the name of a plan for a political and economic union of the capitalist states of continental Europe that was advanced during the period between the two world wars.
The idea of such a union was first popularized in 1923 by the Pan-European movement and by the journal Paneuropa, published in Vienna from 1924. The plan was proposed in September 1929 by the French minister of foreign affairs A. Briand and developed in a memorandum of May 1, 1930, from the French government to the governments of the European states. Briand’s plan envisioned the creation of a “European federal union” that excluded the USSR and Great Britain. It sought to establish French hegemony in Europe and promote a policy of keeping the USSR politically isolated. The active opposition of Soviet diplomacy, as well as the negative attitude of Germany, Great Britain, the USA, and other states, led to the collapse of the French project in 1931.
After World War II, the tendency toward the unification of the capitalist states of Europe was reflected in the formation of a number of military, political, and economic organizations, such as the European Economic Community (Common Market).