Paneuropa : 1922-1966 Paneuropa : 1922-1966
Paneuropa : 1922-1966

Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard

Wien : Herold


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Further works by Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi


Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi (Austrian, born 1894 - died 1972) was a pioneer of European integration. Born into the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and dismayed by the world order which followed World War I, he dedicated his entire life to his vision of 'Paneuropa', a popular movement for a united Europe he had launched in the early 1920s.

Over a period of decades, Coudenhove-Kalergi built up a network of political leaders who helped to advocate for Europe's political and economic integration.

For his endeavours for a peaceful Europe, Coudenhove-Kalergi was awarded the first ever Charlemagne Prize (1950). Moreover, he proposed Beethoven's Ode to joy as the European anthem.


In 'Paneuropa: 1922-1966' Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi presents a very personal, and at times emotional, account of the history of the political movement that he founded shortly after World War I, and which became one of the precursors of the European Union. The aim of the Paneuropa movement was to create close economic and political ties between states from Poland to Portugal, in an effort to prevent further wars. His vision, for what he liked to call a ‘United States of Europe’, would safeguard peace by acting as a counterweight to Russia, China and the USA.

Coudenhove-Kalergi’s first call for unity in his book 'Pan-Europa' (1923) received international acclaim and was followed by a manifesto in 1924. In subsequent years Coudenhove-Kalergi organised European conferences which brought together leading politicians, parliamentarians and intellectuals. After Hitler came to power, the Paneuropa movement was banned and its leader went exile. During this time he further developed his ideas in France and the US, before returning to Europe in 1946.

Winston Churchill gave the movement fresh impetus in 1946 when he mentioned Paneuropa in his famous call for Franco-German reconciliation in Zurich. From then on, Coudenhove-Kalergi’s movement focused on bringing together European parliamentarians, and in this way was instrumental in the founding of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 1949.

With his vision of a united, peaceful Europe, Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi was a European ahead of his time.