Relations internationales 166 (juillet 2016): 137-58.
This article investigates how postwar Europe’s migration regime changed fundamentally around 1955. It was a regime of bilateral, revisable, and limited migration agreements organizing the preferential recruitment of workers with certain skills. The main European governments then turned to a multilateral regime providing for the gradual implementation of the free movement of persons. The study resorts to the documents of the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation, the Council of Europe, the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Economic Community. It also relies on the archives of the French and West German governments. This article explains change through Germany’s ascension to economic preponderance and the West German government’s Cold War strategy aiming at integrating Western Europe.