Memory, leadership, and the fi rst phase of integration (1945– 58)
Peter J. Verovšek
One must know the past [ das Gestern ], one must also think about the past , if one is to successfully and durably shape the future [ das Morgen ].
KonradAdenauer, speech at the University of Frankfurt (1952)
Memory and the founding of Europe
In the introductory section I argued that ruptures in historical time allow communities to reshape how they link the past to the future through the present by drawing on collective memory as a cognitive , motivational , and justificatory resource for social transformation. This chapter begins to apply
Generational change and new justifications for Europe
The founders of the European Communities consistently credited their transnationally shared collective memory of the past for helping them to imagine, motivate, and justify the creation of Europe as a community-based project. For early postwar leaders such as Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, and KonradAdenauer, the European Communities were born out of the rupture of 1945 and the confrontation with totalitarianism in both its fascist and communist forms. Ever since the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, the narrative of
state like KonradAdenauer to sign legally binding treaties giving up their decision-making authority to external institutions outside the institutional architecture of the sovereign state.
Although it was revolutionary in substance, the pères de l’Europe drew on the established constitutional rules of constituted power to found the European Communities in the 1950s. From a certain perspective, this is clearly beneficial; the EU, as the product of treaties between existing nation-states, sidesteps the problems of the democratic paradox that confronted the early
-sided institutional framework that it brought into being – Assembly, Court, Ministerial Council, and High Authority – has continued in the form of the Parliament, Court, Council of Ministers, and Commission.’ 58 The chapter documents how crucial postwar leaders, particularly the first President of the European High Authority Jean Monnet, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, and German Chancellor KonradAdenauer, built on their transnational collective memories to found the first European institutions. In so doing, it shows how their shared remembrance of the rupture of 1945 was