Social Market Economy and European Unification
By 1943 it had become clear that the conict was drawing to an end and that
the Allies had won. Two more years were to pass before resistance by Nazi
Germany and Imperial Japan was bowed, but the outcome of the war was
already irreversibly decided.
In Algiers the Allies addressed the issue of what future there would be for the
European continent and, at a later date, a debate on post-war world order was
held at Bretton Woods.
Two opposing visions were outlined in Algiers. On one hand Churchill and
representatives of the more nationalist elements in American society supported
the need to create an area of free exchange in Europe, one governed by the
market with no need to attribute responsibility to continental European
States or to create European Statehood in any form. Using contemporary
terminology still not in use at the time, one could briey summarise this
position as the assertion of a globalisation process at an Atlantic level governed
by Anglo-Saxon powers.
is position was opposed by the vision espoused by president Roosevelt and
Jean Monnet1. e leaders of the French metropolitan resistance movement
also supported this position in Algiers, just a few days before it was annihilated
is position was fuelled by an awareness that the United States and Europe would
have to regulate their relations on the basis of cooperation which could only be
inter pares on condition that a European unication process would be started3.
e important decision to be taken was whether or not De Gaulle should
be replaced by a less authoritative general as France’s representative. is
was a decision of crucial importance. Churchill supported removing De
Gaulle, whom he saw as an obstacle to plans to create a free trade area with
no autonomous governing capabilities, while Monnet sided in favour of De
Gaulle, whom he saw as the kingpin of Europe’s future capability to resume
an evolutionary international role.
In order to start a European unication process, it was rst necessary for
1 Jean Monnet attended the Algiers Conference as president F.D. Roosevelt’s personal delegate.
2 In Caluire the leader of the French resistance was arrested by the Gestapo during a meeting after
being betrayed by a Stalinist member of the resistance. Historiography has not yet fully claried
responsibilities that led to this event.
3 Jean Monnet’s notes from the Algiers conference mention for the rst time the objective of creating
a European currency. Monnet’s handwritten notes are preserved in Lausanne in the archives of the Jean