Courtesy Reuters

The Integration of Europe: Dreams and Realities

EVERYWHERE there is talk of the "integration" of Europe. There is a tendency to use the word as a panacea for all the problems of the Continent; and for many people the idea of "integrating" Europe implies the realization of the age-old dream of reconciliation and human fraternity. But though integration is not a panacea, a profound transformation of Europe certainly is necessary, and I am one of those who believe that such a transformation must include not only organization of Europe's resources but eventually the union of the European countries.

The Europe of which I speak is, alas, a mutilated continent, cut by the iron curtain. As a result of Russian policy and Soviet Communism, the Continent is now, more than ever, a "cape of Asia." "Europe" is merely a long strip of land stretching from Stockholm to Ankara. But this Europe possesses a magnificent tradition and represents an impressive sum of spiritual values. Examined closely, it also represents a great material force. Individually and collectively, however, the Western European countries no longer hold the place they occupied at the end of the last century. In absolute figures, their production and trade are still considerable, but proportionally their share in the world's total wealth is becoming smaller and smaller. Their political and military importance, as well as their intellectual influence, are likewise declining.

Militarily, the distinction between the Great Powers of Europe and other European countries no longer has much meaning. Even in concert the European countries cannot defend themselves from attack from the East unless the United States gives them powerful assistance. Moreover, since the First World War, Europe has managed to maintain itself economically only with the help of the United States. Those who believe that the Marshall Plan is an innovation are grossly mistaken; actually it is only the most recent manifestation of a policy that has been in effect since World War I. During the period between the two wars, the United States invested in Europe,

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