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Founding fathers of the EU: Konrad Adenauer

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The first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, who stood at the head ofthe newly-formed state from 1949-63, changed the face of post-war German andEuropean history more than any other individual.
Like many politicians of his generation, Adenauer had already realised followingthe First World War that lasting peace could only be achieved through a unitedEurope. His experiences during the Third Reich (he was removed from office as theMayor of Cologne by the Nazis) served to confirm this opinion.
In the six years from 1949-55 Adenauer realised far-reaching foreign policy goalsto bind Germany’s future with the western alliance: membership of theCouncil of Europe (1951), foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community(1952), and Germany’s entry into NATO (1955).
A cornerstone of Adenauer’s foreign policy was reconciliation with France. Together with French PresidentCharles de Gaulle a historic turning point was achieved: in 1963 the one-time arch-enemies Germany andFrance signed a treaty of friendship, which became one of the milestones on the road to European integration.

Type: Clip   Reference: I-072668   Date: 04/05/2012   Duration: 00:58
Personalities:   Adenauer, Konrad  

Languages: ORIGINAL
© European Union, 2012   /   Source: EC - Audiovisual Service
Director: Diana Cioponea
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