Pères fondateurs

Pares Fundadors



image fondateurs

Aquests constructors d'Europa van ser els que vàren iniciar el procés de la construcció europea amb la fundació del Consell d'Europa al 1949 i la creació de la comunitat europea del carbó i l'acer (CECA) al 1950 i de la comunitat econòmica europea (CEE) al 1957. Aquests negociadors, que havíen viscut dues guerres mundials i teníen experiència de primera mà d'una sèrie de cultures europees, vàren ser els pioners d'una Europa de pau fonamentada en els valors dels drets humans, la democràcia i l'imperi de la llei.


Winston Churchill

Primer ministre del Regne Unit

12 d’agost de 1949, Estrasburg

quote 1Els perills que ens amenacen són grans, però gran és també la nostra força, i no hi cap motiu per no aconseguir l’objectiu i establir l’estructura d’aquesta Europa unida, els conceptes morals de la qual seran capaços de guanyar-se el respecte i el reconeixement de la humanitat, i la força física de la qual serà de tal magnitud que ningú gosarà molestar-la en la seva tranquil•la marxa cap el futurquote 2

El seu discurs [Versió original] :

Beware! I am going to speak in French.

In this ancient city still scarred by the wounds of war, we are meeting to set up an assembly which we hope will one day be the parliament of Europe. We have taken the first step and it is the first step that counts. This magnificent gathering of the people of Strasbourg was summoned by the European Movement to show the world what strength lies in the idea of a united Europe, what force it has, not only in the minds of political thinkers but also in the hearts of the great mass of people in all the countries of Europe where the peoples are free to express their opinion.

I feel encouraged but also astonished by the remarkable results we have achieved in so little time. It is barely more than a year ago that, at our congress in The Hague, we asked for a European assembly to be set up. Public opinion had to be mobilised in order to persuade power¬ful governments to turn our requests into realities. Serious hesitations had to be overcome.

But we also have on our side, with us, many friends of this great cause of a united Europe, including friends who wield ministerial power. None of these friends has done more for the European Movement than Mr Spaak who, for a long time, has been the champion of a European parliament and who here today, in this city, was unanimously elected its first president.

We are meeting here in this new Assembly not as representatives of our different countries or different political parties but as Europeans marching forward, hand in hand, if necessary shoulder to shoulder, in order to revive the former glories of Europe and enable this illustrious continent to regain in a world organisation its place as an independent member, able to look after itself. That primary and sacred fidelity which everyone owes to his own country is not difficult to reconcile with this broader feeling of European camaraderie. On the contrary, it will be found that all legitimate interests tally harmoniously and that each of us will serve our countries' real interest and security better if we broaden • our feeling both of common citizenship and sovereignty. And if we encapsulate in that feeling the whole of this continent of states and nations which share the same way of living.

These principles which govern us are defined in the Constitution of the United Nations where Europe should be a vigorous and leading element ; these principles are also set out in general terms in the Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in Geneva. Therefore we shall not only find the road to rebirth and prosperity in Europe but, at the same time, protect ourselves against any risk of being overrun, crushed by whatever form of totalitarian tyranny, be it the detested domination of the nazis whom we have swept away or any other kind of despotism.

As far as I am concerned I am the enemy of no race and no nation in the world. It is not against a race, it is not against any nation that we are meeting. It is against tyranny in all forms. Tyranny is always the same regardless of its false promises, regardless of the name it adopts, regard¬less of the disguises in which it dresses its henchmen. But if we wish to conquer our supreme reward, we must thrust away every hindrance and become our own masters. We must rise above those passions which have ravaged Europe and turned it into ruins. We must put an end to our old quarrels; we must renounce territorial ambi¬tions ; national rivalries must become a creative emulation in every area where we can render the most genuine services to our common cause.

Furthermore, we must take all of the necessary measures and precautions in order to be certain that we will have the power and that we will have the time to achieve that transformation of Europe in which the European Assembly, now effectively meeting in Strasbourg, has such a great role to play. It will only be able to play that role if it shows that it possesses those qualities of common sense, tolerance, independence and, above all, courage without which nothing great can be achieved in this world.

Finally I ask for the help of this great gathering of the citizens of Strasbourg; you are part of these enormous masses of people whom we claim to represent and whose rights and interests it is our duty to defend; there are in Europe on both sides of the iron curtain millions of simple homes whose hearts are with us. Will they ever be given a chance to prosper and flourish ? Will they ever live in security ? Will they ever be able to enjoy the simple joys and freedoms that God and nature have granted them ? Will the man honestly earning his bread ever be able to raise healthy and happy children in the hope of better days to come? Will he ever be free from fear, the fear of foreign invasion, the fear of the explosion of bombs and shells, the fear of the loud marching of enemy patrols and above all - and this is the worst of all - the fear of a knock at the door by the political police, coming to take away a father or brother from the normal protection of law and justice - whereas every day through a single spontaneous effort of his will that man, that European, could awake from that nightmare and stand up free and virile in the light of day?

In our long history we have triumphed over the dangers of religious and dynastic wars; after thirty years of fighting I am confident that we have reached the end of nationalist wars. After all our victories and all our suffering are we now going to slide into a final chaos, in the ideological wars unleashed among us by barbaric, criminal oligarchies, prepared by the agitators of the fifth column infiltrating and conspiring in so many countries?

No, I am certain that it is within our powers to overcome the dangers still before us, if we so wish. Our hopes and our work point to an era of peace, prosperity and abundance and the inexhaustible wealth and genius of Europe will turn it once again into the very source and inspi¬ration of the world's life. In all of this we advance with the support of the powerful republic across the Atlantic and the sovereign states which are members of the empire and commonwealth of Britannic nations. The dangers threatening us are great but great too is our strength, and there is no reason why we should not succeed in achieving our aims and establishing the structure of this united Europe whose moral concepts will be able to win the respect and recognition of mankind, and whose physical strength will be such that no one will dare to hold up its peaceful journey towards the future.


Konrad Adenauer

Canceller i Ministre d’Afers Exteriors de la República Federal d’Alemanya

10 de desembre de 1951

quote 1Tenir aquí un centre on es reuneixi la gairebé totalitat d’Europa és, també, d’una importància cabdalquote 2

El seu discurs : [Versió original]

It is of great significance for the political development of Europe that here, in the organs of the Council of Europe, we have a platform on which the representatives of Europe meet regularly, discuss their worries and anxieties, their desires and their hopes, a platform where they try to establish common criteria for evaluating their requirements, and where, in general, they co-operate with one another in a spirit of fairness and of good neighbourliness. In other words, here we find an expression of the European conscience. And it is also greatly significant that here, at any rate, there is a place where almost the whole of Europe gathers together, despite all the different shades of opinion that have shown themselves in our efforts to achieve closer organisational co-operation.

European policy in every country will ultimately receive its impetus from the collective will of the European peoples. But nowhere is this so manifest as a collective will as it is in the Council of Europe.


Robert Schuman

Ministre d’Afers Exteriors de la República Francesa

10 de desembre de 1951

quote 1El Consell d’Europa és, efectivament, el laboratori on es prepara i experimenta la cooperació europeaquote 2

El seu discurs : [Versió original]

The Council of Europe is, to be sure, the laboratory in which experiments in European co-operation are conducted, until such time as it is transformed into an organic institution of European unity. We are still at the stage of early disappointments and apparent failures, but they are never sufficient justification for discouragement, through they may sometimes justify a salutary impatience. Like the laws of nature, true ideas come to be recognised and applied in the end. It is our inadequacies, our lack of courage and our passions that are responsible for the delay in their discovery and execution.

It would be wrong, as well as dangerous to underestimate the difficulties of achieving the integration of Europe. To achieve success we shall need a great deal of tenacity and patience, both within our own countries and in negotiations between the Governments themselves. But, whatever the result we achieve, the problem of the unification of Europe has been raised, and it can no longer be eluded. Should we show ourselves powerless to solve it as a result of our hesitancy, events and the aspirations of the peoples would take it upon themselves to force us to make the necessary decisions. If we do not make up our minds in time, Ladies and Gentlemen, we shall run the risk of letting slip the last chance of salvation for Europe and for our countries.


Paul-Henri Spaak

Primer ministre i Ministre d’Afers Exteriors de Bèlgica en els anys 40 i 50

15 de maig de 1962

quote 1Perquè és aquí on tota Europa es troba i perquè hi ha moments com l’actual en què els problemes [...] han d’ésser examinats pel conjunt dels països europeusquote 2

El seu discurs : [Versió original]

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, perhaps I may begin by saying how gratified I am to return to this rostrum. My gratification is tinged with a little emotion, as I think about all that has happened in this Assembly, about all the debates in which I have taken part and about our successes and failures. It is a long time since I was here, and I have been told that the Assembly has sometimes been a little disheartened and felt doubts as to its own usefulness.

It might be immodest of me to say that my presence here today at least proves that a number of ministers remain confident in this organisation and consider that more and better use than in the past ought to be made of the Assembly. For my part, I could in fact have opted for any one of several organisations and spoken in another assembly. Why did I opt for this one? Because it has its own vocation, because it is here that all of Europe comes together, and because there are occasions like today's when problems arise which go beyond the framework of the six countries, and need to be examined by all the countries of Europe.


Alcide de Gasperi

Primer Ministre de la República Italiana

10 de desembre de 1951

quote 1Mentre ho construïm hem d’actuar de tal manera que l’objectiu a assolir resulti sempre clar, determinat i garantitquote 2

El seu discurs : [Versió original]

If we do no more than set up common administrations, without any higher political will, drawing life from a central organisation, in which the wills of the various nations can come together, to gain fresh decision and warmth in a higher union, there will be a danger that this European activity may prove, in comparison with the dynamic force of the individual nations, to lack warmth and spiritual vitality; it might even seem, at times, to be mere superfluous and burdensome trappings, comparable to what over-burdened the Holy Roman Empire at certain period of decline.

In that case, the young people of Europe, harkening to the clearer call of their blood and their homeland, would regard the European entity, if thus constructed, as an obstacle or as an incubus. In that case there would be an obvious danger of degeneration.

That is why, despite our clear awareness of the need to build this construction by gradual stages, we consider that while we are building it our action must always be such that the goal remains clear, definite, and generally agreed.

I am well aware that this European ideal has not yet taken a sufficiently strong hold on the public mind: there is only a group of politicians, intellectuals and idealists who are ready to turn aside from their constant preoccupation with the problems of their countries' reconstruction, in order to devote their efforts to the preparation of a common future. You, the members of this Assembly, are among their number, through the trust that has been laid upon you by your colleagues, who, like yourselves, were elected by the people.


Ernest Bevin

Ministre d’Afers Exteriors del Regne Unit

5 de maig de 1949

quote 1Per primer cop en el nostre vell continent assistim al naixement d’una institució democràtica comunaquote 2

El seu discurs : [Versió original]

Gentlemen, We have met together now for the ceremony of signature of the Statute of the Council of Europe, and of the agreement concerning the establishment of the preparatory commission.

Like the rest of my colleagues I want to express my feeling that this is a truly historic occasion. This Statute which we are signing today is the result of many months of friendly negotiations between ten of the principal countries of Western Europe. It took shape in Paris during the discussions at the end of last year under the chairmanship of that distinguished French statesman Monsieur Herriot, and it has been continued in London by the diplomatic representatives of the ten countries. Now it has been put into final shape in this treaty. This agreement lays the foundations of something new and hopeful in European life. We are witnessing today the establishment of a common democratic institution on this ancient continent of Europe.