The Marshall Plan: 70th Anniversary

On April 3rd the Marshall Foundation, in partnership with the United States Diplomacy Center, commemorated the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Marshall Plan into law by President Harry Truman at the Diplomacy Center in Washington, D.C. The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation provided special support for the event.

The first part of the program featured remarks by Dr. Daniel Hamilton, the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor at the School for Advanced International Studies and Dr. Benn Steil, Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the recently published and highly reviewed The Marshall Plan:  Dawn of the Cold War. Dr. Steil shared fascinating insights into the formulation of the Marshall Plan and its impact on the beginning of the Cold War. He also made excellent observations about the Marshall Plan’s relevance to contemporary world events.

After a short break the program shifted to a panel discussion with David O’Sullivan, European Union Ambassador to the United States; Hendrik Schuwer, Dutch Ambassador to the United States; Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the United States; and Ambassador Thomas Pickering (ret.) serving as moderator. Ambassador Schuwer of the Netherlands spoke of the constant effort required to maintain the strong transatlantic partnership made possible by the Marshall Plan.

I think winning the peace, you never can declare winning the peace. Winning the peace is a battle forever and this goes on as long as you will be alive. And I think, therefore, we have won the war but we will never win the peace. Winning the peace will be a transatlantic battle that will last for as long as we live and our children live.

Ambassador Schuwer’s remarks show that the basic principles that George C. Marshall outlined in his famous remarks at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, continue to have a major influence on world affairs and will remain relevant well into the future.

If you were unable to attend the Marshall Plan 70th Anniversary Commemoration, video of the program can be viewed below or on the Marshall Foundation’s YouTube channel.