Volume 2019/3 (N°275)
Valentine Aldebert et Sabrina Proschmann: L’Union Européenne des Postes et des Télécommunications (1942-1945). Un ensemble d’asymétries complexes
Notre étude se centre sur l’Union européenne des Postes et des Télécommunications née lors d’un congrès à Vienne en octobre 1942. Le but de cette union était une homogénéisation au niveau européen des pratiques et des tarifs des PTT. Cependant, le traitement inégal des membres du congrès et le rejet par l’administration allemande de la participation (pourtant essentielle) d’administrations européennes des PTT, témoignent des limites de cette union. En effet, elle est le reflet de l’idée d’Europe asymétrique. Toutefois, elle rompt avec les asymétries traditionnelles présentes en Europe nazie, tout en renouvelant l’approche que nous avons du technocratisme scientifique : européenne et non pas intercontinentale. En nous centrant sur les fondements idéologiques des asymétries présentes dans cette union, et sur les rapports pays occupants/pays occupés, nous chercherons à mettre en lumière ce qu’est la « coopération » technique en temps de guerre.
English: Our study focuses on the European Post and Telecommunications Union founded at a congress in Vienna in October 1942. The aim of this union was to harmonise PTT practices and tariffs at European level. However, the unequal treatment shown to members and Nazi Germany’s rejection of the (essential) participation of European PTT administrations prove the limitations of this union. Indeed, it reveals an asymmetric Europe. At the same time, it breaks with traditional asymmetries current in Nazi-dominated Europe, while renewing our approach to scientific technocratism : European and not global. By focusing on the ideological foundations of the asymmetries present in this union and on the relations between the occupying and occupied countries, we will seek to highlight what technical “cooperation” means in times of war.
Volume 27 – Special Issue 2 – May 2018
Abstract: Infrastructures in the transport and communication sectors were high on the agenda of supranational European integration after 1945. Nevertheless, European cooperation continued on well-trodden paths. New European organisations were established with an institutional design that built on established governance structures from the interwar period or even earlier. This article seeks to explore continuities in the governance of cross-border infrastructures from the interwar to the post-war period. It argues that transnational expert communities and cultures of standardisation emerged, which the infrastructure experts were keen to protect and persist. The article compares transport and communication to isolate common patterns and differences.
Abstract: This article sets out why and how plans to build Europe on mail, both commercially (rates) and symbolically (stamps), were discussed from the end of the 1920s and have failed up to today. The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunication Administrations (CEPT) was created during the intense phase of European integration in the 1950s. In the 1980s it was a key resource for the European Commission for building a Single Market in the telecommunication sector. As this article argues, however, the CEPT did not emerge from the multiple plans for postal integration. Rather, it was a new envelope hiding governance practices inherited from the nineteenth century.
Vol 28 No.1 (2018)
The Second World War stopped most of the activities of the international infrastructure organisations like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) or the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which had managed the transnational flows of communication since the mid-19th century. Nevertheless, this did not stop international postal and telecommunication cooperation completely. In 1942 the German PTT administration convened a European postal and telecommunication congress in Vienna that pursued the work done by the ITU and UPU. They founded a ‘European Postal and Telecommunication Union’ (EPTU) in accordance with the ITU and UPU conventions. This article argues that the EPTU was an important step toward the Europeanization of intra-European connections. Within EPTU ideas as well as norms, values and practices of postal and telecommunication governance in view of uniting Europe continued (nearly unbroken) from the interwar to the post Second World War era.