Schuman Declaration

The  Schuman Declaration  is the statement made by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman on May 9, 1950. It is proposed to place the French and German production of coal and steel under one common High Authority. This organization would be open to participation of Western European countries. This cooperation is to be developed in such a way as to create a common understanding of the European Union, which will lead to a gradual political integration, a condition for the pacification of relations between them: single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany „.

Schuman’s speech did not fall on deaf ears, West German Chancellor Adenauer responded positively with a positive reply as did the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. Within one year, on April 18, 1951, the six founding members signed the Treaty of Paris . It created the European Coal and Steel Community – Europe’s first supranational Community. This organization paved the way for the European Economic Community and subsequently the European Union , which is still running by the innovative type of European institutionsconceived in 1950. However, Schuman’s efforts did not stop there. He became a great proponent of further integration through the European Defense Community and in 1958 he became the first President of the predecessor to the current European Parliament . When he left office the Parliament bestowed on the title of ‚Father of Europe‘. Because of the significance of his ‚Schuman Declaration‘ on May 9, 1950, this day has been designated as ‚Europe Day‘. And, in honor of his pioneering work towards a united Europe, the district housing the headquarters of several European Union institutions in Brussels is named after him.


The new Cold War split between two spheres of influence (or side of the Iron Curtain ). With the desire not to repeat such destruction, there was a strong momentum towards European co-operation. Winston Churchill , standing next to Robert Schuman , had called for Franco-German reconciliation in a united Europe in a speech in Metz on 14 July 1946. In Zurich , Churchill later called for a “ United States of Europe “ and, in the meantime, the formation of a “ Council of Europe „.  [1]

Anxious to see greater European economic integration in order to be able to form a block against the Soviet Union, the US used the Marshall Plan to force the adoption of more open markets as a pre-requisite to receive aid. The Organization for European Economic Co-operation was founded in 1948 to help coordinate the Marshall Plan. Its guiding principles were:  [2]

  • promote co-operation between participating countries and their national production programs for the reconstruction of Europe,
  • develop intra-European trade by reducing tariffs and other barriers to the expansion of trade,
  • the feasibility of creating a customs union or free trade area,
  • multi-lateralization of payments, and
  • achieve conditions for better use of labor.

The United States also directly promoted European pro-federalists through the US government funded committee on United Europe .

Under the Monnet Plan of 1946-1950, designed to increase French steel production at the expense of Germany, France had absorbed the Saarland , a center for coal mining, from Germany and turned it into a protectorate . French attempts to detach the industrial area of ​​the Ruhr with its many steel plants and coal mines from Germany with greater resistance. However, in 1949 the International Authority for the Ruhr was founded. It is an international body that set limits on the production and production capacity in the Ruhr, and controlled distribution of production, ie export or domestic. The organization was dissolved with the introduction of the common market and the European Coal and Steel Community.

In speeches before the United Nations , Schuman announced that a revitalized Germany must be placed inside a European democracy.  [3]  The Council of Europe was able to provide the European Union with a European Union (as it was originally called) in which the European Communities could be inserted. The Council was a herald of these supranational communities to come to a full European integration .

Schuman had stated that the idea of ​​a European Coal and Steel Community. Schuman initiated policies in preparation for this major change of European Politics while Prime Minister of France (1947-48) and Foreign Minister from 1948 onwards. He spoke about the principles of sharing European resources in a supranational union at the signing of the Statute of the Council of Europe in London , May 5, 1949.

The Declaration has several distinct aims, which it tackled together:

  • It marked the birth of Europe as a political entity
  • It’s impossible to make war between Member States impossible
  • It encouraged world peace
  • It would transform Europe by a  ’step by step‘  process (building through sectoral supranational communities) leading to the unification of Europe, including both East and West Europe separated by the Iron Curtain
  • The world’s first international anti- cartel agency
  • It created a single market across the Community
  • This, starting with the coal and steel sector, would revitalize the whole European economy by similar community processes
  • It is claimed that the world economy and the developing countries, such as those in Africa.  [4]

According to Professor Dr. Hans Ritschl, Schuman made a speech arguing that the Schuman Plan was really a continuation of the Monnet Plan, and that it was only for the sake of supporting that they had taken over that task.  [5] Professor Dr. Hans Ritschl says this speech was never intended to reach German ears.  [6]  However, Prof. Ritschl quotes no sources and the characteristics, objectives and method of the Schuman Plan and the Monnet Plan.

Aim and drafting

The Declaration itself was first drafted by Paul Reuter, Schuman’s colleague and the lawyer at the Foreign Ministry. It was edited by Jean Monnet and others including Schuman’s  Director of Cabinet  , Bernard Clappier. The draft documents of the Declaration have been published by the Jean Monnet Foundation.  [7]  They show that Reuters penciled the first draft and Monnet made only minor corrections. Monnet crossed out the word „supranational“ – the key concept used by Schuman to describe the new form of European superstate – and replaced it with the ambiguous word “ federation „. All the key elements-a new organization of Europe, the supranational innovations, the European Community ,The European market and economy – were floated in a series of major speeches by Schuman in the previous, preparatory years. They include his speeches at the United Nations, at St James‘ s Palace , London at the signing of the Statutes of the Council of Europe and in Brussels, Strasbourg and in North America. The Proposal for a supranational community was made to the European peoples in the dismal, fearful years of the Cold War as it ruled out another war with Germany. The proposals became a Declaration of the Government of the United States of America.

In His introductory remarks, Schuman Revealed That this Seemingly technical, social and industrial innovation Would Have huge political implications, not only for European democracy purpose for Bringing democracy liberty to other areas Such As Soviet-controlled Eastern Europe , to aid the Developing Countries and for establishing world peace.  ‚Europe will be born of this, a Europe which is solidly united and built around a strong framework,‘  he said. The declaration is immediate goal for France, Italy, West Germany, and the Benelux countries to share strategic resources in order to  ‚make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible‘  . The immediate outcome of this initiative was 18 April 1951 creation of theEuropean Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), first of the three European Communities and predecessor of the European Union . At the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 18 April 1951, the six signatory states affirmed in a separate document that this date represented Europe’s birth: „By the signature of this Treaty, the Participating Parties give proof of their determination to create supranational They are the foundation of an organized Europe, and we are looking forward to seeing you in the future. “


The Schuman Declaration marked the beginning of post-World War II Franco-German cooperation and the re-integration of West Germany into Western Europe. Konrad Adenauer , Chancellor of West Germany, said of the statement, „That’s our breakthrough.“  [8]  The ECSC was created by the Treaty of Paris and, on April 18, 1951, the leaders of the six member countries (including Schuman) signed the European Declaration stating that „marked the true foundation of Europe.“ The European Community , the European Parliament , the Consultative Committees (representing the organized civil society), the European CommissionCouncil of Ministers and the European Court of Justice .  [9]

The resulting ECSC is introduced to the common market and to the international market, and to internal import / export duties or subsidies. The success of ECSC led to further steps, by Schuman, being taken with the creation of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community . The two European Commissions of the latter Rome Treaties and the High Authority merged into a single European Commission in the 1960s. Further intergovernmental, (non-supranational), bodies and areas of activities were created leading to the creation of the European Union in 1993.

The Declaration is viewed as one of the main founding events of the EU. In 1985, during Jacques Delors ‚ tenure as President of the European Commission , the leaders of the European Council put in Milan to decide upon ’national‘ symbols for the Community . The Day of May Day, 5 May to 9 May, in commemoration of the Schuman Declaration. The day is now also known as Schuman Day.

See also

  • Council of Europe
  • History of the European Communities (1945-1957)
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization


  1. Jump up^  The Zurich speech European NAvigator
  2. Jump up^  OECD
  3. Jump up^  Schuman’s speeches 1948 and 1949
  4. Jump up^  What were Schuman’s purposes in creating a European Community?
  5. Jump up^  DER SCHUMANPLAN: DIE NEUE RUHRBEHÖRDEProfessor Dr. Hans Ritschl Der Spiegel 1951
  6. Jump up^  DER SCHUMANPLAN: DIE NEUE RUHRBEHÖRDEProfessor Dr. Hans Ritschl Der Spiegel 1951
  7. Jump up^  Rieben (2000)
  8. Jump up^  Judt (1994), 31.
  9. Jump up^  Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC Treaty


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  • Shore, Cree. „Inventing the ‚People’s Europe‘: Critical Approaches to European Community ‚Cultural Policy.'“  Man  28, no. 4. (Dec. 1993): 779-800.
  • Shore, Cris and Annabel Black. „The European Communities and the Construction of Europe.“  Anthropology Today  8, no. 3. (Jun., 1992): 10-11.
  • Schuman, Robert.  For Europe  (Paris 1963).
  • Vernon, Raymond. „The Schuman Plan: Sovereign Powers of the European Coal and Steel Community.“  American Journal of International Law  47.2 (1953): 183-202. in JSTOR