In response to a widespread idea of the European Union as a “peace project,” an idea disseminated especially after the EU received the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, this essay retrieves some of the historical causes of the foundation of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957. The essay emphasizes specific geopolitical and colonial incentives that had lain behind the European integration project ever since the pan-European blueprints the interwar period and which became critical with the Suez crisis and decolonization movements of the 1950s. As the essay demonstrates, practically all of the visions, movements, and concrete institutional arrangements working toward European integration during this period placed Africa’s incorporation into the European enterprise as a central objective. As much of the scholarly, political, and journalistic accounts at the time testify, European integration was inextricably bound up with a Eurafrican project. According to the intellectual, political, and institutional discourse on Eurafrica, a future European community presupposed the transformation of the strictly national colonial projects into a joint European colonization of Africa. Strong evidence suggests that these ideas were instrumental in the actual diplomatic and political constitution of the EEC, or of Europe as a political subject, in 1957. The essay discusses why the EU’s colonial origins have been consigned to oblivion in mainstream research and why this history is of continued concern to the world.

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