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European Movement, 1970-1996


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  • Creation: 1970-1996

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

PUB 346/1-8; PUB 644/1-7

Biographical / Historical

The European Movement is an independent all-party pressure group in the UK founded to promote European unity. Before Brexit it argued that the EU should become more democratic, effective and accountable, and that Britain should play a full role in reforming and developing the EU. Since Brexit it seeks to ensure that European values, standards and rights are upheld in British law.

The origins of the European Movement lie in the conference held at The Hague in May 1948, under the chairmanship of Sir Winston Churchill, to create a new international movement to unite Europe and prevent further wars between its members. The British section of the European Movement was founded a year later. In the 1950s and 1960s the European Movement put forward arguments for joining the European Economic Community, and it ran a major campaign in the early 1970s, both among the general public and in Parliament, to win the battle for entry. In 1975, during the referendum on membership, the European Movement played a central role in the YES campaign. Other campaigns since then have included pressing for direct elections to the European Parliament in the 1970s and promoting the benefits of the single market in the run-up to 1992. During the 1990s, the organisation became revitalised around the need to create a new national pro-European coalition in order to counter rising anti-European feeling which ultimately threatened to undermine Britain's place within the EU. It campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum and has since joined calls for a second vote.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom