Saturday, 9 May 2009

Robert Schuman, extract from 9 May declaration

The Schuman Declaration is a governmental proposal by then-French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to place the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany under a common High Authority. The realisation of this proposal led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the forerunner of what is now the European Union (EU). The event is celebrated annually as Europe Day and Schuman himself is considered one of the Founding fathers of the European Union.

"Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. 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. With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims."

No comments: