Council of Europe
The Europe that awoke in the days following the Liberation was in a sorry state, torn apart by five years of war. States were determined to build up their shattered economies, recover their influence and, above all, ensure that such a tragedy could never happen again. Winston Churchill was the first to point to the solution, in his speech of 19 September 1946 in Zurich. According to him, what was needed was "a remedy which, as if by miracle, would transform the whole scene and in a few years make all Europe as free and happy as Switzerland is today. We must build a kind of United States of Europe".
Movements of various persuasions, but all dedicated to European unity, were springing up everywhere at the time. All these organisations were to combine to form the International Committee of the Movements for European Unity. Its first act was to organise the Hague Congress, on 7 May 1948, remembered as "The Congress of Europe".…