Memorandum on the Organization of a System of Federal European Union


At the annual meeting of the Assembly of the League of Nations in September 1929, Foreign Minister Aristide Briand of France proposed the establishment of a federal European union to coordinate economic and political policies. Briand believed that the proposed union should be created within the framework of the League, and promised to submit a detailed plan for a federal union to the 27 European states that were League members. Shown here is Briand’s plan, which was issued for discussion on May 1, 1930. The proposal was brought before the 1931 session of the Assembly, and the League decided to establish a Commission of Inquiry for European Union, with Briand as chairman and Secretary-General of the League Sir Eric Drummond as secretary. Little or no progress was made toward a federal union, however, as in the 1930s Europe increasingly was divided into democratic and authoritarian camps. The ideas behind Briand’s memorandum were to be revived in the aftermath of World War II, however, and contributed to the development of the European Economic Community and the present-day European Union. The memorandum shown here is in the archives of the League of Nations, which were transferred to the United Nations in 1946 and are housed at the UN office in Geneva. They were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.

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Title in Original Language

Mémorandum sur l'organisation d'un régime d'union fédérale européenne

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  • Excerpted from "Documents relatifs à l'organisation d'un régime d'union fédérale européenne"

Last updated: November 14, 2017