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June 1940: A British lead for a federal Europe
Wed, March 22, 2017, 5:30 PM – 11:40 PM GMT
June 2016 had been a turning point in British history. The decision to leave the European Union at the most critical period since its existence could bring unpredictable and far reaching consequences both for the United Kingdom and the Union itself.
June 1940 had been a turning point in British history too. On the afternoon of 16 June, a few hours before the French Government opted for the capitulation, Churchill made an offer of “indissoluble union.” While the British Cabinet adopted the text of the declaration, the proposal never reached the table of the French Government. The spirit of capitulation, embodied in Weygand and Pétain prevailed, and France submitted herself to the German will, for the second time in seventy years.
This talk, based on Dr. Andrea Bosco's newest book, June 1940: Great Britain and the First Attempt to Build a European Union, principally examines the first eighteen months of Federal Union, during which the movement, from its modest beginnings, was able to raise itself in the attention of the general public, and the political class, as the heir of the League of Nations Union, the organisation which during the First World War shaped the idea of “collective security”. Although the main object of this study is Federal Union—its birth and development, the activities of the branches, the internal debate and conflicts—it also deals with the federalist debate in the British and French press, and its impact on political and religious elites.
About the Speaker: Andrea Bosco is Jean Monnet “ad personam” Chairholder on the History and Theory of European Integration at the School of Political Science of the University of Florence, ‘expert’ at the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence at the same University, and Director of the Lothian Foundation. He has been co-Director of the European Institute at South Bank University. He has published extensively on the history and theory of the federal idea.