Relations internationales 166 (juillet 2016): 137-58.
This article investigates how the international migration regime in postwar Europe fundamentally changed around 1955. It was a regime made of bilateral, revisable, and limited migration agreements, geared for the preferential recruitment of skilled workers. Major European governments then turned to multilateralism and the gradual implementation of the free movement of persons. This article 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 this shift through Germany’s ascension to economic preponderance and the West German government’s Cold War strategy aiming at integrating Western Europe.