Winston Churchill, highly respected on the world stage, presided the Congress of Europe held in the Hague in May 1948. He gave the opening speech.
The more than 700 delegates (politicians, academics, businessmen, etc.) favored cooperation between the countries of Europe as a means to:
- avoid a resurgence of nationalism and war;
- prevent the spread of communism;
- promote peace, justice, freedom, international cooperation, democracy, social and economic progress.
The Political Resolution of the Hague Congress pushed for political as well as economic union (it was a federalist Resolution). The Resolution includes: the transfer of certain sovereign rights to a supranational authority, the setting up of a European Assembly, the creation of a Court of Justice, and the writing of a Charter of Human Rights.
The Hague Congress can be seen as the founding moment of post-war European integration. The Council of Europe was an initiative of the Hague Congress, as was the College of Europe.
The organizing committee of the Congress became a lobbying association called European Movement International.