The Meaning of the Marshall Plan for Today

Commemorating the 70th anniversary of Congressional approval of the Marshall Plan


When: April 3, 2018 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where: The U.S. Diplomacy Center
The U.S. Department of State
330 21st St NW
Washington, DC 20006

In June 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall offered assistance to Europe in a speech he delivered at Harvard University. When his idea for European recovery following the devastation of World War II was accepted quickly by European leaders, Marshall campaigned tirelessly for popular and Congressional support for the program that became known as the Marshall Plan. President Truman signed legislation to enact the European Recovery Program on April 3, 1948.

This event is a part of the George C. Marshall Legacy Series sequence Europe’s Unlikely Recovery, hosted by the George C. Marshall International Center, that examines the significance and lasting impact of the Marshall Plan, and also part of the Austrian Lecture Series jointly organized by the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, the Embassy of Austria, and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the U.S.-Austrian diplomatic relations, the Commemorative Year 2018 (including the centenary of the founding of the Republic of Austria) and the Austrian presidency of the European Union 2018.

The afternoon includes:
Opening remarks by Dr. Daniel Hamilton, the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor at Johns Hopkins University SAIS in Washington, DC, and Dr. Benn Steil, from the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and the author of the well-received and recently published The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War.

"Perspectives on the Marshall Plan" is moderated by former U.S. ambassador Thomas Pickering.


Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
Peter Wittig, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany;
David O’Sullivan, Ambassador of the European Union, and
A. Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

In his opening speech, Austrian Marshall Plan Professor Dan Hamilton (Johns Hopkins University - SAIS) explained the Marshall Plan's historical background, including the alternative options that were being discussed but discarded at the time as a lesson learned from the failure of the post World War I arrangements (U.S. isolationism; exorbitant reparation payments and de-industrialisation/pasturalisation of the Axis powers). The three hour long event was filled to capacity.

Event Video: