Circle of Friends of Villa Vigoni, Villa Vigoni.
United States of Europe - wish, nightmare or utopia?
The idea of creating a “United States” of Europe is centuries old. In 1776, George Washington used these words to express his vision for the future. He was followed by politicians such as Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill and, more recently, Emma Bonino, who have all referred – in different contexts – to a “United States of Europe” as a worthwhile objective to pursue. In the Ventotene Manifesto, written in 1941 by a group of anti-fascist intellectuals centred around Altiero Spinelli, the idea of a supranational confederation of states represented the guiding star of a pacified Europe. Even the German Social-Democratic Party had accepted a motion for the development of a United States of Europe project in its “Heidelberger Programm”, in effect from 1925 to 1959.
More recently, this expression has been considered as more illusory than visionary. What exactly is meant by the “United States” formula when it comes to Europe? What relationship does it have with the idea of a federal state? What opportunities, but also what risks would the creation of a United States of Europe – to whatever degree – entail?