reflect the historical importance of the events: Which effect did Churchill’s Zurich speech and the Hertensteiner program have on European integration? To which extent are they still relevant today, 60 years later?

Our aim is to make the events of 1946 public in the media, and to bring them back to the minds of Europeans today. At the same time, it gives all members of NEBS, EUD, UEF and JEF the opportunity to get to know each one another and to exchange ideas for the future creation of federalism in Europe.

The Programme

On Friday 22 September, the 60th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s speech is celebrated at the University of Zurich. Speakers will be: Mercedes Bresso (UEF President), Elmar Brok (Member of the European Parliament and President of EUD) as well as Christa Markwalker-Bär (NEBS President) Keynote speaker will be Oxford lecturer and Churchill expert Prof. Dr. Vernon Bogdanor.

On Saturday 23 September several workshops give room for common reflection: How will Europe look like in 2046? Which of the ideas of Churchill’s speech and the Hertensteiner program will still be important for Europe then – 100 years later? Will the EU only be a loose federation or a federal state? How can Europe reply to the challenges of the future? “Europa in 2046 – global challenges, European answers “, this is the subject of the four study groups on Saturday morning.

After the discussion of the results in the plenary, the official celebration of the jubilee 60th jubilee of Hertensteiner program and the foundation of UEF and EUD will begin. German Ambassador in Switzerland, Andreas von Stechow and others will be present to celebrate with us.

On Sunday 24 September, a common thesis paper will be adopted in the plenary. In the after there will be time for sightseeing in Lucerne.

A detailed description of the seminar as well as the Program, both in German, can be found here.

The English translation of the programme can be found here.

Who can participate?

Members of the EUD, UEF, of the JEF, the Nebs and YES can take part. Everybody is cordially invited! The event will be trilingual: German, French and English can be used actively and passively. However, the number of participants is limited to 120 persons. Places will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, taking into consideration however, that we would like to have a diverse audience.

A participation fee of € 30 for JEF and YES, as well as € 60 for UEF, EUD and NEBS will be asked for. Two nights in a hotel, the transfer between Zürich and Hertenstein as well as meals and publications are included in the price.

Travel arrangements have to be made individually. Participants whose travels costs are above € 50 can ask for a 50% travel reimbursement (with a maximum of €100) by the EUD.

To access the registration form, please click here.

And send it to the following address by 31 August:
Europa-Union Deutschland
Sophienstraße 28/29 D-10178 Berlin
Fon: +49 (0)30 – 30 36 201 -30
Fax: +49 (0)30 – 30 36 201 -39
E-Mail: info@europa-union.de

More information

The Hertenstein Programme (from the archives)


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