Edouard Herriot, man van verzoening en vereniging

Fragmenten uit The United States of Europe, 1930

‘All over the old continent, indeed, men are rising up to declare that the union of Europe will be no more than a continuation of the historic development marked by the passage from the clan to the city, from the city to the province, from the province to the nation.’

‘The only issue for us to-day is this: either we work to form a sort of new union between European states and nations, as much from the moral point of view as from the economic and political, and we establish the closest and most permanent collaboration possible, or else we shall always be living in danger of difficulties, conflicts, and perpetual crises, ending in wars and catastrophes in which European culture will be submerged.’

‘The establishment of a monetary link must contribute very greatly to the institution of European federation; the international organization of credit (The Bank foor Internatiional Settlements) will greatly facilitate that economic organization whose necessity of a sound monetary system.’

‘Up to the present the history of Europe has been written only by authors anxious to defend a national point of view. Would it not serve the cause of peace if efforts were made to present to the young people of the Old World accounts of the past inspired by a new spirit and proceeding from a reconciliation between the various nationalists of yesterday?’

‘Free thought wishes to know no frontiers. It is war, and war alone, that interrupts these interchanges. With the return of peace the movement of ideas commences again, with no other law than the necessities of the mind.’

‘The European organization thus would be a union of states, not a unity in which the sovereignities would be swallowed up.’