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Datum objave: 27.11.2014

On 23 November 1959 in a speech in Strasbourg, de Gaulle announced his vision for Europe

Oui, c'est l'Europe, depuis l'Atlantique jusqu'à l'Oural, c'est toute l'Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde

Monday, 23 November 1959

On 23 November 1959 in a speech in Strasbourg, de Gaulle announced his vision for Europe:

Oui, c'est l'Europe, depuis l'Atlantique jusqu'à l'Oural, c'est toute l'Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde.

("Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the destiny of the world.")

His expression, "Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals," has often been cited throughout the history of European integration. It became, for the next ten years, de Gaulle's favorite political rallying cry. His vision stood in contrast to the Atlanticism of the United States, Britain and NATO, preferring instead a Europe that would act as a third pole between the United States and the Soviet Union. By including in his ideal of Europe all the territory up to the Urals, de Gaulle was implicitly offering détente to the Soviets, while his phrase was also interpreted as excluding the United Kingdom from a future Europe.

He vetoed the British application to join the EEC in 1963, because he thought that the United Kingdom lacked the political will to join the community. Many Britons took de Gaulle's “non” as an insult, especially with the role the United Kingdom had played in the Liberation of France only 19 years earlier.

De Gaulle believed that while the war in Algeria was militarily winnable, it was not defensible internationally, and he became reconciled to the colony's eventual independence. This stance greatly angered the French settlers and their metropolitan supporters, and de Gaulle was forced to suppress two uprisings in Algeria by French settlers and troops, in the second of which (the Generals' Putsch in April 1961) France herself was threatened with invasion by rebel paratroops. De Gaulle's government also covered up the Paris massacre of 1961, issued under the orders of the police prefect Maurice Papon. He was also targeted by the settler Organisation armée secrète (OAS) terrorist group and several assassination attempts were made on him; the most famous is that of 22 August 1962, when he and his wife narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when their Citroën DS was targeted by machine gun fire arranged by Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry at the Petit-Clamart. After a referendum on Algerian self-determination carried out in 1961, de Gaulle arranged a cease-fire in Algeria with the March 1962 Evian Accords, legitimated by another referendum a month later. Algeria became independent in July 1962, while an amnesty was later issued covering all crimes committed during the war, including the use of torture. In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 French settlers left the country. The exodus accelerated after the 5th of July 1962 massacre.

In September 1962, de Gaulle sought a constitutional amendment to allow the president to be directly elected by the people and issued another referendum to this end, approved by more than three-fifths of voters despite a broad "coalition of no" formed by most of the parties, opposed to a presidential regime. After a motion of censure voted by the Parliament on 4 October 1962 de Gaulle dissolved the National Assembly and held new elections. Although the left progressed, the Gaullists won an increased majority, despite opposition from the Christian democratic Popular Republican Movement and the National Centre of Independents and Peasants (CNIP) who criticized de Gaulle's euroscepticism and presidentialism. Although the government settled the Algerian issue, Prime Minister Michel Debré resigned over the final settlement and Georges Pompidou replaced him.

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