David Cameron ‘must embrace Churchill’s vision of United States of Europe’ Says EU Commission President

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The current generation of EU leaders, including David Cameron, must revive   Winston Churchill’s vision of a United States of Europe says José Manuel   Barroso

José Manuel Barroso

José Manuel Barroso urged the EU to emulate Churchil’s call, made in a 1948 speech, for deeper integration in Europe Photo: Reuters


Bruno Waterfield

By , Brussels

5:30PM GMT 08 Nov 2013

David Cameron and other European   Union leaders need to show the same political courage and vision of   Winston Churchill’s call for “a kind of United States of Europe”,   José Manuel Barroso has said.

The European Commission president has urged the EU of today to emulate the   wartime British Conservative leader’s call, made in a 1948 speech, for   deeper integration in Europe.

“He was a man of foresight with an acute sense of history, often ahead of   prevailing opinion, never shying away from saying what some might choose to   ignore,” he said.

“In today’s fast-changing world, we certainly need the same geopolitical   intelligence and strategic vision. We need the same courage to think beyond   the immediacy of the next news cycle.”

In comments that will be seen as an implicit criticism of the contemporary   British Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, Mr Barroso called on the   current generation of European leaders to show the same Churchillian vision   and courage.

“Churchill rightly said in 1948: ‘We must aim at nothing less than the   Union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to the day   when the Union will be achieved’,” he said.

“We need to resist vested interests and short-termism. We need to have   the courage to think ahead and be able to project and shape change – that’s   what leadership is about.”

Martin Callanan MEP, the leader of Mr Cameron’s European Conservatives and   Reform group, said: “Barroso’s comments perfectly illustrate the   failings of the EU elite: they are clinging to 1940s federalist ideology   that does not work in the 21st century. The attitude that only more European   integration is the answer has ironically been the greatest cause of division   across Europe over the past 20 years.

“Churchill also said that ‘Success consists of going from failure to   failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ On that basis EU federalist ambitions   have been a great success. ”

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, accused the commission president of    “hijacking a single phrase by Churchill” and taking it out of context “to   paint him as a fan of political union in Europe”.

“Churchill was the man who spoke of the importance of English-speaking   peoples, the Commonwealth, and an island nation determined to stop the   German-domination of Europe,” he said.

“Churchill once said, ‘If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea,   she must always choose the open sea’. Hardly encouraging words for the   commission.”

Separately, a former German Chancellor warned that Britain is the major   problem facing the future of the EU and the measures it needs to take in   order to survive as a bloc.

Gerhard Schröder, Germany’s Social Democrat Chancellor before being beaten by   Angela Merkel in 2005, blamed   Britain for the financial crisis that engulfed the eurozone and for   blocking the EU measures needed to put things right.

“The problem has a name, and that’s Britain. As long as the British block   these moves, nothing will happen,” he said.

“We can assume that Britain is no longer willing to join the euro area.   Countries that are not in the euro area cannot prevent greater integration.   It’s tough but you cannot say ‘I will not be there but I want a say’.”

The former chancellor’s views are important because the Social Democrats are   currently holding talks with Chancellor Merkel to form a new governing   coalition for Germany, a development that could damage relations with   Britain.

Mrs Merkel is sympathetic to David Cameron’s calls for the EU to be reformed   but the Social Democrats, that she will soon be sharing government with, are   deeply hostile to the Prime Minister and British Euroscepticism.

“The EU’s political structure cannot remain static,” said Mr   Schröder, at an economic forum in Bregenz, in western Austria.

“We need to press ahead with Europe’s political unity, towards a kind of   European federation.”


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One thought on “David Cameron ‘must embrace Churchill’s vision of United States of Europe’ Says EU Commission President

  1. EU Commission President, José Barroso, has called for a revival of Winston Churchill’s vision for a kind of ‘United States of Europe’. Nonsense, responded the eurosceptics. Churchill was ‘one of us’ and he would’ve voted UKIP!

    Who’s right? See my latest EU-ROPE.COM blog: ‘Winston Churchill – a founder of the European Union.’ http://www.churchill.eu-rope.com

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