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Robert Schuman’s Commitment to European Unification

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The Inspiring Role of his Roman Catholic Faith

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With the eu struggling to maintain itself, it is highly relevant to look into the drive for and original vision on European unification of its principal architect, Robert Schuman, then French Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Schuman Declaration (1950) gave birth to the eu and procured the longest period of peace among its member states since the Treaty of Verdun (843). This article shows how Schuman’s Catholic faith influenced his life and therefore his politics. His drive to be a faithful instrument of Providence, supported by his origins from Alsace-Lorraine, made him strive towards peace on the European continent. He envisaged a European political integration through economic cooperation at the service of man and his transcendence and rooted in the common European spiritual and cultural heritage. This implied reconciliation, effective solidarity, subsidiarity and supra-nationality for European common interests through an integration in small steps.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer and Researcher, European Studies, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands,


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