The European Movement International (E.M.) is a lobbying association that coordinates the efforts of associations and national councils with the goal of promoting European integration, and disseminating information about it.


The origins of the European Movement date back to July 1947, when the cause of a united Europe was being championed by notables such as Duncan Sandys in the form of the Anglo-French United European Movement. The UEM acted as a platform for the co-ordination of the organisations created in the wake of World War II. As a result of their efforts, the congress of The Committee for the Co-ordination of the European Movements took place in Paris on 17 July 1947 incorporating “La Ligue Européenne de Coopération Economique” (LECE), “l’Union Européenne des Fédéralistes” (UEF), “l’Union Parlementaire Européenne” (UPE) and the Anglo-French United European Movements. They met again on 10 November 1947 and changed their name to The Joint International Committee for European Unity. They retained this name until after the 1948 Congress of The Hague.

From 7 to 11 May 1948, 800 delegates from Europe and observers from Canada and the United States gathered in The Hague, the Netherlands for the Congress of Europe. Organised by the International Committee of the Movements for European Unity and presided over by Winston Churchill, the Congress brought together representatives from across a broad political spectrum, providing them with the opportunity to discuss ideas about the development of a European Union. Important political figures such as Konrad AdenauerWinston ChurchillHarold MacmillanFrançois MitterrandPaul-Henri SpaakAlbert Coppé and Altiero Spinelli took an active role in the congress and a call was launched for a political, economic and monetary Union of Europe. This landmark conference was to have a profound influence on the shape of the European Movement, which was created soon afterwards.

The European Movement was formally created on 25 October 1948, when the Joint International Committee for European Unity decided to change its name. Duncan Sandys was elected President and Léon Blum, Winston Churchill, Alcide De Gasperi and Paul-Henri Spaak were elected as Honorary Presidents.

The first major achievement of the European Movement was the setting up of the Council of Europe in May 1949. The European Movement was also responsible for the creation of the College of Europe in Bruges and the European Center of Culture in Geneva. One of its major functions during the 1950s through to the 1990s was the setting up of think-tanks and a network of discussion groups across Europe, in countries both democratic and Communist. Since 1948, the European Movement has lobbied for further integration, on numerous subjects. It worked in favour of the direct election of the European Parliament by all European citizens, in favour of the Treaty on the European Union (the Maastricht Treaty) and also for a European Constitution.




Jo Leinen November 2011 to date
Pat Cox 2005-2011
José María Gil-Robles 1999-2005
Mário Soares 1997-1999
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing 1989-1997
Enrique Barón Crespo 1987-1989
Giuseppe Petrilli 1981-1987
Georges Berthoin 1978-1981
Jean Rey 1974-1978
Walter Hallstein 1968-1974
Maurice Faure 1961-1968
Robert Schuman 1955-1961
Paul-Henri Spaak 1950-1955
Duncan Sandys 1948-1950


The Movement’s stated objective is to “contribute to the establishment of a united, federal Europe founded on the principles of peace, democracy, liberty, solidarity, and respect for basic human rights. It seeks to provide a structure to encourage and facilitate the active participation of citizens and civil society organisations in the development of a united Europe”. Its various Councils and Associations, under the co-ordination of the European Movement International (EMI), work to influence major decision-makers across European civil society – its multitudinous associations, governments, politicians, political parties, enterprises, trade unions and individual lobbyists – to achieve these ends. The Movement focuses its attentions on seeking further integration in the political, social and cultural arenas, using its network of lobbyists to achieve those ends.

The EMI also works as a study and information group operating through various projects and activities. It tries to involve larger segments of the public in the European project by disseminating information on European affairs and activities and getting them involved in its projects.

The association attempts to remain pluralist, and integrates into its management political personalities from both the Right and the Left.

As with many pan-European organisations that deal with European integration, the Movement (including its national organisations) has been divided for a long time between the “unionists”, supporters of simple intergovernmental cooperation along the lines of the pre-Maastricht EU, and the “federalists”, supporters of a federalised Europe governed along similar lines to the United States.


The Movement’s central office, located in Brussels, is headed up by a President and six Vice-Presidents, all of whom usually hold significant offices in the European Union or other pan-European organisations. Honorary Presidents, generally prominent European politicians (for example Valéry Giscard d’Estaing), are also elected, but hold no executive powers.

The current President of the EMI is Jo Leinen, MEP and Chairman of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament. The management of the organisation is drawn from across Europe.

International Associations

The EMI currently has 34 International Member Associations: Association of European Journalists – AEJ | Council of European Dentists – CED | Council of the Notariats of the European Union – CNUE | Direct Selling Europe – DSE | European Association of Railway Personnel – AEC | European Association of Retirement Schemes for Liberal Professions – EurelPro | European Confederation of Veterans | European Centre for Culture – ECC | European League of Economic Cooperation – ELEC | Europeans Throughout the World – ETTW | Foundation Euractiv | Permanent Forum of the European Civil Society | European Association of Teachers – AEDE | Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe – AEGEE | Association of Women of Southern Europe – AFEM | Association of Local Democracy Agencies – ALDA | European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions – CESI | Council of European Municipalities and Regions – CEMR | Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe – CPMR | European Citizens’ Action Service – ECAS | European Trade Union Confederation – ETUC |European People’s Party – EPP | European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party – ELDR | European Organisation of Military Associations – EUROMIL | International Association of Former Officials of the European Communities – AIACE | International Centre for European Studies – CIFE | Young European Federalists – JEF | Party of European Socialists – PES | Rurality Environment Development – R.E.D. | SOLIDAR | Union Syndicale Fédérale | Union of European Federalists – UEF

Supporting Member
College of Europe
National Councils
At national level there are National Councils in 39 countries, organized in a very diverse way.[1] In principle national councils of all countries which are members of the Council of Europe can join the European Movement. Only on national level the EM has youth branches.[2]


Policy is formulated by a Board, the chairmanship of which is held by the President. A ‘Federal Assembly’, made up of delegates from local Movements throughout Europe, foments policies for the EMI and is in charge of the organisation’s Auditors. Several specialist committees, devoted to the discussion of individual policies such as Women and the Future of Europe, exist as well. Day-to-day office-work is performed by the staff, which is led by Secretary General, Petros Fassoulas since June 2015.