Year XXX, 1988, Number 2, Page 85

 

 

The Posthumous Writings of Walter Lipgens on the History of European Unification
 
SERGIO PISTONE
 
 
Walter Lipgens, who died suddenly on April 29 1984, when he was not even 59 years old, was not just a historian of European unification. He started his career as a historian of the Church[1] and wrote various major articles and essays on German unification and the role played in it by Bismarck.[2] From the mid-sixties onwards, however, European unification became the central theme of his research and he dedicated himself to this with such commitment that, despite his premature death, he achieved outstanding results. After a profound study of the Briand Plan,[3] carried out with a systematic study of writings on the theme of European unity in the period between the two wars, and a rigorously scientific analysis of the documents in the archives of the German Foreign Affairs Ministry, he provided the most complete reconstruction achieved till then of the arguments for European unity, drawn up by the European anti-Fascist movement during the Second World War.[4] He then went on to write a mighty book on the beginnings of the process of European unification[5] which must be considered a classic on this theme. He also wrote numerous essays on the development of the process of European integration[6] taking all the major aspects, and in particular the relationship between European integration and German politics, into consideration.[7]
Death alas interrupted a phase of Lipgens’ activity which was particularly intense and creative. This emerges from the fact that a number of works of exceptional value have been published posthumously which, at the time of his death, had just been completed or were at an advanced stage of development. In order of importance these are the first two volumes of Documents on the History of European Integration,[8] a collection of the main documents relating to European unification from 1939 to 1984,[9] an essay on the genesis of Art. 38 of the EDC.[10] Reading these works gives rise to a feeling of satisfaction, for the enrichment that they bring to historical knowledge of the process of European unification, and at the same time sadness, at the thought of further enrichment that Lipgens would certainly have given us if his life had not been interrupted so early on. Recalling his essential teachings contained in these writings is not only useful for their intrinsic value, but is also a way of keeping alive an exemplary figure of a historian of European unification in the memory of readers of this review, a master for the many federalists engaged in research on this theme and a militant in the movement for European unity.
 
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Starting from the Documents on the History of European lntegration, we must first of all observe that they constitute the most exhaustive presentation so far achieved of the set of proposals, statements and analyses relating to European unity which appeared during the Second World War. The picture, which was already quite wide and profound in Europa-Föderationspläne der Widerstandsbewegungen, is enriched here in several ways. First of all, it dedicates separate chapters to almost all Western European countries with the exception of Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Norway and Finland, with regard to which however the essential information available is given. As regards Eastern Europe, even though only Poland gets a chapter to itself, the essential information regarding the other countries is given in the chapters dedicated to the exiles from Eastern Europe. In the second place, we get an extremely full and systematic treatment of the statements and proposals formulated by the exiles of all European countries. The picture is finally completed by a collection of fundamental documents relating to theses on European unity drawn up by Italian Fascists, the Nazis and those who collaborated with them.
Essentially, with these two volumes we get an almost complete idea of what important aspects of the problem of European unity were discussed during the Second World War. What then are the salient facts emerging from this very exhaustive picture? In my opinion there are basically four.
The first essential fact is the extraordinary scope of the debate on European unity in the period considered. Practically all the political, social, cultural groups, all the politicians and intellectuals of any stature, with very few exceptions, stated their position on this matter. And it is extremely significant from this point of view that interest in it was manifested not only among the anti-Fascists, but also in the Fascist field and particularly German Fascism, which used the idea of European unity to the full as an instrument acting as an ideological mask for its policy of European hegemony, particularly after its aggression against the Soviet Union.
This, if we think about it, is a further confirmation of the lucidity of Einaudi’s well-known thesis on the profound meaning of the two World Wars expressed in his speech to the Constituent Assembly on July 29 1947. On that occasion, developing in a very thorough way the thread of an argument begun in 1918 with his federalist criticism of the League of Nations, he defined the World Wars as two attempts to resolve the problem of European unification and identified the cause of these wars in the crisis of the nation state, i.e. in the contradiction between the tendentially supranational character of productive process and all the aspects of human behaviour directly or indirectly linked to it and the national dimensions of the organization of the state. This contradiction could logically only be solved in European unity (seen as a stage towards world unity), which could be achieved either with the “sword of Satan” i.e. with the hegemonic conquest that Hitler tried to achieve in the most radical and brutal way, or with the “sword of God”, i.e. through peaceful union in a federation. Now, the fact that even the Nazis felt the need to resort to the idea of European unity in their propaganda poignantly shows that the need to overcome the nation state really was, as Einaudi claimed, the thread running right through the period of the two World Wars.
The second basic fact that emerges from Documents on the History of European Integration is just how widespread agreement with the idea of peaceful unification of Europe was. There were certainly positions which were rather different regarding the concrete ways in which to achieve this objective, but, beyond these differences, practically the entire anti-Fascist block, with the sole exception of the Communists, then strictly tied to Soviet orthodoxy, which rejected any suggestion of European unification, expressed the common conviction that it was necessary to end the international anarchy in Europe once and for all, since it had led the old continent to economic poverty, to two frighteningly destructive wars, felt by many as being no more than civil wars, to the blocking of Europe’s development in a liberal, democratic and socialist direction. In essence, at the climax in the European crisis in the age of the world wars, in the light of the disasters caused by nationalism and the prospect of irreversible decadence of European civilization, the appeal to unite to survive launched by Briand in 1929 developed into the collective awareness of the historical crisis of the system of sovereign nation-states in Europe and the need to make a serious start to their union.
This collective awareness, the true leap forward in the history of the debate on European unity, was rightly identified by Lipgens as the most decisive and long-lasting factor underlying the development of the process of European unification since 1945. Against the thesis still quite widespread in the history of the postwar years that views European unification essentially as by-product of the cold war and, hence, American policy of organization of the Western block, he rightly stressed that the American drive in favour of European unification could be successful precisely because, from the Second World War onwards, this need had become something which could no longer be eliminated in the general framework of political expectations. If American politics thus had a very important role in actively starting the process of European integration, the general trend towards this objective which emerged during the war is the deep factor without which, from the Second World War onwards, there could have been no positive response to American demands, integration would not have been able to develop even beyond the end of the cold war and the problem of the completion of integration would not have remained on the table despite the crisis situation and deadlock in which the European community had been for 15 years.
The third salient fact that emerges from Documents on the History of European Integration is the already well-defined presence in the Second World War of three basic tendencies, regarding the way in which European unity was to be achieved, which have subsequently had a decisive role in the struggle for this objective in these postwar years and have exerted and continue to exert, in a dialectic relationship and with varying weight, a concrete influence on the process of European integration. The confederal approach (of which Churchill was the most prestigious exponent) is present: this views European unification as a form of co-operation between sovereign states, and is therefore based on the creation of intergovernmental bodies where the principle of unanimous decisions holds sway. Also present is the functionalist approach (proposed during the war by Mitrany, but also by Monnet, who turned it into a practical reality in the wartime co-operation between the anti-Fascist powers), which advocated a sector-by-sector approach managed by supranational bodies with a technocratic nature as being the most effective way of achieving a gradual reduction of absolute state sovereignty. Finally, the federalist approach was also present, which advocated the rapid approval of a European federal constitution as the only way to unite Europe democratically and lastingly and thus open up the road to the unification of mankind.
This approach is undoubtedly the most massively present in the panorama of the debate on European unity during the Second World War. First and foremost, it gave rise to the first federalist movements, i.e. political organizations, such as Federal Union in Great Britain, the Movimento Federalista Europeo in Italy, the Comité Français pour la Fédération Européenne in France, whose single objective is European Federation. Secondly, in addition to their presence in the major anti-Fascist political organizations, federalists also gave the greatest contribution to theoretical reflection on the crisis of the nation-state as the profound cause of world wars, Fascism, and the need for a federal solution to this crisis. They also, particularly with Altiero Spinelli, drew up a strategy for the struggle for the European Federation based on the European Constituent, thus identifying the objective that would be the cornerstone of federalist action in the postwar years.
The fourth and final feature emerging from Documents on the History of European Integration is that the federalist trend was most pronounced in Italy, France, Germany and the Benelux countries (including the statements of exiles from these countries), i.e. in the framework of the future “little Europe” from which the European Communities sprang. It is true that the first organized federalism was manifested in a grandiose way in Great Britain with Federal Union, which was founded in 1939, reached twelve thousand members and 225 sections in 1940 carrying out extraordinary activities in the first years of the war, and without which no proposal for union between Britain and France put forward by Churchill in June 1940 would have been possible. But it is also certain that, when in 1941, with the extension of the war to the USSR and the USA, the danger of Britain’s collapse dwindled, Federal Union no longer interested the political class or public opinion in Great Britain and its influence waned to the point where it became irrelevant towards the end of the war. The prospect of Britain’s maintaining its role as a great power in the new balance of power alongside the USA and the USSR almost completely eclipsed a European prospect and made British federalism totally arid.
Rather different was the evolution of the future founder members of the European Communities. Here the federalist trend developed consistently only from 1941, the year in which among other things three basic texts appeared, namely the Ventotene Manifesto, the document drawn up by Helmuth van Moltke of the Kreisau Circle and the appeal made by Frenay, founder of Combat, for a European crusade against Nazism. Despite the enormous difficulties linked to the occupation, federalist theses spread widely in the Resistance as the war dragged on and gave rise to a considerable degree of transnational activity in the final stages of the war with the federalist conventions in Geneva in 1944 and Paris in March 1945 and the agreements between Italian and French partisans in 1944.
This deeper and long-lasting development of federalism in the area of “little Europe” is not a chance occurrence. As clarified, not just by Lipgens in his general introduction, but also by John Pinder and Philip M.H. Bell in the section dedicated to Great Britain, federalism, which represents the most rigorous response to the historical crisis of the nation state in Europe, has found a more fertile terrain precisely where this crisis appeared most acutely, causing the collapse of nation states and the victory, albeit precarious, of the hegemonic and totalitarian alternative. This experience has produced a profound rethinking, of which European federalism was the most advanced expression, but which involved the great majority of anti-Fascist forces albeit at a less intense level. This rethinking which also occurred in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, but with the limits connected to the overall political, economic and social backwardness of this area, was on the other hand less profound in Great Britain, which avoided the collapse of the state, thus contributing decisively to saving Europe from Nazism, but precisely for this reason made the awareness of the historical crisis in the nation state objectively more difficult.
As may be seen, the reference framework for the discussion on European unity during the Second World War presented in Documents on the History of European Integration is of enormous interest not only to understand this period more fully, but also to understand the development of the process of European integration in the postwar period.
 
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If the Documents on the History of European Integration are indispensable to a proper understanding of the premises of the process of European integration, 45 Jahre um die Europäische Verfassung is an indispensable instrument for a clear picture of this process, of the basic results that it achieved, but also its inadequacies and their true causes. This work is a selection of documents relating to European unification from 1939 to the Draft Treaty of the European Union in 1984. The selected texts are, in addition to the fundamental attempts at creating a constitution for the European Union in the period considered, drawn up by individuals, non-government agencies (movements for European unity and parties), by European institutions and by diplomatic conferences, the main documents dedicated, albeit not entirely, at least in their fundamental parts, to the institutional aspects of European unification. This set of documents is backed up by a general introduction, ample introductions to each of the four chapters (1939-1944, 1945-1954, 1954-1969, 1970-1984) into which the book is divided, and by very detailed introductions to each of the 142 documents selected. Excluding the first chapter, which is a synthesis of the previous works dedicated to the Second World War, this book is in essence a synthetic history, though carefully articulated and researched, of the process of European unification until the first months of 1984. The lack of many details of this process, due to the relatively synthetic nature of its reconstruction, is more than compensated by the capacity to capture and clarify the essential features of the development of this process.
The basic pivot for Lipgens’ reconstruction is to identify the three basic approaches to European unification which had already emerged in the debate on the Second World War, and which were reproposed in more precise, and certainly more operational terms after the war, and to clarify the influence exerted on the effective development of European unification. Regarding the functionalist approach, defined here as “partial supranational integration”, he rightly stresses that Monnet’s interpretation effectively reduced the gap between it and the federalist approach to a much greater extent than was true in Mitrany’s case. Monnet clearly identified the final objective of integration as a complete union based on a federal constitution and placed greater stress on the need for the autonomy from national governments of the supranational authorities destined to guide the integration by sectors. For this reason Lipgens distinguishes the functionalist approach from the confederal approach, and rejects the tendency to identify the two approaches found in Spinelli’s 1957 essay on “The development of the drive for European unity after the Second World War”.[11] Spinelli in fact subsequently changed his mind in the light of subsequent experience of European integration.[12]
Starting from the identification of three fundamental approaches to the European unification, Lipgens showed with great clarity how the European Communities are, in their structure and their objectives, the fruit of a compromise between these approaches. The most important aspect of the confederalist approach lies in the role attributed to the Council of Ministers. While in the ECSC this body has essentially the task of coordinating Community powers, which are managed with full autonomy by the High Authority, with those powers which have not been handed over to the Community, in the EEC the Council, quite apart from this power, also acquires exclusive legislative powers for Community matters and also a significant part of executive powers. This strongly delimits the central role that the functionalist approach wanted to attribute to the supranational body independent of the national governments. The executive Commission of the EEC is admittedly independent of governments, in that it cannot be revoked by them for the period in which it is appointed, and has the role of initiative, whereby nothing can be decided except on the basis of its proposals. Since however decision-making power remains in the final analysis in the hands of the governments, the basic body to which Monnet’s functionalist approach intended to give the leadership over the process of integration ends up by having a subordinate position in the overall system of the Communities vis-à-vis confederal-type bodies.
As regards the supporters of the federalist approach, they fought hard to get the federal constituent method adopted right from the beginnings of European unification. The European Union of Federalists (UEF), under the spur of the MFE guided by Spinelli, after having in vain sought to transform the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe into a Constituent Assembly, in fact came close to success when it succeeded in getting the planned institution of a European army linked with the creation of a political Community with a federal nature, the drafting of whose constitution was entrusted to the enlarged Assembly of the ECSC, called the ad hoc Assembly. The rejection of the EDC in August 1954 by the French Parliament caused the attempt to construct Europe on federal lines to be defeated at the very outset. With the EEC and Euratom, approved less than three years after this defeat, an institutional system arose which was essentially characterized by the confederal and functionalist approach, with a clear prevalence of the first over the second. Not all federalist aspects, however, were eliminated from this system. The Communities in fact contained several federal embryos: first of all the provision for direct elections to the European Parliament and the strengthening of its budgetary powers (as well as the power of censure of the supranational executive body), secondly the provisions regarding the gradual transfer to majority voting on the Council of Ministers and finally the principle of direct application of Community legislation and case law.
These then are the basic characteristics of the Community system built in the fifties, which must be borne in mind according to Lipgens to understand the essential features of the development of European integration that has subsequently been achieved. Turning to the analysis of this development, the central problem that he investigates is explaining why the Community system failed to go beyond mere negative integration to a phase of positive integration, i.e. to the implementation of effective common policies designed to eliminate the territorial, sectorial and social imbalances characterizing the European economy and to face the problems raised by the world economic crisis and the transition to the post-industrial society. The basic cause of this lack of development which in its turn is the reason for the substantial deadlock and hence permanent crisis against which integration came from the beginning of the seventies onwards, is clearly identified by him in the limits of the Community institutions. His analysis in this respect squares with the analysis developed by the UEF and need not be illustrated here, except this particularly illuminating point.
He identifies the pre-eminence of the Council of Ministers and the institutionalisation, starting with the 1966 Luxemburg compromise, of the principle of national veto, as the fundamental institutional factors that have blocked the development of integration. Lipgens in this respect recalls the poignant observation of the Commission’s President Thorn in 1982, who stated how nobody can seriously think of governing a State simply on the basis of the simple co-operation between the regional governments, i.e. without a central government, so that there is no reason to hold that Europe is governable through the simple co-operation of its national governments. As regards the cause of the failure to approve majority vote on the Council, Lipgens, on the one hand, heavily stresses the responsibility of De Gaulle and his nationalism, that ended up being a school favouring, in particular, the emergence of trends of the Gaullist type in Germany too, both in the Ostpolitik,[13] and European policy of Germany which is increasingly characterized by mean defence of short term national interests, in particular as regards Community budgets and the European currency. But, on the other hand, he identifies the decisive factor in the system as being the “amphibious” nature of the Council, which at the same time acts as an intergovernmental body deciding unanimously in non-Community sectors and as a federal senate deciding on a majority basis in Community sectors and with regard to which it exercises legislative power exclusively.
In reality, since both functions are held by the same people, i.e. the national ministers driven by their very nature of their role to privilege short-term national interests over the European ones, it is almost inevitable, despite affirmations to the contrary, that they tend to transfer the intergovernmental cooperation method and hence unanimous decisions from the non-Community sectors to the Community sectors. The only way to eradicate this situation is thus, in his opinion, the transformation of the Council into a true Federal Senate with exclusively legislative tasks shared equally with the European Parliament. This is precisely the road indicated by the Draft Treaty for the European Union that Lipgens considered the most adequate response to the crisis of European integration and whose guiding principle is a decisive development, albeit with a step-by-step implementation, of the federal embryos of the Community system.
In his synthetic historical reconstruction of the process of European integration the Draft Treaty for the European Union is considered as the most important manifestation of a well-established historical trend: the re-emergence of a growing capacity of the federalist current to influence this process. After the fall of the EDC the strength of the federalists was gravely weakened not only as a consequence of that catastrophic defeat, but also because of the division that was produced in the rank and file between those who favoured backing the European Communities, however critically, and those who decided to defend the principle of the Constituent with intransigence and on the basis of popular action. In any case there was no possibility of influencing the effective development of integration in a federalist direction until this was capable of making substantial progress despite the limits of the Community institutions. The situation changed sharply when the inability to progress in the existing institutional framework, from negative integration to positive integration and, hence, from economic unification to political unification became clear. The permanent crisis of the Communities in fact opened up real political space for the federalists, who were able to find their unity and an effective role in the struggle for the direct elections to the European Parliament, and hence, for the attribution of a constituent role to the European Parliament.
In reconstructing and documenting the essential moments of this struggle, Lipgens shows how it effectively and decisively influenced the fundamental developments that took place from the seventies onwards in the European Parliament. In a very precise and detailed way that is not found in any other historian of European unification, he describes the action of the UEF in favour of European elections. Not only does he stress the central role of the initiative and action of Spinelli in the process that led the European Parliament to the approval of the Draft Treaty for the European Union, he also documents the influence of the European Movement, through its institutional Commission, and of the UEF on the very definition given by the European Parliament of the content of the Draft Treaty for the European Union.
Lipgens was not able to see the as yet unsatisfactory outcome of the struggle to force national governments to accept real reform of the European Communities. This lack of success, it should be noted, does not constitute a rejection of the thesis that the federalist current has once more become a real factor in the development of European integration. It is a fact that the European Parliament has not only once again taken up the struggle for the European Union, but, despite Spinelli’s death, has even gone so far as setting up a federalist “intergroup” to continue Spinelli’s struggle.
 
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One of the most significant contributions of Lipgens’ history of the process of European unification is the clarification and documentation of the influence exerted by movements for European unity on this process. In this sense, he cuts himself off from the general trend among historians that tackle this matter with the methods of diplomatic history and who hence structurally privilege initiatives and action carried out by governments, by diplomats and by European institutions. From this method he consciously detached himself[14] because he saw European unification as the process of gradual formation of a new political community, whose deep cause is the historical crisis of nation states. Precisely for this reason he was driven to recalling attention systematically on the role of non-government “actors” made active and effective by the loss of the centrality of the nation states and their supreme bodies.
This trend which appears not just in the texts examined above, but in all of Lipgens’ works, produced an exceptional result in the essay EVG und politische Föderation completed only a few weeks before his death. This essay illustrates and documents the role played by De Gasperi in the genesis of Art. 38 of the EDC and the decisive influence that Spinelli exercised in this respect on De Gasperi and the head of the Italian delegation to the conference on the organization of the European army, Ivan Matteo Lombardo.[15] The federalists already knew, on the basis of written and oral evidence given by Spinelli,[16] of the essential aspects of this central episode in the history of the influence of the federalist current on the process of European integration. Moreover, the readers of this review have had the opportunity to read the synthetic reconstruction and documentation of it undertaken a few years ago by Mario Albertini.[17] Compared with what was known before, the basic contribution provided by Lipgens who, moreover, writes with the authority derived from being generally recognized as one of the major historians of European unification, consists in having introduced the public for the first time to two documents that fully confirm the exactness of Spinelli’s and Albertini’s reconstruction.
The first of these documents is the aide mémoire that Lombardo, appointed by De Gasperi in September 1951 as head of the Italian delegation to the conference on the European army replacing Taviani, presented to the other heads of delegation on October 6 in the same year. This document, drawn up by Ivan Matteo Lombardo in full agreement with De Gasperi, expresses a turning point in the Italian line in the negotiations regarding the EDC. For as long as Sforza was in charge of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Taviani the head of the Italian delegation at the conference on the European army, the Italian line was characterized by affirmations of principle in favour of the European federation and by a practical behaviour orientated to the jealous defence of national sovereignty. When De Gasperi took over the Foreign Affairs portfolio and replaced Taviani with Lombardo (who moreover had been linked to the MFE for a number of years) this trend changed sharply and was sustained coherently and continuously by the need to link the creation of the European army with the creation of a political Community with federal characteristics. In the aide mémoire the new line appears in particular in the request to attribute control over the defence budget, which would have been removed from the control of the national Parliaments, to the EDC’s assembly, in compliance with the fundamental principles of the parliamentary system. There was also the question of entrusting the assembly, which for a transitory period would have been elected from among the members of the national Parliaments, with the tasks of preparing direct elections to the European Parliament, giving the directly elected European Parliament the right to appoint the EDC Commissaire and to exercise overall political control on the European budget and the management of the Commissaire’s activity.
We already knew, on the basis of information given by Spinelli and Albertini, that the change in the Italian line was due in a decisive way to the intervention of Spinelli. Spinelli learned of the existence of the preliminary report sent on July 27, 1951 by the delegations to the conference on the European army to their governments, which did not contain any plan for a political Community based on the vote of Europeans, but simply provided for institutions similar to those of the ECSC with a Commissaire instead of a High Authority. He thus sent a promemoria to De Gasperi the following September in which, starting with a clear explanation of the contradictory nature of the plan to create a European army without a European state, he asked to proceed simultaneously with a definition of the structure of the European army and in addition the drafting of a European federal constitution by a European constituent Assembly, that should have come about with the direct vote of the citizens, but which, for reasons of speed and convenience, could also be elected by the members of the national Parliaments. De Gasperi read this promemoria carefully and essentially accepted the advice as regards negotiations that led to Art. 38 of the EDC and subsequently the ad hoc Assembly. Now, this framework which was known in its general features became more precise with the publication of the aide mémoire of October 9, 1951. From the comparison between its content and Spinelli’s promemoria (of which Lipgens gives the most significant passages) it is clear that the former was influenced by the latter.[18]
The second document is the record, dictated by the Dutch head of delegation, of the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the conference on the European army held in Strasburg on December 11, 1951. We already knew the minutes of this meeting drawn up by Lombardo and published by Albertini (and republished by Lipgens as an appendix to the essay examined here), where the decisive role of De Gasperi as regards Art. 38 of the EDC and the fact that he was clearly inspired by federalist proposals is quite clear.
The importance of the Dutch minutes lies in the fact that they fully confirm the authenticity of the contents of the minutes written by the Italian delegation and this is a particularly significant confirmation since, while the Italian document was not inserted in the official records of the Italian Foreign Ministry (it is in fact in the private archive of Ivan Matteo Lombardo, donated, after the latter’s death to the Fondazione Bolis and kept in the archives of the Centro Europeo di Studi e Informazioni in Turin), the Dutch document was kept in the official records of the Dutch Foreign Ministry. This new confirmation of the role of De Gasperi vis-à-vis Art. 38 of the EDC and its link with a more precise vision that the aide mémoire of October 9, 1951 gives us of the relationships between Spinelli, Lombardo and De Gasperi, led Lipgens to assert that the negotiations for the EDC were also a highly significant example of how the federalist current (in this case the MFE led by Spinelli) intervened effectively in the development of European integration at times when the theme of European political unification was on the agenda.
In this case, Lipgens stressed somewhat bitterly in concluding his essay, the intervention was effective, but not sufficiently so. Indeed, the EDC fell in his opinion partly because De Gasperi did not completely heed the advice of the federalists. If he had proposed the Constituent Assembly immediately, instead of delaying it with the mechanism of Art. 38, from the very beginning the problem of the constitution of the European political union — and not the problem of military union, destined, by its very nature, to facilitate the propaganda of the adversaries of European unity — would have been in the full public eye. And it would perhaps have been possible to reach definitive decisions before the fatal change in the situation caused by the death of Stalin.
In concluding this analysis of the posthumous writings of Lipgens I would like to express a wish, that is also a commitment. As in the case of Spinelli, where the best way of recalling him is to pursue the federalist battle, in the case of Lipgens the best way of remembering him is to do all that is possible to continue his research into the history of European unification.[19]


[1] His main works in this field are: Kardinal Johannes Gropper (1503-1559) und die Anfänge der Katholischen Reform in Deutschland, Münster, 1951; John Henry Newman. Auswahl und Einleitung von W. Lipgens, Frankfurt, Fischer, 1958; Ferdinand August Graf Spiegel und das Verhältnis von Kirche und Staat 1789-1835. Die Wende von Staatskirchentum zur Kirchenfreiheit, Historische Kommission Westfalens, Münster, 1965, 2 vols. On the life and works of Lipgens see the obituaries by Peter Robert Franke and Elisabeth Fehrenbach, published in a pamphlet in 1984 by the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of the Saar, where he held the chair in Modern history.
[2] See in particular his essay “Bismarck, die öffentliche Meinung und die Annexion von Elsass und Lothringen 1870”, in Historische Zeitschrift, 199, 1964, pp. 31-112, whose basic thesis is that it was not public opinion that led Bismarck to annex Alsace Lorraine, but rather Bismarck who massively influenced the press so as to guide and manipulate public opinion in precisely that direction. Also in Historische Zeitschrift, 217, 1973, pp. 529-583, Lipgens wrote the important essay “Staat und Internationalismus bei Marx und Engels. Versuch einer Systemubersicht”.
[3] “Europäische Einigungsidee und Briands Europaplan im Urteil der Deutschen Akten”, in Historische Zeitschrift, 203, 1966, I part, pp. 46-89, II part, pp. 316-363.
[4] Europa-Föderationsplane der Widerstandsbewegungen 1940-45, Oldenbourg, München, 1968.
[5] Die Anfänge der europäischen Einigungspolitik 1945-50, Erster Band: 1945-1947, Stuttgart, Klett, 1977, (Enlarged English edition: A History of European Integration, vol. I: 1945-1947: The Formation of the European Unity Movement, with contributions by W. Loth and A. Milward, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1982. Cfr. also: Sergio Pistone, “L’importanza dell’opera storiografica di Lipgens sugli inizi del processo di unificazione europea”, in Il Federalista, XIX (1977), pp. 155-170.
[6] See in particular Die Europäische Integration, Stuttgart, Klett, 1982, a concise but incisive history of European unification, used in German high schools. We should also recall his splendid article “Erfolgreichste Friedensbewegung der neueren Geschichte. Eine Historische Bilanz”, in Das Parlament, 12, 1983, where the European unification movement is considered as the most successful peace movement so far in modern history.
[7] See in particular: Richard Lowenthal and Hans-Peter Schwarz (eds.), “Europäische Integration”, in Die zweite Republik. 25 Jahre Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Eine Bilanz, Stuttgart, Seewald, 1974, pp. 519-553, (Italian translation in Sergio Pistone, La Germania e l’unità europea, Napoli, Guida, 1978, pp. 91-139).
[8] Walter Lipgens (ed.), Documents on the History of European Integration, vol. I: Continental Plans for European Union 1939-1945, Berlin-New York, W. de Gruyter, 1985; vol. II: Plans for European Union in Great Britain and in Exile 1939-1945, 1986. This is a collection thought up and edited by Lipgens and on which he started working during his stay at the European University Institute (who published this work) from 1976 to 1979. The complete plan for this annotated collection of documents was for five volumes relating to the 1939-1950 period. As regards the first two volumes which, apart from a general introduction, contain numerous chapters by Lipgens and whose remaining chapters were drawn up under his direction, the first was being printed when he died and the second was ready for printing. Subsequent volumes will be published by Prof. Wilfried Loth, Lipgens’ pupil and currently holding the Chair of Modern History in the University of Essen. In relation to this project the publication of a series of volumes on The European Allied Governments and the Development of European Integration and Cooperation is planned by the European University Institute.
[9] Walter Lipgens (Hrsg.), 45 Jahre Ringen um die Europäische Verfassung. Dokumente 1939-1984. Von den Schriften der Widerstandsbewegung bis zum Vertragsentwurf des Europäischen Parlaments, Bonn, Europa Union Verlag, 1986.
[10] Walter Lipgens, “EVG und politische Föderation. Protokolle der Konferenz der Aussenminister der an den Verhandlungen über eine Europäische Verteidigungsgemeinschaft beteiligten Länder am 11. Dezember 1951”, in Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 4, 1984, pp. 639-688. An obituary of Lipgens written by Hans-Peter Schwarz appears on pages 637-639 of the review.
[11] Altiero Spinelli, “Sviluppo del moto per l’unità europea dopo la seconda guerra mondiale”, in G. Grove Haines, L’integrazione europea, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1957, republished in Altiero Spinelli, Il progetto europeo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1985, pp. 163-191.
[12] Altiero Spinelli, “Europeismo”, in Enciclopedia del Novecento, 11, Roma, Istituto dell’Enciclopedia italiana fondato da Giovanni Treccani, 1977, pp. 857-860.
[13] This theme is dealt with more fully in the essay “Europäische Integration” quoted in note 7.
[14] Cfr. Walter Lipgens, “Der Zusammenschluss Westeuropas. Leitlinien für den historischen Unterricht” in Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 6, 1983, pp. 345-372.
[15] On the question of the EDC see also another contribution made by Lipgens which appeared posthumously: “Die Bedeutung des EVG-Projekts für die politische europäische Einigungsbewegung”, in Hans-Erich Volkmann and Walter Schwengler (Hrsg.), Die Europäische Verteidigungsgemeinschaft. Stand und Probleme der Forschung, published by Militärgeschichtlicher Forschungsamt, Boppard am Rhein, Boldt, 1985, pp. 9-30.
[16] Cfr. in particular Altiero Spinelli, “Storia e prospettive del Movimento Federalista Europeo”, in Sei lezioni federaliste, published by the MFE, Rome, 1954, pp. 146-184. See also his preface to Ivan Matteo Lombardo, L’Europa che sorge, Roma, Opere Nuove, 1952.
[17] Mario Albertini, “La fondazione dello Stato europeo. Esame e documentazione del tentativo intrapreso da De Gasperi nel 1951 e prospettive attuali”, in Il Federalista, XIX (1977), pp. 5-55.
[18] In precisely the same period in which Lipgens’ essay appeared an essay was published by Pietro Pastorelli, “La politica europeistica dell’Italia negli anni Cinquanta”, in Storia contemporanea, XVI (1984), pp. 723-743, in which reference is made to Lombardo’s memorandum. Nothing is mentioned in this essay about the relationship between Lombardo’s document and Spinelli’s and, in general, regarding the influence Spinelli and the MFE had on De Gasperi and Lombardo. Moreover, Pastorelli, in his essay on “La politica europeistica di De Gasperi”, in Umberto Corsini and Konrad Repgen (eds.), Konrad Adenauer e Alcide De Gasperi: due esperienze di rifondazione della democrazia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1984, pp. 295-362, denies that the federalists had any decisive influence on De Gasperi’s Europeanist policy (p. 360) and further (p. 362) argues that the introduction of Art. 38 in the Draft Treaty for the EDC, i.e. passing from a “technical” solution to a more markedly “political” solution adversely affected the outcome of the battle to ratify the EDC and hence the cause of European unification. Clearly anyone who states as a principle that the federalist approach to European unification is not valid has a certain difficulty in recognizing the contribution of federalists to this process.
[19] This is one of the main commitments of the Fondazione europea Luciano Bolis. On October 3rd 1986 in Turin it organized a convention dedicated to “The contribution of Walter Lipgens to the history of European unification” in collaboration with the Centro europeo di studi e informazioni of Turin, the Dipartimento di studi politici of the University of Turin, the Dipartimento storico geografico of the University of Pavia, the Goethe Institut, and under the auspices of the European University Institute in Florence. In this convention, which was attended by Gaetano Arfé, Christian L. Baljè, Andrea Bosco, Enrico Decleva, Ennio Di Nolfo, Pierre du Bois, Giulio Guderzo, Alan Hick, Emanuele Itta, Ariane Landuyt, Madeleine and Monika Lipgens, Wilfried Loth, Umberto Morelli, Sergio Pistone, Cinzia Rognoni, Marlise Roquette Giarini, Alfonso Sabatino, Massimo L. Salvadori, Enrico Serra, it was decided to organize a series of conventions on the history of movements for European unity in the postwar years. The first of these conventions, dedicated to the 1945-1954 period will be held in Pavia in Autumn 1989.

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