The EP and the Construction of Europe: From World War II to the ECSC
What role has the European Parliament played at some key dates in European history? This stockshot traces the milestones of European construction since the Parliament's point of view.
Part 1: From World War II to the ECSC
On September 3rd 1939, Nazi Germany rejects the Allied ultimatum. France, UK, along with India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, declare war on Germany. The Second World War officially begins. December 7th 1941, Japanese attack to the US Fleet at Pearl Harbour: the conflict becomes worldwide. On June 6th 1944, Allied troops land in Normandy: the Liberation of France can start. Germany's official surrender is signed on May 7th 1945, while Japan surrenders on the 2nd of September. The conflict is brought to an end. In the aftermath, Europe reckons its losses. 40 million people were killed. The English cities of Coventry and Birmingham and the German city of Dresden are almost entirely demolished by the bombings. The destruction of the production apparatus and the shortage of raw materials paralyse the European economy. The reconstruction of the continent begins. To grant economic and financial assistance to all the countries of Europe, in 1948, the US administration establishes the Marshall Plan or the European Recovery Program (ERP). The Soviet Union rejects the Marshall Plan and persuades its satellite countries and neighbouring Finland to refuse American aid. This rejection will deepen the split between Eastern and Western Europe. In response to the Marshall Plan, the USSR creates, in January 1949, a programme of economic co-operation called the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) SHOTLIST