The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause.
The ancient states and principalities of Germany, freely joined together for mutual convenience in a federal system, might each take their individual place among the United States of Europe. I shall not try to make a detailed programme for hundreds of millions of people who want to be happy and free, prosperous and safe, who wish to enjoy the four freedoms of which the great President Roosevelt spoke, and live in accordance with the principles embodied in the Atlantic Charter. If this is their wish, they have only to say so, and means can certainly be found, and machinery erected, to carry that wish into full fruition.
But I must give you warning. Time may be short.
At present there is a breathing-space. The cannon have ceased firing. The fighting has stopped; but the dangers have not stopped.
If we are to form the United States of Europe or whatever name or form it may take, we must begin now…
…The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude must be established on solid foundations and must be guarded by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than submit to tyranny.
In all this urgent work, France and Germany must take the lead together.
–Winston Churchill, “United States of Europe Speech,” from Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches