The text we reprint here is an excerpt from a note written by Louis Armand for Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber and published as an appendix to the latter's book Le Défi américain, which appeared in 1967 (Paris: Denoël). It was also worked up into a book that is equally worth rereading: Le Pari européen, by Louis Armand and Michel Drancourt (Paris: Fayard, 1968).
It is a remarkable piece. Written more than 30 years ago, it highlights the urgent need, in the early days of the 'global village', to build a federal Europe involving not just economic and technological co-operation but also social unity, a Europe with a shared ethics, philosophy and political outlook.
Louis Armand is ahead of his time in foreseeing what is now called globalization, and he quite rightly stresses the role that Europe might have, how important it is not to waste time in trying to force national characteristics into uniformity but instead for countries to 'develop new things together'; above all, Europe must show great inventiveness in matters of organization.
'Europe', writes Armand, 'doesn't know what it wants. And as long as it doesn't, it will not be able to play a leading role in the world.' The risk, as he sees it, is that Europe will become 'politically archaic'. To avoid this, priority must be given to the political aspect and to the building of a federal Europe.