European Coal and Steel Community

The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an organization of six European countries created after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris, signed by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The ECSC was the first international organisation to be based on the principles of supranationalism,[2] and started the process of formal integration which ultimately led to the European Union.

The ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. He declared his aim was to "make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible"[3] which was to be achieved by regional integration, of which the ECSC was the first step. The Treaty would create a common market for coal and steel among its member states which served to neutralise competition between European nations over natural resources, particularly in the Ruhr.

The ECSC was overseen by four institutions: a High Authority composed of independent appointees, a Common Assembly composed of national parliamentarians, a Special Council composed of national ministers, and a Court of Justice. These would ultimately form the blueprint for today's European Commission, European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Court of Justice.

The ECSC stood as a model for the communities set up after it by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European Economic Community and European Atomic Energy Community, with whom it shared its membership and some institutions. The 1967 Merger (Brussels) Treaty led all of ECSC's institutions to merge into the European Economic Community, but the ECSC retained its own independent legal personality. In 2002, the Treaty of Paris expired and the ECSC ceased to exist in any form, its activities fully absorbed by the European Community under the framework of the Amsterdam and Nice treaties.

European Coal and Steel Community
Danish: Europæiske Kul- og Stålfællesskab
Dutch: Europese Gemeenschap voor Kolen en Staal
Finnish: Euroopan hiili- ja teräsyhteisö
French: Communauté européenne du charbon et de l'acier
German: Europäische Gemeinschaft für Kohle und Stahl
Greek: Εὐρωπαϊκὴ Κοινότης Ἄνθακος καὶ Χάλυβος
Italian: Comunità Europea del Carbone e dell'Acciaio
Portuguese: Comunidade Europeia do Carvão e do Aço
Spanish: Comunidad Europea del Carbón y del Acero
Swedish: Europeiska Kol- och Stålgemenskapen

1952–2002¹
Flag of ECSC
Founding members of the ECSC: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany (Algeria was an integral part of the French Republic)
Founding members of the ECSC: Belgium, France,
Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany
(Algeria was an integral part of the French Republic)
StatusInternational organisation
CapitalNot applicable²
Common languages
President of the High Authority 
• 1952–1955
Jean Monnet
• 1955–1958
René Mayer
• 1958–1959
Paul Finet
• 1959–1963
Piero Malvestiti
• 1963–1967
Rinaldo Del Bo
Historical eraCold War
• Signing (Treaty of Paris)
18 April 1951
• In force
23 July 1952
• Merger
1 July 1967
23 July 2002¹
Preceded by
Succeeded by
International Authority for the Ruhr
European Union
Today part of European Union
  1. The ECSC treaty expired in 2002, fifty years after it came into force,[1] but its institutions were taken over in 1967 following the Merger Treaty.
  2. The political centres were Luxembourg and Strasbourg, later also Brussels.
  3. Initial founding languages, before the merger and subsequent enlargements, were Dutch, French, German and Italian.

History

As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Schuman was instrumental in turning French policy away from the Gaullist policy of permanent occupation or control of parts of German territory such as the Ruhr or the Saar. Despite stiff ultra-nationalist, Gaullist and communist opposition, the French Assembly voted a number of resolutions in favour of his new policy of integrating Germany into a community. The International Authority for the Ruhr changed in consequence.

Schuman declaration

The Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 (in 1985 declared "Europe Day" by the European Communities) occurred after two Cabinet meetings, when the proposal became French government policy. France was thus the first government to agree to surrender sovereignty in a supranational Community. That decision was based on a text, written and edited by Schuman's friend and colleague, the Foreign Ministry lawyer, professor Paul Reuter with the assistance of economist Jean Monnet and Schuman's Directeur de Cabinet, Bernard Clappier. It laid out a plan for a European Community to pool the coal and steel of its members in a common market.

Schuman proposed that "Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organisation open to the participation of the other countries of Europe". Such an act was intended to help economic growth and cement peace between France and Germany, who were historic enemies. Coal and steel were vital resources needed for a country to wage war, so pooling those resources between two such enemies was seen as more than symbolic.[2][4] Schuman saw the decision of the French government on his proposal as the first example of a democratic and supranational Community, a new development in world history.[5][6] The plan was also seen by some, like Monnet, who crossed out Reuter's mention of "supranational" in the draft and inserted "federation", as a first step to a "European federation".[2][4]

The Schuman Declaration that created the ECSC had several distinct aims:

  • It would mark the birth of a united Europe.
  • It would make war between member states impossible.
  • It would encourage world peace.
  • It would transform Europe in a "step by step" process (building through sectoral supranational communities) leading to the unification of Europe democratically, unifying two political blocks separated by the Iron Curtain.
  • It would create the world's first supranational institution.
  • It would create the world's first international anti-cartel agency.
  • It would create a common market across the Community.
  • It would, starting with the coal and steel sector, revitalise the whole European economy by similar community processes.
  • It would improve the world economy and the developing countries, such as those in Africa.[7]

Firstly, it was intended to prevent further war between France and Germany and other states[8] by tackling the root cause of war.[8] The ECSC was primarily conceived with France and Germany in mind: "The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries."[8] The coal and steel industries being essential for the production of munitions, Schuman believed that by uniting these two industries across France and Germany under an innovative supranational system that also included a European anti-cartel agency, he could "make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible".[9] Schuman had another aim: "With increased resources Europe will be able to pursue the achievement of one of its essential tasks, namely, the development of the African continent."[8] Industrial cartels tended to impose "restrictive practices"[8] on national markets, whereas the ECSC would ensure the increased production necessary for their ambitions in Africa.

Political pressures

In West Germany, Schuman kept the closest contacts with the new generation of democratic politicians. Karl Arnold, the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state that included the coal and steel producing Ruhr, was initially spokesman for German foreign affairs. He gave a number of speeches and broadcasts on a supranational coal and steel community at the same time as Robert Schuman began to propose this Community in 1948 and 1949. The Social Democratic Party of Germany (German: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD), in spite of support from unions and other socialists in Europe, decided it would oppose the Schuman plan. Kurt Schumacher's personal distrust of France, capitalism, and Konrad Adenauer aside, he claimed that a focus on integrating with a "Little Europe of the Six" would override the SPD's prime objective of German reunification and thus empower ultra-nationalist and Communist movements in democratic countries. He also thought the ECSC would end any hopes of nationalising the steel industry and lock in a Europe of "cartels, clerics and conservatives".[10] Younger members of the party like Carlo Schmid, were, however, in favor of the Community and pointed to the long socialist support for the supranational idea.

In France, Schuman had gained strong political and intellectual support from all sections of the nation and many non-communist parties. Notable amongst these were ministerial colleague Andre Philip, president of the Foreign Relations Committee Edouard Bonnefous, and former prime minister, Paul Reynaud. Projects for a coal and steel authority and other supranational communities were formulated in specialist subcommittees of the Council of Europe in the period before it became French government policy. Charles de Gaulle, who was then out of power, had been an early supporter of "linkages" between economies, on French terms, and had spoken in 1945 of a "European confederation" that would exploit the resources of the Ruhr. However, he opposed the ECSC as a faux (false) pooling ("le pool, ce faux semblant") because he considered it an unsatisfactory "piecemeal approach" to European unity and because he considered the French government "too weak" to dominate the ECSC as he thought proper.[11] De Gaulle also felt that the ECSC had insufficient supranational authority because the Assembly was not ratified by a European referendum and he did not accept Raymond Aron's contention that the ECSC was intended as a movement away from United States domination. Consequently, de Gaulle and his followers in the RPF voted against ratification in the lower house of the French Parliament.[11]

Despite these attacks and those from the extreme left, the ECSC found substantial public support, and so it was established. It gained strong majority votes in all eleven chambers of the parliaments of the Six, as well as approval among associations and European public opinion. In 1950, many had thought another war was inevitable. The steel and coal interests, however, were quite vocal in their opposition. The Council of Europe, created by a proposal of Schuman's first government in May 1948, helped articulate European public opinion and gave the Community idea positive support.

Treaties

Oprichtingsverdrag EGKS NL-HaNA 2.02.20 10123

The 100-article Treaty of Paris, which established the ECSC, was signed on 18 April 1951 by "the inner six": France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux). The ECSC was the first international organisation to be based on supranational principles[2] and was, through the establishment of a common market for coal and steel, intended to expand the economies, increase employment, and raise the standard of living within the Community. The market was also intended to progressively rationalise the distribution of high level production whilst ensuring stability and employment. The common market for coal was opened on 10 February 1953, and for steel on 1 May 1953.[12] Upon taking effect, the ECSC gradually replaced the International Authority for the Ruhr.[13]

On 11 August 1952, the United States was the first non-ECSC member to recognise the Community and stated it would now deal with the ECSC on coal and steel matters, establishing its delegation in Brussels. Monnet responded by choosing Washington, D.C. as the site of the ECSC's first external presence. The headline of the delegation's first bulletin read "Towards a Federal Government of Europe".[14]

Six years after the Treaty of Paris, the Treaties of Rome were signed by the six ECSC members, creating the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom). These Communities were based, with some adjustments, on the ECSC. The Treaties of Rome were to be in force indefinitely, unlike the Treaty of Paris, which was to expire after fifty years. These two new Communities worked on the creation of a customs union and nuclear power community respectively.[2] The Rome treaties were hurried through just before de Gaulle was given emergency powers and proclaimed the Fifth Republic. Despite his efforts to "chloroform" the Communities, their fields rapidly expanded and the EEC became the most important tool for political unification, overshadowing the ECSC.[2]

Merger and expiration

Despite being separate legal entities, the ECSC, EEC and Euratom initially shared the Common Assembly and the European Court of Justice, although the Councils and the High Authority/Commissions remained separate. To avoid duplication, the Merger Treaty merged these separate bodies of the ECSC and Euratom with the EEC. The EEC later became one of the three pillars of the present day European Union.[2]

The Treaty of Paris was frequently amended as the EC and EU evolved and expanded. With the treaty due to expire in 2002, debate began at the beginning of the 1990s on what to do with it. It was eventually decided that it should be left to expire. The areas covered by the ECSC's treaty were transferred to the Treaty of Rome and the financial loose ends and the ECSC research fund were dealt with via a protocol of the Treaty of Nice. The treaty finally expired on 23 July 2002.[4] That day, the ECSC flag was lowered for the final time outside the European Commission in Brussels and replaced with the EU flag.[15]

Timeline of treaties

Signed:
In force:
Document:
1947
1947
Dunkirk
Treaty
1948
1948
Brussels
Treaty
1951
1952
Paris
Treaty
1954
1955
Modified
Brussels
Treaty
1957
1958
Rome
Treaty
&
EURATOM
1965
1967
Merger
Treaty
1975
1976
Council
Agreement
on TREVI
1986
1987
Single
European
Act
1985+90
1995
Schengen
Treaty
&
Convention
1992
1993
Maastricht Treaty (TEU)
1997
1999
Amsterdam
Treaty
2001
2003
Nice
Treaty
2007
2009
Lisbon
Treaty
 
Content: (est. alliance) (founded WU) (founded ECSC) (protocol amending WU to become WEU) (founded EEC and EURATOM) (merging the legislative & administrative bodies of the 3 European communities) (founded TREVI) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EEC)+
(founded EPC)
(founded Schengen)
(implemented Schengen)
(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, and EEC to transform it into EC)+
(founded: JHA+CFSP)
(amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EC to also contain Schengen, and TEU where PJCC replaced JHA) (amended with focus on institutional changes: EURATOM, ECSC, EC and TEU) (abolished the 3 pillars and WEU by amending: EURATOM, EC=>TFEU, and TEU)
(founded EU as an overall legal unit with Charter of Fundamental Rights, and reformed governance structures & decision procedures)
 
                           
Three pillars of the European Union:  
European Communities
(with a single Commission & Council)
 
European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)   
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty expired in 2002 European Union (EU)
    European Economic Community (EEC)   European Community (EC)
        Schengen Rules  
    Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and Violence Internationally (TREVI) Justice and Home Affairs
(JHA)
  Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)
  European Political Cooperation (EPC) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Franco-British alliance Western Union (WU) Western European Union (WEU)    
Treaty terminated in 2011    
                       

Institutions

The institutions of the ECSC were the High Authority, the Common Assembly, the Special Council of Ministers and the Court of Justice. A Consultative Committee was established alongside the High Authority, as a fifth institution representing civil society. This was the first international representation of consumers in history. These institutions were merged in 1967 with those of the European Community, which then governed the ECSC,[12] except for the Committee, which continued to be independent until the expiration of the Treaty of Paris in 2002.[16]

The Treaty stated that the location of the institutions would be decided by common accord of the members, yet the issue was hotly contested. As a temporary compromise, the institutions were provisionally located in the City of Luxembourg, despite the Assembly being based in Strasbourg.[17]

High Authority

Luxembourg0080
Headquarters of the High Authority in Luxembourg

The High Authority (the predecessor to the European Commission) was a nine-member executive body which governed the Community. The Authority consisted of nine members in office for a term of six years. Eight of these members were appointed by the governments of the six signatories.[18] These eight members then themselves appointed a ninth person to be President of the High Authority.[12]

Despite being appointed by agreement of national governments acting together, the members were to pledge not to represent their national interest, but rather took an oath to defend the general interests of the Community as a whole. Their independence was aided by members being barred from having any occupation outside the Authority or having any business interests (paid or unpaid) during their tenure and for three years after they left office.[12] To further ensure impartiality, one third of the membership was to be renewed every two years (article 10).

The Authority's principal innovation was its supranational character. It had a broad area of competence to ensure the objectives of the treaty were met and that the common market functioned smoothly. The High Authority could issue three types of legal instruments: Decisions, which were entirely binding laws; Recommendations, which had binding aims but the methods were left to member states; and Opinions, which had no legal force.[12]

Up to the merger in 1967, the authority had five Presidents followed by an interim President serving for the final days.[19]

Picture President State Took office Left office Authority
Jean Monnet Jean Monnet France 10 August 1952 3 June 1955 Monnet Authority
Rene Mayer René Mayer France 3 June 1955 13 January 1958 Mayer Authority
State Coat of Arms of Belgium Paul Finet Belgium 13 January 1958 15 September 1959 Finet Authority
Emblem of Italy Piero Malvestiti Italy 15 September 1959 22 October 1963 Malvestiti Authority
Emblem of Italy Rinaldo Del Bo Italy 22 October 1963 6 July 1967 Del Bo Authority
Albert Coppé (1967) Albert Coppé Belgium interim (1 March-5 July 1967) Coppé Authority

Other institutions

The Common Assembly (which later became the European Parliament) was composed of 78 representatives and exercised supervisory powers over the executive High Authority. The Common Assembly representatives were to be national MPs delegated each year by their Parliaments to the Assembly or directly elected "by universal suffrage" (article 21), though in practice it was the former, as there was no requirement for elections until the Treaties of Rome and no actual election until 1979, as Rome required agreement in the Council on the electoral system first. However, to emphasise that the chamber was not a traditional international organisation composed of representatives of national governments, the Treaty of Paris used the term "representatives of the peoples".[12] The Assembly was not originally specified in the Schuman Plan because it was hoped the Community would use the institutions (Assembly, Court) of the Council of Europe. When this became impossible because of British objections, separate institutions had to be created. The Assembly was intended as a democratic counter-weight and check to the High Authority, to advise but also to have power to sack the Authority for incompetence, injustice, corruption or fraud. The first President (akin to a Speaker) was Paul-Henri Spaak.[20]

The Special Council of Ministers (equivalent to the current Council of the European Union) was composed of representatives of national governments. The Presidency was held by each state for a period of three months, rotating between them in alphabetical order. One of its key aspects was the harmonisation of the work of the High Authority and that of national governments, which were still responsible for the state's general economic policies. The Council was also required to issue opinions on certain areas of work of the High Authority.[12] Issues relating only to coal and steel were in the exclusive domain of the High Authority, and in these areas the Council (unlike the modern Council) could only act as a scrutiny on the Authority. However, areas outside coal and steel required the consent of the Council.[21]

The Court of Justice was to ensure the observation of ECSC law along with the interpretation and application of the Treaty. The Court was composed of seven judges, appointed by common accord of the national governments for six years. There were no requirements that the judges had to be of a certain nationality, simply that they be qualified and that their independence be beyond doubt. The Court was assisted by two Advocates General.[12]

The Consultative Committee (similar to the Economic and Social Committee) had between 30 and 50 members equally divided between producers, workers, consumers and dealers in the coal and steel sector. Again, there were no national quotas, and the treaty required representatives of European associations to organise their own democratic procedures. They were to establish rules to make their membership fully representative for democratic organised civil society. Membership were appointed for two years and were not bound by any mandate or instruction of the organisations which appointed them. The Committee had a plenary assembly, bureau and president. Again, the required democratic procedures were not introduced and nomination of these members remained in the hands of national ministers. The High Authority was obliged to consult the Committee in certain cases where it was appropriate and to keep it informed.[12] The Consultative Committee remained separate (despite the merger of the other institutions) until 2002, when the Treaty expired and its duties were taken over by the Economic and Social Committee (ESC). Despite its independence, the Committee did cooperate with the ESC when they were consulted on the same issue.[16]

Achievements and failures

Its mission (article 2) was general: to "contribute to the expansion of the economy, the development of employment and the improvement of the standard of living" of its citizens. The Community had little effect on coal and steel production, which was influenced more by global trends. Trade between members did increase (tenfold for steel) which saved members' money by not having to import resources from the United States. The High Authority also issued 280 modernization loans to the industry which helped the industry to improve output and reduce costs. Costs were further reduced by the abolition of tariffs at borders.[22]

Among the ECSC's greatest achievements are those on welfare issues. Some mines, for example, were clearly unsustainable without government subsidies. Some miners had extremely poor housing. Over 15 years it financed 112,500 flats for workers, paying US$1,770 per flat, enabling workers to buy a home they could not have otherwise afforded. The ECSC also paid half the occupational redeployment costs of those workers who have lost their jobs as coal and steel facilities began to close down. Combined with regional redevelopment aid the ECSC spent $150 million creating 100,000 jobs, a third of which were for unemployed coal and steel workers. The welfare guarantees invented by the ECSC were extended to workers outside the coal and steel sector by some of its members.[22]

Far more important than creating Europe's first social and regional policy, it is argued that the ECSC introduced European peace. It involved the continent's first European tax. This was a flat tax, a levy on production with a maximum rate of one percent. Given that the European Community countries are now experiencing the longest period of peace in more than seventy years,[23] this has been described as the cheapest tax for peace in history. Another world war, or "world suicide" as Schuman called this threat in 1949, was avoided. In October 1953 Schuman said that the possibility of another European war had been eliminated. Reasoning had to prevail among member states.

However the ECSC failed to achieve several fundamental aims of the Treaty of Paris. It was hoped the ECSC would prevent a resurgence of large coal and steel groups such as the Konzerne, which helped Adolf Hitler rise to power. In the Cold War trade-offs, the cartels and major companies re-emerged, leading to apparent price fixing (another element that was meant to be tackled). With a democratic supervisory system the worst aspects of past abuse were avoided with the anti-cartel powers of the Authority, the first international anti-cartel agency in the world. Efficient firms were allowed to expand into a European market without undue domination. Oil, gas, electricity became natural competitors to coal and also broke cartel powers. Furthermore, with the move to oil, the Community failed to define a proper energy policy. The Euratom treaty was largely stifled by de Gaulle and the European governments refused the suggestion of an Energy Community involving electricity and other vectors that was suggested at Messina in 1955. In a time of high inflation and monetary instability ECSC also fell short of ensuring an upward equalisation of pay of workers within the market. These failures could be put down to overambition in a short period of time, or that the goals were merely political posturing to be ignored. It has been argued that the greatest achievements of the European Coal and Steel Community lie in its revolutionary democratic concepts of a supranational Community.[22]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC Treaty, Summary". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The European Communities". CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  3. ^ "EUROPA - The Schuman Declaration – 9 May 1950". europa.eu.
  4. ^ a b c "Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC Treaty". Europa (web portal). Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
  5. ^ "Schuman Project". schuman.info.
  6. ^ "Schuman Project". schuman.info.
  7. ^ "Schuman Project". schuman.info.
  8. ^ a b c d e Declaration of 9 May 1950 Fondation Robert Schuman
  9. ^ Robert Schuman's proposal of 9 May 1950 Schuman Project
  10. ^ Orlow, D. (2002). Common Destiny: A Comparative History of the Dutch, French, and German Social Democratic Parties, 1945–1969. Berghahn Books. pp. 168–172. ISBN 978-1571811851.
  11. ^ a b Chopra, H.S. (1974). De Gaulle and European unity. Abhinav Publications. pp. 28–33.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Treaties establishing the European Communities". CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  13. ^ Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany Office of Public Affairs, Public Relations Division, APO 757, US Army, January 1952 "Plans for terminating international authority for the Ruhr", pp. 61–62
  14. ^ Washington Delegation History Archived 25 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Delegation of the European Commission to the United States
  15. ^ "Ceremony to mark the expiry of the ECSC Treaty (Brussels, 23 July 2002)". CVCE. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  16. ^ a b "European Economic and Social Committee and ECSC Consultative Committee". CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  17. ^ "The seats of the institutions of the European Union". CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  18. ^ Dedman, Martin (2010). The Origins and Development of the European Union. 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN: Routledge. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-415-43561-1.
  19. ^ "Members of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)". CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Negotiations on the ECSC Treaty : Multilateral negotiations". CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Council of the European Union". CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  22. ^ a b c Mathieu, Gilbert (9 May 1970). "The history of the ECSC: good times and bad". Le Monde. France, accessed on CVCE. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  23. ^ Price, David H. "Mr". Shuman project. info.schuman.info. Retrieved 30 July 2015.

Further reading

  • Grin, Gilles (2003). The Battle of the Single European Market: Achievements and Economic Thought, 1945–2000. Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-7103-0938-9.
  • Hitchcock, William I. (1998). France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944–1954. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4747-X.
  • Maas, Willem (2007). Creating European Citizens. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-5485-6.
  • Schuman or Monnet? The real Architect of Europe. Robert Schuman's speeches and texts on the origin, purpose and future of Europe. Bron. ISBN 0-9527276-4-1.

External links

Cercle Municipal

The Cercle Municipal or Cercle-Cité is a building in Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg, It is located at the eastern end of the Place d'Armes, in the historic central Ville Haute quarter of the city.

European Communities

The European Communities (EC), sometimes referred to as the European Community, were three international organizations that were governed by the same set of institutions. These were the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom), and the European Economic Community (EEC); the last of which was renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993 by the Maastricht Treaty, which formed the European Union.

When the Communities were incorporated into the European Union in 1993, they became its first pillar. The European Coal and Steel Community ceased to exist in 2002 when its founding treaty expired. The European Community was dissolved into the European Union by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009; with the EU becoming the legal successor to the Community. Euratom remained an entity distinct from the EU, but is governed by the same institutions.

Finet Authority

The Finet Authority was the third High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), between 1958 and 1959. Its president was Paul Finet of Belgium.

There were two more High Authorities before the institutions of the ECSC were merged with those of the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community in 1967 to become the European Communities.

Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community

The flag of the European Coal and Steel Community was a horizontal bicolour flag defaced with stars which represented the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) between 1958 (six years after the ECSC was founded) until 2002 when the Community was merged into the European Union (EU). Prior to 1958 the ECSC did not have a flag, and no other flag has been used by a historical part of the European Union other than the flag of Europe.

Founding fathers of the European Union

The founding fathers of the European Union are 11 men officially recognised as major contributors to European unity and the development of what is now the European Union.

Sometimes emphasised are three pioneers of unification: Robert Schuman of France, Alcide De Gasperi of Italy and Konrad Adenauer of Germany.

High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community

The High Authority was the executive branch of the former European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). It was created in 1951 and disbanded in 1967 when it was merged into the European Commission.

History of the European Coal and Steel Community (1945–57)

The period saw the first moves towards European unity as the first bodies began to be established in the aftermath of the Second World War. In 1951 the first community, the European Coal and Steel Community was established and moves on new communities quickly began. Early attempts at military and political unity failed, eventually leading to the Treaties of Rome in 1957.

History of the European Communities (1958–72)

The history of the European Communities between 1958 and 1972 saw the early development of the European Communities. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) had just been joined by the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community (EEC), the latter of which soon became the most important. In 1967 the EEC's institutions took over the other two with the EEC's Commission holding its first terms under Hallstein and Rey.In 1958 the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) was established. On 19 March the Parliamentary Assembly (replacing the Common Assembly) met for the first time for all three communities and elected Robert Schuman as its President. On 13 May members sat according to political, rather than national, allegiance for the first time.

List of members of the European Coal and Steel Community Parliament for the Netherlands, 1952–58

This is a list of members of the European Coal and Steel Community Parliament for the Netherlands in the 1952 to 1958 session, ordered by name and by party.

Malvestiti Authority

The Malvestiti Authority was the fourth High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), between 1959 and 1963. Its president was Piero Malvestiti of Italy.

There were one more High Authorities before the institutions of the ECSC were merged with those of the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community in 1967 to become the European Communities.

Mayer Authority

The Mayer Authority was the second High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), between 1955 and 1958. Its president was René Mayer of France.

There were three more High Authorities before the institutions of the ECSC were merged with those of the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community in 1967 to become the European Communities.

Merger Treaty

The Merger Treaty (or Brussels Treaty) was a European treaty which combined the three executive bodies of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community (EEC) into a single institutional structure.

The treaty was signed in Brussels on 8 April 1965 and came into force on 1 July 1967. It set out that the Commission of the EEC and the Council of the EEC should replace the Commission and Council of Euratom and the High Authority and Council of the ECSC. Although each Community remained legally independent, they shared common institutions (prior to this treaty, they already shared a Parliamentary Assembly and Court of Justice) and were together known as the European Communities. This treaty is regarded by some as the real beginning of the modern European Union.

This treaty was abrogated by the Amsterdam Treaty signed in 1997:

Without prejudice to the paragraphs following hereinafter, which have as their purpose to retain the essential elements of their provisions, the Convention of 25 March 1957 on certain institutions common to the European Communities and the Treaty of 8 April 1965 establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities, but with the exception of the Protocol referred to in paragraph 5, shall be repealed.

Monnet Authority

The Monnet Authority was the first High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), between 1952 and 1955. Its president was Jean Monnet of France.

Monnet resigned on Europe day 1955 following the failure of the European Defence Community and was succeeded by the Mayer Authority. There were four more High Authorities before the institutions of the ECSC were merged with those of the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community in 1967 to become the European Communities.

Official Journal of the European Union

The Official Journal of the European Union (the OJ) is the official gazette of record for the European Union (EU). It is published every working day in all of the official languages of the member states. Only legal acts published in the Official Journal are binding.

It was first published on 30 December 1952 as the Official Journal of the European Coal and Steel Community. This was renamed Official Journal of the European Communities with the establishment of the European Community before taking its current title when the Treaty of Nice entered into force on 1 February 2003. Since 1998 the Journal has been available online via the EUR-Lex service.

As of the 1st of July 2013, the electronic version of the Official Journal bears legal value instead of the paper version. Each issue is published as a set of documents in PDF/A format (one per official language) plus one XML document ensuring the overall coherency through hashes and a qualified electronic signature (a kind of digital signature defined in European law) extended with a trusted time stamp.

The Journal comprises two series:

The L series contains EU legislation including regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations, and opinions.

The C series contains reports and announcements including the judgments of the European Court of Justice and the General Court (formerly known as the Court of First Instance).There is also a supplementary S series which contains invitations to tender, and other documents relating to the EU Procurement Directives (see: Government procurement in the European Union). The S Series is also the only series that is not issued in every working language of the Union. Each contracting authority issues notices in the language of its choice.

Piero Malvestiti

Piero Malvestiti (26 June 1899 – 5 November 1964) was an Italian politician who was a minister in successive governments in the 1940s and 1950s, a European Commissioner and President of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community.

He was one of the founders of the Christian Democratic party in 1942, when he merged his own Movimento Guelfo d'Azione with the Italian Peoples Party.

From 25 October 1947 he served as under-secretary to the Minister for Finance in the fourth government of Alcide De Gasperi which served from 1947 to 1948. In the succeeding fifth and sixth De Gasperi governments he served as one of the undersecretaries to the Treasury Minister from 1948 to 1951.

In the succeeding De Gasperi WAYS government from 1951 to 1953 he served as Minister for Transport. In the succeeding Giuseppe Pella government from 1953 to 1954 he served as Minister for Industry and commerce.

In January 1958 he became one of Italy's first European Commissioners as a Vice-president of the Hallstein Commission with responsibility for the Internal Market. However, in September 1959 he resigned from the commission as he was elected President of the European Coal and Steel Community, a position he held until November 1963. He was replaced on the commission by Giuseppe Caron.

Malvestiti died in 1964. There is a street in Milan named Via Pierro Malvestiti.

Pierre Wigny

Pierre Wigny (born 18 April 1905 in Liège, died 21 September 1986 in Brussels) was a Belgian politician of the Christian Social Party (French: Parti Social Chrétien, PSC).

He was a lawyer and a member of the Chamber of Representatives from 1949 to 1971. He was also a member of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community from its establishment in 1952 to 1958, and was the second President of the Christian Democratic group, the predecessor of the European People's Party Group, in 1958.

He served as Minister of the Colonies from 1947 to 1950, as Foreign Minister from 1958 to 1961, as Minister of Justice from 1965 to 1966 and as Minister of Culture in the Government of the French Community from 1966 to 1968.He received the Robert Schuman Medal in 1986.

Research Fund for Coal and Steel

Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) is an EU programme managed by the European Commission, supporting research in the coal and steel sectors in Europe.When the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty expired in 2002, revenues generated were transferred to the EU to be used to support the RFCS research programme and activities. Every year around €55 million is distributed to coal and steel research projects at universities, research centers and private companies.

Timeline of European Union history

This is a timeline of European Union history and its previous development.

Treaty of Paris (1951)

The Treaty of Paris (formally the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community) was signed on 18 April 1951 between France, West Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which subsequently became part of the European Union. The treaty came into force on 23 July 1952 and expired on 23 July 2002, exactly fifty years after it came into effect.

The treaty was seen as producing diplomatic and economic stability in western Europe after the Second World War. Some of the main enemies during the war were now sharing production of coal and steel, the key-resources which previously had been central to the war effort.

The Europe Declaration was signed by all the leaders present. It declared that the Treaty had given birth to Europe. It emphasised that the supranational principle was the foundation of the new democratic organisation of Europe. The supranational concept was opposed by Charles de Gaulle.

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